Dato’ Dr. Teh Tai Yong 拿督郑大勇博士
Organizing Chairman & Vice President of PUMM 青创会全国副总会长兼筹委会主席
Mr. Tan Lay Seong 陈礼祥先生
PUMM President 青创会全国总会长
Dato’ Tony Looi 拿督雷智雄
PUMM Immediate Past President 青创会辅导会长
Mr. Ding Hong Sing 陈芳心先生
President of SME Association of Malaysia 马来西亚中小企业公会全国总会长
Dato’ Sri Mike Loh 拿督斯里罗珉錞
President of ASEAN Retail-Chains Franchise Federation (ARFF) 东盟连锁加盟企业协会总会长
Datuk Lum Kim Soong 拿督林金宋
President of The Federation of Malaysia Chinese Commerce Association (FEMACCA) 马来西亚华人行业总会（行总）总会长
Mr. Nelson Liew 廖德豪先生
President of Business Networking Club Malaysia (BNC)
Mr. Leon Lee 李烔良先生
National Chairman of Young Entrepreneur Committee, ACCCIM 中总青商团总团长
Mr. Yong Kuei Yoong杨桂荣先生
President of Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia 马佛青总会长
Mr. Nelson Beh Chuen Hau 马俊豪先生
PUMM Deputy President 青创会全国署理总会长
Ladies and gentlemen,
Selamat tengah hari; 大家中午好
1. Let me extend my heartfelt congratulations to President Mr Tan Lay Seong, and PUMM members on the Grand Opening of PUMM HQ Entrepreneur Home. This is a moment of celebration and greatest accomplishment for all of you.
2. Since its founding 30 years ago, the PUMM has grown from strength to strength to be a leading force in empowering entrepreneurs and driving Malaysia’s economic development.
3. The opening of the HQ marks a new milestone in PUMM’s journey in promoting entrepreneurship development, empowering individuals to thrive and achieve their entrepreneurial aspirations, as well as inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs that have forward thinking and innovative to help growing the economy.
4. In 2022, 74.8% of the Malaysian employers are aged between 35 and 64 years old. This suggests that we need to encourage the young people who are aged between 25 and 40 years old to involve in entrepreneurship.
5. Supported by a conducive entrepreneurial environment, Malaysia’s entrepreneurship is gaining ground. In 2022, Malaysia’s total early-stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA) rate was 7.7%, surpassing Southeast Asia’s 6.2% and developing nations’ 5.7%. This indicates Malaysians’ higher propensity for starting businesses. The entrepreneurial intention rate in Malaysia was 43% in 2022, exceeding Southeast Asia’s 37% and developing countries 33%.
6. I would like to share my thoughts on how to nurture a strong culture of young entrepreneurship and what both the public and private sectors can do to further enhance the ecosystem of entrepreneurial environment.
7. On a personal note, I decided to start a business in 1985 at the age of 25, with limited working experience after coming back from overseas study the previous year. With the necessary preparation, Low Fatt Wood Industries Sdn. Bhd. was set up in 1986. My father was not in favour of me joining the timber industry, but eventually supported me to venture into downstream industry. During 1985, Malaysia was badly hit by the recession, with commodities prices collapsing and timber industry being considered a sunset industry then.
8. The newly set-up company was the first downstream wood industry manufacturer (with products including wood mouldings, indoor and outdoor furniture and decking) in Terengganu, separating from the sawmill factory managed by my father. During the recession years, I had applied for and benefitted from the investment and tax incentives for exporters provided by the Government under the First Industrial Master Plan (IMP1 1986-1995), which focussed on export-led industrialisation strategy.
9. I worked extremely hard in the initial years of company founding. I often worked seven days a week and slept in the factory at night. With much hard work, sincerity, humility and a good team, we managed to win the hearts of many overseas customers. After many years, we have transformed the company into an export oriented and full-fledged integrated wood-based processing and manufacturing organization, despite many challenges throughout the journey.
10. As an entrepreneur, I find the following key factors are crucial:
a) There are still opportunities during economic downturn for entrepreneurs who have the courage and are willing to do detailed studies before venturing into new areas
b) Working hard and having positive mental attitude in times of adversity
11. The entrepreneur journey requires perseverance and strong minded with some abilities and characteristics include curiosity, flexibility, adaptability, persistence, passion, vision, and motivation.
12. You must be a dreamer (but not day dreamer), looking for opportunity and creating a business idea, growing it and managing it successfully. I would like to share a quote by Elon Musk, the co-founder and CEO of Tesla: “The first step is to establish that something is possible; then probability will occur.”
13. There are five important mottos to become a successful entrepreneur: Connecting, Ethics, Energizing, Empowering, and Thriving.
14. We need Government’s financial and non-financial support such as human capital, skills development and mentorship, simplified procedures and regulations, and a supportive ecosystem contribute to Malaysia’s favorable entrepreneurial environment as well as to foster a vibrant business landscape.
15. Entrepreneurs must leverage innovation, technology, and Malaysia’s diverse market opportunities to establish successful ventures in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), creative industries, business services, food and beverage, healthcare, and tourism. With the adoption of smart technology in the agriculture sector, it will spur the development of agro-preneurs.
16. Digital age entrepreneurs have significantly brought forth novel ideas and products to the market, transforming the age-old physical market into a digital marketplace through ecommerce platforms.
17. The future is exciting for young entrepreneurs and at the forefront of this digital age, armed with a diverse skill set that cut across both technology and business development.
18. Foster strong business networking is a prerequisite for building entrepreneurial capability. Hence, working closely with the chambers or trade associations open up opportunities for broader networks, sharing resources, exchanging knowledge, and a sharing of common interests. In this regard, there is immense potential to foster strong working relationships with ACCCIM and our Young Entrepreneurs Committee.
19. Finally, a successful organization must have dedicated leadership and members at its helm. It is through our passion and drive as well as the undivided support of the members, an organization can function effectively to contribute in the nation’s building and foster Malaysia’s entrepreneurial landscape.
20. I believe that PUMM will continue to play a leading role in inspiring the young entrepreneurs and become business leaders of today and tomorrow. Together, we can shape a brighter future for Malaysia and also for our community.