Newsletter No.49

Time flies…it is already coming to two years of service by your present Central Committee. A new Central Committee will be elected into office this 23rd April 2006. I strongly urge those of you who have a sense of gratitude for your training in Japan (or Malaysia), and have some time to spare for voluntary work, to volunteer to serve on the Persatuan Alumni AOTS Malaysia’s (PAAM)Central Committee for the period April 2006-April 2008.

If you are good in English, please serve as the editor of our Newsletter. If you have good communication and public relations skills and a good network, please volunteer to assist us in enhancing our image with the Malaysian public so that more Malaysians are aware of the subsidised training that AOTS Japan, and PAAM, provides. Our training and transfer of technology services also needs someone to carry us to greater heights. In fact, if you have the urge to contribute in whatever way, please offer yourself for election this 23rd April.

It has been a pleasure for me to have served all of you the past two terms. The kind cooperation that I have received from the Central Committee members have been excellent. We have been a fairly active organisation, and all credit should go to your Central Committee members. Of course, the day-to-day operations of our Persatuan has been well-run by our two attractive “angels” – Angela and Sue – without whose contributions our activities would have been hampered. The AOTS Malaysian office have also extended their kind cooperation in working towards enhancing training and cultural activities, and we are grateful to them.

I look forward to meeting all of you this 23rd April 2006. Wishing all of you success in all your undertakings, and good health to you and your family.


A full day Kaizen Seminar on “Towards Betterment: 5S and Kaizen” was successfully held on 25th February 2006 in one of the hotels in Kuching, Sarawak. 46 participants attended this seminar. The recruitment of participants was done by Sarawak branch’s Chairman Mr. Sun, while the administration was taken care of by PAAM KL office. This collaboration was not the first success story shared by PAAM and its Sarawak branch.

A similar Kaizen Seminar was held in Kuching in 2004.

Lecture by Mr. Lim Ms. Au Yong answering a question

The speakers were Mr. Lim Eng Swee and Ms. Au Yong Hui Nee, who shared their knowledge and years of experience in the manufacturing industries with the participants. First session in the morning was geared up with Mr. Lim’s dynamic presentation on 5S. Ms. Au Yong took over the afternoon session with an in-depth explanation on Kaizen.

Mr. Sun presenting a souvenir to Mr.Lim Kaizen Training in progress

En. Aziz Kamaruddin (PAAM’s President), Mr. Masaki Watanabe (AOTS KL Office General Manager) and PAAM staff’s Ms. Angie were present during the event to extend their support. Sarawak branch were represented by its Chairman Mr. Sun and Hon. Secretary Mr. Liau Chong Hua.

The seminar ended at 5pm after the Q&A session. Thank you Sarawak branch for the kind co-operation and support in making this event a success!

Kaizen Training in progress

On 20th January 2006, the sub-committee of Training & Development successfully organized a full day tea-talk on two different topics. The session started a 9 a.m, with attendance of 18 participants The speaker for the morning session, Mr. Tan Choon Kok who is attached with SIRIM, shared his experience in implementing QMS. Basically, Mr. Tan explained the standard ISO requirements and QMS certification program in SIRIM. For the afternoon session, Mr. Rueben Ong Hock Heng, who traveled down from Penang for this program, elaborated in-depth on Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) regulations. His presentation was mainly on the determination of restricted substances in Electrical Electronic Equipment (EEE). The tea-talk ended at 5 p.m after a Q&A session.

TEA TALK ON MS ISO 9001 : 2000
Mr. Tan sharing his points with participants
Tea Talk on Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Regulations
Explanation from Mr. RuebenParticipants giving their full focus

It was indeed incredible that a family of 5 with kids as young as four traveled 5,300 kilometers on a long haul flight which took 7 hours just to attend a dinner. Yes, it was our Ex-General Manager, Ichikawa-san & family who did just that to attend our PAAM’s 20th Anniversary Dinner. Upon arrival at KLIA, the ever cheerful and smiling Ichikawa-san and family members made their way just on time for the official function. All of us including the other guests were surprised and happy to see their presence.

Early the next morning some of the Central Committee Members (CCM) invited Ichikawa-san and family for their favourite “Bak-Kut-Teh” breakfast of which they have missed this delicacy so much and were told that most Japanese love this food as it is hardly available back in Japan. Our VP Mr. Eric jokingly invited Ichikawa-san to venture into this business when he retires in Japan. Who knows this might lead him to break new ground in this food business?

After the sumptuous breakfast , we were then invited by our Henry Chia to visit his factory which is located not far from the restaurant . It was a real eye-opener for most of us, as not many of us have seen such factory. It is a well established Yarns and Threads manufacturing company located near to Port Klang. For over 20 years in Malaysia, this factory manufactured all types of sewing yarns and threads, strings and filler cords for the industrial needs. Some of the finished products include Dust mop, water filter cartridge and many others. All of us took home samples of the products with courtesy of Mr. Henry.

It was really an enjoyable and educational outing for all of us . The fellowship among the group has brought us even closer as we shared many ideas and stories . It was a day to remember. On behalf of CCM and everyone here at PAAM we hope Ichikawa san and his family had an enjoyable and memorable trip, and Bon Voyage back to Japan. Wishing them good health and stay happy always.

The whole Monday was entirely spent at Tsurumiryokuchi Park which is situated at the east of Osaka City Centre. It had been decided as a day for my friends (Zuliana and Azah) and me to go out for sightseeing on our own. Well actually we wanted to explore the city centre by traveling with the massive train system. Routes of all types of trains in Osaka are already in our hands. Our initial plan was to visit Tsurumiryokuchi and Tennoji parks, the Bay Area and other tourists’ spots in Osaka as they looked very attractive in the website. But Tsurumiryokuchi Park was too large that by afternoon, we became exhausted already.

Kinuko-san and Atsuko-san, both my friends’ host family reminded us to take care of our belongings while traveling. They really are worried about us…. They said there are very few bad people in Japan. And they also said that Japanese men are very shy but they are very kind so that we should not hesitate to seek their help in case of anything.

That night, Hirooki-chan prepared a map for me to reach Kyoto from Osaka. Poor Hirooki chan because he stayed up late at night to prepare the map for me. During dinner, we chat about Islam and Muslims in general. Hirooki-chan told me he surfed a website on Muslims in internet and faxed the webpage to the house. So he showed it to me and tried to translate the Japanese text into English. It was actually about the 40 advises from Saidina Ali bin Abi Talib, one of the early Muslim Khalifs. How interesting!

I asked Rina-chan if she likes gardening. She said Hirooki-chan does! No wonder Kinukochan, the host family of my friend, Azah mentioned that afternoon that Japanese men favor gardening more than their women do.

One thing which really fascinated me was when Mr. Yusak told us that drinking water is even accessible from any water pipes! That means their water treatment system must be very systematic! Roads are very narrow and the streets are occupied mainly with pedestrians and cyclists. What a healthy environment!

Kyoto was so fascinating that I had completely forgotten about that night’s dinner with Rina-chan’s friends; Miifa and Margarita who are also members of HIPPO Club in Nishinomiya City. We rushed to the train station and we thanked Mr. Yusak for his wonderful hospitality. He really made our visit to Kyoto an exciting and memorable one!

As I reached the house, dinner was already served. I was introduced to Miifa and Margarita. To my surprise, Miifa greeted me the way Muslims do. I replied her salam. She said she is interested in Islam and is learning more about becoming a Muslim. I was very touched when Rina-chan told
me that Miifa brought her to look for halal food around Kobe. I remember Mr. Yusak told me it is not easy to get halal meat in Japan. She brought home instant recipes of ‘nasi goreng’, ‘rempah rendang’ and what not. These people are very kind hearted! So that night, I ate Japanese dishes together with Malay food which Miifa cooked for me. I told myself I must
invite them to my house and serve them the best I can!

iifa, Margarita, Hirooki-chan and Rinachan really laughed a lot when we were dining. I did not expect them to have a very good sense of humor and I never thought Japanese could laugh that much! As for me, I just smiled as I understood nothing… So Japanese could actually joke! Hirooki-chan explained how people in Osaka differ from people of Tokyo… They are warmer than the people in Tokyo.

Japanese popular culture not only reflects the attitudes and concerns of the present but also provides a link to the past. Popular films, television program, comics, and music all developed from older artistic and literary traditions, and many of their themes and styles of presentation can be traced to traditional art forms. Contemporary forms of popular culture, like the traditional forms, provide not only entertainment but also an escape for the contemporary Japanese from the problems of an industrial world. When asked about their leisure time, men and women said they spent about two and one-half hours per weekday watching television, listening to the radio, and reading newspapers or magazines. Some spent an average of two and one-quarter hours a day engaged in hobbies or amusements. Others spent leisure time participating in sports, socializing, and personal study. Teenagers and retired people reported more time spent on all of these activities than did other groups.

In the late 1980s, the family focused more on leisure activities, such as visit to parks or shopping. Although Japan is often thought of as a hard-working society with little time for pleasure, the Japanese seek entertainment wherever they can. It is common to see Japanese commuters riding the train to work, enjoying their favorite comics or listening through earphones to the latest popular music on portable music players.

A wide variety of types of popular entertainment are available. There is a large selection of music, films, and the products of a huge comic book industry, among other forms of entertainment, to be chosen. Game centers, bowling, and karaoke are popular hangout places for teens whi leolder people may play shogi (japanese chess) to fill up their time.

Training Course on GEMBA GEMBA KAIZEN (Basic) Part II
Group leader giving explanation to the lecturer Participants listening to the lectures
Training Course on GEMBA GEMBA KAIZEN (Basic) Part II
13 & 14 FEBRUARY 2006 in MELAKA
Group photo Presentation from group leader
A meeting was held between AOTS & PAAM staff on 15th February 2006 to discuss further on AOTS Overseas Training Courses in Malaysia.
Group photo taken with AOTS staff from HQ Japan