Printing industries seems having a bright future in Malaysia. Most printing businesses monopolized by non-bumiputera companies. Printing, Marketing and Distribution industries by bumiputera started when government boosting bumiputera entrepreneurs under its new policy which provide bumiputera companies handling printing, marketing and distribution job for Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) . All this turned to reality when Dawama Sdn Bhd came to the picture. Dawama taking over all printing, marketing and distribution for DBP nationwide.
Dawama Sdn Bhd was established to take over all privatization activities of DBP which includes pre-printing, design, printing, marketing and distribution of DBP’s published materials under concession agreement documents. Dawama main task and responsibilities was to print, distribute and market school text books, magazines and Cd-Rom published by DBP. In order to carry out the task and responsibilities, Dawama upgraded their printing facilities by the purchasing of new sophisticated printing machine in order to be more efficient and competitive in local printing industries. Ministry of Education is one of their main customers.
Dawama developed a Quality Management System to show their commitment on producing high quality products and services to satisfy their entire customer. On 29th. January 2007, Dawama awarded with ISO 9001:2000 from certification body DQS Certification (M) Bhd. This is parallel with their mission statement:
1. Dawama is a concession company related to publication, printing and distribution of reading material and multimedia product for Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP).
2. Dawama main objective is to produce high quality product using latest technologies.
3. Dawama upmost priority is to satisfy clients and always sensitive on client needs.
4. Dawama objective to be known and certified by everybody through an efficient and extensive network of distribution.
5. Dawama intends to achieve its mission through a strong spirit of cooperation among employees at all levels and will strive to improve and practice continuously, timelessly, transparency, integrity and professionalism.
Under country’s privatization policy, Dawama was created with purpose on increasing bumiputera equity of 30% but the existence of Dawama failed to get the endorsement from Malaysia Association of Malays Printers (refer to Harian Metro , Monday 8th. July 2002 : DBP TUTUP REZEKI).
Dawama Sdn. Bhd established by the help of the government. Good for them and good for the benefit of all bumiputera. Out of sudden on 21st. June 2011, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka has given timeline for printing and distribution company Dawama Sdn Bhd to improve their sales and printing of books that has dropped over the past few years. DBP director-general Datuk Termuzi Abdul Aziz said since Dawama signed the contract for 12 years on September 1, 2002 to print and market reading materials published by DBP, there has been an obvious decline in printing and sales.
Prior to privatization, DBP published an average of 300 titles annually and the average number of reprints was 290 titles per year in comparison to 250 publications and 95 reprinted titles on 2011. Seen as a drop in yearly book publication, reflected by Dawama weakness on printing, marketing and taking too long time to publish and promote books as well as poor management and administration. Privatization helps to increase productivity and the quality of work by reducing bureaucracy, as well as allowing DBP to focus on its core activity of building and expanding language and literature. Failure to reach the objective of privatization is not caused by a weak privatization policy, but poor administration of the concession company.
This is just a beginning. Everybody started to know Dawama. Situation has reached a critical level where both DBP and Dawama unable to meet face to face to resolve all the outstanding issues. DBP in dilemma as it might not be able to guarantee supply of school textbooks for next school semester in August 2011. Things get worsened when DBP editors were not allowed to enter Dawama’s office to edit and conduct final checks on the books before printing. The Cold War has just begun…..It all happened after Datuk Termuzi gave Dawama a deadline to buck up on overcoming a tremendous decline on sales of DBP products over the past couple of years. Datuk Termuzi has his points. DBP has recorded losses between RM 20 million to RM 40 million every year since 2002 after Dawama taking over printing, marketing and distribution of DBP products.
Things get worsen as on 31st. July 2011, Dawami Sdn Bhd has asked all 400 of their staff to take no pay leave due to company critical financial difficulties. Dawama start blaming DBP, an agency under Education Minister for the on-going school textbooks dispute issues.
On 20th. October 2011, Dawama Sdn. Bhd suing DBP and its director-general for defamation, following claims that the latter suggested on Bernama radio programme called “Kerusi Panas” that injured their reputation through Datuk Termizi comments which suggested that the company, among other things, were mismanaged and did not perform its obligations under concession agreement signed on September 2002. Dawama is seeking general and aggravated damages as well as a public apology from the defendants. Dawama blaming DBP had forced it into a deep financial crisis by violating its printing concession.
Dawama finally break the silence. It all started since DBP decided to hire third party to publish and market its books. DBP took over the publication of the 2012 textbooks without any prior notice.
On 21st. November 2011, DBP in its statement of defence has denied defaming the publisher, saying it has legal, moral and social duties to inform the public of issues pertaining to the promotion and development of language and literature in the country. Duties were provided under Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Act 1959. DBP classified Dawama 12 years contract business is exclusives and DBP reported already paid RM650 million since the signing of the agreement on 2002.
How Dawama failed to make profit out of their so called "guaranteed income business". Since the existence of Dawama Sdn Bhd ( 2002 – 2012 ), few printing companies once seen as the proud of nation closed down and some downsized their business.
A. Companies that closed down after the existence of Dawama Sdn. Bhd.
1. Percetakan Print system Sdn. Bhd.
2. Afluent Master Sdn. Bhd.
3. Malindo Press Sdn. Bhd.
4. Ampang Press Sdn. Bhd.
5. Percetakan Tulis Sdn. Bhd.
6. Zizi Press Sdn. Bhd.
7. Percetakan Asni Sdn. Bhd.
8. Percetakan Adabi Sdn. Bhd.
9. Tenaga Sinar Sdn. Bhd.
10. Percetakan Ustara Sdn. Bhd and some others…..
B. Companies that downsized their business after the existence of Dawama Sdn. Bhd.
1. Percetakan Inderapura Sdn. Bhd.
2. Cepat Cetak Sdn. Bhd.
3. Midmodal Sdn. Bhd.
4. Harian Zulfadli Sdn. Bhd.
5. Masadah Sdn. Bhd.
6. Percetakan Watan Sdn. Bhd.
7. Nur Niaga Sdn. Bhd.
Bumiputera printing companies image were badly tarnished resulted by Dawama’s performance. During end of 2010, Dawama failure has started to resurface. They failed to deliver their obligations on printing of school textbooks for Education Ministry. This failure been seeing as a joke and laughing stock by non-bumiputera printers. How in this world that a guaranteed profitability business secured by the government at projected value of RM 180mil failed to be managed by bumiputera company.
On 2011, Malay printing entrepreneurs help DBP with an open heart to complete the school textbooks on that year by very short noticed given by the government. All printing job, distribution and transportation supported by this group of peoples. DBP were grateful and thankful for their effort and support.
On 2012, printing job by DBP was given back to Dawama Sdn. Bhd. Unknown reason for such decision being made. Beyond a reasonable doubt that Dawama has clearly shown that they failed to deliver and manage the business. Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. Dawama don’t fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgement, repeated every single day. The biggest question mark still lies without any explanation from either side.
Dawama continue their failure. They failed to settle all their debts with many bumiputera printing companies, distributors and transporter. They promised to pay all debt but until this day they failed to deliver their promises. They failed to deliver result to DBP. They failed to settle their debt with the supplier. They failed to uphold their own workers benefit and promising future. It all makes sense that what they are good for is no other than creating filthy rich directors.
I have a question to Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. Why after repeating failure by failure from Dawama Sdn. Bhd., still DBP awarding an extended contract for another 10 years estimated worth annually RM 120mil. I don’t understand, and I believed neither my fellow Malaysians. Can anybody explain this to all Malaysians?