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Monday, April 28, 2008

At 68, CEO is full of vitality and novel ideas

BILL Ch'ng is an indefatigable person who, at 68, still bristles with ideas and is ever ready to turn his vision into reality.

He showed his mettle when he patiently sat through nearly four hours of consecutive one-to-one interviews with four reporters at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Singapore recently.

“It's a challenge. It is also very good for the country as well as Singapore to have such a collaborative arrangement,” he said when asked the reason for taking on so much at his age, especially in developing the Asia-Pacific Trade & Expo City (APTEC).

“The success of Iskandar Malaysia will also benefit Singapore. If there is political will, APTEC can be built in three years,” he said, adding that APTEC was not just a property development project but also a socio-economic endeavour.

Besides helping importers to source for goods from countries like China, MPC could also get Chinese manufacturers to bring in their semi-finished products to Malaysia. “If we cannot beat China, we can join them. We can always get them to finish their products here. We can then package the products, and as long as 40% of the contents are from Malaysia, we can stamp them as made in Malaysia,” he said.

Ch'ng is no stranger to the complex business of distribution trade as he helped to turn around an emporium in Singapore when it went bust in 1983. “Nobody dared to buy it, but I bought it and turned it around. I later sold it,” he recalled.

He has won two architectural awards in Malaysia and Singapore when he was an architect prior to his corporate work overseas, particularly his pioneering advisory and investment promotion work in China that began in 1984.

Ch'ng, who has three daughters and a son, was also named one of the “50 Asia's Top Corporate CEOs” by Business Weekly International magazine in 1989. He accepted the position of MPC chief executive officer as a “challenge” to nurse MPC into profitability and growth. His plan is to groom a dedicated hardworking team to take over the rein.

MPC was known as Malaysia Pacific Land Bhd when it was first listed in 1997. It assumed its current name on Jan 11, 2005.

Its core business is investment and property development.

MPC plans to venture into other lucrative businesses such as mining and plantation to generate new sources of revenue. Ch'ng's goal is to turn MPC into a conglomerate and make Lakehill Resort City a brand name and a tourist and investment destination.

By The Star

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