celebrates their Inauguration 2000
The members of the Filipino Community Eastern Region
Chapter held their 6th Induction Ceremony at the Orchid Ballroom of the
Royal Cliff Grand on Saturday, May 13th. All the officers were sworn in,
including President Arturo Nieva, Vice President for Internal Affairs
Christina Bien Betourne and Vice President for External Affairs Romulo
Lamsen. His Excellency General Clemente P. Mariano, the Filipino
Ambassador to Thailand performed the solemn act.
Clemente Mariano (right) congratulates new president Arturo Nieva.
The Ambassador then addressed his countrymen living on
the Eastern Seaboard with warm words, expressing his gratitude that this
community is acting in such a way that all of the Philippines can be
President Arturo Nieva was recently transferred to
Singapore by his company and only came to Pattaya for this Installation
Night. After his inauguration speech, the Filipino Community started to
dine and to party.
the help of professional dancers, the Ambassador and Madame perform the
famous Bamboo Dance
The Golden Ballroom Dancers, a Filipino Group
performing in Pattaya, performed one great dance show after another, only
once interrupted by an intruder. This young woman just walked on stage and
insisted on showing her skills as a tightrope dancer. She convinced a few
guests to hold a rope for her and everyone expected a sensational show,
yet she only used this rope to hang her washing. Only at the end, when the
guard tried to get her off stage, did they find out that Vice President
Christina had played a trick on them.
board of directors being sworn in
A puppet show, featuring the opera Carmen, was another
fun part of this event. Near the very end, members of the Alcazar Show
performed with Spanish and Latin American dances. Yet it still wasn’t
over. His Excellency, the Ambassador and his wife were called up on stage
again to show the audience their skills in a Filipino Bamboo dance. His
Excellency, accustomed to solving any situation, also mastered this one
with lots of talent and courage, much to the delight of the audience.
Vice President Cristina Bien Betourne entertains party guests
The many guests, not only from the Filipino Community but also friends
from various other clubs in Pattaya, stated in unison that the Filipino
Community really knows how to party and make all their guests feel
comfortable and welcome. All are already looking forward to next year’s
US Navy lends helping
hand in Pattaya
USS Kitty Hawk group gathers with the Rotarians and the school staff at
the end of the BBQ party
The month of May saw the return of very good friends to
Pattaya: the US Navy. The first ship to arrive and to participate in a
community relations project, organized by the Rotary Club of Jomtien
Pattaya was the USS O’Brien (DD975). Led by their captain, CDR Eric J.
Lindenbaum, the young sailors first made a stop at the Ban Hnong Health
Center to donate a large assortment of medical items. From there they went
to Wat Khau Pai to re-paint one of the ornamental walls of the temple.
After three hours of hard work under Pattaya’s blistering sun, they
called it a day and returned to their daily duties on the ship. Maybe it
is nice to mention that, since the USS O’Brien has an Irish name,
everything is green on board, including their shirts and ball caps, and
they even have a cloverleaf in their emblem. Now, in this special case,
the captain is the right man for this ship. His name, Lindenbaum, means
of the USS Chancellorsville busily painting the water storage tanks of the
The USS Chancellorsville arrived in Pattaya Bay on May
13th. The Community Service Director of the Rotary Club of
Jomtien-Pattaya, Peter Thorand, as he has done so many times in the past,
was on hand to help the sailors implement community relation projects.
First, the energetic sailors hand-carried lots of goods onto the pier to
bring to the Anamai Public Health Center. And while one group put
everything in place for the donation, anther group immediately started
giving the water tanks at the center a fresh coat of paint. Chaplain Horn,
the leader of the group, later presented medical and hygienic products to
the resident doctor.
at the Ban Hnong Health Center between sailors of the USS O’Brien and
staff of the clinic.
USS Kitty Hawk
Chaplain Chin van Dang and 125 sailors from the
aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk devoted a day of their shore leave to
COMREL (COMmunity RELations) at the Mabprachan School. The sailors
participated in face painting, playing sports, fun games and, most
importantly, a huge BBQ party. Many of the kids remembered many of the
sailors from last year, and were very happy to see them again. They
welcomed them as old friends.
Chaplain Chin van Dang looked at the scene with one
laughing and one crying eye, since he will be leaving the Kitty Hawk after
this trip to join the Marines. But he hopes that he might return to
Pattaya one of these days.
Rotary Club of Jomtien Pattaya members Dennis Stark, Jon Tellefsen,
George Tomlinson and David Jeater were on hand to witness an exchanging of
certificates between Peter Thorand and the Chaplain. Along with their
Rotary Ann’s, they helped to make this fun day a perfect one.
Thought for the week
Politics, you wan’t hate it as much if you
become better at ‘the game’!
by Richard Townsend, Corporate Learning Consultant
Continuing from last weeks ‘thoughts’ on work life
politics here are a few more tips on how we can become more successful in
this critical success area.
Bosses can be a pain in the butt; however, in reality our
relationship with ‘the company’ is no more than a reflection of our
relationship with our boss (and perhaps his or her boss). When people think
of companies in terms of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ to work for, they are
trying to credit the company with possessing a ‘soul’ that it does not
(and never will) have. Trying to humanise a company is dangerous and in fact
borders on stupid. Our relationship to the company is purely a reflection of
the relationship we enjoy (or otherwise) with our immediate ‘superiors’.
Obviously then we need to be politically astute in dealing with the boss
which means we must make them look good every chance you get, we must give
them our full support and if they are under attack from others, always take
their side. If you are seen as disloyal to your current boss you will be
perceived as disloyal to all others, including those you may work for in the
future. Remember bosses come and bosses go, learn from the bad and enjoy the
Powerful allies are also important for political success.
Bosses are formal leaders; however, all organisations have informal leaders
that can come from any level of the company. Don’t ignore the informal
networks in your organisation and make yourself valuable or at least a
neutral when dealing with such groups and never place yourself in open
conflict. Remember sometimes ‘it is better to say nothing and appear a
fool than to open your mouth and leave no doubt’. Similarly avoid the
fringe members or powerless individuals in your organisation. In one company
I worked for they where known as ‘the lemons’, they always liked ‘the
way it was in the good old days’ and proffered opinions on why everything
the company is doing now won’t work. This group loves an audience, will
give advice and will make friends easily. They will also laugh inwardly as
they recruit another to their misery. Keep away at all costs.
Power is linked to control of resources so effort must be
placed into gaining as much resource control as possible. Even secretaries
know the value of the key to the stationary cupboard or how divesting they
can be by holding a memo back for 24 hours. Successful politics and power
are inextricably linked so if you see a chance to control any company
resource (crucial contacts, physical assets, expert knowledge, etc.) you
must take charge.
Lastly, selling rather than telling is always the
preferable option. If you need engage in arguments develop skill to remove
the perception of personal desires from the conflict (even though they will
always be a factor). The skill is to frame all arguments in terms of the
company’s interests rather than our own. Stick to supportable facts, use
your company knowledge to negotiate win-wins and never allow yourself to be
seen as placing your self-interest above that of the company... even if you
are. Failing in this area will lead to your ultimate demise.
Politics, the thinking persons sport?
BCCT to hold Property
& Infrastructure Committee Luncheon
“Changing Business of the World Bank in
Guest Speaker: Mr. Jayasankar Shivakumar, Country
Director for Thailand, The World Bank Group. JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok,
Salon A, 3rd Floor, Thursday 1st June 2000 from 12 noon.
The BCCT Property & Infrastructure Committee is
delighted to welcome Mr. Jayasankar Shivakumar who has kindly agreed to be
our guest speaker at this luncheon.
In his overall responsibility for making World Bank
operations in Thailand more effective in reducing poverty, he focuses on:
providing access to global knowledge; improving its products; speeding up
its processes; strengthening relations; and increasing the impact of the
Bank’s work in Thailand. He joined the World Bank in 1978 in Washington,
D.C. From his first position as Senior Financial Analyst in the East Africa
Region until now, he has worked on a variety of developmental issues. He has
held many managerial-level positions such as Division Chief for East Asia
Infrastructure, Human Resources, and Eastern Africa Agriculture and
In addition to over 20 years of experience at the World
Bank, he has vast experience working as a Member of the Federal Civil
Service in India. He held the positions of Special Assistant to the Finance
Minister of India, District Collector in the state of Tamil Nadu, and Deputy
Secretary to the Tamil Nadu State Finance Department. His 17 years in civil
service allowed him to contribute to a range of development activities,
along with revenue administration and the management of law and order.
The cost of luncheon is baht 600 net per person inclusive of VAT and soft
drinks. Purchase of other drinks is on personal accounts. If you wish to
attend, please contact the BCCT as soon as possible so that you may receive,
complete and return a reply form together with payment to the Chamber office
by Wednesday 31st May 2000 (fax: 02 651 5354, e-mail: email@example.com).
Dolf Riks remembered
A select group of those who enjoyed the late Pattaya
restaurateur and raconteur Dolf Riks’ company met at the Flamingo
Hotel’s Auguste Renoir restaurant to swap stories and anecdotes about this
colourful character who passed away twelve months ago. A display of his
paintings had also been arranged with some available for purchase.
left) Bob Purdy, Axel Borsdorf and Bruno Forrer enjoy reminiscing at Dolf
Riks’ remembrance dinner last week.
Dolf, who was a prolific writer and historian of his
early days in Indonesia (and Pattaya), was also a columnist for the Pattaya
Mail, and earlier had been a regular in the Bangkok Post.
He was noted for his “rijsttafel” Indonesian dinners and Jaap Klasema
from the Flamingo Hotel arranged one for the guests, all of whom enjoyed the
opportunity to sample this type of cuisine again. Dolf was toasted,
remembered fondly and would have really enjoyed being present for this
dinner. If any reader would like to see what canvases are remaining, contact
Jaap Klasema at (038) 427 161.
Commonwealth Ball coming soon
Le Meridien Hotel, Saturday 17th June 2000
On Saturday 17 June 2000, the Commonwealth Chambers in
Bangkok, namely Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, New
Zealand, Singapore and India will host the Third Annual Commonwealth Ball -
A Masquerade. The Ball will be held at Le Meridien Hotel and expected
attendance is 400. Promotion for the Ball will be circulated to over 1500
This event will bring together people from around the
globe and provide an important opportunity for socialising and networking.
The Ball will incorporate food and beverages from each country to capture
the international essence of the evening. Guests will be entertained by an
international band and DJ Paul Jackson, enjoy a sumptuous meal and have the
opportunity to win prizes ranging from hotel stays to gift vouchers to
The seven host Chambers are currently seeking corporate sponsors for the
Commonwealth Ball. A company who chooses to become a corporate sponsor will
receive extensive coverage to Thais and foreigners due to the participation
of seven foreign Chambers. The support of the corporate sponsors will allow
us to offset some of the costs involved in hosting the Commonwealth Ball and
ensure an enjoyable evening for all. Partial proceeds from the Ball will be
donated to each of the Chambers’ favourite charities. Please contact your
Royal Cliff GM pays a
visit to Pattaya Mail
General Manager of the Royal Cliff Beach Resort and Hotel, Andrew J. Wood
(3rd from left) recently paid a courtesy visit to the offices of the Pattaya
Mail where he was welcomed by Pattaya Mail Managing Director Peter Malhotra
(3rd from right) and the Assistant to the MD of Pattaya Mail Primprao Somsri
(left). Mr. Wood was accompanied by Zahid Ali (2nd from left), the Assistant
Communications Manager of the Royal Cliff, Christopher Rueben (2nd from
right), the Communications Manager of the Royal Cliff and Winwin Andres
(right), the Assistant Communications Manager of the Royal Cliff.
Big Money Work!
by Dr. Iain Corness, Automania Correspondent
Those three letters B-M-W are here to stay in Thailand,
according to the words of Dr. Helmut Panke, one of the Board Members of BMW
AG, the prestige German car maker. With the new manufacturing plant
officially opened by H.E. Chuan Leekpai, the Prime Minister of Thailand, Dr.
Panke told of the Big Money investment by the parent company in Thailand -
one billion baht to kick off the factory in the Amata Estate on the Eastern
Seaboard. But that Big Money investment really does Work!
Series bodies waiting to join the assembly line
So far, the new plant, the first BMW plant in Asia, has
already produced 138 cars, and has orders for 400 cars on the waiting list.
The new plant also works for the economy of this region, and indeed, for all
of Thailand. Currently 150 Thai workers are enjoying a regular salary and
external local suppliers are finding an outlet for their products.
Dr. Panke even went so far as to state that already when
one includes Thai wages, the local content value in each car is running at
35-40%. That is not an inconsiderable injection into the Thai economy.
The President of BMW Manufacturing in Thailand, Dr.
Ralph-Rainer Ohlsen, was quick to point out that this was not a “Made in
Thailand” exercise, however - it was a “Made by BMW” exercise. The
integration of the local Thai workers within the overall framework of
“Quality” is paramount, and it was obvious, even on the plant tour, that
the assembly line workers were very proud of their efforts, and their
product - the new 3 series BMW passenger cars.
Currently, not all of the car is assembled at the Amata
City plant, with the bare, painted bodies being brought from BMW’s
ex-importer, Yontrakit industries. Once at the BMW plant, however, the work
begins in earnest, with fitment of all wiring and plumbing and seats, then
hanging of the doors. Next up is the suspension assembly line, after which
the shell is fitted with suspension and brakes. Slowly becoming a “rolling
chassis” wheels are fitted, along with motors and transmissions, exhaust
Coming down the second last line, the cars are fired up
for the first time and operation is checked on a rolling road dynamometer.
Finally, small trim is fitted and the car is almost ready for final
With any new BMW factory, it is necessary for the final
product to be inspected by the German Quality Controllers, and it is not
until those exacting standards are reached that the products can be sold.
Dr. Ohlsen was delighted to tell me privately that the standards reached by
the Thai team were the best in the world.
It was obvious at the plant launch last week that the BMW
commitment is formidable, and the attendance of the “heavyweights” from
Germany underscored this. There are already plans for expansion with a tract
of land leased next to the current factory for use later. There is also room
for expansion within the existing plant, which has a capacity to produce
10,000 vehicles annually. With the projected output for this year being only
2000 cars, there is plenty currently in reserve.
Whether one is a BMW driver, BMW fan or merely a
spectator, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that BMW is making a
very valuable contribution to this region.
P.M. Chuan opens new BMW
plant at Rayong - a vote of confidence for Thailand
by Peter Cummins
Prime Minister H.E. Chuan Leekpai officially opened the
first BMW Plant in Asia, at the Amata City, Rayong complex, last Friday, at
a splendid ceremony, followed by a tour of the facilities by the capacity
crowd which attended the event.
A management team of five of BMW’s top executives was
present to welcome P.M. Chuan and his entourage, which included Pol Gen.
Chavalit Yodmani, Chairman of the Amata Group of Companies, General Yuthasak
Sasiprapha, Chairman of the Industrial Estates Authority of Thailand, and
other government officials.
The BMW group included Ralph-Rainer Ohlsen, President BMW
Manufacturing (Thailand), Dr. Helmut Panke, Board of Management (Finance),
BMW AG, Luder Paysen, Group Executive Sales Division, BMW AG and
Heinz-Jurgen Preissler, Director, International Manufacturing, BMW AG.
Minister Chuan Leekpai (center) with BMW executives Dr. Helmut Panke (left)
and Dr. Ralph-Rainer Ohlsen at the “steamy” opening of the BMW Plant.
(Photo Peter Cummins)
There was little doubt of the confidence that BMW has
placed in Thailand for, as was clearly pointed out at the press conference
which followed the official opening, BMW made its decision to construct the
plant in 1998 when all of Asia was reeling from the economic melt-down.
Dr Panke lauded the Thai Government’s “far-sighted
automobile policy” and the Kingdom’s key role in trade liberalization
throughout the ASEAN bloc countries.
These sentiments were endorsed by H.E. Herman Erath, the
German Ambassador to Thailand who commended P.M. Chuan’s leadership which
has brought Thailand back into focus as a pivotal country in the ASEAN
Dr. Panke, as well as his BMW colleagues, pointed out
that the BMW facilities in Thailand would eventually become the key to an
export market throughout the region, but much would depend upon the timely
development of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, still at the discussion
stage. As one of the panel of distinguished BMW representatives at the press
conference was quick to remind the assembly, somewhat laconically:, “It
took the European Union some 40 years to come together; I expect AFTA will
need less time to become a reality.”
Two major factors surfaced constantly throughout the
proceedings: BMW’s strict adherence to the standards of quality which have
been the hallmark of the company, and the BMW’s confidence in Thailand and
the Thai workforce, to continue this tradition. “It is the maintenance of
our quality - and not quantity which is our guiding policy,” noted Dr.
Panke. “The cars rolling off the Thailand assembly line will be known, not
so much as BMWs made in Thailand; rather as automobiles made by BMW,”
Ralph-Rainer Ohlsen concurred.
The BMW Manufacturing Company is the first wholly-owned
BMW plant in Asia and now joins the company’s world-wide network of
production facilities which, apart from the headquarters in Munich, now
include the United States and South Africa.
Built at a cost of one billion baht, the new facility has
created 200 jobs and many more in the related industries which could well
reach a total of 500 directly-employed Thai nationals when the plant reaches
full productivity. Furthermore, the transfer of sophisticated technology and
the ongoing plan of co-operation between Thai and German technicians will be
It was pointed out that BMW sales in the first quarter
this year have surged 20 percent compared to the same period last year, to a
total of 13,811 cars, with Japan and Korea as the prime markets. Sales in
Thailand have had an even bigger increase - 43 percent - to total 558 cars
sold in the first quarter of 2000.
In 1999, in fact, BMW became the top seller in
Thailand’s luxury car market, with 1,840 units delivered.
The very first 3-Series - of the 138 which have been
assembled since the plant went into operation last month - was there at the
opening, and, at the end of the day, was festooned with signatures of the
Prime Minister and the rest of the assembled guests.
Luder Paysen, Director of BMW Sales, noted that more than
400 orders were forthcoming from the recently-held Bangkok International
Motor Show and that, eventually, the plant would reach full capacity of
10,000 units a year by 2004.
Located at the Amata City Industrial Park in the heart of
the Eastern Seaboard’s commercial zone, the new BMW plant occupies 21,000
square metres. It will initially produce two models of the new 3-Series
sedan: the 318i and the 323i, with the flexibility to produce the full range
Dr. Ralph-Rainer Ohlsen, President of BMW Manufacturing
(Thailand), pointed out that, a little further “down the way”, there
could well be a “Mini BMW”, incorporating every feature of the BMW
quality. Mr Ohlsen added that the “3-Series” had a local content of
about 20 percent, comprised of various systems, parts, seats, wheels and
tyres. “This will increase considerably, as the plant moves into higher
production,” Dr. Ohlsen said, adding that, “it (local components) could
rapidly increase to include glass, seat-belts, air conditioners and other
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