70X, Jalan Keramat Hujung, 54000 Kuala Lumpur
Email : salam@ppim.org.my
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Tel : +603-4257 7222 / +603-4256 6618
22 Sep 2011

BAHAGIAN atas dek History Supreme yang kemas untuk
bersantai.(Gambar sumbet : Kosmo )
Robert Kuok Hock Nien’s notes on the past sixty years
Sri Robert Kuok Hock Nien (born 6 October 1923, in Johor Bahru, Johor, is an
influential Malaysian Chinese businessman. According to Forbes his net worth is
estimated to be around $10 billion on May 2008, making him the richest person
in Southeast Asia. He is media shy and discreet; most of his businesses are
privately held by him or his family. Apart from a multitude of enterprises in
Malaysia, his companies have investments in many countries throughout Asia .
His business interests range from sugarcane plantations (Perlis Plantations
Bhd), sugar refinery, flour milling, animal feed, oil and mining to finance,
hotels, properties, trading and freight and publishing.
Kuok Hock Nien’s (Shangri la Group, sugar,and Palm oil)notes on the past sixty
the occasion of Kuok Group’s 60th Anniversary 10 April 2009)
(1)        My brothers and I owe our upbringing
completely to Mother. She was steeped in Ru-Jiao –the teachings of Confucius,
Mencius, Laozi and other Chinese sages. Ru-Jiao teaches the correct behaviour
for a human being on his life on earth. Mother gently, and sometimes strongly,
drummed into the minds of her three boys the values of honesty, of never
cheating, lying, stealing or envying other people their material wealth or
physical attributes.
(2)        Father died on 25 December 1948 night
without leaving a will. Following the Japanese surrender, he had re-registered
the firm as a sole proprietorship. We went to court to get an appointment as
managers, permitting us to continue to manage Tong Seng & Co. The judge
said that, as there were two widows, the firm and the estate should be wound
(3)        We decide to establish Kuok Brothers
Limited. In mid-January 1949, five of us met at a small roundtable in our home
in Johore Bahru. Present were my MOTHER, cousin number five HOCK CHIN, cousin
number twelve HOCK SENG, my brother HOCK KHEE nicknamed Philip (a.k.a. cousin
number seventeen), and myself (a.k.a. cousin number twenty). We sat down and Mother
said, “Nien, would you like to start?”I said, “Fine, yes I will start.”To cut
the long story short, we got started, and commenced business from a little shop
house in Johore Bharu on 1 April 1949.
(4)        As a young man, I thought there was no
substitute for hard work and thinking up good, honest business plans and,
without respite, pushing them along. There will always be business on earth. Be
humble; be straight; don’t be crooked; don’t take advantage of people. To be a
successful businessman, I think you really need to brush all your senses every
morning, just as you brush your teeth. I coined the phrase “honing your
senses”in business: your vision, hearing, sense of smell, touch and taste. All
these senses come in very useful.
(5)        Mother was the captain of our ship. She
saw and sensed everything, but being a wise person she didn’t interfere. Yet
she was the background influence, the glue that bound the Group together. She
taught my cousins and my brothers and me never to be greedy, and that in making
money one could practise high morality. She stressed that whenever the firm
does well it should make donations to the charities operating in our societies.
She always kept us focused on the big picture in business. For example: avoid
businesses that bring harm, destruction or grief to people. This includes
trades like gambling, drugs, arms sales, loan-sharking and prostitution.
(6)        We started as little fish swimming in a
bathtub. From there we went to a lake and now we are in the open seas. Today
our businesses cover many industries and our operations are worldwide but this
would not have been possible without the vision of the founding members, the
dedicated contributions and loyalty of our colleagues and employees, and very
importantly the strong moral principles espoused by my mother.
(7)        When I hire staff I look for honest,
hardworking, intelligent people. When I look candidates in the eye, they must
appear very honest to me. I do not look for MBAs or exceptional students. You
may hire a brilliant man, summa cum laude, first-class honours, but if his mind
is not a fair one or if he has a warped attitude in life, does brilliance
really matter?
(8)        Among the first employees were Lau Teo
Chin (Ee Wor), Kwok Chin Luang (Ee Luang), Othman Samad (Kadir) and an Indian
accountant called Joachim who was a devout Roman Catholic and who travelled in
every day from Singapore where he lived.
(9)        I would like on this special occasion
to pay tribute to them and in particular to those who were with us in the early
days; many of whom are no longer here. I have already mentioned Lau Teo Chin
(Ee Wor) and Kwok Chin Luang (Ee Luang) and Othman Samad (Kadir), there are
others like Lean Chye Huat, who is not here today due to failing eyesight, and
Yusuf Sharif who passed away in his home country India about one and a half
years ago and the late Lee Siew Wah, and others who all gave solid and
unstinting support and devotion to the Company. It saddens me that in those
early difficult years these pioneers did not enjoy significant and substantial
rewards but such is the order of things and a most unfortunate aspect of
capitalism. However through our Group and employee Foundations, today we are
able to help their descendants whenever there is a need to.
(10)      I have learnt that the success of a
company must depend on the unity of all its employees. We are all in the same
boat rowing against the current and tide and every able person must pull the
oars to move the boat forward. Also, we must relentlessly endeavour to maintain
and practise the values of integrity and honesty, and eschew and reject greed
and arrogance.
(11)      A few words of caution to all businessmen
and women. I recall the Chinese saying: shibai nai chenggong zhi mu (failure is
the mother of success). But in the last thirty years of my business life, I
have come to the conclusion that the reverse phrase is even truer of today’s
world: chenggong nai shibai zhi mu. Success often breeds failure, because it
makes you arrogant, complacent and, therefore, lower your guard.
(12)      The way forward for this world is through
capitalism. Even China has come to realise it. But it’s equally true that
capitalism, if allowed to snowball along unchecked, can in many ways become
destructive. Capitalism needs to be inspected under a magnifying glass once a
day, a super-magnifying glass once a week, and put through the cleaning machine
once a month.
           In capitalism, man needs elements of
ambition and greed to drive him. But where does ambition end and greed take
over? That’s why I say that capitalism, if left to its own devices, will
snowball along, roll down the hill and cause a lot of damage. So a sound
capitalist system requires very strongly led, enlightened, wise governments.
That means politician-statesmen willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake
of their people. I don’t mean politicians who are there for fame, glory and to
line their pockets.
(13)      To my mind the two great challenges
facing China are the restoration of education in morals and the establishment
of a rule of law. You must begin from the root up, imbuing and infusing moral
lessons and morality into youth, both at home and from kindergarten and primary
school upward through university. Every Chinese needs to accept the principle
of rule of law; then you have to train upright judges and lawyers to uphold the
legal system.
(14)      Wealth should be used for two main
purposes. One: for the generation of greater wealth; in other words, you
continue to invest, creating prosperity and jobs in the country. Two: part of
your wealth should be applied to the betterment of mankind, either by acts of
pure philanthropy or by investment in research and development along the
frontiers of science, space, health care and so forth.
BACA JUGA :  Robert Kuok beli kapal bersalut emas RM13 bilion