C H Williams founder passes away

Colin Harold William who established property consultancy C H Williams & Co, Chartered Surveyors, Valuers and Estate Agents in Kuala Lumpur passed away in Berkshire, Britain on March 5. He was 92.

KUALA LUMPUR: Colin Harold William who established property consultancy C H Williams & Co, Chartered Surveyors, Valuers and Estate Agents in Kuala Lumpur passed away in Berkshire, Britain on March 5. He was 92.

The company he set up went through a series of name changes but the name Williams has remained over the years. It is now known as CBRE|WTW.

Williams established C H Williams & Co in 1960, after having set up a similar practice in Singapore in 1958, a statement from CBRE|WTW said.

CBRE|WTW chairman Mohd Talhar Abdul Rahman, who worked with Williams, said: “We feel deeply for his passing and for the loss of a great person.”

“He will be remembered for his generous philosophy of putting people first working tirelessly in safeguarding and championing the employees’ interest.

“His initiative in affording fully sponsored training courses to staff to further their career and personal development will always be remembered by those who have benefited from the initiative, many of whom are now successful registered valuers,” said Mohd Talhar, 78, CBRE|WTW present chairman based in Johor Baru.

CBRE|WTW Managing director Foo Gee Jen said: “Williams determinedly set the professional standard of practice for the property services in private practice and paved the way for the future generation of practitioners to follow.”

The Briton subsequently founded the WTW group of companies of C H Williams Talhar & Wong Sdn Bhd in Peninsula Malaysia, in 1974, and in East Malaysia, C H Williams Talhar Wong and Yeo in 1975, and C H Williams Talhar & Wong (Sabah) Sdn Bhd, in 1977. 

Williams obviously had a great love for Asia and wanted to raise the bar for property valuation in the region and the different branches of real estate practice.

Before founding WTW, he also established C H Williams & Co offices in Hong Kong and Jakarta, Indonesia, thus introducing professional valuation and real estate agency and property management and property consultancy to the region. 

These practices continue to flourish under the CBRE and CBRE|WTW banner and bear testimony to his vision and foresight, said Foo.

Former director-general of the Valuation & Property Services department (JPPH) Datuk Mani Usilappan said: “It would take a brave heart to set up a practice as a valuer in the 1960s without the advantages of technology and the difficulties in procuring the necessary data to perform valuations. 

“Two names pop up in Peninsular Malaysia Colin Williams, and in Singapore John Carter. 

“They were the pioneers. We owe them much. May Colin rest in peace. Thank you for charting the untrodden seas,” said Mani. 

Another former director-general of the Valuation & Property Services Department Datuk Faizan Abdul Rahman said: “The man may have passed but he will always be remembered as being a pioneer of the Malaysian valuation profession and its history,” said Faizan, who is also the former president of the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVEAP).

Lim Lian Hong, director at Raine Horne Zaki & Partner said Williams is a household name among practitioners and non-practitioners.

“It was the first company I joined as a valuation assistant. It offered the benefits of education besides working and we were sponsored to take the college examinations of estate management, and those at the Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

“I am always grateful for Williams’ thought and concern about nurturing the younger generation,” Lim said.

VPC Alliance managing director James Wong said:

“The late Colin Williams was my former boss. He was a fine gentleman who was also the President of the KL Food & Wine Society. 

“He was a very fair boss and a pioneer of the valuation profession in Malaysia,” said Wong.

President of the Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (RISM) president Azmi Mohd Zin said  Colin’s involvement as one of the pioneers to establish property surveying will cherished and remembered.

John S C Loh, a former staff and partner at C H Williams and at WTW said Colin’s genuine love for serving the community can be demonstrated when Williams persuaded other partners to give Loh a year off in 1981/1982 with full benefits so that Loh could dedicate his time and attention to serve the Lions Clubs in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

Upon his retirement in 1981, Williams remained actively engaged and continued to inspire those who he had trained and who had the privilege of working alongside him. 

His name and reputation for quality continues to inspire those in the company who did not have the opportunity to work closely with him or those who may not know him in person, said Foo.


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