What does the phrase ‘God’s own country’ mean really? Is it a place endowed with all that Mother Nature has to offer in calm backwaters and lush greenery? Is it a coastal land with aquamarine waters running onto golden shores? Or is it a nation with all of that, plus so melodic and friendly that you truly feel you are amongst God’s own people in God’s own country?
Ah, now I have you wondering which place on Earth I am talking about:)
This is probably my fifteenth or twentieth visit to Malaysia (I have lost count). So, you’d think that by now I would be so familiar with the country that I would not feel the excitement and emotion normally associated with visiting a new place.
Not so. Each time I visit Malaysia, I never fail to be charmed by its warm and friendly people. The warmth is even evident in their melodic way of speaking. Let me try to give you a sense of what I mean:
Do you agree with me that the tone and mannerisms of the Malaysian people simply charm and fill you with warmth?
If the mere sound of Malaysian voices are so warm, can you imagine how full of warmth and goodwill the people must be? After all, the tonality has to be just goodwill topping!
Need more convincing? Allow me to narrate how I learnt the art of goodwill marketing from Fuzi Hanim, the President of Fuzi Magic Goodwill Society.
Yesterday morning, my friend J. J. Trada and I went to have breakfast at Bangsar’s famous Devi Corner. By the way, the food here beats Saravana Bhavan in Bangsar. What’s more the atmosphere is lively, the staff friendly and hello, it will cost you far less.
Don’t the pictures look inviting? Yes? Well then, next time you are in Kuala Lumpur (KL), be sure to go have a meal at Devi’s Corner.
Speaking for myself, each time I land in KL, my friends pick me up at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) rail station in town and whisk me straight off for roti canai* at Devi’s Corner. Because they know I love that uniquely Malaysian breakfast and will ask for it.
In the morning in question, though, JJ and I had tucked into dosa and vada* to our heart’s content. Satiated, we walked up to the cashier to settle our bill. JJ, being JJ, began his usual horsing around banter and jokingly said to the cashier, “No Father’s Day discount eh?”
It was at that point that JJ and I got thrown for a six. Because the cashier said, “Your bill has been settled.”
Totally startled, JJ asked, “By whom?”
The cashier silently pointed to a group of people seated at a table just in front of the cashier’s desk.
When we turned to see, the entire group chorused, “Happy Father’s Day.”
You should have seen and heard them. All their faces were simply glowing with happiness. To my mind they epitomised #beautifulMalaysia.
Turns out that they were part of FuziMagic, a benefit-for-children establishment. Founded by Fuzi Hanim, FuziMagic’s tag line simply states Building Bridges of Goodwill.
Wow! What a statement to make!
And boy oh boy, did they build a bridge of goodwill with us that morning. Not because we had breakfast-for-free but the sheer cheer and bonhomie they shared with us. Neither did they pitch their foundation. Fuzi merely handed us a brochure. That’s all.
On reading the brochure, I discovered that the mission of Fuzi Magic is:
Building Bridges of Goodwill
We pledge to develop students to become ASSETS to the nation and BLESSINGS to the world.
Fuzi Magic achieves this through student development programs.
I will be returning to India. But I hope that my friends in Malaysia will pitch in and help Fuzi Magic achieve its mission. Anyone who I have managed to interest enough through this post can visit the Fuzi Magic website and learn more about the work Fuzi Magic is doing.
People who visit the Fuzi Magic website should especially look out for Fuzi Hanim’s brief bio, which describes her as a citizen of the world while remaining a daughter of Malaysia in her heart.
Allow me to quote from her bio to interest you more: “But in her soul, she is a Woman-of-Change that creates goodwill moments with earthlings that cross her path.”
That she did with two earthlings by the names of J. J. Trada and Lata Subramanian.
Author’s Note: Marketers who are leveraging Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives to earn brand goodwill have a lot to learn from Fuzi Hanim. She picked Father’s Day, surprised guests at Devi’s Corner by footing their bill, built bridges of goodwill and left an indelible impact. Not for a minute did she attempt to commercialise the gesture. Her only aim was to build goodwill and she just radiated that through and through.
I am sure Fuzi Magic will develop students who will prove to be blessings for the world. With a founder like that, and the amount of goodwill generated, how could they not? Because I am sure many sponsors and volunteers will come forward to show those students the way.
Fuzi Magic’s contact details are available on the Fuzi Magic website.
#fathersday #goodwill #beautifulMalaysia #MondayMusings
Featured Image Credit: The Fuzi Magic team with J.J. Trada and Lata Subramanian. Image taken by a Devi’s Corner staff member and sent to J. J. Trada.
*roti canai – a type of Indian-influenced flatbread found in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. It is often sold in Mamak stalls in Malaysia; also in Malay, Minangkabau and Aceh restaurants in Indonesia (source: Wikipedia).
*dosa and vada – Rice-based, fermented crepe served with different types of chutney and sambar (lentil curry). The vada is also rice-fermented but deep-fried. Both the dosa and vada are famous South Indian cuisine. Since Malaysia has a large Tamil community, South Indian food is available everywhere.