TOWERING FIGURES: Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Pandelela Rinong and Petronas are among names that have made the nation proud abroad
"DON'T ask what you can do for your country. Ask what the country can do for you."
Those who love heavy metal music of the 1980s and 1990s would know that the above is Dave Mustaine's tweaked version of John F. Kennedy's most famous "Ask not" quote.
Mustaine waxed that into Take No Prisoners, one of the nine tracks in Megadeth's third album titled Rust in Peace.
Why are we talking about "country" and "contribution"?
You see, yesterday was our National Day. So while we celebrate our 55th year of independence, this column would like to pay tribute to Malaysian individuals and organisations/companies that have raised the nation's profile overseas.
We won't talk about business and economic issues for now. That means we won't clog your head with a feeble bid by a major Bonia Corp Bhd shareholder to take over the apparel company at RM2.04 per share.
(Psst... psst... The offer price by its executive chairman is ridiculously low given that the stock's last price prior to Tuesday's suspension of its shares was RM2.58. Last time we check, it has risen to RM2.64).
It is not our intention to spoil your holiday mood by talking about Pasukhas Group Bhd. But in case you don't know, Pasukhas unwantedly became the first company in recent times to get queried by Bursa Malaysia on its listing debut after a five-fold surge in its share price to 60.5 sen on Wednesday. Despite the query, the stock continued to rise, surging to a high of 82 sen before settling at 70 sen on Thursday.
We are also not keen to bother you with a story of another stock with similar unusual trading activity.
By now, some would have known that Ingenuity Solutions Bhd (Ingens) last week got its third unusual market activity (UMA) query from Bursa Malaysia this year. This followed UMA queries issued on August 15 and March 22.
The stock went up from six sen to peak at 46.5 sen on August 23 but eased to 39.5 sen before its suspension on Wednesday. Ingens subsequently received a "14-days-only" takeover offer from Ninetology Marketing Sdn Bhd at 55 sen per share.
The funny thing is that the offeror had on Monday issued an invitation to the media for a conference call on Thursday to announce its intention to take over Ingens.
What a window of opportunities between Monday and Thursday to buy and sell Ingens shares and warrants, and make a bit of duit raya!
We are focusing on towering Malaysians, aren't we?
It's only right to salute the likes of Bank Negara's Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz. Our central bank's governor has maintained her "A" grade in the Central Banker Report Card published by Global Finance.
It's a great recognition considering that the more illustrious US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke only scored "B", up from "C" in 2011.
Zeti was one of six heads of central banks with an "A".
We are not forgeting to salute Datuk Lee Chong Wei and Pandelela Rinong too. Their herculean efforts at the London Olympics have inspired and united many Malaysians.
Speaking of sports, when David Moores was looking for a buyer for his family's controlling stake in Liverpool in 2004 (and found two in American businessmen Tom Hicks and George Gillett, who were eventually loathed by virtually every Kopite), this writer harboured hope that cash-rich Khazanah Nasional Bhd would try to buy arguably Britain's most successful club, and raise Malaysia's flag in global football.
(What? Are we hearing Manchester United supporters cheering the two Americans for plunging Liverpool to some of its darker years in English football? Oh, it's just background noises from Manchester City fans trumpeting that their Red neighbour will again play second fiddle to the Blues this season).
But we do have local companies that have carried our national flag impressively abroad.
Top on the list is obviously Petronas, our only proxy in Forbes' Fortune 500 list of top global firms. Sime Darby, AirAsia, Berjaya Group, YTL Group, SP Setia and Malaysia Airports have made us proud too.
The space is small to mention many other towering Malaysians and their feats. Suffice to say, we salute and thank you all.
This writer would also like to express gratitude to Datuk Aishah Ahmad, former Perodua and Proton bosses Datuk Syed Abdull Hafiz Syed Abu Bakar, Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir and Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff, UMW's Datuk Syed Hisham Syed Wazir, Faridah Idris and motoring veterans Chips Yap, Yamin Vong and YS Khong, and many others for the kind words, help and cooperation all these years.
Happy National Day and Selamat Hari Raya from us at Business Times.