Plantation industry leader Boon Weng Siew passes away

  • Plantations
  • Monday, 13 Mar 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Estate Owners’ Association’s (MEOA) immediate past president Datuk Boon Weng Siew, who had helmed the association for 25 years, passed away on Saturday. He was 93.

MEOA said in a statement on Monday that Boon, who was born on a rubber estate and grwew up in various estates, was sent by his father to an English-language boarding school in Seremban to master the English language.

The Japanese invasion cut short his studies. After the interruption of the Second World War and a post-war stint in Singapore working in a trade union, he was back in rubber plantations, working for the late Tun Tan Cheng Lock and later for Tun Tan Siew Sin.

MEOA said that as a manager, Boon developed many improvements including mechanised land clearing, and he went on to be a director of United Malacca Bhd.

From 1984 to 2004, he served on the board of the Rubber Industry Smallholders Association (Risda).

He also became a member of the Johor Planters’ Association (JPA), eventually being elected president, and The United Planting Association of Malaysia (UPAM) (1987-88), also becoming president.

Boon was also a member of the National Economic Consultative Council (1988-1990), a board member of the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (becoming vice-chairman 2003-2013), and of course the Malaysian Estate Owners’ Association (1991-2015). He also served on the Johor Pardons Board, and was involved with the Rotary Club, Hakka Association and Chinese-language education.

Among the awards he received were his Datukship from the Federal Government in 2013, He was honoured with the Lifetime Excellence Award from the Malaysian Palm Oil Council in 2015. Earlier, in 2011, he had been conferred the Fellowship of the Incorporated Society of Planters.

The story of his early years and the achievements of his later years is contained in a biography MEOA commissioned about him, Uncle Boon Remembers, published in 2016.
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