YBhg. Tan Sri Datuk Sir Tiong Hiew King was born to a poor family in Sarawak, Malaysia in 1935. Although he had to tap rubber when he was young, he had a strong thirst for knowledge. He graduated from Chung Cheng Primary School in Sibu, and later Methodist High School and Sacred Heart High School.
Subsequently, he took up a correspondence course with a Chinese university as he knew there was no limit to what a person could learn. He began his working life at his uncle's timber company, which laid a solid foundation for his future development. In 1975, YBhg. Tan Sri Datuk Sir Tiong set up Rimbunan Hijau. He showed the kind of perseverance that Fuzhou people are known for. Together with some of his brothers, Rimbunan Hijau Group established a solid reputation and has emerged as a revered multinational corporation.
YBhg. Tan Sri Datuk Sir Tiong has worked on a global scale to erect a diversified business spanning six continents, whose countries and regions include Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Australia, Russia, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Central Africa Republic, Gabon, Brazil, British Guyana, Canada, and the United States. He also has investments in Qinzhou, Shanghai, Harbin and Guangzhou in China. Other than timber exports and timber processing, his business has also expanded to media and publishing, agriculture (oil palm plantations and mills), oil and gas, mining, aquaculture, reforestation, finance, information technology, trading and property development.
In 2010, YBhg. Tan Sri Datuk Sir Tiong Hiew King was awarded "Malaysia Business Leadership Award 2010 – The Lifetime Achievement Award" by the Kuala Lumpur Malay Chamber of Commerce in recognition of his entrepreneurship achievements and contribution to the country. In Malaysia, there are four public listed companies under the Group, namely Subur Tiasa Holdings Berhad, Jaya Tiasa Holdings Berhad, Rimbunan Sawit Berhad, and Media Chinese International Limited. The Capitalists magazine named YBhg. Tan Sri Datuk Sir Tiong as one of Malaysia's ten richest businessmen.
Rimbunan Hijau Academy (RHA)
Sibu, located in the central district of the Sarawak state, is a major centre for the timber, ship building, tourism and plantation industry. A skilled labour shortage in the State began to be felt in the late 1990s. The Sarawak State Government responded by promoting technical training amongst government polytechnics and private enterprises. Ambitious chairman of the RH Group, YBhg. Tan Sri Datuk Sir Tiong Hiew King has looked into the establishment of a skills training centre within the Group to cater for training needs. By September 2005, the Rimbunan Hijau Academy was officially registered with MLVK, Ministry of Human Resources, City & Guilds of UK and the Incorporated Society of Planters (ISP). On January 2006, RHA obtained approved training institution status by the Ministry.
RHA is an interesting example of enterprise collaboration in the area of training. Centrally located in Sibu, it aims to become one of the foremost skills training institutions in Malaysia. It currently provides training in automotive / heavy equipments and oil palm plantation management courses. It also provides training programmes for SPM / UEC school-leavers, as well as to promote vocational and technical centres.
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