ERA was established in 1986 as a resource centre to pool the expertise, talents, skills and experiences of retired or retiring professionals and to co-ordinate their activities so that they can contribute beneficially to society, especially the business community, in their golden age.
Our members are former corporate managers or senior executives of government departments with a wealth of wide-ranging experiences, relevant knowledge and skills and are well-versed with the latest technologies. Most of us realize that with more time in hand and less office constraints, we are able to do more in a meaningful way to help others professionally in our retirement.
As senior citizens, we may not want to be on the fast track, but there certainly are equally challenging avenues for us to assume a vital role than just sitting around idly. Retirement is not about moving into a ‘has-been’ age; many of us regard it as just taking a career change, ready to re-fire and re-engage.
We are committed to serve the society as we realize that what we have learned and earned through our career would be lost not only to ourselves but also to the community and the country at large if we don’t share it with others in need. We stand committed to be involved and participative; we are definitely not limited by our age. In fact, we are liberated by it and we are ready to serve.
The history of ERA dates back to 1982, the Year of the Aged declared by the United Nations, when the Pudu Rotary Club in Kuala Lumpur started serious deliberations led by Tan Sri Soong Siew Hoong, a dynamic and far-sighted corporate leader. It was recognised that we in Malaysia had a large pool of trained and experienced human resources – the senior citizens – that should not go to waste just because these professionals had retired.
After a long and winding journey, ERA was finally registered in 1985, held its inaugural meeting and started operational the following year.
Our membership is multi-racial, comprising entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, scientists, engineers, accountants, media and public relations practitioners, and senior government officers. We have now a total of 200 members, many of whom are life members.
Scope and focus of our activities
Unlike organizations set up by senior citizens and catering for their welfare, ERA focuses on creating avenues and building networking to help our members to channel their skills, knowledge, expertise and experiences to help others in society.
Besides offering resource persons and matching them with those in need, we also organize seminars, courses and other special programmes designed for special business needs, or enhancing our mental, physical and emotional welfare, or our technical knowledge. All of us need to catch up with the fast pace of change by acquiring new concepts, new ideas and new technologies. While we believe in sharing, we also believe that learning is a life-long process applicable to all people, irrespective of age.
As our main objective is to assist companies and associations by bringing people together to create meaningful partnerships for success and to explore business opportunities for products and services, we also assume the vital role as a facilitator.
We have good networking with many outstanding organizations both locally and overseas. These include Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM), Technological Association of Malaysia (TAM), Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC), SME Corporation, Myanmar Industries Association (MIA), Cambodian Junior Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the various foreign missions in Malaysia as well as our Malaysian missions overseas.