Dato’ HJ. Badruddin HJ. Abu bakar D.K.R.T, past President of MMEA talks to Industrial Print Magazine.
Dato’ HJ. Badruddin HJ. Abu bakar D.K.R.T had been the president of the Malaysian Malay Entrepreneur Association for over 10 years and presently supports the association as an advisor.
With a history of over 40 years, the association started with support from the Government when printers joined hands with the common objectives – of better networking, better environment and better ways of coordination with the authorities. The association is registered and is recognised by the Malaysian Government.
According to Dato Badruddin, “The association plays vital role of providing consultation to the government on industry issues like paper pricing, printing rates as well as manpower requirement for the industry etc.” With about hundred members constituting of small, medium and large printers and an estimated turnover of about MYR2 billon, the association is aligned to the Malaysian Printers Association (MPA).
“In addition to networking amongst the members of the association, taking care of the members and solving their problems is an aspect which is extremely important for the association,” informs Dato. “The pricing of the contracts from the government to the printing industry is in fact decided in consultation with the association,” he adds. The association acts as the bridge between the printers and the Government and helps the growth of the industry by addressing the interests of both the printers as well as the government.
In addition to this, the association also facilitates many learning platforms for its members – like visits to leading trade shows across the world for keeping them updated on the industry trends and advancement of technology. “The government subsidises such study groups/tours arranged by the association as it helps members improve their skills and keep abreast of the latest developments for their as well as the nation’s growth,” adds Dato.
There have been several occasions when the association took initiative to safeguard its members’ interest through proactive negotiations. About 5 years ago, the government was giving all printing order to one big company. The association ensured an equal opportunity for all in the industry by talking to the government. “We were able to raise the concern with the government and reached the PM and the Deputy PM. We amicably reached a more viable solution which I also consider to be a milestone during my tenure as the President of the association,” says Dato Badruddin.
Dato feels that printing as an industry is growing in the country with offset being supported by printing processes like flexography, holography, security printing, web and now, digital being a major part of the industry. He sees a bright future for the industry especially if printers have an attitude to accept the new technologies getting into this wide arena of printing and consider it be a threat per se. “These are all supporting systems for the printing industry and we must adapt ourselves to them in order to reap the benefits,” he emphasises.
For Dato, it is natural that commercial printing is reducing because of the advent of digital technology but he forcefully says that when one door closes, another opens and stresses, “It is for today’s printer to adapt and adjust to changing times to make a successful transformation.” As for packaging, he feels that the demand is increasing and each product today is packaged and so it is increasing by leaps and bounds. “Malaysian printers must explore more into the packaging field as it is a growing industry,” he concludes.