President – Mr.Koay Hean Beow talks about the association and its various welfare activities for printers.
With seven branches in Malaysia (Penang, Johor, Melaka, Kuala Lumpur, Sabah, Sarawak and Perak) and over 800 members, Malaysia Printers Association forms a bridge between Government and the printers in the country. Mr.Koay Hean Beow is the President of the Malaysia Printers Association for the last over 10 years. A printer himself for the last over 20 years, Koay intends to take the association to new levels of performance and achievements.
“It is very important for printers to be a part of the association since it carries with it the responsibility of welfare of the printers within the framework of law and governance in order for the printers to be always providing their view and response to any difficulty in conducting their business in the country,” states Mr.Koay. Besides, acting as a connecting point for printers and government, the association was duly consulted by the government to discuss the recent change in taxation system from GST to SST. “This way the government hears the printers out through our association in addition to other such organisations on issues which concern the printers business,” says Mr. Koay. Additionally, a number of inconclusive meetings have been made with MATRADE and the Finance Minister and they are in the process of reaching at a final stage.
Malaysia has got an effective competition legislation of general application, which is similar to competition legislation in Singapore and the United Kingdom. The Competition Act 2010 (Competition Act) and the Competition Commission Act 2010 (Competition Commission Act) were passed by the Malaysian Parliament in May 2010, and received Royal Assent on 2 June 2010. The Competition Act prohibits agreements between enterprises that have either the object or effect of significantly preventing, restricting or distorting competition in Malaysia. “It is a free market and it is for the printers themselves to decide what best the rates could be,” elaborates Mr.Koay. He was replying to a query that why the association couldn’t devise fixed printing rates for the industry.
Talking on why it’s important for the printers to join the association, he says that the platform allows a printer get ample exposure, interact with fellow printers and thus find commonly beneficial solutions to everyday problems. Through the platform, the printers can not only discuss contemporary industry issues inside and outside of press, share innovations, creative ideas and technology and advancement in the field. They can further fulfil their interests by attending various industry events like open houses, conferences and trade shows both in Malaysia and abroad. “We need to change the mindset of the printers so that they value the activities of the association and take it to their advantage because dissemination of information to the members is one of its first and foremost objectives,” emphasizes Mr.Koay. The association and its constituent branches normally have a meeting of its members each month. The association also holds the Central Committee Meeting (CCM) 4 times a year. “Annual dinner of each of its branches is another effort which is largely attended. For example, we have over 80 tables at our Penang branch event which is always in high demand,” says Mr.Koay.
There are an estimated 3000 plus printers in Malaysia with many of these yet to join an association. Packaging printing industry in Malaysia is follows the growth path of packaging industry in the rest of the world. With consumers preferring an easy buying experience by picking up packaged goods from shop shelves, everything now needs to be packaged to be sold. “The so called print-killer online models like Amazon and Alibaba have had a very positive effect on the packaging industry especially the corrugated and duplex box manufacturers,” Mr.Koay adds. “One actually needs to have an open mind, a passion to learn, a wish to explore and then innovate to achieve success,” he concludes.
Koay Hean Beow: Leading the UNI Group of Companies as the 33rd Salesman
Mr.Koay Hean Beow is the Group Chairman of UNI Group of Companies with interests in Paper, Stationery, Packaging, Printing, Publication etc. Started way back in 1980, today their factories based in Penang spread over 9 acres and employs over 350 workers. Starting as a trading firm of colouring books, stamp albums and diary etc., he started printing with a SORD single machine in 1995 producing hard cover books, diaries and planner along with products like drawing books and ring note book to supply to wholesalers in the country. By 1997, Mr.Koay started supplying his products directly to the retail stores and passed the margin to his customers. With direct entry into the supermarkets and hypermarkets in Malaysia, he is now also involved in importing of pens, pencils, eraser and similar stationery items from China. Around six years ago he bought over a paper trading company which is in good shape now and just three years back he bought another packaging company. With a keen eye for business opportunities and calling himself a proud sales man, even today he claims himself to be the 33rd sales person in his company which has an annual turnover of about 140 million Ringgits.