THE Year of the Rooster is coming to a close in five days’ time, paving the way for The Year of the Dog.
Many industry leaders are of the view that the business conditions and the economy in the Rooster year were generally sluggish and are looking forward to the start of a better new year.
Chinese horoscope points out that people born in the Year of the Dog have some of the best traits of human nature – loyalty and honesty. Generally, they are said to care little for wealth but they are somehow always endowed with riches.
StarBiz will run a two-part series to feature industry leaders and analysts on their take for the Year of the Dog. In the first part, YEOW POOI LING and SUSAN TAM speak to several CEOs to find out what they expect from 2006 for themselves and the industry that they are in.
LEE KAH KENG
Group Managing Director
Minetech Resources Bhd
I WAS born in the Year of the Tiger and I feel that I will have a prosperous year ahead.
According to feng shui beliefs, the Tiger and the Dog are the best of friends. Hence, I believe that 2006 cannot be that bad for me.
Although I am not a strong follower of feng shui, I do see the logic behind it.
Take for example, seating positions. If I could arrange my furniture to enable me to sit in the best possible position, I do not see why I should not heed the advice.
I expect the second half of the Year of the Dog to be better, improving from a slow 2005. I do not foresee any mega projects from the Ninth Malaysia Plan, as more projects are expected to be given to the smaller and mid-sized companies. If that is the case, Minetech should benefit from this allocation.
DATUK HWANG THEAN LONG
Group Managing Director
THE year of the dog should be a good one, especially in the retail business. Chinese Penangites tend to favour the year of the dog.
Compared year-on-year, this new lunar year should look alright. I’m not overly particular when it comes to Chinese horoscope years.
DATUK LIM WEE CHAI
Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
WELL, I was born in the Year of the Dog, hence I hope “this dog” will have good stamina and be able to run faster. It’s important to keep myself fit and in good shape.
Of course, I also wish that the economy would grow stronger.
Business gets tougher every year but at Top Glove, we will work very hard to innovate and face competition in the year ahead. We will prepare ourselves and grow the business.
Tanjung Offshore Bhd
THE outlook for us this year is good; it’s just a matter of timing. We have bid for a few more jobs and look forward to securing some of these contracts.
There are new discoveries and gas fields, so there is a lot of potential in the market. Hopefully, with everything in place, we will be able to achieve our goals.
LEE SWEE ENG
FROM the business point of view, I see this year to be a very good one, as demand for oil and gas is increasing. We are well positioned to take advantage of the stronger demand.
As you know, the group has acquired two companies, each in Australia and Italy, and they are expected to boost our capacity. We are, therefore, confident that with the additional output, we will have ample capacity to cater to the growing demand in the industry.
I was born in the Year of the Goat and hopefully, it will be good for me in the Year of the Dog.
DONALD M. CONDON JR
Titan Chemicals Corp Bhd
I STILL have a lot to learn about the lunar horoscope.
What I have absorbed during the last three years living here leaves me far from being an expert.
However, I feel pretty good about the coming year of the dog - my father and my son are both Water Dogs who have taught me, an Earth Ox, quite a bit.
They are both more likely than I to take views other than their own into consideration when making key decisions, and have enduring, likable personalities that provide strong and lasting relationships.
From what I understand from the experts, this may be sort of a “mixed year” for me personally, but I think it will be a very good year for Asian economies, including Malaysia.
It should also be a very good year for the company's business.
As disposable income increases in Asia, plastics will continue to replace wood, glass, metal and paper, and our standard of living will improve as a result.
We see good things ahead – the earnings records set in each of the last two years should be surpassed.
P. K. POH
Group Managing Director
Dijaya Corp Bhd
THERE are various predictions from soothsayers, feng shui masters and financial analysts on what the year portends for the economy and the property market.
For businessmen and developers, it is perhaps more productive to look at some of the more noble characteristics of the dog. Take loyalty, for example.
There is nothing better than creating a respected brand and having loyal purchasers who will continue to invest in your upcoming properties through good and bad times. That has been our happy experience at Dijaya.
Another trait of man's best friend is that it is always vigilant and listens to its master. Applying that to the property market, we see that when we are alert to our customers' changing tastes and create products that suit their needs, projects will become winners.
Developers who are able to “sniff out” competition and initiate new trends will always be one step ahead. In 1991, when we created gated communities in Tropicana and Damansara Indah and built niche upmarket properties in Petaling Jaya, there was very little competition and it was great - for a while!
But soon, every other developer in the neighbourhood was getting into the act. Today the trend has spread from Petaling Jaya to Sri Hartamas, Johor and Penang.
For 2006 or any other year, increased competition will compel companies to continue to innovate and re-invent themselves to stay ahead. This is true, even for the seasoned and branded players. Yes, old dogs still need to learn new tricks!
HAFIZ SYED ABU BAKAR
Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd
I EXPECT this year to be a very good year, especially for me.
I was born in the Year of the Dog.
The country is expected to record a modest growth and this should bode well for Perodua.
To take control of the high inflationary rate, the Government has started to increase interest rates.
Consumers would have to tighten their belt.
The Perodua car will come in handy, as it is economical and requires less maintenance.
I really look forward to the New Year.
DATUK L. MEYYAPPAN
Chief Executive Officer
MCIS Zurich Insurance Bhd
AFTER a highly rewarding career with MCIS, which I joined in 1961, the Year of Dog is the year when I will retire from service as CEO of the company.
From February onwards, I will be able to spend more quality time with the family, polish up on my golf, and enjoy holidays in Malaysia and overseas.
I spent an unforgettable 45 years with MCIS and MCIS Zurich. Although I retire next month, it is my wish to still remain relevant to the insurance industry.
I don't feel old at 63 and looking at my role model, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his active life style, I feel that I am still young at only 63!
I have accepted the invitation by the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia to be the organising chairman for the Pacific Insurance Conference 2007.
I believe the insurance industry will continue to grow in a healthy manner but the challenge is not just in managing the growth or the business operations.
The challenge is to meet the expectations of the insurance regulators and comply with an increasing number of rules and guidelines.
PUAN CHAN CHEONG
Chief Executive Officer
THOSE born in the Year of the Monkey are expected to fare well in the Year of the Rat or Dragon, but I am happy to note that they will also have good fortune this year.
I also believe it will be a good year for business, as market sentiment indicates a positive year for the information technology (IT) industry.
With a rise in global consumption in IT and communications, technology companies are expected to reap good returns this year.
The United States is expected to lead the demand in IT-related products, which augurs well for Green Packet.
Some companies in the US have not upgraded their IT and communication facilities for some time.
This will be a good opportunity for Green Packet.
Closer to home, the strong push for broadband penetration by the Government will also have a spin off effect for technology companies or those listed on Mesdaq.
The Year of the Rooster was not so good for the Mesdaq market, so we expect this year to be better for all.
GOOI SEONG LIM
THIS lunar year should bring more wealth and prosperity to the business and industry.
I feel the year should be good and will rebound after a sluggish 2005.
The company’s property business is expected to reap the fruits of its labour this year, as Singapore's economy is doing well. Kim Loong’s properties in Johor should benefit from Singapore's prosperity.
I was born in the Year of the Rat. Although I do not know how the Year of the Dog will affect me, I believe every year should be a good year for me.
DATUK LIM HOCK SAN
MY birthday is in January in the Year of the Rooster, so I just missed being born in the Year of the Dog. However, this does not mean the year will not be a good one for me.
I view 2006 positively for the company and industry. Last year saw the construction sector registering negative growth. The situation should improve this year with the Ninth Malaysia Plan and other initiatives introduced by the Government. This includes efforts to promote tourism to draw in more revenue.
I do not really see how the Year of the Dog is related to how well the industry will do for 2006, but it should be a good year as we had experienced a slowdown last year.
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