Tag Archives: Tan Sri Lee Oi Hian

Tenth Anniversary Perak Lecture

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10th Anniversary Perak LectureTan Sri Lee Oi Hian was the guest speaker at the Perak Academy’s 10th Anniversary Perak Lecture series held at the Kinta Riverfront Hotel recently. The talk  was a continuation of a seminar cum exhibition on investment opportunities in oil palm-based technologies held at the same venue earlier in the day. The 250-odd audience consisted of the crème de la crème of Ipoh society led by Datuk Dr Abdullah Fadzil Che Wan.

Being a prime mover in the palm oil industry, as expected, the talk by the CEO of KLK Berhad, revolved around the product, a subject close to his heart. The palm oil industry, according to Tan Sri Lee, contributes heavily to the Malaysian economy. “We’re currently one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of palm oil and its products, next only to our neighbour, Indonesia.” The trend, he insisted, is changing as South America is slowly catching up with the rest.

“Palm oil,” said Lee, “is a very volatile industry, as it faces many challenges and threats. The scarcity of land and labour, which the industry is heavily dependent upon, has affected its growth to a certain extent.”

He theorised that the rising cost of production, as a result of these threats, prompt industrial players in Malaysia to look to Indonesia for their expansion programmes. To counter the rising cost of production the country is looking into ways of enhancing yield through use of better planting materials, improving plantation management skills and mechanisation. “Unfortunately, the local universities are not churning out suitable graduates to replace the present lot of managers,” Lee lamented.

The claim by Western pundits that palm oil consumption is linked to clogged arteries leading to cardiovascular disease has been proven unfounded. Refined palm oil is rich in tocotrienols and tocopherols which contain high levels of Vitamin E. Tocotrienols reduce the cholesterol level in the body, as well as inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Touching on the usefulness of palm oil, Lee alluded to the numerous downstream products which have their origins in the plant. “Even the fronds and husk can be used for the production of biogas and biodiesel, among others.” This conclusion brought the talk to a close.

SH Ong

The Plantation Man

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Malaysia is fortunate to have an industrious personality in the name of Tan Sri Lee Oi Hian in Ipoh who is hailed as a true-blue planter in the palm oil industry. He is a friend to all and he finds time to be with them even with his busy schedule.

The Palm Oil Industry Leadership Award given to him by the Council is in recognition of his outstanding leadership efforts in bringing fame and honour to our beloved country in the palm oil field. I still remember and recollect his late father’s struggle and contribution to make Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK) a blue chip company in the corporate world.

Tan Sri Lee is a humble man with a remarkable personality. Today, KLK is a reputable company to be reckoned with. All Malaysians are proud of his stewardship and his contribution in this particular industry is overwhelming. His dear wife is equally a social worker and established the Daybreak Centre in Pengkalan, Ipoh where children who are mentally and physically challenged are trained to lead a normal life.

Occasionally, I used to meet Tan Sri Lee at St Michael’s Institution Ipoh where he is the Chairman of the Board of Governors of this school and when I was the Board of Governors Chairman for SM Main Convent Ipoh for over 10 years. We exchanged notes on how to improve the welfare of the students in these two schools.

Let us try to emulate his leadership qualities for the well being of mankind. Our beloved country is fortunate to have a leading figure in this fast growing palm oil industry.

Chanika Letchi