Hunza Group founder’s business philosophy earns him lifetime achievement award

Teng Tong (holding trophy) posing with his family members after the celebratory dinner marking his Lifetime Achievement Award received at the World Chinese Economic Summit 2017 at the St Jo’s chapel hall of Gurney Paragon Mall in Penang.

RATHER than do things big, one should strive to do things best, says Hunza Group founder cum executive advisor Datuk Seri Khor Teng Tong.

That mindset, the Perakian turned Penangite believes has been pivotal to all the success he and the company had achieved over the years.

Teng Tong said this at a celebratory dinner marking his winning of the World Chinese Lifetime Achievement Award (Category of Properties Development).

Held recently at the chapel of the St Jo’s building in Gurney Paragon Mall, Penang, it was attended by his closest business partners, friends and family, as well as society leaders.

“A big thank you goes to every member of Hunza Group, past and present, from directors to staff, whose support made this achievement possible.

“I feel deeply honoured,” Teng Tong said of the accolade, which he received at the 9th World Chinese Economic Summit 2017 held in Hong Kong in November.

It put him among distinguished company, as past recipients included Hong Kong’s Shui On Group chairman Vincent Lo and China’s Alibaba Group chairman Jack Ma.

Teng Tong (second right) presenting a memento to Chow during the function. With them are State Speaker Datuk Law Choo Kiang (left) and state Works Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng.
Teng Tong (second right) presenting a memento to Chow during the function. With them are State Speaker Datuk Law Choo Kiang (left) and state Works Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng.

Also honoured last year was Hong Kong’s former chief executive, Leung Chun-Ying. The award recognises individuals with outstanding contributions to the region.

Teng Tong, also named FIABCI Malaysia’s ‘Property Man’ in 2014, had humble beginnings growing up in a fishing village in Kuala Kurau, Perak.

He started a fish trading company at 16, and through good business acumen and hard work, grew it into a major processor and exporter of frozen seafood. It provided approximately 3,000 job opportunities in Perak’s Kerian district.

Wanting to diversify, he ventured into Penang’s property industry and set up Hunza in the mid 1990s. To date, the company has constructed over 10,000 residential and commercial properties, and has net assets of around RM770mil in value.

“Among the things in my career that I look back proudly on was providing job opportunities for villagers in my hometown in the early days.

“And in Penang later, the relocation and resettlement of poor and needy squatters, which helped them realise their dreams of owning a home,” said Teng Tong, who while officially retired, still lends his wisdom on matters.

He also takes pride in establishing the right corporate culture in Hunza, emphasising values like reliability, integrity, greatness, human development and teamwork. All its current top management, were promoted from within the company.

“You have to believe in new leadership, and have the confidence that they will steer the company forward to even greater heights,” the 75-year-old added.

A performer serenading the guests at the celebratory dinner.
A performer serenading the guests at the celebratory dinner.

Among those at the helm of Hunza now is group managing director Datuk Khor Siang Gin and executive director Khor Tze Ming, who both addressed the crowd.

“Most who know my father will know that he is a man with clear vision and strong perseverance, whose entrepreneurial leadership and passion has brought the company to where it is today.

“The journey has not been easy, but he faced and overcame every challenges with courage and sheer determination. He is both a mentor and role model for us at Hunza,” Tze Ming said.

Siang Gin highlighted: “The award is a remarkable achievement that honours his immense dedication and contribution to the region. For Hunza, it underscores the promises of our company to customers and business associates.”

He added that the company is looking forward to its Penang International Commercial City (PICC) integrated mega project in Bayan Baru, which will have its groundbreaking in November.

Comprising condominiums, hotels, a hospital, a shopping mall and offices, it is set to create some 20,000 job opportunities as well as become a landmark for the northern region.

State Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow described Teng Tong’s award as a ‘great achievement’.

“It puts him together with many eminent leaders of the Chinese economic world, and is something Penangites can be proud of.

“He has contributed to the development of the state for many decades, but it’s definitely not the end as the group embarks on more projects that will put us on the world map,” Chow added.

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