Malaysian entrepreneur's e-commerce dream from China turns into reality

(Xinhua) 15:05, April 18, 2021

A pedestrian walks near a mural seamlessly melted with the Exchange 106 tower in the background in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 15, 2021. (Photo by Chong Voon Chung/Xinhua)

KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 (Xinhua) -- When Malaysian entrepreneur Zaklean Ansari Zambri first visited China in a business delegation in 2004, little did she anticipate how much her experience in the country would change her life in the future.

Sharing her story at her office in the outskirt of Kuala Lumpur with Xinhua in a recent interview, Zaklean recalled how she was impressed by the Chinese people during the visit.

"People are working very hard. They are committed. One thing I notice about that time was the way they do things, very dedicated and very detailed," she said.

Since then, China became increasingly attracted to her. As an entrepreneur, China has also opened a brand-new frontier for her business idea. In 2014, she attended a business training program in Beijing, when she first learned about e-commerce.

Zaklean said the program had opened her mind and she saw the potential for e-commerce in Malaysia.

"They taught us everything about e-commerce," she said, "And that's why when I came back here, I can't adjust myself, because your mind is already set for 10 years ahead."

It took several years and in 2019, having found that conditions, Zaklean was prepared to jointly launch an e-commerce platform in partnership with friends from China.

Despite the initial difficulty due to the restrictions imposed by the Malaysian government to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, the pandemic has accelerated the move toward e-commerce activities and it turned out to be a positive development allowing her e-commerce platform to grow.

Her service facilitated Malaysians set up their own business on online shopping sites, providing opportunities for those hit by the pandemic as well as disabled and housewives an opportunity to participate.

"I was quite happy where I've seen a lot of the people who are hit with the pandemic, they have no income, they can't work and this program that we have helping them, not to say to be rich, but to self-sustain."

Now at 47, Zaklean was confident that e-commerce could expand in Malaysia into rural areas in the post-pandemic era, drawing on what she had seen during her visits to China, where even in rural areas, people buy and sell on digital platforms.

She hopes that she could bring in Chinese experts to come to Malaysia to further enhance the training of Malaysians in e-commerce, developing local talent while deepening the collaboration between the two countries.

"You know the World Disney says 'where dreams come true.' This is what happened right now," she said. "I was very lucky to have been exposed to China. I was exposed to that knowledge the transfer of technology, its history, and culture, and also the friendship."

She was deeply moved by the Malay proverb "bukit sama didaki, lurah sama dituruni," which means to climb the hill together and go down the ravine together.

The proverb reminded her how she and her friends from China had gone through the pandemic together.

"It's really like touching my heart which in the good times and the bad times you were there for us," She said, "So that is what I went through together with the Chinese... we went through bad times, they also went through bad times but then we together united moving forward." 

(Web editor: Meng Bin, Bianji)


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