Friday, October 28, 2016


Thursday, 27 October 2016 | MYT 12:44 PM

Dr Ho becomes first Malaysian to receive award from American College of Surgeons

Ho (left) receiving the International Guest Scholarship Award. certificate from Nigri
Ho (left) receiving the International Guest Scholarship Award. certificate from Nigri
WASHINGTON DC: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Urologists and Sexual Medicine Professor Dr Christopher Ho Chee Kong became the first Malaysian to receive the International Guest Scholarship Award from the American College of Surgeons (ACS).
The award was presented by Giuseppe Nigri, who is also Chair of the International Relations Committee (IRC) Scholar Selection Subcommittee of the ACS at a ceremony during its annual congress recently, in the United States capital.
American College of Surgeons Vice-President Prof Hilary Sanfey said: We are particularly, pleased that one of the 2016 recipients is Dr Christopher Ho Chee Kong, the first surgeon from Malaysia to receive this honour.
Dr Kong (Ho) is one of 12 recipients selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants, all of whom had demonstrated a commitment to teaching and/or research in accordance with the standards of the applicants country,” she told Bernama when contacted.
On being the first Malaysian to be recognised by American Surgeons, Dr Ho, 41, of Malacca said: I am very happy and proud as a Malaysian... to be accepted in America, traditionally all doctors in Malaysia look up to the United Kingdom or Australia.
Dr Ho was given the opportunity to carry out clinical, teaching and research activities in North America, besides attending and participating fully in educational opportunities and activities of the ACS Clinical Congress.
The son of parents who taught deaf students at a school in Malacca, did not expect his application to be part of the ACS programme would be accepted with US$10,000 (RM41,820) in scholarship.
“I sent the application early last year to be in the programme, and only received an email answer at the end of the year,” he told Bernama while thanking College of Surgeons of Malaysia president Prof Dr Hanafiah Harunarashid, who he said had put in a good word to ACS on his application.
During the five-day congress beginning Oct 16, Dr Ho also presented a paper on ‘Surgical Training in Malaysia: Challenges and Roadmap’ which was also attended by Dr Hanafiah.
While in the US, he also had the opportunity to visit the world-renowned University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre, where he observed robotic surgery on prostate cancer and kidney cancer performed by the distinguished Professor of Urology, Dr Claus Roehrborn.
He also took a tour of the facilities and the set-up of this spanking new state-of-the-art university hospital and was mentored by the illustrious Professor Dr Arthur Sagalowsky, another prominent urologist in America.
Meanwhile, Dr Hanifah said the Malaysia College of Surgeons and indeed, the nation was very proud to see the young surgeon receiving the award from the largest surgical institution in the world at a meeting attended by 30,000 surgeons from all over the world.
I hope this will be an inspiration to our young trainees in Malaysia and Dr Christopher (Ho) will use this opportunity to learn some of the finer aspects of modern surgery from the institutions that has produced many Nobel laureates and transfer the knowledge for the benefit of our patients, said Dr Hanifah when met in Washington recently.
Dr Hanifah, who has also won the International Medal for Distinguished Award from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, is the first Malaysian to have received the award. - Bernama

Webmaster : Dr Ho is a MHS graduate from

Thursday, October 20, 2016


How one Malaysian school became a bright spot in colonialism’s dark legacy
N. Balakrishnan celebrates the founding two centuries ago of Southeast Asia’s oldest English school, which gave generations of youth an education not just of the mind, but also of the heart
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 October, 2016, 12:39pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 October, 2016, 12:39pm
The Penang Free School. Minority voices have been saying that the old school was a colonial relic best forgotten. But while the school may have been “elitist” in one sense, it was also an avenue for social mobility for many. Photo: SCMP Pictures
Neither of my parents knew any English. The reason I can write passable English is down to the schools I attended in Penang, Malaysia. Penang Free School, my secondary school, celebrates its 200th anniversary on October 21. It was established three years before modern Singapore was “founded” by Stamford Raffles, and is the oldest English school in Southeast Asia.
The school’s storied history reminds me of the Janus-faced nature of British colonialism in this part of the world. One article of faith since my youngest days has been that colonialism is an evil system. Today, however, I realise colonialism has its merits; it moulded me and many generations in Malaysia in more ways, both positive and negative, than we would like to admit.
The founder of Penang Free School, English clergyman Robert Sparke Hutchings, who died of malaria in his 40s in Penang, proved that not all who worked for the East India Company were exploiters. He seemed a farsighted man, who wanted to ensure the school was free of religious control.
Malaysia’s prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman (left) arrives in Hong Kong for a private visit in the 1960s. Photo: SCMP Pictures
Malaysia’s prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman (left) arrives in Hong Kong for a private visit in the 1960s. Photo: SCMP Pictures
Malaysia’s first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, and the nation’s best known actor P. Ramlee, were educated there, along with many academics and Dr Wu Lien Teh, the physician who was instrumental in fighting the plague in China by recommending the cremation of victims, a revolutionary idea at that time.
Minority voices have been saying that the old school was a colonial relic best forgotten. But while the school may have been “elitist” in one sense, it was also an avenue for social mobility for many. It also taught us the quaint notion that duty and team spirit are more important than “winner takes all” individualism. As one classmate and good friend said, the school was built to produce the self-sacrificing civil servants needed to keep the empire going, except that the empire it was meant to serve collapsed but the school kept churning out students with character anyway.
The result is that Free School boys, particularly the Chinese and Indian Malaysians among them, can be found scattered around the world, since opportunities became narrow in the modern Malaysia of ethnic preferences.
Both Abdul Rahman and P. Ramlee died poor. I cannot think of any Malaysian prime minister or famous actor today who will die in anything but extreme luxury. The values taught by the school may seem absurd in contemporary Malaysia. But looking at the greed and selfishness that is not only prevalent but admired today, I think maybe Reverend Hutchings should be seen as an inspiration. On October 21, for the first time in my life, I will be sincerely toasting the merits of colonialism.
N. Balakrishnan is a Hong Kong-based businessman

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Monday, 10 October 2016

Where there’s a will...

Bottling in process. — LIM WING HOOI/TheStar
Bottling in process. — LIM WING HOOI/TheStar
So what if you don’t have the knowledge or expertise? Ho Yew Pun, the founder of Bodibasixs Manufacturing, knew nothing about making personal care products, and yet he managed to build a company that exports to over 20 countries and makes over RM50mil in revenue every year. LIM WING HOOI reports.
JUST because you don’t have the expertise in a particular field doesn’t mean you have no chance of making a successful go of it. They say where there’s a will there’s a way, and sometimes it really is true.
Take Ho Yew Pun, for example.
The founder and managing director of Bodibasixs, which makes 12 types of personal care products and exports to over 20 countries, had no background in personal care products at all.
Before he started the company in 1995, Ho spent umpteen years as the branch manager of a finance company. Then, one day, he decided he wanted a career change, to move away from being a salaryman.
The question is: What business to get into?
This was a question that he was to dwell on for five long years. When Ho threw in his letter, he joined the family business and spent a few years helping his father to expand the hardware shop in Malacca into a wholesale business.
His familiarity with the hardware business naturally prompted him to consider going into the manufacture of hardware goods like nuts and bolts. But after spending five years doing research into the manufacturing processes as he worked for his father, Ho decided that it would be much better to make personal care products instead.
The manufacturing process for such products would be more systematic and cleaner, not to mention quieter.
“In early 90s, there weren’t many such players, while brand owners of personal care products were more keen to focus on marketing,” Ho recalls.
The next big question he had to grapple with was how to go about it since he had zero expertise in this segment.
Today, the company is a one-stop solutions provider for personal care products, doing everything from formulation to bottling and labeling.
Products that have been bottled are inspected before being sent for labeling.
Ho had a big hurdle to surmount, “but I had the people to help me make it happen,” he says. A key person who helped him was Goh Ser Heng, 62, who is today the company’s non-executive director.
It was Goh, then a factory manager at a pharmaceutical company in Malacca, who suggested that Ho go into contract manufacturing for personal care products. He was also the person who helped Ho set up his manufacturing line.
Being pretty much a finance guy, Ho knew he didn’t have the expertise to manage the new business. But, well, if you can’t do it yourself, you could always hire somebody who can do it, right?
And that’s exactly what he did.
Ho’s first hire was Lee Pang, then a logistics manager at one of the largest food and personal care contract manufacturing companies based in Shah Alam, Selangor. Ho came to know of her through his brother-in-law and decided she would be the best person to run his new factory.
He offered Lee the position of general manager, throwing in some shares as sweetener, to encourage her to join him as “Employee No 1”.
Lee, 60, remembers that the conditions then were good. The economy was booming and she had climbed a long way up the corporate ladder at her company, where she joined as a clerk and, over 16 years, rose to become the manager overseeing purchasing, planning and warehousing.
A worker ensuring that the labels for the products are correct.
A worker ensuring that the labels for the products are correct.
But she also wondered how much further she could climb.
Lee says she was impressed with Ho’s sincerity in wanting to get her on his team and decided to embark on a new chapter as part-manager and part-entrepreneur.
“I wanted to do something different, and Ho offered me that avenue.
“I was also aware that both Ho and Goh had invested over RM1mil in the company. I felt the pressure to deliver results,” says Lee.
Bodibasixs was formed in 1995 and operated out of a one-acre factory in Shah Alam with a staff of eight. Having to sign cheques on behalf of the company for payments to staff and contractors in her new job was something that Lee was not used to.
After all, she had been an employee with a stable salary all her life.
It was stressful, she admits.
“I saw the funds rapidly decreasing,” says Lee. But the pressure she felt also motivated her to work hard.
Lee (left) and Ho at the company HQ in Klang.
Lee (left) and Ho at the company HQ in Klang.
The company began with just one manufacturing line for talcum powder. To try and secure their first orders, they brought over 10 potential clients, multinational companies (MNCs) included, to tour the factory.
“MNCs require references. But being a new company, we had none, so we switched to looking at local brand owners,” Lee relates.
While it was generally easier to get orders from local brand owners. this type of clients didn’t have their own formulas for their products — unlike MNCS.
It meant Lee’s team would have to develop the formulations for their potential clients.
The problem with this was that they didn’t have a R&D team.
“We didn’t even have a chemist. We needed a laboratory, and we had to justify to the owners as to why this investment was vital,” Lee recalls.
Understanding the need, Ho got the funds required and made it happen.
“We then continued to invest in the necessary equipment. We understood that we had to get over this barrier,” says Ho.
The laboratory where they test and formulate products for clients.
The laboratory where they test and formulate products for clients.
Four months later, with everything in place, they did a trial run and managed to secure their very first local client.
That maiden contract was only for RM7,000, but as Lee humbly says: “We have to start somewhere.”
Bodibasixc has since grown from strength to strength. In the financial year ending June 30, 2016, the company achieved a revenue of RM58mil, compared to RM50mil previously.
Today, Bodibasixs has over 60 brand owners as clients, including hypermarkets, pharmacy chain stores, MNCs and local brand owners. They manufacture over 12 types of products and export over 40% of their products to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, the Middle East and South-East Asia.
In 2007, the company moved to a new six-acre factory in Klang. These days, they don’t just help brand owners with formulations but also offer one-stop solution — labeling and packaging included.
“We also share with brand owners information about product viability and market trends. Our philosophy is that we hope to grow with these brand owners,” says Ho.
Out into the wide world you go.
Out into the wide world you go.
He reveals that many of their early clients had grown sizeable enough to begin manufacturing on their own. Meanwhile, Bodibasixs continues to stick to their humble roots of accepting orders as small as RM3,000 even as they handle RM1mil orders.
Moving forward, Lee says they are looking at automating more of the processes at the factory, while maintaining the room for customisation for their diverse clientele.
“We are also going into manufacturing higher value products such as skincare and perfumes,” she confides.

Mr. Ho Yew Pun graduated from Malacca High in 1973 in Form 5.

Saturday, October 8, 2016


Since some MAHSOPA members and well wishers have requested for special concession room rates at the hotels around the area, MAHSOPA has managed to get Equatorial Hotel and Imperial Heritage Hotel to offer special room rates for those who want to attend our dinner.
Please contact Hotel Equatorial, Melaka 06-262 8333 Attn: Ms Jessie
Mention to them Malacca High School, MHS 190 Dinner by MAHSOPA
Standard Room (Single) with breakfast is RM 242.00 Nett
Double Room with breakfast is RM 262.00 Nett
Please contact Mazura at 016-3372360 or email
Mention to her: Malacca High School
Superior (Single/Twin Sharing) : RM 200.00 per room per night including breakfast, 6% GST.
Deluxe ( Single/Twin Sharing ) : RM 230.00 per room per night
Extra bed : RM 95.00 nett per unit per night.
Members must contact the hotel they prefer directly.
MHS 190 Organising Committee.

Monday, October 3, 2016


60 days to go to our MHS 190th. Anniversary dinner organized by MAHSOPA. Time is getting shorter by the day.

For those former MHS pupils, their relatives and well wishers who want to join in our celebration, please register online or via email as soon as possible.

Bookings registered and pledged including our reserved tables stand around 63 or more. We expect more tables and individuals will sign up within October. Our target is 100 tables.

Ex-Pupils from overseas should book their accommodation via the Internet.

However, MAHSOPA is trying to obtain good hotel rates at Equatorial Hotel for our guests.

If you require our assistance on hotel bookings, please email us at


In order for MAHSOPA to create awareness of our dinner in Malacca, we will be putting up a number of banners in strategic places around Malacca.

We hope with these banners, more people will attend our dinner in December 2016.