(This is an unedited article written after an interview with Tan Sri Sanusi bin Junid on his knowledge and relationship with the Koreans. This article will be edited and published, together with other articles, by Arkib Negara for its book on the relationship between Malaysia and South Korea.)
FIRST MEETING WITH THE KOREANS
1. It was in Germany that Tan Sri Sanusi Junid first came into contact with the Koreans. He was then attached to The Chartered Bank and made in charge of imports from Asia, particularly China, which had just allowed The Chartered Bank to be the only foreign bank to open a branch in Beijing necessitating the bank to open the only branch in mainland Europe, in Hamburg, to facilitate importation of China textiles. Besides handling China trade Sanusi was asked to handle the Korean visitors who brought 10,000 unbranded ready-made shirts of branded qualities sewn by about 100 seamstresses at a factory of 50 sewing machines built near the North-Korean border under the Saemul Undong Programme of the South Korean President Park Chung Hee.
CHINA TEXTILE EXPORT TO EUROPE
2. As a student being apprenticed to Otto Versandt, which is a company dealing with Asian textiles, Sanusi is unable to assist the Korean businessmen, as a matter of company policy. This dilemma weighed down so much that body language spoke louder than words and that caught the attention of his German boss who enquired what was troubling him or make him 'traurig'. Sanusi related his predicament and much to his surprise, his superior took an open-minded view of the matter which turned out to be the door opener for the South Korean foray into the European market. This endeared him to the Koreans which eventually resulted in the Chairman of the Korean company allowing him to translate Dr. Kim Woo Chong's book entitled 'Every Street is Paved with Gold' into Bahasa Malaysia entitled 'Kekayaan Ada di Mana-Mana'. Dr. Kim Woo Chong was the founder-chairman of Daewoo Corporation.
AS RURAL AND BUMIPUTRA LOANS MANAGER
3. Upon his return from his study and training in Europe Sanusi was positioned as assistant manager by The Chartered Bank at its Jalan Raja branch and eventually became, in early 1970s, the Manager of Rural & Bumiputra Credit Division of the bank. It was in this position that he lent money to about 25,000 padi farmers in the north, 3,500 trishaw pullers in Kelantan and 800 small Malay business and petty shop-keepers in Selangor.
4. His exposure to the padi farmers led him into contact with Peter Oh who represented a Korean power tiller manufacturer Dae Dong. The farmers then jointly owned an unlisted public company Syarikat Insan Diranto Berhad which jointly became the importer of Dae Dong power tillers for its shareholders.
SHAMELIN CONSUMER COOPERATIVE
5. Being interested in distribution trade from his younger days Sanusi started a consumer cooperative SHAMELIN in 1972. At its peak SHAMELIN had 78 outlets all over Peninsular Malaysia. He, and his friends from the Malay College Kuala Kangsar recruited members of the Malaysian Association of Youth Clubs, students from schools, colleges and universities, and also the padi farmers to be members of SHAMELIN.