January 30th, 2006

Happy Chinese New Year


Update: If you are look for the 2006 ad, click here.

Happy Chinese New Year!

I was at my folk place in Malaysia for a couple of days for Chinese New Year celebration. No, thank goodness, no passport story that makes it on national paper like last year:P

Anyway, I wanted to share this advertisement Petronas made for Chinese New Year. I was trying to look for it online but no one uploaded it yet. But an abridged version:

In an Old Folks Home…(Speaks In Hokkien)
MOM 1: My son in London… a specialist. Cardiologist… can earn 250,000 an operation. Can have 2 on one day.
MOM 2: My son ar lawyer… earn lots of money.
MOM 3: My son ar… can earn 450,000 a month. What about your son, mom 4?
MOM 4: My son is coming to pick up me now. There he is…

Son drives car to front, walks to greet mom and wants to take her to Cameron Highlands…

What was missing is the expressions of the Mom 1 to 3 as they watch the son of Mom 4 bring her to the car, where the daughter-in-law and grandsons waiting for her. It is a classic!

By the way, Petronas has a tradition of making very heart-warming advertisement during festival season in Malaysia. (Search YouTube and Google Video). I can’t find the latest advertisement but the last year will bring my point across.

Petronas, for those who don’t know, is the government oil company in Malaysia. But it is really unlike most government corporation: while not the largest oil company in the world, it is ranked one of the most profitable oil company in the world. I believe much of it is credited to its late chairman, Tan Sri Azizan Zainul Abidin, a highly capable patriotic career civil servant with a squeakly clean record. Like most good civil servant, he never seek any limelight and hence not many outside Malaysia knows his name.

So watching the advertisement, I began to think about corporate responsiblity. Petronas hardly need any advertisement in Malaysia: You can’t cross one street without finding a Petronas petrol kiosk and who can miss Petronas Twin Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the world? But yet, their tradition to made heart-warming advertisements during festival seasons (at their own cost no doubt) is indeed admirable, an acknowledgement that Petronas remembers the society that made it possible to be what she is today and actively contributing to its betterment.

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