KUCHING: The conferment of state decorations in Sarawak does not come easily: it is something earned through real hard work.
Dayang Group of Companies founder Ling Suk Kiong said this of him receiving the Panglima Gemilang Bintang Kenyalang (PGBK) award, which carries the title Datuk, from Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud in conjunction with the latter’s official birthday yesterday.
“In Sarawak especially, to get a datukship from PGBK is not that easy. Not everybody can get it. One has to work really hard to earn it,” he said.
Ling pointed out that he began over 40 years ago with just a small company, which grew over the years and was listed on Bursa Malaysia in 2008.
“In terms of company size, we are number two for the private sector after a government-linked company of course. But for private companies, we are number one with our market capitalisation at about RM3 billion,” he said.
“Our company is dealing in oil and gas, employing about 4,000 people. All this has been achieved through lots of hardship.”
Ling added that he appreciated the recognition.
“Now at the age of 69, I am very happy today that I am awarded with this datukship. People say I deserve it, I don’t know. All I can say is that it has to be earned through hard work,” he said.
Born on April 4, 1946 in Sibu, Ling is known to be an honest, self-made and low profile businessman.
The Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd executive deputy chairman has successfully transformed the group from humble beginnings into a reputable Malaysian company well-known in the international oil and gas industry.
Ling was awarded the Sarawak State Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2009.
He has still managed to find time for social commitments and is honourable advisor to the Miri Foochow Association, Ling Clan Association, Miri Musical Society, Mei Ann Methodist Church Building Committee, Miri Volleyball Association, Social and Recreational Club of Kung Siong Miri and Miri Photographic Society.
He is also Miri Basketball Association and Sarawak Basketball Association president and has been SJK Min Daik Bintangor honourable advisor since 2001.
Ling was Riam Road Secondary School Miri deputy chairman from 2009 until 2010 and then honourable chairman from 2011 to 2012.
In 2009, he was also Pei Min Middle School advisor and honourable advisor to SJK North Miri, while in 2010 he was SJK Chiaw Nam advisor.