K Raman, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia, tells Business Today, in this Merdeka special, what independence and freedom mean.
To me, independence is the state of having complete freedom from outside influences. As Malaysia, we have come a long way since our Independence in 1957 and I’ve reflected this closely through my own journey as well.
True to the Malaysian spirit, I’ve had a multicultural upbringing in Malacca. My mother being of Chinese descent, introduced me to Chinese culture whilst my father’s Indian roots allowed me to experience the Indian traditions. I have been privileged in embracing this beautiful intertwining of cultures through my life and that has also been the ethos of Malaysia – a vibrant, multicultural country that has celebrated and built on this diversity all along.
I have also had the benefit of experiencing this during my primary and secondary education in government schools and when I completed my Degree in Engineering at Universiti Malaya. They gave me the foundation to prosper professionally and led me to an opportunity where I am today, I represent one of the leading technology brands, a US-based company in Malaysia, contributing to the nation’s efforts of democratizing technology to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more. I am proud to be a true champion of the Malaysian spirit in many ways.
My country gave me the freedom, the opportunity to achieve my dreams and ambitions. Malaysia supported me throughout. With Microsoft, I hope to give back to the country to help realize its digital ambitions, to elevate and enable Malaysian businesses with world class technology, futureproof our workforce and prepare them for the digital age to achieve their own dreams.
For the past 26 years, Microsoft has helped transform the way Malaysians work, learn, play and communicate. I have witnessed this transformation, as the nation becomes more digitized and technologically empowered. As we are at the cusp of a new Malaysia this Merdeka, Microsoft remains commitment to enable Malaysian businesses and SMEs ride the digital wave, to take advantage of the growth opportunities in the digital economy powered by Industrial Revolution 4.0, especially in the realm of Artificial Intelligence, in line with the government’s aspiration in Healthcare, Education, Earth, accessibility and others.
Another cause that we hold dear is building of future skills among the youth of Malaysia. We foresee 21st century education evolving rapidly with technology at the forefront to nurture students and equip them with life and work skills to compete globally. Through Microsoft, I have been fortunate to evolve education experience for our students and educators and digitally transform our traditional classrooms. By partnering with educational institutions as well as the government, we are empowering young Malaysians with the knowledge needed for the future. To me, knowledge is the most priceless freedom there as it offers them a brighter, more rewarding future.
As our country celebrates its 61st year of independence, I am humbled by how far we have come as a nation. From a land, divided by borders, racial and religious differences, we are now one nation. In the words of our nation’s founding father, Tunku Abdul Rahman, “We are all Malaysians. This is the bond that unites us. Let us always remember that unity is our fundamental strength as a people and as a nation.”
Selamat Hari Merdeka!