Solving an International Communication Barrier

As I was about the sleep,suddenly Ibrahim called me bogging that why I didn’t answer to Saad’s email. It was about to midnight.

I usually rarely forget about my work unless I really want to forget it. If someone send me any email I will always read it and it will be silly if I found myself couldn’t remember what I have read. It is not me. Plus I’m using technology if it is not the latest but its still a blackberry which I thanked to Dato’ Amir who introduced me to this tack tack tack life of BB’ing and gave to me this blackberry which I am still using until today.

I would say I know my strengths and my weaknesses very well. I do have a very good memory especially when it comes to details and fact.

Back to the story, Saad was actually asking CIF price for palm oil to Mauritania,a country that I heard, I know but never been and never know where it is actually on map.


Yes, palm oil is a new world to me. I only know one source and I am still trying to understand its game as it is highly fluctuate. Well it is commodity then what else should I expect.

So when he asked about the price, I don’t have it in my memory box, I have to get the price from the supplier and if the supplier didn’t get back to me on time, what else I can do beside follow up and wait.

The same day earlier in the evening I got another e mail from Ibrahim, price quoted by someone else but all in French. Yes again I’m from ‘Utaghaa’ the Northern region of Malaysia where we have a lot in common with French, but I never learn this language in my life except bonjour and merci.

Hence when Ibrahim out of nowhere asked me why I didn’t answer to Saad’s email send in the morning, I’m out of any clue. So I told him I saw your e mail in the evening but I didn’t get any email in the morning and plus by him (Saad).

I always felt a bit or even worse much irritated when someone asking or accusing something that I didn’t do even if it is just for a joke. It will touch my nerve.

And as usual, I know his style of bogging or another word bombarding with questions like I am been investigate by FBI like I do crime. I wanted to answer back but immediately I became calm and wiser this time.

So I said, ‘I know you are tired, this is your sleeping time already, as do mine. So you go to sleep, don’t worry about this and let me settle it. And don’t forget please tell Saad, please check the time before calling us. Myself every time I want to call Saudi or Egypt I will always count the time different. So hope he will do the same to us.’

My words calm him down I believe…..

Frankly my inner feeling a bit boiling. I have to put this a STOP!

I can’t have people bombarding me with enquiries and unanswerable queries. I need to set a system.

Usually, whenever there is a request of shipment to a destination let say Port of Jeddah, I will call Ruziana from Kontena Nasional for the costing. They have been very good partner with us together with a well respected boss which I admire his persona Tun Ali. She has to send the request to their agent and their agent will reply back and back then they can quote us the price. And then from my side I can do the rest of the calculation.

It works for other type of products, but not cooking palm oil. The price change everyday at 12 afternoon.

When I have the request from different country everyday,it will make me a bit crazy as I am still not a master of this new game. Everyone is sending the request and I always have the indicative price of FOB while others always asked for CIF.

Hence, we need a system. So I wrote to everyone (the Directors and partners all over the world)

Number 1: Please everyone send your email in English. Its international accepted by everyone. You can send in Arabic as I do read a little, but sometime we don’t want to waste time to translate to our staff as they don’t speak Arabic and never read accept Quran. Of course French is even worse.

Number 2: I asked everyone to give me the list of all targeted countries with their port’s name. As the costing of shipment change every month, I will cooperate with Ruziana to give us the cost of all ports and update from time to time.If there is any request we shall do our own calculation especially when we are quoted in FOB. At least we have an indicative to refer to.

Number 3: I can answer any call at any time. But for any enquiry please take note that it can be answer only during Malaysian office time between 9am to 5pm (now drag to 6pm) with condition if we do have the data or been respond by the supplier the same day. Else it could only be answered by the next day.

Well, surprisingly everyone answered in positive way. I solved the company efficiency, the supplier will not having much headache any more to receive our many calls, information can be delivered faster and on time, and most important my sleeping time will be much peaceful. 

A simple matter actually, a simple solution and it is not definitely a simple outcome. Perhaps it will improvise multi million transaction very soon.



Perlis Indra Kayangan

Kayangan ….Seri Kayang…. semua nama nama sanskrit ini sangat indah disebut dan didengar. Yang pastinya bunyinya masih dekat dengan ala kehinduan tapi itu juga sebahagian daripada peradaban Melayu kita maka harus dipertahankan.

Sebelum ini pemikiran saya hanyalah tertumpu kepada Pulau Pinang. Apa jua yang ingin dilakukan mestilah Pulau Pinang. Apa jua pembangunan mestilah dibawa ke Pulau Pinang. Idea idea bernas juga mesti ditumpahkan ke Pulau Pinang.

Saya seolah olah terlupa bahawa saya ini anak lahir Kedah. Nombor IC pon 02. Keturunan keturunan dan kaum kerabat juga dari Kedah. Tapi tak dilupakan juga Perlis yang sememangnya dekat. Ramai sahabat dan kaum kerabat disini.

Saya lalu mengambil keputusan untuk benar-benar mengenali Perlis….Pura jatuhnya chinta patik.

Dari segi material dan struktur bangunan, Perlis ini teramatlah kecil dan semestinya negeri yang terkecil di Malaysia ini. Terletak nun hujung di utara Malaysia dan bersempadan dengan Siam.

Tiada apa apa yang benar benar menarik yang akan membuatkan saya terasa ingin datang ke sini melainkan rakan-rakan, kerabat, ziarah kematian mahupun kenduri kahwin. 

Jadinya saya terfikirkan apakah yang patut dilakukan bagi membantu pembangunan negeri ini.