Tan Sri Datuk Tiong Su Kouk, the President of the Malaysian S. K. TIONG Group of Companies, the Chairman of CCK Consolidated Holdings Berhad and the Executive Chairman of Nam Cheong Limited was bestowed the Panglima Setia Mahkota (PSM) which carries the title ‘Tan Sri’ by Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong XIV on His Majesty’s 88th Birthday on 4 June 2016. The Award is in recognition of Datuk Tiong’s contribution as a leader of diverse and multi-business ventures, his contribution to national economic development and to the society and country. He was conferred the Pingat Bintang Sarawak (PBS) by the Sarawak Governor in 1987, the Johan Setia Mahkota (JSM) in 2000 and the Panglima Jasa Negara (PJN) in 2001 by His Majesty, Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.
Tan Sri Tiong is an ingenious entrepreneur, full of ambitions and international outlook in his business visions. Sixty years ago, with just RM3.40, he began his career as a fishmonger. He was motivated by the Chinese saying ‘to rise to higher level’ that had become his guidance to aim for higher goals and achieve milestones in his business ventures, inspiring him in his business ambitions in creating a business empire well respected both locally and internationally. His businesses ranged from fish and prawn cold storage to aquatic products processing, tiger prawn and organic tiger prawn farming, aquaculture, poultry, shipbuilding, ship leasing, property development, establishing dressed chicken markets and distributorship in food and beverages.
Tan Sri Tiong started the first cold storage company, the Sarawak Coldstorage Company and subsequently incorporated Central Coldstorage Sarawak Sdn. Bhd. and the first aqua products cold storage and processing factory Kuok Sui Sea Products Industries (S) Sdn Bhd. The chain market stores under the flagship of CCK Fresh Mart which specialised in selling poultry products and frozen foods can be found in several cities and towns in Sarawak like Sibu, Kuching and Miri, Sabah and West Malaysia, as well as Jakarta and Pontianak in Indonesia and has a sausage manufacturing factory. CCK Fresh Mart also supply HALAL products and has since established themselves as a major player in coldstorage and frozen food products market in Malaysia.
Under Tan Sri Tiong’s leadership, the business diversified into the shipbuilding industry taking Nam Cheong into the global shipbuilding arena. Tan Sri Tiong partnered with shipbuilders from China to construct high tech offshore support vessels. Nam Cheong’s partners and customers are from all corners of the world. Nam Cheong won the ‘National Shipping Industry Excellence Award’ awarded by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE). The company also gained entry into the record of the “Malaysia Top Corporate Directory”, an extraordinary and excellent achievement and accomplishment.
Tan Sri Tiong also invested in property development with projects in major cities and towns in Sarawak including Sibu, Kuching and Bintulu as well as Sabah and West Malaysia. His development company participated in the SILC special economic zone in Johor implemented by the Malaysian Government and developed the modernised “SK1 Commercial Centre” at SILC.
Tan Sri Tiong’s cold storage business was listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia as CCK Consolidated Holdings Berhad and Nam Cheong was listed on the main board of the Singapore Stock Exchange as Nam Cheong Limited.
Tan Sri Tiong also contributes to the community, education and charities. He served as the President of the Sibu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the President of the Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Sarawak and the Deputy President of the Federation of Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Malaysia. He was also nominated by the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as a member of the second National Economic Consultative Council (Majlis Perundingan Ekonomi Negara). Tan Sri Tiong also served as Chairman of the Sibu Foochow Association, President of the Federation of Foochow Association of Sarawak, President of the Federation of Foochow Association of Malaysia, and President of The World Federation of Fuzhou Association. 2005 was a particularly significant year as Tan Sri Tiong was the President of all 4 levels of Foochow Association Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia and World Foochow Association simultaneously. Heading all four associations allowed him to integrate and consolidate the unity and strength of the Foochow clan in the world.
Tan Sri Tiong also served as President of the Persatuan Klan Zhang Negeri Sarawak, President of the Federation of Zhang Clan Association Malaysia, Honorary Treasurer & Charter Member of the World Zhang Clan Association, Treasurer of the United Chinese Association Sibu Division Sarawak, the Honorary Life Chairman of Sibu Central Market Hawkers’ Association, the Honorary Life President of Persatuan Penjaja Bersatu Bahagian Sibu & Daerah Meradong Sarawak, the Honorary Life Chairman of The Kuching Fish Dealers Association and was conferred the ‘Role Model of Fish Industry’, the Honorary Life President of the Federation of Sarawak Hawkers’ Associations, Advisor of the Sarawak Fishery Vessels Association, Honorary Life Advisor of Gabungan Persatuan Penjaja & Perniaga Kecil Malaysia and was conferred the ‘Father of Hawkers’.
Tan Sri Tiong is passionate about education. He is presently the Board Chairman of Sekolah Rendah Methodist Sibu, the Board Director of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Methodist Sibu, the Deputy Board Chairman of SJK Thai Kwang Sibu and had been Board Chairman of SJK (Cina) Nan Kiang Sibu, SJK (Cina) Uk Daik Sibu and Ling Mee Ing Kindegarten, the Honorary Advisor of Wong Nai Siong Secondary School, Honorary Board Chairman and Board Director of many other schools.
Tan Sri Tiong’s philanthropy and generosity are not limited to his birth place Malaysia but extended to his ancestral land, MinQing in China. He donated and contributed to enrich education in China by establishing the Tiong Kung Chuan Kindergarten at Bai Ding Village, donated to the construction and expansion of the Education Building at Bai Zhong Secondary School in Bai Zhong town and set up the Datuk Tiong Su Kouk & Datin Wong Bak Hee Student’s Scholarship and contributed to the Needy Education Fund to help students from poor families.
Tan Sri Tiong also established a tertiary education fund under the joint name with his wife; the Datuk Tiong Su Kouk and Datin Wong Bak Hee Tertiary Education Fund under the Sibu Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Within Datuk Tiong’s group of companies, he set up the Employees’ Children Education Scholarship and Employees’ Children University Scholarship. Tan Sri Tiong also established the Project for Love Education Subsidy Fund, donated to the education loan fund of the Sibu Foochow Association, set up the Foochow Association Tiong Kung Chuan Members’ Children Subsidy and set up the Tiong Su Kouk Fund to help poor students.
This year also marks the fifth year of the Love Fostering Programme Grant which was established by Tan Sri Tiong during his tenure as the President of Sibu Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry under the Chamber’s subsidiary Hua Shang Economic Corporation (Sibu) Berhad.Tan Sri Tiong also established the Tiong Su Kouk’s Fund for churches and made contributions to Christian ministries through the Tiong Kung Chuan Ting Chuo Kiew Methodist Theological Education Fund named after his parents.
Tan Sri Tiong Su Kouk and his wife Puan Sri Datin Wong Bak Hee have three sons, John Tiong Chiong Hiiung, Mike Tiong Chiong Hing and Joseph Tiong Chiong Soon, and a daughter Amy Tiong Eng Ming. Tan Sri Tiong has his own definition of “the world is an oyster” which is engraved on plagues in the Sibu CCK office in Sibu, Sarawak:
“The leaders of the enterprises should not stand by the side of the river; they should stand by the side of the ocean instead. Only then they will have an ambitious aspiration. Only the world is the entire aspect, enterprises have to develop externally; youngsters must have international perception and thought, only then the enterprises will expand.”
He sees the market of 6,000 million people in the world as his market. To continue the analogy of the ocean, he also believes that “a person who runs an enterprise has to have a heart which is wide and deep like the ocean, and have to remember from time to time that they have to benefit people and themselves at the same time.”