When I listened to Pak Lah during his budget presentation that Friday, I felt 'terpanggil' to do my national service. Sort of ‘giving something back’, in a less honorable manner.
After all, his administration appears to believe in individual’s true capability rather than the mere clocking years of service. Everyone is mentioning Oxford graduates, towering personalities, Ethos Consulting, Azman Mokhtar, young & bright, all – if possible, in a same sentence. So, yours truly sent three letters detailing my intention to work for them and offering my so-called “competent services” to:
- PMO’s Office. – Attention to Pak Lah for the obvious reason. I wanted to work at the fourth floor, or at least at the NEAC secretariat with Tok Pa at that time. For one, I am an avid fan of the West Wing; and my ambition is to be a Josh Lyman!
- Khazanah Nasional. – Being entrusted to spearhead Malaysian national coffer, AMOK is a good role model to all young & restless like me. I was inspired to work with the ‘world-class’ employees – managing their careers would be my ultimate challenge and dreams.
- XX – Dato’ Z is my role model since 1992. I was assigned at the Chase Manhattan building – opposite of SHELL House. To be a successful employee in a multinational oil & gas Company is a daunting task, to say the least. For a simple reason: it is an engineering-dominant working environment. I knew this because I used to work in American Oil Company (AMOCO) before. Being a woman like her (with legal background) and be appointed as a Deputy Chairman, you ought to multiply her adversities by 100 (on a fair day).
So the hunting began…
The Setiausaha Politik Kanan to Pak Lah replied to my request, promptly via a standard letter. I reckoned Pak Lah is receiving tons of such letters. The setpol is politely suggested that I should send my application to SPA who manages all recruitment exercise on behalf of government. Hey, I knew that. I studied the whole JPA structure remembered?
There is no reply from Khazanah Nasional. Shame on them.
Out-of-the-blue, I received a call from a true gentleman named Kula. He asked me to come over the XX to have a chat with him. Wow, so efficient and focus. The interview process went quite well. Kula is a very good listener, asking all tough questions and answering all my stupid inquiries.
Then, within a week, came the big day – a meeting with Dato’ herself. She went beyond all my expectations – from professional and leadership perspectives. She asked direct but difficult HR questions from strategic perspectives. She asked me on my expectations. She asked me on my motivations. She was focused on the HR deliveries and key performance indicators. She understood HR well.
I got this opportunity to meet Dato' Z again. This time under a different scenario - although not yet an equal footing.
A bit awkward, but all in all it is a positive development.