Some essays, some thoughts

The Making of 3 Decades of Progress

Soon after Yung Kong Holdings (YKH) started operation on the second of October 1989, we took the initiative of writing a little book on Yung Kong Group, to commemorate our 30th anniversary in 1990. It was launched during the Annual General Meeting on the 10th of June.

With only two people who had no experience in writing any book before, it seemed an insurmountable task for YKH to undertake the project. We were not asked or told to produce a book on Yung Kong Group, why then did we? The answer lied in our belief. We at YKH believed in doing things that have meaning and value. To publish a book on our own history would be a meaningful and valuable exercise, so we did it.

One of the first decisions we had to make was the title of the book. Since it was to commemorate our 30th anniversary, our choice of YUNG KONG GROUP Three Decades Of Progress was natural. And since we were giving our shareholder gold pendant with YK logo engraved on it, we thought an impression of the pendant for the cover of the book would make a lasting remembrance. As for our logo, we added 3 lines to the left to remind us of our 3 decades of history. The book is green in colour, somebody asked why green? We chose green to signify growth, the growth of our Yung tree (symbol of Foochow People), from the YK logo at the centre of the pendant shines forth rays of light signifying Kong (meaning brightness) and the golden reputation of Yung Kong. The choice of colours thus contained the hidden meaning of the Bright Yung Tree. As for the back cover, we thought a chart showing the names of various companies grouped under different activities would be an easy reference for ourselves as well as the readers.

We were not sure how people write a book, but we thought the best way was to start at the contents, so we did. There were many ideas running through our minds, eventually we decided it should content three main sections. The first documented a brief history of the group, the second on the diversified activities and the final section on the people at Yung Kong -- the YungKong People, we coined. As we were unfamiliar with the early history of the group, plus there wasnt much reference materials, we had to interview many people and check many files to get the facts and figures correct. Information were collected from all the companies regarding their history and activities. Fortunately everyone was very enthusiastic about it, so we got all the information needed within a short time frame.

From humble beginnings thirty years ago, Yung Kong has grown to become a major family concern in Sarawak. A sketch on the brief history of the group was presented, it was divided into first, second and third decade. From a small company selling plates, bowls and hardware in 1960, Yung Kong Company has grown and expanded to a group of companies with business activities involving investment holdings, general trading, finance, insurance, steel industries, galvanising and hotel business. Most of our companies and factories were incorporated and located in Kuching, some of them were acquired, some located in West Malaysia. To meet the necessity of growth, Yung Kong Companys status changed from an unlimited company to a private limited company, and from a private company to a public company. By 1990, the group owns three public companies and more than 10 private companies. We are now in the new era, the time has come for Yung Kong to move forward into new frontiers and visions.

The middle section of the book emphasized on the diversity of our activities which supplement and complement each other. Mission statement and Organisation Chart were drawn to give ourselves a clearer picture of what we were and where we were heading. We endeavored to write a short description of what we do in every companies, adorned with a lot of photographs and pictures to make up for short comings in our writing skills.

We believe that one of the main assets we have are our people, hence we included a small section on YungKong People, listed the names of people working 10 years and longer. This list added value and pride to those mentioned and set a hope for others. We printed a 20-year graph on the turnover of Yung Kong Company from 1970 to 1989 to show our growth trend. As the absolute numbers were not impressively large, we displayed it as an index. The scale of 100 is roughly equivalent to RM5 millions.

Finally it was time to put our effort into print. We encountered some problems with our printer though. It was rather frustrating to read through the same draft from the printer over and over again, every time with new spelling errors which were perfected previously. At this rate, we would never be finished vetting the drafts, let along printing the book in time for the launch at the Annual General Meeting. Nevertheless, the manager had his way of getting things done and the deadline was met.

So what are new or hidden in the book? Well, the dialogue with the founder Dr. Hii Yii Ngiik was a new attempt and format, the pages on the Corporate Information, Mile Stones and Corporate Organisation were also new. The network of Companies with addresses and contacts were new and handy references. The Corporate Missions were not new but it was the first time that was put in writing. And what are hidden in the book? The cover has a hidden meaning; and there were many twins hidden in the books look carefully at the pictures of the directors, the graphs, the brands, the building model and the car plates. We believe the book also serves as a puzzle which would provide hours of searching fun!

What are the rewards for writing and publishing the book? The feeling of seeing the book in prints was great, finally the fruit of our labour, a combined effort of all. For those more involved, the satisfaction level is needless to say higher. As for YKH, we take pride to have initiated the idea. And for me? My greatest comfort was a comment from a Kiwi University mate who visited me with his family during Chinese New Year 1991, he told me, I couldnt find a single spelling mistake in the book!. Thus our painstaking job of pouring through the endless drafts had paid off.

To conclude, it is our belief in doing things that have value and meaning that drives us on. In whatever we do, we seek value and meaning. This is one of our fundamental philosophies in doing business, in the way we treat our people and in our very own lives.

- Ir Michael Hii, 1996


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