KETEREH, KELANTAN – 28 JUNE 2014: About 400 participants of empower ECER Skills and Entrepreneurship Training programme from Ketereh gathered at Dewan Tun Abdul Ghaffar Baba here today to get up-close and personal with television celebrity Datuk Aznil bin Haji Nawawi, better known as Aznil or Pak Nil, as he shared the secrets of his success in a motivational talk entitled “Nak Kaya! Ketahui Rahsia Usahawan”.
Organised by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC), the programme was officially launched by the Member of Parliament for Ketereh, Y.B. Tan Sri Annuar bin Haji Musa.
Earlier in May, empower ECER participants in Ketereh discovered the recipe of success from another Malaysian celebrity, the internationally acclaimed Dato’ Redzuawan Ismail, or better known as Chef Wan.
Like Chef Wan, Datuk Aznil is a university graduate who decided to pursue his passion and become self-made millionaire.  An economics graduate from Universiti Malaya, he is well known not only as a celebrity host, but also as an enterprising and savvy businessman. He followed his heart in his career choice and is best known for changing the face of television hosting, from monotonous and rigid, to humorous and entertaining.  At the same time, Datuk Aznil remains focused on his goal to become a successful entrepreneur.
ECERDC Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John said successful Malaysians such as Datuk Aznil serve as great role models in inspiring ECERDC’s empower ECER participants who mostly come from rural areas.
“Datuk Aznil is a living proof that entrepreneurs need to use both their creativity and hearts to make their mark. He has shown that success is achievable when you are determined to make a difference,” Dato’ Issace said.
Just like Datuk Aznil, ECER entrepreneurs need to remain relevant and move with the times if they wish to remain successful, he added.
“It is important for entrepreneurs in the Region to realise that they too, can face the challenges and carve their own success with hard work and strong determination.”
Datuk Aznil, 53, began his career as a journalist with one of the private television stations, before becoming the host for several entertainment programmes such as Akademi Fantasia and Tom Tom Bak.He has also appeared on movies such as Cicak Man and Hoore Hoore. The father of three is also a singer and writer and he continuously reinvents himself to remain at the top.
empower ECER is a twin-pronged human capital development initiative launched by ECERDC in 2010 to help reduce economic disparities between rural and urban communities. It consists of the Skills and Entrepreneurship Training Programme for adults and Academic Training programme for examination-year students. The former focuses on vocational training for single mothers, jobless youths and disadvantaged individuals. The Academic Programme addresses the needs of academically disadvantaged students from low income homes. To create a more level playing field, empower ECER focuses on exposing participants of both programmes to a variety of learning experiences. There are 400 Skills and Entrepreneurship Training programme participants in Ketereh currently.
To date, a total of 34,113 participants, comprising 11,175 adults and 22,938 students have benefitted from empower ECER that is conducted in 17 ECER locations, namely, Jeli, Bachok and Ketereh in Kelantan; Kemaman, Dungun, Hulu Terengganu and Besut in Terengganu; Bentong, Temerloh, Raub, Lipis, Cameron Highlands, Jerantut, Maran, Rompin and Kuala Pahang in Pahang; and Mersing in Johor. In Kelantan alone, there are 1,795 Academic Training programme participants and 1,200 Skills and Entrepreneurship Programme participants in 2014.
It is estimated that 80% of adult participants will gain employment after completing their courses or have sufficient knowledge and practical experience to start their own business, and the ability to generate income of between RM500 and RM1,500 per month, or even more. Meanwhile, UPSR, PMR and SPM students attending empower ECER’s remedial classes have recorded a 100% pass rate, with several scoring outstanding results