Category Archives: EZ54 – Captains & Legends

Penang’s Own Wonder Woman

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Mei Tan

Founder & CEO of Scoopoint Sdn Bhd

“We want to see people working together to achieve a desired outcome. It’s not just tables and chairs where people work in isolation like you see in cafes. Scoopoint focuses on  entrepreneurial minds to enable them to start and develop successful projects.”

Leaving a legacy is not something that many 30-something year olds think about, let alone are dedicated to invest their whole time in.

But Mei Tan is working on making her mark in Penang’s talent pool and at the same time, hoping to leave her legacy where others can follow.

The Founding CEO of Scoopoint Co-Working envisions multi generations to collaborate and work together in order to grow Penang’s talent pool and competitive advantage. These are big aspirations for this youth, hence setting up Scoopoint as a creative community of like-minded people to share ideas and collaborate on projects.

“We want to see people working together to achieve a desired outcome. It’s not just tables and chairs where people work in isolation like you see in cafes. Scoopoint focuses on  entrepreneurial minds to enable them to start and develop successful projects. Think of it as a supportive community for budding start-ups and this is where they can come to grow their businesses and teams,” explains Mei Tan who refers to herself as a “Creativentreprenuer” – someone who is creative and also business-minded.

Scoopoint.jpgScoopoint’s concept is only planting a small seed to her bigger plans that is to encourage more talent to stay in Penang. “I envision supporting and growing the system and creative entrepreneurship in Penang. We have the potential to venture internationally and make a name for ourselves and I hope to achieve this one day.”

Mei Tan is also the COO and creative director of Asia Green Group, one of Penang’s premier high-end property developers. One does wonder how the young lass has time for herself with multiple projects under her belt.

“My schedule is really busy, but I always spend some time with my family. I also enjoy traveling, outdoor sports and working out. Working out is time for myself where I can just focus and get a good sweat.”

Mei Tan has certainly come a long way as she admits that she was once shy and self-conscious about her appearance. Not too long ago, she was often teased and called “fat” which affected her self-esteem. But when she left to the US to work, it helped build her confidence and her passion for fitness and public speaking soon saw her metamorphosing into a confident and affable young lady.

Currently, she sees a gap between the older and younger generation in the business arena and workforce. She believes that both can learn from each other’s strengths.

“The millennials certainly appreciate their seniors and what they have done to shape Penang to what it’s become today through their hard work and persistence. But we always want to encourage all generations to be more open minded and think about how we can better work together to embrace new technology for businesses to thrive.

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By Karina Foo 

For The Love Of Animals 

EZMY54_Dr Lim Ban Keong.pngDr. Lim Ban Keong D.V.M. (UPM)

Group Managing Director of Rhone Ma Holdings Berhad

We want people to not only see how we’ve transformed the company, but how this transformation can benefit  them and the society as a whole in terms of their health and animal welfare including their lovely pets.

We often read about the success of thought leaders in property development, retail and the automotive industries. It is not common to hear about the growth and success of businesses in animal health products that have made an impact in their country of origin.

One such company in Malaysia is Rhone Ma Holdings Berhad, an end-to-end animal health solution provider in Malaysia and is headed by its Group managing director, Dr Lim Ban Keong, a former veterinarian in the livestock industry.

Under his leadership, the business has transformed from a local trading company into a Bursa Malaysia Main Board listed company in December 2016. Rhone Ma was established after a management buyout of the animal health division of Rhodia Malaysia in year 2000.

Lim, who holds a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine from from Universiti Putra Malaysia, is also a registered veterinary surgeon with the Malaysian Veterinary Council since 1997 and also a member of the Veterinary Association Malaysia since 1998.

Studying veterinary science may not give most students much insight into the world of business operations, But the Penang local already had a head start in his career as a technical sales executive at Pahang Pharmacy Sdn. Bhd. in 1997. One year later, he joined Rhodia Malaysia as a Techno-Commercial Executive in the animal health division where he was in charge of the product portfolio covering veterinary pharmaceutical and biological products. He joined Rhone Ma Malaysia in 2000 which acquired the animal health division of Rhodia Malaysia.

Lim was subsequently promoted to General Manager in 2010 and assumed the role of Managing Director in 2013. The journey has been anything but easy, but Lim, 46, is grateful for the experience and guidance given by all his mentors along the way, especially Dr Raymond Choo, his predecessor in Rhone Ma. “I also feel blessed to have role models supportive partners like Mr Foong Kam Weng and Dr Karen Yip, who are also founding members of Rhone Ma. In fact, they consented and supported my appointment as the general manager.” 

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Commemorating the launch of Bioeconomy Day 2018 with Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry YB Tuan Sim Tze Tzin and CEO of Bioeconomy Corporation Dr. Mohd Shuhaizam Mohd Zain

I wanted to take the opportunity to realise my transformation dream for dream of transforming the company.

“When I reflect on what I have been through, I felt like a newborn when I accepted the challenges because everything was new to me. But I wanted to take the opportunity to realise my transformation dream for dream of transforming the company,” said Lim who also credits Vistage Malaysia for their exemplary CEO coaching programmes.

Not surprisingly, one of Lim’s biggest milestones was when the company became public as it only took three months to happen since the date of application for IPO.

 “As a public listed company, it is our responsibility to meet investors’ expectations. Though we have more complex obstacles to overcome, this is all part of business growth and corporate transformation,” explains Lim.

Our IPO proceeds will is used to fund our development plan for the construction of a new GMP-Compliant Plant in Nilai and a warehouse with three storey offices in Klang.” says Lim. The Group has commenced the construction of the GMP-compliant plant with completion estimated to be in the end of 2019. The new warehouse in Kapar was completed towards the end of 2018 and is currently awaiting for the Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC) by the local authorities. Once fully operational, the warehouse is expected to increase storage space to cater to increasing storage needs for both animal health products and food ingredients.

“We also aim to expand our product range and introduce new pharmaceuticals and feed additives through our in-house R&D capabilities and finally, to expand regionally to broaden our international customer base.”

In addition to being the exclusive distributor of Boehringer Ingelheim’s companion animal product range in Malaysia, Lim also notched another achievement when he successfully signed on two big names in the animal health and nutrition industry to distribute their products in Malaysia, namely Ceva Sante Animale S.A. (Ceva) and Zoetis Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (Zoetis). Ceva, on 1 January 2018, appointed Rhone Ma as the Exclusive Distributor of its swine-related products, while in April 2018, the company signed another Distributorship agreement with Zoetis Malaysia Sdn. Bhd, a subsidiary of Zoetis Inc., for its poultry related products.

Lim further pursued his dreams of transforming Rhone Ma, where in early 2018, the Company incorporated a new wholly-owned subsidiary,  APSN Healthcare & Diagnostics Sdn. Bhd. (APSNH) in their effort to foray into the human healthcare segment. Under this new business segment, APSNH aims to provide test and diagnostics services for human healthcare, conduct R&D in biotechnology and distribution of human healthcare and related products. Although it is still in its infancy stage, Lim believes that the segment will grow due to its vast potential.

It’s not just the business that Lim wants to grow, but also enrich public perception on the animal health industry. “We want people to not only see how we’ve transformed the company, but how this transformation can benefit  them and the society as a whole in terms of their health and animal welfare including their lovely pets.”

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Dr. Lim and his biker buddies at The Distinguished Gentleman’s ride

The Language of Bespoke

Kok Loong Ho

Couture Designer & Owner of The MOD House

“Life is all about what you want to do, regardless of your background.”

The latest Couture Fashion Week in New York held a very important element – The MOD House by Malaysian designer KL Ho imprinted on the famous Manhattan runway. Featuring a stunning haute couture collection of Asian-inspired qipao, both shows at the Crowne Plaza Times Square and The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, were fully attended and well received by international fashion buyers, media, socialites and celebrities. The MOD (Malaysian Original Design) House received immediate enquiries and invitations to future couture fashion events in London, Paris and Dubai. With the assistance of Matrade Malaysia and Matrade New York, the label successfully penetrated the US market with its ready-to-wear collection as well.

Once an accountant, Ho jokes about venturing from dealing with ‘figures’ on spreadsheets to dressing beautiful feminine ‘figures’ in the glitzy and glamorous world of fashion.

The MOD House_2.jpgThe Seremban boy who studied accountancy and filmmaking started work with KPMG before taking a leap of faith into fashion retail and wholesale. He was soon bosom buddies with top Malaysian designers while the shopping malls were busy clamouring for him. From there on 11 MOD Houses were set up in major shopping centres in Penang and Kuala Lumpur.

“Life is all about what you want to do, regardless of your background. I started my fashion journey without any formal education. Relied on my instincts, feelings and horse sense a long way before signing up for a fashion design course later on.”

While the name KL Ho and The MOD House label soared from local to international recognition, Ho believes that fashion must be practical too. “Currently I’m working on ready-to-wear office attires, available for online purchase and rental. Ladies will now be able to rent work dresses daily.  This will ease dressing woes and benefit them economically.”

After 15 years in the industry, fashionistas are beginning to trust and revere his creations. Ho was in Melbourne recently to explore possibilities of working with Australian designers and fashion institutes like RMIT.

The MOD House_3.jpgTo me every designer has their personal touch and uniqueness.  I don’t really know how to rank myself, but people are starting to recognise my creations especially in the marriage of the Eastern and Western cultures.

“I would love to help aspiring fashion designers, if possible. For newcomers, their biggest problem is to get manufacturers to produce for them.  I have a platform where they can contribute their designs while I navigate production and contemplate marketing strategies for them.”

Wearing many hats with ease, this designer extraordinaire will continue to spin bespoke magic, create prêt-à-porter lines and be the commander of his fashion production house with great style and originality.

By Billie Ooi-Ng Lean Gaik

Who is the Cake Boss, this time?

EZMY54_Sunway University“We were overwhelmed with pride and joy when the ’Negaraku’ was played to the spectators at the World Pastry Cup and those watching live around the world. It truly showcased our spirit of Malaysia Boleh!” says Patrick Siau, Head Chef of Sunway University School of Hospitality.

While there are many firsts when it comes to Malaysians receiving international recognition, Malaysia’s very first win at the Coupe du Monde la Patisserie – World Pastry Cup 2019 held in Lyon, France has definitely taken the whole country by surprise when it comes to expertise in pastry.

When it comes to food, Malaysia continues to top as one of the few countries in the world with the most culturally diverse food options. In 2017, the world began to notice some of the most prevalent chef novices from Malaysia when Diana Chan, a Malaysian-born contestant won Masterchef Australia Season 9.

In January 2019, World Pastry Cup – a World Pastry Cup championship, an ‘Oscar’ equivalent for the pastry chefs of the world – played ‘Negaraku’, the Malaysia National Anthem for the very first time. The Malaysia National Pastry Team, led by Head Chef Patrick Siau from Sunway University School of Hospitality, has won first prize.

The team which include Tan Wei Loon, Corporate Pastry Chef and Loi Ming Ai, Executive Pastry Chef of the Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia; and Otto Tay, Corporate Pastry Chef at Dobla Asia, has beaten 20 other teams from around the globe to become the world champion.

“I am absolutely delighted by this achievement by the Malaysia team led by our very own expert Chef Patrick Siau… We are all very proud of what he has achieved and of the glory he has brought to the nation,” says Professor Graeme Wilkinson, Vice-Chancellor of Sunway University.

In order to meet the judges’ top requirements, contesting team are required to creatively produce three chocolate desserts of Grand Cru Valrhona, three frozen desserts from the Ravifruit range, 15 identical desserts on plate and three artistic creations made of sugar, chocolate and an artistic piece carved out of hydric ice. With only 10 hours on the clock, the teams are also contested under a common theme of Nature, Flora and Fauna.

The APC, cited as the largest ‘live’ pastry competition in Asia is the most spectacular and highly accredited competition in its category and serves as the official pre-selection platform for the World Pastry Cup.


The winning team created a chocolate dessert named ‘La Nature’ inspired by the lotus leaf while the flavours of their frozen fruit dessert ‘La Papillon’ which featured a butterfly on a flower was inspired by Pierre Hermé’s Ispahan. For their plated dessert ‘La Floraison’, the team incorporated the pomelo, Ipoh’s famous fruit which was presented in a cup-form made of Granita.

Capturing the judges’ attention was the team’s artistic creation showcasing meticulously crafted monkeys dressed like Elvis with the King’s iconic pompadour made of isomalt sugar and chocolate.

The Malaysia team also received the Vase de Sevres prize, a prize donated by the President of the French Republic which is awarded to the country that scored the most points for the Tasting.

In the months prior to the competition, the School of Hospitality at Sunway University actively came together and organised several initiatives to help raise funds for the team’s trip to France.