Past Events

Food Tech Seminar 2019

Asianmac is organising the above training course jointly with SHRDF. This is specifically for food manufacturers interested in Food Preservation technology adopted by Taiwan . It includes quick freeze technology for fruits, meat and fish with the technology that minimises the sizes of water crystallization in the meat or fruit ensuring less deterioration and damage when thawing.

The course in conducted in Mandarin by Taiwanese experts and is HRDF claimable.

Interested members please contact and register direct or click HERE.


ERA Ong Eng Long Photo

Slightly more than 25 years ago, the ERA founding Chairman, Dato’ Mohamad Sopiee and his committee had a vision: to create ERA as a platform for senior citizens of Malaysia who are willing to provide mentoring services to whoever wanting them. It is their foresight and dedication that has inspired so many of us to follow their footsteps. The untiring commitment of Tan Sri Dato’ Soong, the founding Honorary Secretary, is the shining example.

Many have followed the call of Tan Sri Dato’ Soong and become members of ERA. They are successful entrepreneurs, CEOs of multinationals and local companies, consultants, professionals, senior government officers etc. Many have retired but some are still actively pursuing their careers. They join ERA with a common objective: to share their expertise and experiences with those in need of assistance, especially those from the SMEs.

During the time of 1991-2001 when Tan Sri Dato’ Soong was the President, ERA enjoyed the utmost admiration from both local and overseas circles. When I took over the baton from Tan Sri Soong in 2002, I thought it would be easy to continue his legacy. Little did I realize that what seems an elementary task turns out to be a momentous one. Lacking the entrepreneurial, managerial, administrative and interpersonal skills and experience of Tan Sri Dato’ Soong, I found the going tough and I fear I may become the inhibiting factor that retards the growth of ERA.

Over the last ten years when I held the helm as President of ERA, there was lacking realization of the noble objectives of ERA. I felt that I lacked the ability to drive the organisation. The strength and greatness of Tan Sri Dato’ Soong was difficult to match, though I had put in my best. Having realised my weakness, I’d voiced my intention to step down as President in the last two elections. Your patience and kindness have given me courage to stay on.

Nevertheless, I am encouraged and extremely proud of the team who has performed extremely well. Team mebers have never failed to come forward to give their support and cooperation. With their untiring commitment and hard work, we have organized successfully two dinner functions to celebrate the 20th and 25th anniversary of ERA. Thanks to them, ERA now has a relatively comfortable cushion in the bank account. Through their efforts, ERA did spread its wings to the shores of Myanmar, Cambodia, Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya. They have done tremendously well to keep members connected through emails, blogs, newsletters etc.

It has been my privilege to serve as the President of ERA for the last ten years. For me, it has been a wonderful and rewarding as well as a morale-boosting experience. I have the lovely memories of making new friends and sharing the wonderful times together and my humble realization of my limitations. Appreciatingly, I thank all of you for having given me this opportunity.

I am writing this column for the last time as the President of ERA. I shall not be seeking re-election when my term ends on 30th June 2012. I am most grateful to all the committee members who have been with me during the last ten years, especially our extraordinary IPP and Advisor, Tan Sri Dato’ Soong, the Vice President Dato’ Wong Pui Lam, the Honourary Secretary Mr. Soo Cheong Futt and the Honourary Treasurer Mr. Tai Chin Peow.

To the new President of ERA and the new committee, I wish you every success. Obviously, there is much work that remains to be done. I would like to suggest that you consider the following two items, which I have included in my list of “things to do”. Firstly, make full use of the MoUs that we have signed with other organizations. Collaborate with Technological Association of Malaysia (TAM), the Malaysian Association of Creativity & Innovation (MACRI), Myanmar Industries Association (MIA), Nigerian Chambers of Commerce and the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ACCCIM) to fulfil our goals. Secondly, identify ERA with the Ministry of Human Resources so that we can bring benefits to our members.

Thank you for the opportunity for me to serve the association that deserves to grow and prosper. I strongly believe that under the new leadership, ERA will grow and prosper.


Dato Dr Ong Eng Long

2018 ERA AGM on 9th June 2018

2018 ERA AGM on 9th June 2018

The ERA 2018 27th AGM was held on 9th June 2018 at the Damansara Jaya Resiednts & Owners Association (DJROA). A total of 51 members attended the AGM.

Before the AGM began, Mr. Francis Tan, an ERA member gave a one hour talk on `How to be harmony in yourself’ and `How to overcome depression’.

The outgoing President, Datin Paduka Yong Dai Ying called the meeting to order at 1.10pm and welcomed all present, in particular the ERA Advisor, Tan Sri Dato’ Soong Siew Hoong and Immediate Past President, Dato’ Dr. Ong Eng Long.

Mr. Soo Cheong Futt was the Election Chairman. The new office bearers elected for 2018-2021 trem are as follows :




•        President Mr. Lye Fook Keong (Roger)
•        Vice President Mr. Wong Lian Kee
•        Honorary Secretary Dr. Mooi Wah Kian
•        Honorary Assistant Secretary Ms Foo Seau An (June)
•        Honorary Treasurer Ms Toh Bee Ling
•        Honorary Assistant Treasurer Ms Chew Geok Neo (Pansy)
Committee Members 1. Mr. Cheong Soon Hock (Allen)
2. Mr. Tan Kim Hai
3. Mr. Lee Hock Chye
4. Mr. Yale Wong Yah Loo
5. Mr. Ariffin Buranudeen
6. Mr. Prame Kumar Nair
7. Mr. Tan Yoke Chun (Francis)
Honorary Auditors Mr. Ong Song Howe

Mr. Tan Teik Ching


The existing eight (8) Sub-Committees are maintained and are headed by the new Sub-Committe Heads as below :-

  1. Training, Advisory Consulting (TAC). Leader – Mr Lee Hock Chye
  2. Biomass Business Focus Group. Leader -Mr Tan Kim Hai
  3. Food & Beverages. Leader – Mr. Lam Ah.Chye
  4. Urban Roof-top & Vertical Farming. Leader – Mr Yale Wong
  5. Leisure, Health & Nature. Leader – Mr. Allen Cheong
  6. Factory & Institutional Visit. Leader – Mr Andy Oh
  7. Investment & Business Promotion (IBPC). Leader – Tan Sri Dato’ Soong
  8. Senior Magazine. Leader – Mr Cheah Tuck Wing

As provided under the ERA Constitution, an Advisory Panel was set-up and the following as Advisors are appointed ;-:

  1. Tan Sri Dato’ Soong Siew Hoong
  2. Dato’ Dr Ong Eng Long

The President thanked all the members, in particular Tan Sri Dato’ Soong and Mr Ng Koon Kow for their active involvement in making the AGM a success.

The new President Mr. Roger Lye adjourned the AGM at 2.30pm.

Visit To Sweetco Industrial Sdn Bhd

On 16th October, 2015,  ERA had the honor of visiting Sweetco Industrial, a manufacturer of PE tarpaulin, PE pipes and packaging products.  ERA team was led by Tan Sri Datuk Soong and Datin Paduka Yong.   Specially thanks to our organizing chairman and fellow member, Mr. Andy Oh.


Accountants: Creative Business Leaders?

Accountants need to unlock their creativity and apply creative leadership to drive innovation, improve organisational performance and enhance profits.

Mention accountants and creativity in the same breath and most of the time, you’ll get puzzled looks. Yet no business innovation is possible without the participation of accountants.

Accountants Are Everywhere

Accountants are SMEs’ best friends. No sizeable business can exist without accountants. Based on my own personal interactions, I have found that accountants form the highest percentage of professionals in the upper echelons of the business hierarchy.

But accountants have to up their game to advance. According to Bath School of Management research, management accountants are best placed to move up the organisational ladder.  But they need to polish their creativity and problem-solving skills, communication, and business competencies.

This is supported by an IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs, where creativity topped the list of the most important leadership qualities needed to thrive and prosper in the coming years.

Inculcating Creative Leadership

What makes accountants creative business leaders?

Tony Fernandes, the founder chairman of AirAsia, voted as the best low-cost airline in the world for seven consecutive years, needs no introduction. An accountant by profession, Fernandes introduced many mind-blowing innovations to AirAsia that lowered operational cost and decreased turn-around time for his fleet. He is a true example of a creative accountant in the positive sense and an internationally acknowledged business leader.

An accountant by profession, Fernandes introduced many mind-blowing innovations to AirAsia that lowered operational cost and decreased turnaround time for his fleet. He is a true example of a creative accountant in the positive sense and an internationally acknowledged business leader. A lesser-known example from Canada can also help to illustrate the creativity and innovativeness of accountants.

In the early 2000s, Toronto-based gold mining company Goldcorp (GG) was in trouble. It was forced to terminate its mining operations due to strikes, lingering debts, and an exceedingly high cost of production. CEO Rob McEwen, an accountant by training, did something exceedingly bold and unprecedented in the mining industry. He published Goldcorp’s geological data on the Web for the world to see and challenged experts to do virtual prospecting. This ”Goldcorp Challenge” offered a total prize money of USD575,000 for the winning entries. More than 1,000 virtual prospectors from 50 countries took on the challenge, identifying 110 targets on Goldcorp’s site, more than 80{19eb38c1b83d5d29fbbb5fcafd2ea2075c90f1df4554789572ffea0ad4fd1559} of which yielded substantial quantities of gold worth well over USD3 billion. This transformed his under-performing USD100 million company into a USD9 billion entity in terms of market cap. Goldcorp subsequently emerged as the most profitable mining company in the world.

The Edge: Creative Leadership

What does this tell us? That the defining characteristic of a successful business venture is creative leadership.

Without creative leadership, all other investments in marketing, R&D, facilities, incentives are futile. Even revamping organisational structures and processes is not the solution. Organisations rise and fall with leadership.

A creative leader does not need to be the person who comes up with the idea behind an innovation. What is important is that he or she be receptive to ideas, and open to selecting those with business potential. An accountant with a head for figures and an open mind is well suited for this role.

A leader must have the ability to sell the vision to the company’s staff, business partners and other relevant stakeholders. There needs be enthusiasm, tenacity and commitment for the team to turn that vision into a reality. As leadership guru Warren Bennis said, “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”

Driving Cohesion, Borrowing Brains

A creative leader recognises the importance of embracing differences in people and creates a synergy amongst those differences to lead them to optimal performance outcomes.

Most companies continue to assume that innovation comes from that individual genius, or, from specialised teams of experts who work hidden from view and then return with breakthrough innovations.  On the contrary, research has shown that most innovations are created through networks – groups of people working in concert towards a common goal.

Accountants are familiar with tight deadlines. They have the experience of building cross-functional networks with other people in the organisation to work to meet these deadlines. They have also gained an understanding of what it’s like to work in the trenches during their early days of training, where they toiled at the junior level to attain their professional qualification. Thus accountants have cultivated an ability to connect with those at different levels of the organisation.

The Goldcorp experience showed that it is not good enough to just use all the brains you have. In fact, it is even more important to use all the brains you can borrow.

Creative leaders know that innovation must come from multiple sources, both internally and externally. Accountants who aspire to be creative leaders need to know how to leverage on the global brain.

In short, accountants enjoy distinctive advantages and could become great creative business leaders, with the right training. Some of the additional skills that will help them along the way are:

  • Creative thinking skills
  • How to conduct creative meetings
  • Generating and selecting ideas within 30 minutes
  • Leveraging on the global brain



Dr. YKK (Yew Kam Keong, PhD.) is an acknowledged international expert on creativity and innovation. He is a great story-teller, a business innovation speaker and a best-selling author. His best-selling book is now in its 5th edition, and has been published in six languages. Dr. YKK can be reached at [email protected].


Note: This article was published in the May / June 2015 issue of  “ACCOUNTANTS  TODAY”, a professional journal for accountants.     

This article was contributed by Dr. YKK, ERA Board Member

Community Project – DJROA Urban Farming Launch on 14 March 2015

ERA in collaboration with the Green Tech Sub-Committee of the Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Malaysia International Trade & Industry Committee (ACCCIM ITI) and DF Pharmacy jointly organized with the Damansara Jaya Residents & Owners Association (DJROA) a Community Urban Farming launch at the DJROA Community Center.

ERA’s Advisor and ACCCIM ITI Committee Chairman, Tan Sri Dato’ Soong Siew Hoong presented a paper titled:

Summary of benefits under Urban Farming, which included Vertical Farming and Roof Top Farming, and using the Hydroponic or Fertigation Technology.


The event was launched by the President of DJROA Dato’ Yew Cheng Hoe and his deputy Mr. Ronald Ng, together with the Director, National Unity Department Mr. Ho Khek Hua, Tuan Haji Mohamad Yunus Ismail, Director of the Urban Farming Division , Department of Agriculture and Tan Sri Dato’ Soong representing ACCCIM ITI and ERA.

image image image

A crowd of over 80 residents and guests, including representatives from other Housing Associations were briefed by representatives of the Agriculture Department as well as the National Unity Department on Community engagement through urban farming.

The event was a great success with residents seeking to acquire the vertical planting tubs for their own residence. The event was covered by the Star Newspaper in support of promotion of community projects such as urban farming.

image image

ERA wishes to thank the key coordinator, Mr. Jeff Kong of DF Pharmacy for successfully arranging the participation and support from the National Unity Division and the Agriculture Ministry Urban Agriculture unit. We look forward to contributing toward greater Communal interaction and harmony.


The article was contributed by Mr. Roger Lye

Myanmar Industry Association (MIA) and Expertise Resource Association Jointly organised Management Operation Certification Program

Part One – 27th – 28th September 2014 – Conducted by Mr.Allen Cheong and Mr.Ong Song Howe


Group photos Trainers with support team, MIA Board Members and 50 attendees.

1. Opening by Myanmar Industries Association (MIA) Chairman – U Zaw Min Win


2. Class introduction

Ice breaker. Getting to know each other. Total 50 attendees ( detail refer to attendees directory).


3. Introduction to Operations Management (OM) – Lecture based on presentation slides.

Group discussion and Group presentation of Organisation Chart presentation


4. Purchasing Management – Lecture based on presentation slides.

After the first day, the attendees feedbacks and recommend to do away with the translator, so to speed up the class progress and they feel more comfortable with such arrangement, in the event if they need help, translator will be requested. After the trial of a session, this approach proven to be more productive and effective.

Case study – Case One (Profitability Impact) & presentation

Learning point – reasonable Cost reduction has more impact in comparison to sales increases.

Case study – Case Two (Suppliers – Weight point plan), discussion and Group assignment and case study presentation

Learning points – Supplier Ranking /selection should base on many factors with sum of weightage multiply by selected relevant factors, as a base for considerations.

Case study – Case Three (Cost-Breakeven point), discussion and Group assignment and case study presentation

Learning points – Cost-breakeven point is one of the tools to determine the Suppliers’ cost-breakeven point, which will enable the company to have a good ground to negotiate for good prices.

5. Cost Management

Case study – Case Four ( Activity Based Costing VS Traditional Costing), discussion and

Group assignment and case study presentation

Learning points – To illustrate how Activity Based Costing in comparison to give more details and accurate costing, in comparison to Traditional costing just based on plan and facts. Will enable company to furnish a fair cost and justify the final fair charges to the customers without dispute.

6. Inventory Management – Lecture based on presentation slides.

Assignment by group in company team, to be presented two(2) weeks later.

Suggested to focus on actual problems and findings. However, if the information is confidential or internal use only, MUST obtain senior management approval or should not be used as the group presentations.

Part Two – 11th-13th October 2014 By Mr. Ong SH

Revision of previous content – Inventory Management

Sharing of 3D racks storage to save space and ease of retrieval, practically target to reduce storage cost and improve efficiencies.

Presentation of group assignment – Problems detected on-site, solution implementations discussions and comments by group by company.

7. Quality Management – based on presentation slides.

Group activity – building of One(1) Meter height tower, using old newspaper and a meter of adhesive tape.

Test of stability with 3 copies of training material weight.

Learning point : the important of customer requirement in operation management; quality is meet the customer requirement

Group presentation and discussion on learning points.

8. Productivity Management – Lecture based on presentation slides.

Group activity – Build protection of a hardboiled egg with 15 pieces strew. Test with dropping from 1.5 meter height, if the egg shell is not crack, it would consider as successful.

Learning point : It is like a real business case, which the participants buy the material with some amount from course leader and course leader will buy back in double price the successful pack egg without crack. Each group learn the actual business productivity calculation from the activity.

Discussion and Presentation on learning points.

9. Shopfloor Management – Lecture based on presentation slides.

Group activity – Creating and flying of paper airplane, sharing and presentation

Learning point – Right staff to fit in to right job, the champion in a job may not be the best manager, but should be identified and rewarded accordingly.

10. Summary of the program

Program evaluation

11. Closing Agenda:

– Closing Speech and Certificate presentation


Reported by Mr. Allen Cheong of ERA