Tag Archives: FEATURED

Master of the Elements

David Xuan  

Master of feng shui and metaphysics

by Billie Ooi-Ng Lean Gaik


Applied 

Correctly and practised honourably, feng shui can change the course of one’s life, avert disasters and pitfalls.  When the yin and yang is in perfect harmony, then one can have the best of everything.”

Sporting his signature pencil beard, beret and scarf, David Xuan looks like a worldly French artist, but most people know behind that renaissance look is a highly intelligent, sensitive and intuitive artist, a master craftsman of Chinese geomancy or feng shui – the art of energy flow, orientation of designs and environment.  A mind so attuned to the universe, he probably might have a special preview into the next dimension.  Light-hearted and bubbly in personality he is intensely serious, analytical and astute when it comes to the realm of feng shui and metaphysics.     

On the right side of 50, the world-renowned Xuan is based in Penang and has achieved recognition within corporate organisations and private clients.  His disciples and students are in far-reaching countries like Russia, America, Australia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Singapore.  Besides being an advisor to numerous companies, he has been invited to do consultative and investigative works in the geographical study of feng shui and to give talks in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan.

Interestingly Xuan started as a businessman but soon grew weary of the material world.  Devoting his life to spirituality, he joined the monastery as a monk.  Amidst deep meditation, oil-lighting and flower-bathing duties, Xuan heard a guiding voice.  A few days later one feng shui master walked into his monastery.  Xuan implored him to share his knowledge.  Hence his professional journey into the science of feng shui and traditional Chinese metaphysics began in 1991.

The protégé dived into the study of the I-Ching Divination, Eight Trigrams, Eight Mansions, I-Symbol feng shui, San Yuan San He, Water Dragon, Xuan Kong Da Qua, Four Pillars of Destiny (Bazi), Zi Wei Dou Shu, Flying Stars, Eight Gates (Qi Men Dun Jia), Plum Blossom Oracle, Yin and Yang Yang feng shui, Meteor and Mountain Methods. 

Constantly improving himself, Xuan incorporates modern technical devices in feng shui with science and logic.  “Feng shui is not a religion but closely related to science and geography.  It is a study on spatial arrangement, natural elements and energy flow.  I’m always studying, researching and consulting with science professors and lecturers in universities about the diversion of chi flow on surfaces.  Most of them fully agree with me.  My techniques are compliant with science.” 

Xuan’s mission is to share the authentic and organic knowledge of feng shui and Chinese metaphysics to create meaningful spaces within environments, improve professional and personal relationships, provide better health, lifestyle and happiness besides increasing wealth and success for other people.

Some say David Xuan is arrogant.  His famous quote “If I cannot achieve a certain feng shui task, then most of my peers would not be able to accomplish it either” did not go down without criticism and smirks.  “I’m not arrogant.  For the last 20 years, most of my waking moments have been spent on compiling, studying and researching feng shui principles extensively.  I scoured all the books in depth as well as laterally and I’ve gone through all the lineages of the art.  My comprehensive system and approach can support a one-stop feng shui establishment.  If I come across a stumbling block or problem, you can be sure that I’ll persevere to the ends of the universe to solve it.  I never give up.  If I can’t do it, then it simply cannot be done.”

Besides tenacity, being ethical is paramount to him.  “My aim is to give all my clients effective and realistic audits.  I do not hold anything back, not even with my students and disciples.  I am open and I teach them everything, reveal every secret and weapon in my arsenal, in the hope that they will be better than me.  I’d feel proud if they are.” 

In this information and technology, Elon Musk-era, would feng shui ever be obsolete?  Not according to Xuan.  “Everyone and every living thing need feng shui.  It is the basic building block of equilibrium and balance.  The right feng shui can harness and propel you to unbridled success, boost your energy and life force.  Everyone needs this supply, this awareness.”

Sadly, there is a dark side to feng shui.  “Some people manipulate the principles of feng shui to do hocus pocus, to equate it with religion or to run scams.  However, applied correctly and practised honourably, feng shui can change the course of one’s life, avert disasters and pitfalls.  When the yin and yang is in perfect harmony, then one can have the best of everything.”

Success to Xuan has never been about materialism.  “My ultimate goal is to see the world in peace, harmony and prosperity, to see a happy, healthy and better world.”  

Rock & Light

Dato’ CJ Eng

Chief executive officer of Asia Gemological Laboratory

by Billie Ooi-Ng Lean Gaik


“Focus single-mindedly on what you do best and your passion, then you can make a difference and stand out from the crowd.”

A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.  Polished and rather close to perfection, Dato’ CJ Eng is the inspiration behind the Asia Gemological Laboratory (AGL).  

After graduating in accounting and finance from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Dato’ Eng spent the early years of his career in public accounting firms, developing accounting and financial expertise.  Corporate management and business development came naturally to him.  “CEOs who started their careers in accounting and finance tend to be successful and excellent leaders.  I constantly engage in strategic planning of business, running a team and having commercial ownership of various products.”  He is a firm believer of the Hedgehog Concept from the book Good to Great.  “Focus single-mindedly on what you do best and your passion, then you can make a difference and stand out from the crowd.”

His dream team comprises the diplomatic ace turned corporate honcho Dato’ Zainuddin Yahya, pioneering genius and gemstone specialist Ng Lian Im and the fearless and multitalented chemical engineer Dato’ Billy Lai.  Together with Dato’ Eng, the four of them have charted AGL’s course to the pinnacle of success in just three short years.  “When I first met them, I knew that we share a deep passion for the earth’s beauty as well as an understanding for authentication and expertise in minerals and gemstones.” 

AGL’s international group of professionally qualified and dedicated gemologists aims to make AGL the number one preferred gemological laboratory in Malaysia, providing comprehensive services like authentication and certification of gemstones, manufacturing and retailing, workshops and courses, and educational mining field trips.  “We have the most sophisticated technology and equipment for gemstone identification, design and manufacturing.”

Future plans include establishing laboratories in mining countries like Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sierra Leone.  “We are excited about these opportunities and we want to make Malaysia proud by being the Malaysian gemological laboratory providing assistance in the gemstones industry to these countries.”

Gemstones and jewelleries have always been a part of human society and history.  Urbanisation has increased its demand.  

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“Eighty percent of the gemstone market is dominated by diamonds.  However, there is a promising growth in emeralds, rubies and sapphires.  There will always be interest in precious gemstones.  During a recent Sotheby online auction, the ‘Tutti Frutti’ bracelet by Cartier was sold for USD1.3 million as the most expensive jewel traded online.”

Gemstones are revered by many, for the appreciation in value or simply for its beauty or the pleasure it brings to the owner.  “I still remember vividly the magical feeling when I first held an investment grade natural non-heat Royal Blue sapphire during my first mining trip in Sri Lanka.  It was an incredible feeling of pure joy.”

For adrenalin, Dato’ Eng loves football, golf and high-altitude sports.  He once hiked to Mt Everest Base Camp, with his own chefs and porters, and descended by helicopter.

From a home computer to a global technology company

Datuk Kenny Goh

Co-Founder and Group CEO of MACROKIOSK

by Karina Foo


The formula that enabled a hobby to become a successful business is simply one based on passion, hard work and inquisitiveness.
Such attributes belong to Datuk Kenny Goh who found that his fond love and interest in computers would one day pave a lucrative way together with his two brothers to start their business, MACROKIOSK, a digital communications company.

“Electronics have always been a part of our lives since we were young. Our father had always been very supportive of our interest in electronics, particularly in the area of computerisation. Computers were still a niche thing and were considered quite costly back then, but our father bought us one computer to share amongst ourselves and it just sparked and grew our interest in technology,” said Goh who co-founded the business in his early 20’s.

Goh and his brothers, Datuk Henry Goh and Datuk CS Goh, established MACROKIOSK in 2000 boasting an impressive range of products and services to efficiently and securely bridge the gap between businesses and their digital audiences.

Goh is the company’s group CEO and with his strategic vision, perseverance, determination and a sharp business acumen, he has been the driving force to build MACROKIOSK into a leading digital technology company across Asia and beyond.

Innovation at its core and more
The company is at the forefront of delivering innovative digital products and solutions to enable businesses and individuals to embrace the digital economy. It has a presence in 14 countries and regions, supported by more than 250 multinational employees, and powers over 3,000 clients in 37 countries across 24 industries.

These impressive accolades are the results of the humble when Goh and his brothers would play and experiment with computers as children.

“When our father’s business attained the master distributorship of a Japanese-brand mobile phone in Malaysia, we were further exposed to the world of communications and we realised the importance of communication and the prospects of it. Our entrepreneurial journey actually started out as a hobby but has now become our careers and mission in our lives,” recounts Goh.

They say that when you work together with close relatives, the business could either steer your relationship for the better or worse. For Goh and his brothers, they’ve forged a strong and admirable bond that is reflected in the evolution of their business throughout the last 20 years.

“MACROKIOSK is a collective effort between my brothers and I who bring different capabilities, strengths and knowledge to the business. Being the eldest brother, my initial contribution involved strategic-based approach in steering the company’s direction. For example, I was the only one who was eligible at the time to register a company at the age of 21,” recounts Goh who’s current hobby involves constructing Legos and solving mechanistic puzzles.

The business has evolved substantially over the years as it was initially set up to provide computerisation and internet technology services, then to paging and mobile technology. Today, it encompasses key digital technologies focusing on digital usages for all industries. It is evident that this business has evolved and innovated through ever-changing consumer and market demands.

Turning Crisis to Opportunity
With the Covid19 pandemic that has inadvertently affected many businesses globally, Goh has been able to mitigate the effects for his business by structuring a strategic Business Continuity Plan (BCP) even before the pandemic.

“We are very fortunate during these unprecedented times because we’re an ISO27001-certified company which has protected us from the effects of the crisis. Our ever-evolving business model combined with the dynamic mindset of the people within our organisation has enabled us to turn crisis into opportunity.

Now when it comes to opportunity, Goh advises that it is vital for budding entrepreneurs to identify their unique opportunities and market gaps.

“Starting a business out of necessity alone (because everyone else is doing it), will not make you survive; you will only survive and thrive when you’ve discovered your opportunity and how to take advantage of it.”

Despite the dire repercussions for many from the worldly events in 2020, Goh remains optimistic and even opportunistic for his business and outlook in life.

“Everything has a cycle and we need to strike a balance in everything we do. I believe we should not sacrifice our health for wealth at the beginning of our lives in order to sacrifice our wealth for health at the tail end of our lives.

As for the business, we’re proudly Malaysian and therefore have always championed ‘Ciptaan Malaysia’ (Malaysian creation) – which is a good testament to our faith in the prospects of doing and growing business in Malaysia.”

Tapestry of Medicine

Dr Jenny Goh 

Founder of Doux Visage, Dr Goh Cosmeceutical, PhD in TCM  

by Billie Ooi-Ng Lean Gaik


I want to research, study and improve because my patients deserve more accurate and comprehensive answers.”

Aristotle once said, ‘Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of reference’.  Dr Jenny Goh is the epitome of that quote in all manner of interpretation.  If we can package beauty, health and wellbeing in a universe, Dr Goh would be the master of that universe.

A child of hardship many years ago, she was one of four siblings that helped her parents run their family coffee shop in Sri Petaling, Malaysia, at the age of seven.  At a crossroad, after high school, she was torn between pursuing a career in the travel or beauty industry.    

She became a beauty therapist but  yearned to learn more. “When I flicked through my beauty course books I realised that this was what I liked – learning about anatomy, skin structure and its treatments. I Told myself – if I cannot be a doctor then I can be a skin doctor.”


CHT Pursuit of Excellence National Awards 2020 Traditional Chinese Medicine & Medical Aesthetic :
Doux Visage Sdn Bhd

A qualified acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner today, Dr Goh has garnered over 25 years of experience in the beauty industry since 1996 and 17 years in the field of TCM since 2003.  She received her PhD in TCM (Acupuncture) from Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine with a focus on hormones, stroke, cancer, cardiovascular and skin disease in 2017 and is currently undertaking her second PhD in TCM (Chinese Medicine) with emphasis on cancer, dietetics and cardiovascular issues. “I firmly believe in addressing health issues internally and externally. To treat a person adequately, I must address the fundamentals behind each problem and not just treat the symptoms. That was how I conceived the idea of combining the best of both worlds, eastern and western therapies – to include TCM into regular facial, slimming and total body wellness. My clinical treatment Doux Visage® stemmed from this belief – the combination of eastern acupuncture with western modern technology for total body wellness.” .

An advocate of natural and self-healing, Dr Goh highly recommends acupuncture and chi balancing to achieve true beauty and wellness.  “I don’t believe in injections nor invasive surgery.  I believe in TCM because it is my heritage and I’ve studied and researched the subject extensively.  More than 5000 years of treatment cannot be wrong.  Now some western doctors are also endorsing acupuncture, chi and energy flow as alternative treatments.”  

Besides being published in the Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture Moxibution in 2015, Dr Goh also won the Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) in 2016.  With all that success buzzing around her, she manages to stay grounded.  “I was very happy and excited but tried to remain calm and not be distracted from my work.”

Dr Goh is the SOBA AWARD WINNER 2016 (Most Promising Award for Doux Visage Sdn Bhd), 2017 (Female Entrepreneur of the Year)  and 2019 (Female Entrepreneur of the Year and Most Promising Award for Dr. Goh Cosmeceutical Sdn Bhd).

Her philosophy in life is simple and effective.  “Do things right.  Keep on learning.  Stay happy.  Don’t set impossible goals.  Go with the flow and more importantly – adjust and balance your chi before you have to seek treatment.” 

Breaking the Glass Ceiling

June Goh, PJM

Managing Director of Wealthy Homes Expert Solutions Sdn Bhd

by Billie Ooi-Ng Lean Gaik


I bulked in large quantities of condos at low prices, restructured the marketing plans and cleared the stocks within a period of time.”

Aprominent face on billboards and magazine covers, June Goh is a force to be reckoned with.  Managing Director of Wealthy Homes Expert Solutions Sdn Bhd, she runs the company with great drive and motivation, resulting in big ticket property deals.     

Being an accomplished wife and a devoted mother of three are never easy but Goh does it with panache.  From super mum, she challenged and re-invented herself as an astute real estate entrepreneur.  “Work life balance.  Organisation, focus and productivity are important. Build downtime into your schedule. Drop activities that sap your time or energy.  A little relaxation goes a long way.”

Her Bachelor of Science with Honours is in computing science and information systems, but somehow, she was drawn to the property business. Company slogan ‘June Goh, the Gateway to Property’ rings true for locals and visitors alike, when in search of that dream house.  The Wealthy Homes comprehensive care package takes the client from property inspection and selection, leasing, renovation and interior design to Experience-Penang tours, limousine transfers and MM2H services.  To those entering the property market as an investor, Goh advises, “Use leverage to buy properties.  Line up your financing early. Invest in single-family homes first and turnkey real estate.  Aim to be cash flow positive.  Focus on your ROI and buy what you know.”

Conventionally an all-male bastion, Goh’s trajectory in the business is progressive and result oriented. “I’m thankful as it allows me to work harder and excel when compared to my gentlemen peers.  Determination is everything.  Focus on growth. Think bigger, use the power of dreams and your imagination. Massive action and do what you love. ”

Sincere, warm and friendly, she is well – liked and respected in business and social circles. Her company regularly organises talks and conferences to share critical information about property investment.  “The market may be a little soft now, but it is a cyclical phenomenon. Penang’s property market is supported by the state’s strong economic fundamentals.  I firmly believe in the Penang Chief Minister’s Master Plan 2030, especially in the upgrading of transportation and infrastructure, the green and sustainable projects. ”  

Her meteoric rise in the property industry is astounding but Goh has more goals to achieve. Her 2020 vision is to break traditional boundaries and go beyond the glass ceiling. What do you hope to achieve in life?  “A developer, probably.  A philanthropist, definitely. ”

 

The Powers That Be

Dato’ Mark Yeoh
Director of YTL Hotels and Resorts


Good hotels are everywhere. The edge is always customer service. You can have gold taps and diamond chandeliers.  At the end, what matters in hospitality is always the service. 

Scion of the formidable YTL empire, Dato’ Mark Yeoh is the youngest son of the late Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay, a billionaire and philanthropist who founded YTL Corporation.  Executive director of YTL Hotels and Resorts, Dato’ Mark Yeoh is also part of YTL Power International’s mergers and acquisitions team involved in the acquisition of ElectraNet SA (Australia), Wessex Water Limited (UK), PT Jawa Power (Indonesia) and PowerSeraya Limited (Singapore). 

Born in Klang, young Yeoh grew up in Kuala Selangor with his early education at Pasar Road School before attending Victoria Institution.  Completing his A Levels at Brighton College UK, he went on to read law at King’s College London and passed the bar exams at Grace Inn.  “I was the only son who was not gainfully employed at that time, therefore was summoned back to help the family.  I started the hotel business without knowing a single thing.”   

At his first ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism trade fair in 1988, Malaysia was unheard of and often confused with Malawi.  Dato’ Yeoh took steps to place Malaysia on the map with the help of the Ministry of Tourism which launched many projects to promote Malaysia.  Three decades and many welcoming slogans later, YTL Hotels and Malaysia finally established a respectable position on the world tourism barometer.  “Competition is very tough now. Vietnam which never used to be a market is now an aggressive player.  My first trip to Maldives, there were hardly any resorts, and I still remember the pillows made from coconut husks.”

There is a secret formula that holds YTL Hotels in good stead.  “Our tagline ‘treasured moments, treasured places’ means that we are the purveyors of dreams and fantasies.  We have every moment count.  That’s the mantra we’ve been driving into our staff.  Our hotels’ high occupancy rates reflect the popularity of our properties and our abilities to fulfil guests’ wishes.”

Hotel business is like fashion, there is no cookie cutter approach.  You need to reinvest and reimage every seven years, to stay relevant and profitable.

For someone who started with not knowing a single thing in the hospitality industry, Dato’ Yeoh certainly has been put through the wringer.  Yet he emerged an effective and revered leader and entrepreneur.  “We call our staff stars.  In most leadership structures the boss is the head of the pyramid.  Ours is a reverse pyramid.  I’m the most unimportant person in the company because I don’t see the customers.  The moment my team wear the uniform when they start work, they are on parade.  The show starts and they must smile, greet, be courteous.  The challenge is to produce stars who understand our philosophies.  That’s why we have the YTL International College of Hotel Management where we invest in training and hotel development programmes.  Youth is the future of our business.”  

With properties in Asia and UK, Dato’ Yeoh’s brand of management is holistic and immersive.  “Working with partners like The Marriot and Hilton allows us to be more focussed, where we can dissect and segmentise our areas of expertise.  The universal distribution system in the world is such that the big will get bigger so it’s good to have partnerships with these giants.”

Dato’ Yeoh’s superpowers in the hospitality realm are evident in some of his latest triumphs.  One of them the Monkey Island Estate, a centuries-old retreat in Bray-on-Thames, Berkshire that nestles on an island in the River Thames;  The Academy, London is a charming collection of five restored Georgian townhouses centrally located in London’s West End and finally the Higashiyama Niseko Village will be opening in December 2020, channelling unparalleled luxury to Japanese skiing in a hand-selected hideaway destination.  

Never Stop Learning

Koong Wai Seng
CEO of Quill Group


“Change is like the wind and there’s no stopping it. Therefore, it’s imperative that we continuously evolve for the better.” 

Humility is important for all of us, and more so for people who are successful and highly revered. 

The belief that once you’ve achieved everything (or most things) you’ve strived for, you’ve lived and learned life. But that’s quite the opposite for Quill Group’s new Chief Executive Officer, Koong Wai Seng because he never stops learning and doesn’t limit himself to only what he’s good at. 

“Regardless of your position or level in your company, I believe that you shouldn’t stick to what you know, rather, explore what you don’t know. If you only practice within your expertise, you’ll never expand your knowledge. Continue to learn, because the more you learn and immerse yourself in the areas outside of your abilities and skills, the more you’ll grow,” explained Koong. 

Perhaps, that’s the “secret” to his success with an impressive accolade of more than 20 years of experience in a variety of industries including audit, financial advisory, leisure, hospitality, healthcare, property development and property investment in a number of listed property development companies. 

He is a member of the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA). Koong started his career at Arthur Andersen & Co before joining a public-listed property group for 13 years, where he served as chief financial officer and later as the group finance director. He was also the executive director of Sunway Group and Tropicana before assuming his position in Sunsuria in 2016 and moving to his most recent at Quill.

But he doesn’t boast about these C-Suite positions, rather, he would prefer to be known as a Change Leader because “Change is like the wind and there’s no stopping it. Therefore, it’s imperative that we continuously evolve for the better,” he said, adding that this is the core of his management philosophy.

According to Koong, part of growing and becoming a good leader is being curious, or in local layman’s term, a “busy body”. 

“I make myself participate in various departmental meetings like marketing, finance, HR and logistics as it helps me to acquire knowledge of the company’s operations in its entirety. 

Part of all this is also to be present and be part of your team regardless of their positions – talk to them, take them out for lunch or coffee and really get to know them. It builds meaningful relationships and trust.” 

Koong made it all by merit and hard work as he was born in a low-income family where his mother would sell fruits by the roadside to support the family. 

“Regardless of your position or level in your company, I believe that you shouldn’t stick to what you know, rather, explore what you don’t know. If you only practice within your expertise, you’ll never expand your knowledge…”

“I studied very hard and always set high standards for myself. I met my wife (then girlfriend) and we now have three boys,” he said. 

Koong will be 62 in 10 years but he is not aiming to retire by then. In fact, he wants to be more involved with his work on a deeper level taking on a more philanthropic mission so that he can leave a legacy for his kids. 

“For the new generation who want to be successful, it’s imperative that you associate yourself with high achievers because birds of a feather flock together – you will all lift each other up to reach your milestones sooner, so that you can achieve financial freedom earlier.”  

Aligning The Way of Life

Dr Hayden Pooke
Chief Executive Officer of Tonic Asia Group


My own personal purpose is to be the vessel for transformation, that is the reason I get up in the mornings, to try and make a difference

There is a higher purpose in life and for chiropractor, Dr Hayden Pooke, it is to transform people’s lives and make a difference. Not one to letthe small things irritate him, he believes strongly in being the light that brings changes to people and in any situation. This was translated into his profession of helping his patients gain pain-free lives. “My own personal purpose is to be the vessel for transformation, that is the reason I get up in the mornings, to try and make a difference,” he said.

Pooke and his wife, Dr Tamara Gien Pooke, came to Malaysia a decade ago when he was headhunted by Tonic Asia Group’s founder, Dato’ Dr Thomas Ong. Ong, who founded Tonic Asia Group in 1997, wanted Pooke to help him transform his clinics and expand throughout Malaysia. South African-born Pooke, had wanted to migrate to Australia when he came to Malaysia. He arrived here in 2009 and is now in the midst of applying for permanent residency here. “My wife and I love it here. There are a lot of opportunities especially to introduce chiropractic and integrative physical medicine in Malaysia,” he said.

The brand, TAGS for Tonic Asia Group, was developed after Pooke joined the company and in a few years, the group has expanded to include 11 centres and two hospitals in Malaysia, including East Malaysia. “It put chiropractic medicine on the map as a serious healthcare provider in Malaysia,” Pooke said. Soon, the TAGS clinics that started out as spine and joint specialist centres, integrated the centres to include physiotherapy. As Pooke puts it, chiropractic and physiotherapy services work hand-in-hand as one deals with the body’s alignment while the other on the core muscles.

The TAGS Spine and Joint Specialists Centres nationwide were proven to be successful with its focus on providing low-risk, healthier and non-invasive care for issues involving the joint and spine. Pooke said they meet their patients’ expectations 90 per cent of the time. “Seeing a chiropractor and being adjusted is not invasive and it facilitates and optimises movements for the patients,” he said. In many cases, he said patients find themselves pain-free after a few sessions at TAGS but stressed that treatment for each individual patient is different as it involves various factors that includes lifestyle, posture and diet.

“Treating Asians are different from caucasians as their physiology makeup are different.”

The recent popularity for chiropractic treatments mean that there is a future in this profession and the International Medical University Malaysia (IMU) is the only university in the country to offer a Chiropractic Bachelor’s Degree. Dr Tamara is a programme director for the degree in IMU and Pooke said this spells a bright future for the industry in Malaysia. He said chiropractic degrees offered by universities outside of Malaysia are focused on treating Westerners so most chiropractors learn how to treat Westerners and not Asians. “Treating Asians are different from caucasians as their physiology makeup are different,” he said. He said chiropractors who graduate from IMU will be trained to treat Malaysians and this will give them the advantage over foreign-trained chiropractors.

When he is not adjusting a patient’s alignment, Pooke is an avid wine collector with a growing collection at home. He also likes to spend his time in the kitchen whipping up creations to entertain his guests, family and friends. “I love to cook, I learnt to cook since I was six years old,” he said. He said his love for cooking has become something that he can use for business networking too where he brings business associates home and treats them to delicious home-cooked meals. 

Forging a Path in Security

Dato’ Dr Nick Ng
Founder of Mega Fortris Malaysia Sdn Bhd

The reason for our success is because we had went through a lot to get there and most important of all, we keep to our integrity and principles

Ng has always had an adventurous streak and he attributed most of his success to the adventures he had as a young man. He literally left home to see the world at the age of 18 years. With little money on hand, he took a ship to India and from there, made his way to Europe. It was a trip that formed who he is today. It taught him perseverance and a die-hard attitude. What he remembered most about that epic journey that spanned several years was how he had to suffer and starve in the beginning due to shortage of money. “I was adventurous and I was determined to make it, I don’t give up easily so no matter how much I suffered, I refused to go home, I wanted to stay on,” he said.

If one were to tell Dato’ Dr Nick Ng that he would reap huge success in selling security seals back when he was young, he would have laughed it off.  Never in his imagination had he thought that his eventual success in life was from selling security seals that initially only earned him a few sen of profit per seal.

Ng had ventured into the security seal business with his brother Adrian, who is 15 years younger than him, in 1996. When he first started, he was quite sceptical of the profit as each security seal costs about 9 sen which they had to sell at 12 sen. “Yet, we had to push on, we wanted to penetrate the market,” he said.

The brothers persisted and thanks to Adrian’s sales skills, Ng said they started making it big and soon they were venturing overseas. Before long, Mega Fortris was manufacturing its own security seals and exporting it to various countries. It is now one of the leading security seal manufacturers in the world.

“I was adventurous and I was determined to make it, I don’t give up easily so no matter how much I suffered, I refused to go home, I wanted to stay on,” 

Even after he came back to Malaysia, Ng found it hard to stay put in Penang. Life here was monotonous and boring so he left again and this time, he went to United Kingdom to work as a window cleaner for three years.

He came back to Malaysia from that stint and tried a few businesses which failed. This never deterred him. Instead, he pushed on with his die-hard attitude as he believed he would eventually make it.

The Ng brothers started Mega Fortris with a RM2 million debt and it was their joint hard work that led to their success today. ”The reason for our success is because we had gone through a lot to get here and most important of all, we keep to our integrity and principles,” he said.

His advice to the youths is to venture out and take risks. “I was bold enough to take risks and this was where I learned important lessons about life,” he said. 

The Zing of Life

Dato’ Seri Damien Chua Wei Kee
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, JD Resources

“It was not easy but each challenge that came my way, I always find ways to overcome it.”

If there is only one formula for success, it would have to be seizing an opportunity and make it work through pure grit and hard work. This was how Dato’ Seri Damien Chua went from a waiter to become the owner of 30 companies in nine countries within a span of 26 years.

It can be said that his early years as an adult striking out on his own was an invaluable lesson that taught him independence and a strong will to succeed. Coming from a middle-class family, Chua had wanted to study aeronautical engineering or chemical engineering when he finished school. Yet, aware of his parents’ financial limitations, he gave up that dream and started working various jobs to fund his own education. “Since engineering was too expensive, I chose the cheapest course – accounting,” he said. To fund his education, he did a slew of different jobs that ranged from tutoring to waitering and coaching. He worked in McDonald’s, Parkson Store as a promoter, a lifeguard, a swimming coach, a tuition teacher and a waiter in a restaurant.

He ended up working in a zinc distribution company while studying ACCA part-time. It was this job that gave him the most experience in the zinc industry. When the 1997 Asian financial crisis hit, Chua lost his job in the zinc distribution company as the company was so badly hit, it went under. Desperate for a job, he decided to apply for the accountant post in a Melbourne zinc supplier company. Instead of landing a job, he was unexpectedly appointed as an agent in Malaysia. With no other job offers, he decided to give it a try and this saw the establishment of JD Resources in 1998. “It was a challenge taking up the risk at a time when we were still facing the effects of the financial crisis but somehow, I managed to face up to it,” he said. It was not all smooth-sailing and yet for each challenge that came his way, Chua somehow managed to overcome it and came out unscathed. “It was not easy but each challenge that came my way, I always find ways to overcome it,” he added.

Today, JD Resources holds 30% market share of the zinc supplies and 55% market share of zinc alloy supplies in the Southeast Asia market. The company started out as a sole proprietorship distributing 15 to 20 tonnes of zinc products two decades ago and now, the company is large enough to be publicly listed and is distributing 12,000 to 15,000 tonnes of zinc products. “Last year, when everyone was pulling out of China due to the trade war, we were going in to set up our factory there because we wanted to tap into the China market,” he said.

Other than continuing to expand his growing business, Chua is involved in 16 non-governmental organisations (NGO) and was recently appointed as the Honorary-Consul of Hungary. He also makes sure he allocates time for his family every weekend and spends most of his free time, if any, reading at least one book each month. “I must read to continuously improve my knowledge, it is a life-long process that must never stop no matter how busy I am,” he said. 

“I must read to continuously improve my knowledge, it is a life-long process that must never stop no matter how busy I am”