From tenor to Net conductor

  • Business
  • Saturday, 29 Mar 2003

AS chief executive officer of Sebas Sdn Bhd, Ng Kien Lock need not sing for his supper. But if he needed to, he wouldn't have any qualms. He is a trained opera tenor. 

He was exposed to the arts while pursuing his tertiary studies in Canada. “I particularly enjoyed performing arts,” says Ng. “I actually did training in performing arts, in singing. I have always enjoyed singing. I spent four years in training with the choir and with the music faculty while at university, knowing very well that when I come back I can't make money from it.  

“But it was good training, which cost me nothing except time, and it was excellent to be trained by some of the best in the world. It's great to have done that, and I can teach (opera singing) as well.” 

When it was suggested that he could sing with the Kuala Lumpur Philharmonic Orchestra, he said it would have taken too much of his time. “But I can still use some of this for the fun of it, perhaps one of these days to do it for charity. That is probably as far as I would go in doing this kind of work.  

“I hope to do some of this in the near future, working with some people who are interested in charity work. I find it a good balance to not just concentrate on the business entirely. Sometimes we need to look into our society's needs and do what we can.  

Ng, born and bred in Kuala Lumpur and an old boy of Methodist Boys' School along Jalan Davidson, went to Canada because he failed to get into Form Six, and thus a chance to secure a place in a local university. 

“I did my A-levels, then I went to Canada to study. I graduated in computer science from York University in Toronto. Computer science was very little heard of then back in 1985.”  

He counts his years in Canada – “a very cold place” – as his biggest development years. “I learned a lot in Canada. The development in Canada was very unusual, very American-like. You decide your own future, you decide what you want to do.”  

On his return, he worked some four years with Kolej Damansara Utama (KDU), developing the systems, building applications. 

“Eventually I developed curriculum, to teach. One of that is KDU's higher diploma in computer science, that's the thing I enjoyed doing, with the intent of helping people who can't afford to go to university to have a university standard type of training.  

At the end of 1988, he left KDU for IBM Malaysia, starting as a trainee, and leaving as a senior manager in 1999 to form Sebas Sdn Bhd with several partners. 

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