Category Archives: Captains & Legends

An in-depth personality profile of the elites and leaders across various industries from all over the world

The Eminent Connector

Dato’ Lee Teong Li

Director and Regional GM – Amphenol TCS Malaysia

Dato’ Lee Tiong Li is no exception as he has attained exemplary achievements over the course of almost five decades, but it all began when he was only a teenager. After finishing his Fifth Form in Penang Free School in the late 70s, Lee worked as a plumber and then a production operator.

Little did he know that his first modest job would be the catalyst in paving the way to his stellar career spanning more than four decades in Design, Engineering and Operations in the Electronics and Electrical industries.

After obtaining his computer certification and university degree, Lee left Malaysia for the Philippines in the mid-90s. Definitely not one to be confined to familiar settings, Lee was one of the pioneers to start up a Japanese MNC outside of Japan and later moved to the US.

His experience working abroad had made him an invaluable asset for multinational companies in the USA, Japan, the Philippines and Malaysia.

Lee was eventually headhunted to return to Penang in the early 2000s to lead a frame manufacturer which was subsequently listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange main board. He soon decided to venture out to set up his own company Amphenol Corporation which was eventually acquired in 2008.

This led to Amphenol TCS Malaysia’s journey of excellence and expansion under Lee’s leadership by quadrupling the revenue of Amphenol TCS Malaysia to RM500 million per annum from its spin-off, resulting in foreign direct investments of about RM700 million being poured into Penang.

Having built and assembled some of the world’s high-speed and high-density connectors and generating over 800 employment opportunities in the newly set-up third factory facility – Amphenol DC Electronics Malaysia, in Batu Kawan, Penang under Lee’s leadership has been steadily growing and winning numerous awards and is poised to achieve many milestones over the years to come.

Dato’ Lee is also presently the Chairman of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) Penang.

One to always give back to society, Dato’ Lee finds time to support and serve the community, collaborate with local associations and government departments and is passionate in matters relating to the environment, healthcare, education, sports and welfare of the seniors and youth.

A Publicist’s Impact On An Ever-Evolving World

Adam Ham

CEO – Global Creative and Media Agency (GCMA)

A prominent name in the industry with over 20 years of experience, Adam Ham is known as ‘The Media Man’ – a title given to him by industry leaders for his astounding capabilities to turn even the toughest of public relations (PR) projects into a success. Having serviced government bodies, corporate companies, celebrities, and film producers in the past, Ham is certain that most people are unaware of how rapidly PR has evolved and changed in the span of two years; failure to recognise these changes can be detrimental.

Experts claim that humanity made its biggest leap in technological advancements when COVID-19 spread throughout the globe. In fact, the pandemic changed many things for humanity from social life to purchase methods and even PR. Ham, however, had the privilege of witnessing the evolution of PR for the past 20 years, dating back to the days when he used to work for the government.

Growing up in Japan and furthering his studies in the United States of America, Ham’s father served Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad in the government, thus, having his education sponsored; in exchange, Ham has to serve the government in a field of his choosing for a minimum of 10 years. Hence, his journey began at the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) where he worked as an entertainment specialist, primarily coordinating trade missions for international festivals and exporting local content and talents to the global market.

Although his PR skills were instinctive, Ham acquired most of his knowledge in the field from the 10 years spent at MDEC. There, he came to the realisation that failures occur on many occasions when PR and marketing were not planned properly. Ham had creative ideas to bring to the table and was soon given the opportunity to plan and execute PR campaigns for various companies and producers with tremendous success.

As a matter of fact, Ham’s impact is still recognised today, 12 years after leaving the government. The Media Man was recently nominated to be an advisor for the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) for a period of two years, because of the fame he has garnered in international marketing for the creative and entertainment industry throughout his career. The Mandalorian, 6 Underground, The Summit-97, Ultraman, The Kid from the Big Apple, and The Summit-97, are among some of the projects that Ham has taken into his own hands. 

“I am here to share my great experience and inspiration for the industry from the PR perspective.Currently, the landscape for trading content has evolved and changed, as TV stations no longer have a huge budget for acquisition, and Netflix is dominant. We have to share our knowledge on how people can make a living from abroad now,” Ham commented. 

Currently, the master in PR owns an agency called Global Creative and Media Agency (GCMA) which is most sought after across all industries. Ham claims that GCMA quickly grew in demand after he had attended several Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) and Business Network International (BNI) gatherings.

“After I left the Government, I truly wanted to build my career in PR and help companies across all industries come to a realisation of how PR can make a difference in their businesses. Most Malaysian companies have no idea about this, and they rarely set aside any budget for this. It was a challenge, but I was all set to take the bull by the horns,” he said.

As a PR agency that makes most of its income from organising successful events, Ham’s company nearly shut down when the pandemic came about. Without any income for months on end, Ham did everything possible to survive – even as much as to offer catering services. This period made for a lot of changes in the world; some more apparent than others. People began using online platforms, e-wallets, and most companies have found a way to offer their services online, these were all common and addressed just about everywhere. But what about PR? Has it changed over the past 2 years?

Ham responds, “Yes, as the economy softened and recession happened, the media landscape wasn’t able to sustain, and gradually PR had to be much more creative and more newsworthy to attract journalists for our clients. Moreover, we also had to know how to create smart relationships with the media players to have a balance that benefits everyone, whilst providing them with great stories.”

Commenting on how the pandemic has affected PR, Ham said, “PR is more important now than before the pandemic. It brings visibility to the brand in an era where fighting for the spotlight is extremely challenging due to the social media culture that floods the internet. Right now, about 30-50% of the market is still being cautious about hosting PR events with huge crowds; though it is important to keep safe from COVID-19, we cannot shift into an endemic stage and recover from the damage caused by COVID-19 by not acting.”

“We do not know what the future holds. For all we know, there is still a possibility of a lockdown of sorts; thus, businesses must take a 360 approach by preparing for every possible outcome and playing their cards right. Another notable thing to consider is the KOLs (Key Opinion Leader) and their social media pages, which allow for high brand visibility, with easily identified target audiences. Engaging influencers is sort of a norm these days, and it has proven effective in brand visibility and marketing.” 

My Childhood Playground

Dato AR. Ooi Sian Hian

Owner – 123 Macalister
Executive Chairman – Ghee Hiang

When George Town was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, it was a time that all Penangites, regardless of race and religion rejoiced. The Penang State Government even announced 7th July as an annual holiday and in 2010, mooted George Town Festival, an annual cultural festival held within the city to commemorate this momentous achievement. Not to mention the renewed interest in heritage preservation and investment suddenly spiked and property prices for pre-war houses sky rocketed. It was a crazy period where everyone wanted to own a piece of history.

Almost fifteen years later, Dato Ar Ooi Sian Hian finally unveiled 123 Macalister – the century-old ancestral house where his siblings and cousins spent countless weekends visiting their relatives and grandmother. “We played baseball, softball and even cycled around the huge compound. After that we would shower, have dinner then continue on with board games or card games,” Dato Ooi recalled fondly. “It was a childhood that today’s generation cannot understand but the wonderful memories of growing up in this house will always be in my heart,” he continues.

123 Macalister was abandoned and in a dilapidated state by 2012. The house was stripped off its furniture, windows, doors and finally all the timber floor boards due to the fact that it was left empty since the demise of the last occupant. Subsequently, Dato Ooi and his siblings bought over the house in 2017 when it was totally desecrated and sunlight had pierced through the damaged roof tiles. Being an architect himself, he decided to take up the challenge to restore this heritage building with the help of an architect friend Ar Au Tai Yeow. “Although I have restored a few Ghee Hiang buildings including 216 Macalister and 97 Beach Street, 123 Macalister was by far in the worst condition where one can say that the building was luckily left with only 4 solid walls and strong basic structures. Rest were all gone!” exclaimed Dato Ooi when thinking back. With strict regulations and much difficulties, all materials used for this restoration work have to come from the same era making sure that this late 19th century building reclaims its glory while keeping restoration cost in tight reins and making sure proper approvals were obtained from the local building authorities.

“The Penang State Government would like to commend Dato Ooi for his effort and fervour to preserve this historical building. Such conservation works and projects are an integral aspect that tells the vibrant story of George Town, ultimately reinstating this historical city to its former glory for our future generations,” said Penang State Executive Councillor for Tourism and Creative Economy, YB Yeoh Soon Hin. Yeoh also reiterated that the Penang State Government not only adopted a proactive approach in heritage preservation and conservation, it has also established George Town World Heritage Incorporated to manage, safeguard and promote the inscribed properties and to pioneer heritage awareness and outreach among the youth and the general public.

Today, Dato Ooi is not only proud to showcase this beautiful piece of Penang heritage but strongly believes that this is what all Penangites should have in their heart –  that is to try their very best to preserve Penang’s rich history, heritage and culture. “A generation that ignores history has no past and no future,” added Dato Ooi before ending the interview.

The Brand Story

Datin DR Winnie Loo

President – Branding Association of Malaysia

Creating headlines and hairlines since her early days as the founder of lifestyle salon group – A Cut Above, Datin Dr Winnie Loo is never one to rest on her laurels but instead pushes her boundaries to do more than just cutting and styling hair.

For more than three decades, her name has been synonymous within the local hair & beauty industry since opening A Cut Above in 1979. Her achievements are most commendable, scaling the heights of fame and success in a field which has been predominantly dominated by men.

Datin Winnie’s skill and professionalism transformed her business and the hair styling industry landscape in Malaysia into what it is today and has rightfully earned all manner of prestigious awards, local and international alike.

Her decision to join the Branding Association during Dato Lewre Lew’s term and eventually selected into the Executive Committee team was nothing short of excitement. Thus when an opportunity of being nominated for Deputy President during Datuk Eric Chong’s term came about, Datin Winnie took up the challenge and the commitment continued.

Datin Winnie, most recently appointed president of the Branding Association of Malaysia, is the first lady to helm the association since its inception in July 2000.  “It is indeed an honour and humbling for me to be nominated by Datuk Eric and Dato Lewre to continue their legacy to lead a team of enterprising Council members for the term 2021-2023. Even though it is challenging as the Covid situation has yet to subside, I am certain that Teamwork Makes the Dream Work.”

“As I strongly believe that yesterday was history and tomorrow is a mystery, I always focus on the present together with the team to achieve extraordinary projects together. Never self-doubt, do not give up so easily to achieve the impossible and may the force be with us to achieve the impossible,” she added.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES The Measure of a Man

DATUK SERI (DR) SYED HUSSIAN ALJUNID

Group Chairman, Media Prima Berhad & Group Chairman, Western Digital Malaysia Operations

Rephrasing a quote by a well-known American broadcaster Walter Cronkite, ‘Success is more  permanent when you achieve it without compromising your principles’. Datuk Seri (Dr) Syed Hussian Aljunid attributes much of his achievements to the trust and confidence gained from his stakeholders throughout his professional career and he firmly believes this is down to the principles he holds very dear to his heart. These include consistent determination, never ending quest for knowledge, unwavering loyalty and commitment to integrity. These are the values that are consistent with those of the multinational and local companies he has been associated with, which todate has spanned across multiple industries including insurance, digital technology and media. They are the same values that remain true to this day, as he currently helms the chairmanships of Media Prima Berhad and Western Digital Malaysia Operations.

With YB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the Media Prima – IJN Medical Outreach Programme and Health Screening for the people in Langkawi.
Courtesy call to YAB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Pulau Pinang discussing a variety of topics including Penang 2030.

Holding two key positions in two separate established corporations, comes with a certain responsibility of its own most do not see. Sure, in hindsight, it may translate to power but behind closed doors, it is double the responsibility and most of all, expectations. Reality is such that it is easy to lose sight as visions become distorted in a dynamic business world but Datuk Seri (Dr) Syed not only maintains his core principles but goes above and beyond to give back to the nation by making use of his platform and voice. Datuk Seri (Dr) Syed does not sit around and think of how his roles can benefit him but rather is concerned about what he can do with his current roles to give back to the society.

Having said that, he has participated as a delegation member in numerous trade missions overseas organised by the Ministry of International Trade and Industries and Malaysian Investment Development Authority to bring foreign investors to Malaysia. His continuous involvement with key associations and chambers of commerce is also testament to his unwavering commitment. Capitalising on the trusted relationships and global networking built over the years, Datuk Seri (Dr) Syed hopes he can play a small but meaningful role and complement the strong effort made by the government to promote Malaysia as a country with strong economic potential. Given his current role as Group Chairman of Media Prima Berhad, Malaysia’s leading integrated media company, he is also actively pushing the same ideals to help build confidence in the country’s abilities among foreign and domestic investors through the company’s various media platforms. This would ultimately benefit society as a whole via jobs and business opportunities.

Launching of Segerak VIII Utopia art showcase, officiated by His Royal Highness Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfur-lah, TheSultan of Perak Darul Ridzuan.

Datuk Seri (Dr) Syed’s areas of expertise are not just limited to economics and investments but rather talent development as well. With years of experience and knowledge, he contributes to the nation by nurturing the Malaysian youth so that they may come out prepared for today’s job market. This is done through his active associations with five local universities and higher education institutions. As the Group Chairman of Western Digital Malaysia Operations, he and his colleagues have undertaken programmes aimed towards developing local talents through a structured industry training programme, thus giving students the opportunity to gain international exposure to the best manufacturing practices of global technology companies. A collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education, enabled the company to provide on-the-job training opportunities for over 300 Malaysian students from local universities and polytechnic institutions. In terms of international exposure, more than half of the students were fortunate to be placed at Western Digital’s operations in Thailand. He is also very much involved on the ground level by dedicating his time and energy to Technical University of Malaysia Melaka or Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, better known simply as the abbreviated UTeM. He often participates in on-campus activities sharing knowledge via a series of talks. There, he offers his experience and expertise as an industry veteran. This would later on transpire beyond programmes as he also conducts lectures in his capacity as an Adjunct Professor for UTeM, serving on a pro bono basis.

There is no talk about giving back to society without shedding light on the community. Datuk Seri (Dr) Syed is very much involved in various community engagement projects such as helping those in need of assistance both personally and through the companies to which he is affiliated. At Media Prima, he is involved in various community aid activities through programmes such as Bersamamu TV3, which hopes to raise awareness of the hardships experienced by the less fortunate countrymen, whether due to poverty, natural disasters or medical requirements. Media Prima also helped thousands of Malaysians through the Covid 19 Media Prima-NSTP Humanitarian Fund initiative, with a collection of more than RM2.5 million. The money generated was then used to purchase medical equipment and Personal Protective Equipment distributed to hospitals across the country. Similarly, Western Digital also donated medical equipment and personal protective equipment amounting to RM2 million.

Datuk Seri (Dr) Syed is more than just the role entrusted to him. That is to say he is more than just the chairman. Empathy fuels connections and sympathy drives disconnection. It is his ability to empathise with the nation on all levels and his drive to give back to the community is what makes Datuk Seri (Dr.) Syed the person that he is today. Though Covid-19 remains a global concern, Datuk Seri (Dr) Syed remains optimistic about the future. He believes the future for Malaysia remains bright despite the challenges we are facing as the small ray of hope lies in the fact that one can continuously learn to adapt and improve in spite of adverse conditions.

Hand over of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worth RM2m from Western Digital to YB Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Muhyiddin bin Mohd. Yassin, former Malaysian Prime Minister in the fightagainst Covid19

Just like how the lotus flower is able to blossom in muddy waters, Media Prima has managed to achieve a mini turnaround of its fortune despite the economic downturn. In the moment of crisis, albeit easier to just lose all hope and leave it as it is, the people of Media Prima chose to face the pandemic head on. United in spirit, drive, passion and most importantly principles are what made this possible. This small feat is mainly due to the hard work and determination of everyone at the company. Every single one of them in Media Prima has a role to play no matter how big or small they are. Similarly, Western Digital Malaysia has confidence that the country will emerge from the pandemic as it continues to expand its presence in Malaysia as demand for storage solutions increases despite the global uncertainties. This is done through expanding its presence in Malaysia when in 2020, the company announced a fresh investment of RM2.8 billion in Malaysia which will benefit the country.

Remaining true to your principles does indeed have its benefits.

Skinnergy Resources From Traditional to Globalisation

Dr Kelvin Liew

Co-Founder, Skinnergy Resources

Dr Kelvin Liew, co-founder of Skinnergy Resources, comes from a family of practising physicians who has been in the business of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) bone setting and preparation of traditional Chinese medicine for more than 80 years.

As a third generation practitioner, Kel vin started as an apprentice during his primary school days where he learnt medicine preparation and throughout the years that followed, earnestly trained and learnt the TCM bone setting techniques to treat musculoskeletal injuries.  However, he was only more personally involved in patient cases much later on, when he was in his thirties. Kelvin acknowledges that there is still much to learn, and he is still actively involved in this profession.  They meet and treat over 100 patients daily; whilst it can be a tad tiring at times as they open daily throughout the week, it is gratifying to know and see that their patients recover well and benefit from their services. 

Having always aspired to be an entrepreneur of a scalable business, not bounded by the time and sole expertise of the individual, he seized the opportunity to join his partners in co-founding Skinnergy in 2016.

Skinnergy is currently into its fifth year; although much of what they learnt has been through their hands-on experience of running the day-to-day operations of the business, Kelvin believes that the right strategies which were in place since the inception of the company, helped the company thrive during the current economic situation amidst the pandemic.  Aside from ensuring that they have a competitive product line-up with which their business associates can leverage on, there are two other pertinent areas which they paid much attention to.

Mr Lokman Hakim B. Ali, MITI Secretary-General accompanied by Chng Huck Theng presenting the CHT International Awards 2020 for CHT Emerging Entrepreneur Award 2020 to Dr Kelvin Liew, Co-Founder, Skinnergy Resources.

The first being the decision to use a mix of social media and web presence for market outreach. Having their business associates familiarise themselves with these tools from the get go has prepared them unexpectedly for the situation where social distancing and travel restrictions are the norm. Also, with a strong backend team to expediently resolve customer issues and acquire feedback has helped the company build trust with their associates and customers as well as generate new product ideas.

These are  challenging times, especially for budding entrepreneurs, but if you believe in your dream and your vision, I urge you to persist on

The other focus area is investing in a robust e-commerce system. Kelvin views it as the backbone of the company, something in which their associates expect from them and it is his and his partners’ responsibility to ensure it is well-oiled and working smoothly. As much as they anticipate challenges, never did they expect that a nascent company like Skinnergy to be cyber-attack targets, however events as such did happen. Fortunately they have established reliable partners who helped them tide over those episodes and they have since strengthen their systems.

Kelvin shares, “These are challenging times, especially for budding entrepreneurs; some may blame it as bad timing, however if one still believes in his/her ideas or vision, I would like to encourage you to persist on. And if the strength of the individual is insufficient, find like-minded partners/investors to join you on your journey – this is to do justice to the effort and capital you’ve invested so far.” “Entrepreneurship is a voyage, after building the ship and christening it, the most important part is how you navigate it through the vast, fickle sea ahead.” says the good doctor.

A BEAUTIFUL ENCOUNTER WITH doTERRA

LIM MIAN FOO
Deowa Academy Founder, 
doTERRA Malaysia Founder,
Presidential Diamond doTERRA Wellness Advocate,
Certified Aromatherapist

Before I encountered doTERRA, I had already established a thriving business that dealt with flowers and decorations. I started this floristry business because of my deep passion for beauty and nature. It was a business that happily married my love for Mother Nature and my desire to make people happy through beautiful creations. So, when doTERRA entered my life, it was a natural transition as it combines both making people happy through beauty and creating a blissful healthy life for others through the same avenue – Nature. doTERRA has made my happiness even more meaningful and complete. Helping people to alleviate pain is so much more rewarding for me than making them happy only through beauty. Perhaps being an already established businessman for almost 20 over years has made it easier for me to share the the effectiveness and benefits of essential oils instead of just selling it as a product. I am elated whenever I see the happy faces of people that I have shared doTERRA with.

On this journey, one of the challenges I faced was sharing the correct usage of essential oils. Nowadays, a lot of people think that fragrance oils and essential oils are the same. Upon setting out on my mission, I have studied and conducted extensive research on the benefits of essential oils on the body, mind, and even internal healing (emotional issues).

The main source of success is to focus on your Effort.

Whenever I venture into anything, I always have a plan and set my own goals and target. So i applied this when I started my doTERRA journey. In this industry, duplication is very important. In this culture of duplication, the way you work-lead by example and others will follow, this makes everything much easier. One of the biggest keys to building a successful business in this industry is to understand those we serve. Getting to know my clients better has made it easier for us to work together. In 2018, a few business partners and I established DEOWA Academy. The purpose of DEOWA Academy is to provide comprehensive support towards my team members’ education of essential oils and career development.

On this amazing journey, sustaining my Passion is essential, which sometimes can be a hurdle. Without Passion and Patience, this journey would have been much more difficult. Passion and the absolute belief in the benefits and efficacy of doTERRA products keeps me going. Especially when I hear great life-changing testimonials from people I served.  Since I found out that I could help people become more healthy and joyful through my sharing, doTERRA has become a huge passion of mine. The sheer joy and pleasure of enabling people to have greater quality of life can never be expressed in mere words, it is one of the greatest rewards I have received on this journey. In addition, putting in Effort brings Success. Whenever we want or need something, we have to put in the effort to achieve those goals. Being a doTERRA entrepreneur has not only brought me success but has also enhanced my love towards sharing it with others. 

Believing in the products we share is the best way to be successful. Belief brings Energy and Creativity. It will allow you to succeed in all aspects of your life. My strong belief in doTERRA and passion to share it with others has enabled me to run this business successfully with heartfelt joy. I confidently believe that this journey is not at its end, but it’s just a beginning! I will continue to share the Love of doTERRA by “Changing the world one drop, one person, and one community at a time.” 

Bringing Hope. Healing Hearts. Raising Leaders. Living Dreams.
Andus Low
Stop Saying ”I wish”, Start Saying “I Will”.
Chia Pei Shan
When you can find a why, that makes you cry, you’ve found a why that will make you fly.
Katherine Yu
Don’t Forget Your Original Intention,  Follow Your Heart and Continue to Live Your Dream!
Jimmy Foo
Never Limit Your Challenges, Challenge Your Limits!
Jocelyn Teh
Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.

TOI-ING with fashion

ZANG TOI
International Fashion Designer

ZANG TOI is a renowned Fashion Designer who has built a tradition of elegance for over 20 years. Zang was born and raised in Kuala Krai, Kelantan, Malaysia. He landed in New York City at the age of 20 where he studied at the distinguished Parsons School of Design. Zang is one of the first Asian designers championed by the U.S Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour. 

Since then, Zang’s work has been featured in many major publications such as Vogue, Vanity Fair etc. Not only has he dressed Hollywood celebrities such as Fergie (Black Eyed Peas) and many others, he has also created luxurious wardrobe for philanthropists and royalty including Melinda Gates and Saudi Princess Haifa Bandar Al Saud.

Today, after 28 years of being in business, the designer opens his first flagship boutique at 1046 Lexington Avenue, New York City. The world continues to recognize Zang’s passion for timeless beauty as he builds on a strong tradition of elegance.

Who is Zang Toi in your own words? Zang Toi is a free thinker who leads his own creative path.

Have you ever thought of becoming a fashion designer in your younger days? No, I have always thought that I might become a fine artist, architect, or an interior designer.

If you were to choose again, what career would you choose and why? I would choose interior design, as I am obsessed and passionate about historical interior designs and recreating them in my own modern way.

What does it take to be a fashion designer? Formal Fashion design training, dedication, and hard work.

The fashion industry is among the greatly affected industries because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Were you affected and how did you manage 2020? I was affected like the rest of the fashion industry. Fortunately, with perseverance and extreme hard work, I managed to stay above the water.

Would you encourage the new generation to take up fashion design? Why? Absolutely, one must not only have the talent and passion, he or she must also be willing to put in hours of hard work to be successful in this, or any industry. It is a 24/7 job.

How do you see today’s fashion industry, including the designers and creatives, compared to the good old days? Today’s fashion industry is more about fast fashion and instant gratification. The new generation are less concerned about the quality and craftsmanship.

How do you find the Malaysian fashion industry compared to the fashion industry in the USA? I am unable to comment on this since I have been away and abroad for the last 42 years.

Many say that fashion designers make good money and fame, what are your thoughts on this? I agree, but remember what I said earlier about putting in hard work and that it is a 24/7 job?

How do you judge success? Success is in the eye of the beholder. It has never occurred to me to judge success.

Has Zang Toi achieved the goals he set when stepping into the fashion world? I think I am fortunate enough to receive attention and great press for my work while maintaining the love and support from my loyal clients.

What is the secret of being Zang Toi? The secret is being my happy self and treating people the way I want to be treated.

Is there anything else you would like to add? Be happy, be kind and be generous.  

A Timid Boy turned Corporate Leader and International Speaker

Coach K
Founder of Wisdom Woods®

Born to a modest family, Coach K was a timid boy and today he is the founder of Wisdom Woods®, a company that offers learning and coaching programs for all ages. Prior to that, he accumulated years of leadership experience in the corporate world, having been a Group CEO, COO, GM, managing and setting up businesses in multiple industries, including logistics, property development, software engineering, business consulting and education. Other than having Masters of Science, Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce (Hons), he is an internationally certified Trainer and Coach by several International Boards. Due to his diverse background, he has been invited to speak in areas including leadership, business, logistics, economics, IT, mental health and education. He is active in community service, currently serving as the President of the Penang Symphony Society, the Vice President of The Society of the Logisticians, Malaysia, the Penang State Staff Officer (Training) of St John Ambulance of Malaysia and many others. He has also created many learning programs. Amongst the bigger ones include 5P Self-Leadership, 5R Leadership Framework and even a full set of Children’s Leadership Program. 

What’s the story about you being a timid boy?
When I was a boy, I feared many things, especially loud noises and being around people. That’s why, even until I was 10, I didn’t like Chinese New Year because there were too many people around. Whilst most children would be having fun, I would hide away in my Grandma’s room every night due to the noise of the firecrackers and fireworks. 

Oh… but today you are in a profession that talks to many people. What happened?
I was in Kwang Hwa Standard 5, when Cikgu Tan suddenly asked me to memorise an Essay. Memorising was easy for me but she then asked me to recite in front of the class. My whole body was shaking and sweating! I got through it with great relief until she added, “You’re joining the Malay Speech Contest.” Immediately, I stood there frozen for a while! I had no choice because I had no courage to even say ‘no’.

How did that change you?
Being an obedient student, I just followed every single instruction to prepare for the contest. Contest day came and I ‘accidentally’ won. What I won was not only a contest but an important pivot in life, where I started to believe in myself. Since then, I started taking part in speech contests for all languages and continued even through Secondary School, having won Zone and State Championships. I continued to be vocal when I received a scholarship to study in Australia. Being the National Convenor of NLC, a national union for about 200,000 international students in Australia, I spoke in Conferences including Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, IDP Australia, ISANA and even invited to speak in the Australian Senate Committee Hearing about a new Bill. 

You obviously had great perks in Corporate. What made you start Wisdom Woods®?
I am thankful that throughout my career, I discovered I like helping people grow. When I was involved in setting up an international school, that was the final confirmation for me that I really enjoy growing talents. I believe strongly that everyone has talents and Everyone Can Learn. Therefore, just like the mysterious forest, I hope that Wisdom Woods® can be a place for everyone to keep learning, uncover talents and grow wisdoms.   

The Successful & Passionate Scion of the Aidid Family

SYED AIDID SYED MOHAMAD
Managing Director of EGLOW SDN. BHD.

The history of the notable Aidid family is intertwined with the founding of Penang in 1786, 

when Sir Captain Francis Light invited Tengku Syed Hussein Aidid, a wealthy Yemeni merchant prince from Acheh to help establish a colony in the then, backwater island of Penang. More than 200 years have passed since the founding of Penang and the Aidid family continues to contribute to the transformation of the island. Penang today has transformed it is very much into a major hub for tourism and manufacturing in Asia and the Aidid family are very much in the forefront of these industries. 

Penang today has transformed itself into a major hub for tourism and manufacturing in Asia and the Aidid family is very much in the forefront of these industries。”

Syed Aidid, the scion of the Aidid family, continues to contribute to the artistic landscape of Penang by being actively involved in the growing F&B scene in Penang as well as the manufacturing of LED lights. Born and bred in Penang, Syed Aidid Bin Datuk Syed Mohamad is the only son of Penang’s favourite son, Datuk Syed Mohamad Aidid, a very successful businessman and a prominent leader of the society. Educated in Penang Free School in his early years, Syed Aidid Bin Datuk Syed Mohamad then pursued his studies in the UK for 8 years, in Arts & Design and subsequently in Business & Management. Rather than returning home to helm the sprawling business empire of the family, Syed Aidid followed the rites of passage of his predecessors by building his own business ventures. Today, Eglow Sdn. Bhd., a successful LED lights manufacturing firm, Mindcraft Production & Inspiraz Events, an event and production firm, as well as a chain of restaurants under the Proud & Loud Group, notably the Safe Room and other business ventures are the results of the resilience and determination as well as hard work that were put in by Syed Aidid over the years. 

Striving to add to the family legacy, Syed Aidid hopes that he can further grow his plethora of businesses as well as contribute to the growth and everchanging landscape of Penang. Syed Aidid also hopes to contribute back to the community and to the state of Penang that has been kind to both his family and himself by being actively involved in various organisations and associations. Such roles include   being the Deputy Commander of St John Ambulance, Southwest District- Penang, Committee Member of The Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce’s Property Development Management Committee (PDCMC), a director of Penang Tourist Centre Berhad, to name a few. Syed Aidid, representing the youth voice of Penang as well as the Bumiputera community, and look forward to earnestly contribute towards the transformation of Penang into the future.  

Syed Aidid hopes that he can further grow his plethora of businesses as well as contribute to the growth and everchanging landscape of Penang.”