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Better Than The Best BY JAMES OH

Better Than The Best BY JAMES OH
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Wednesday, 23 June 2010


Dear friends,
Lately I drove back to my hometown and all of a sudden, there were some inspiration, 
flashing out some sweet old memories during my stay in Penang. As a result, I wrote 
several articles on those matters.

The photo above taken when I was in Remove 4, 1974.

The above photo, taken in the year of 1979 when I was in Form 5 Science.

The above photo taken during our School Fun Fare Festival.

Today, the article I am going to share with you my secondary school where 
I spent six good years there, i.e. 1974 to 1979 ie. none other than Heng Ee 
High School. It is located on Hamilton Road in the George Town area and 
is relatively close to Penang Free School, one of the oldest schools in 
Penang and I don't think it needs any further elaboration. However, it does 
not apply to my school which does not have such a long historical 
background. As such, I will cover some of its unique story and hope you 
are enjoy reading it.
This school has its own uniqueness in the sense that its ground is divided into 
2 sections: one side comprises the school administrators' rooms, teachers' room, 
staff roomcafeteria, foyer, school hall, blocks of classrooms, computer rooms, 
living skills rooms, science laboratories and a football field while the another side 
comprises a small car parkbasketball courts and a volleyball court. This piece of 
idle land has been acquired subsequently for expansion of the school. It has been 
conveyed to us when I was studying there, but it had been acquired many years 
after I left the school.
When we talk about this school, one major component which cannot be omitted is 
its founder. I believe this great man should deserve more coverage as he had 
contributed significantly to our society and the school in particular. Do not forget 
that being a foreigner and establishing a Chinese School in a foreign country is 
definitely not an easy task. Thank God for his persistence and endurance 
throughout his journey of struggle.
Mr Goh Boon Poh is currently the principal of this school.

The photo, above, shown the front view of this school
The school was founded in 1957 by the late Datuk Father Arthur Julien, a Belgian 
missionary who arrived in Penang from China in 1952. He had also established the
Heng Ee Primary School and Heng Ee Kindergarten in 1952 and 1969 respectively.  
There is no surprise for him to be awarded a Datukship for his significant 
contribution to our society. Some of you may able to see that being a westerner 
and wanting to establish a Chinese school in a foreign country certainly impose a 
great challenge to him. He used to share with us the challenges he had gone through 
when we attended his classes once a week. I always salute him for what he had done, 
but he always attributed this values with the Chinese values, which I find lots of 
similarity. No wonder that he spent lots of his time to master Mandarin and he can 
speak even better mandarin than I do. I found him to have even a deep understanding 
of Mandarin and our cultural values. He made himself so humble that we could treat 
him as a friend, who always stand by to assist us in any way he could. I recalled that 
he even convince the headmaster at that time to allow us to make use of the classroom 
during the school break for our revision as he knows that majority of the students are 
from lower income group and many of us do not have proper place to study at home.
To reduce the consumption of electricity, he even offered us his room to smaller group 
of students who wish to come at night to study in the school. He always keeps the school 
expenses to a minimum as this school only received very minimum funding from the 
government despite it being designated as a national school. Most of the expenses are bored 
by public donations. The great man had impacted my life a lot .I always looked upon him in 
my life of struggle as well. It is truly blessed to know this great man at our young age 
despite me being  always a shy pupil, who chose to struggle silently than to share it out with 
others. I have only been transformed after I accepted Christ as my Savior.  
On my way back to Kuala Lumpur, I asked for the guard’s permission to enter the school 
compound and take the photo of the little statute resembling him standing at the open space 
between the school front and the other building.  Though he had gone, but his spirit of 
dedication  to serve the needy students are beyond words. I can vouch for him – being the 
man who walk  his talk - uses every possible means and assistance he can have to reach 
out to those students in need, regardless of race and social status. This made most of  us 
students feel proud of him.
I recalled a few of us have approached him to borrow the classroom for prepare for our 
school examination. His smiling face well indicated to us that he was more than happy to 
do so and truly understand our difficulty to study at home. I learnt that he also offered his 
room, at the school, to students who truly need a room to study which otherwise was not 
available at their own homes. He seemed to know every need of his students. He gave us 
all the necessary encouragement when we were saddled by unfortunate incidences. He 
always shows us the way and always standby to give the necessary encouragement that 
could cheer our hearts and souls. 
NO wonder that lots of us loved him very much and he gained our highest respect. 
Though he had gone, but his spirit and name will be always remembered. 
He was always very proud of this school, for being able to use Mandarin language as a 
medium to conduct classes here as he found that this language has lots of high values that 
need to be preserved. He used to describe all these values and cultivated them in our lives 
despite being a foreigner to us. We can sense that his love conquers all barriers and we are 
always looked upon him for such a cheerful spirit. He does not always look cheerful and 
energetic, but he was always willing to offer his hands to anyone who needs his assistance.
It was learnt that he contributed the entire heritage of 50,000 pounds he received from his 
father to this school. He can speak mandarin very well and he faced a great challenge when 
he initially raised funds to build these Chinese school from the Chinese community. Firstly 
people are doubtful of him for being Westerner and willing to build Chinese schools in foreign 
Thank God for his endurance throughout his challenging years and today his name will never 
be forgotten. Though the statue subsequently built after his death is no comparison to his 
contribution to this school, it will serve as a remembrance of his great work, He can be 
remembered as a model to the world at large.
Before we put an end to this article, we urge those who know about his life to contact us 
either via comments or email to or so 
that we can blog more about his life and his great contribution in the internet sphere. 
Thank you for your kind participation.

We look forward to hearing from you, 
Your Chief Servant,

James Oh
Founder and Group CEO

Skype me at james.oh18

Monday, 21 June 2010


My dearest friends,

The photo of the above school was taken recently when I made my trip back to my hometown, Penang. If you have read my preceding articles, you may probably realised that this trip has brought back my old sweet memories.

This school has reminded me of my six good years of receiving my early school education there, throughout 1968 to 1973. I was only standard two when the racial riots happened at 1969. Thank God that my belated father had rescued me from my school. 

There are about five bus stops away from my house to this school. I recalled at times I walked back with my two schoolmates occasionally, whom I still contact till date. We used to walk back because there was only one type of bus we could take from our school to home, i.e. Bus No 9, which routes take about half an hour a trip. At that time, the weather was not that hot and we took about 15 minutes to walk a single way, through some short cut path.

Three of us met in China when we made a trip about a year back to visit my friend's brother, who is still working in China. Whereas both of us are in Malaysia. Three of us have different faiths, despite beginning with the same faith. Both of us migrated to Kuala Lumpur about two decades ago, whereas his younger brother was working in Penang prior to his employment in China. 

I recalled many years ago, prior to my graduation from the university, I met up with several of my old school mates to organise a reunion. However, I did not join them because my lessons started much earlier than the reunion date. Thereafter, I did not hear from the rest of them.

As I write and post this article of this school in the hope that I be able to contact these group of people again. Who know, we might take up other challenging work to track back the history of this unique school, which I think we all know very little of. 

Append below is the group photo of my schoolmates which I have kept with me for the past 37 years. Please leave down your contact details via comments or email to me at or 

Wish you all very best and look forward to hearing from you,

James Oh

Your Chief Servant,

James Oh
Founder and Group CEO

Skype me at james.oh18

Sunday, 20 June 2010


Dear Friends,

This is the place I used to buy pomeloes on my way either back to Penang or Kuala Lumpur, where I am currently staying. The above photo of the Perak Cave, or Pek Lik Tong in the local Cantonese dialect is taken where I usually stopped by to buy pomeloes. 

Pi-Li Dong in Mandarin or  Perak Tong is one of the favorite tourist spots throughout the year. This cave temple has some historical facts which you may find interesting and memorable. Perhaps you may stop by or visit this wonderful cave. No surprise that this cave temple was visited by some great and unforgettable heroes like the Father of Modern China, Mr. Sun Yat Sun 1866-1925, influential intellectuals Hu shih (zhi) 1891-1962, Yu You Ren 1879-1964 and Chinese master artist, Zhang Da Qian (0r Chang Ta-Chien 1899-1983) etc. As a result, it can be easily ranked as one of the hottest spot among all the cave temples found in Ipoh till date. 

You may probably recalled that at one time Ipoh was relatively a remote mining town. Before the commodity price crashed in the '70s, Ipoh used to be  nick name as The town of the many Millionaires due to its enormous reserves of tin ores. The Chinese who invented the open cast mining method in the Kinta Valley Tin ore reserve Belt can even outperformed the tin ore output of the British designed Tin Dredging to a certain extent as this method is a much cheaper form of mining. 

During the height of the Chinese revolution, Sun Yat Sun sourced financial help from overseas Chinese and Ipoh is in no exception. He made visits here to ask for financial assistance from the rich local miners. The visit was probably followed by sequential visits by other Chinese intellectuals and high profile individuals which adds glamour into its formation.

It was learnt that Perak Cave was also developed by Mr. Chong Sen-yee, from Guangdong Province, China. He was the first person who discovered this remote location and hence applied to the authority for the cave to be converted as another cave temple for worshippers. Thereafter, he spend his life of half a century in developing the cave in stages. He then spent his later years writing poems. This great figure, who had so much passion and dedication to this cave project passed away peacefully in 1980. His Son, Mr. Y.C. Chong is heading the management of this well known Buddhist cave temple currently.

Though these people had gone, their works and legacy left behind to the future generation will not be forgotten. Take a tour inside this cave, there are so many great works  that are still intact. Discover it yourself when you are there.

Thanks and please do not stop here. Please direct your contacts or friends to read this article so that they will add this tourist spot in their next tour to Ipoh.

Your Chief Servant,

James Oh

Founder and Group CEO

Skype me at james.oh18

Friday, 11 June 2010


Dear my dearest friends,

After my graduation with a degree in Accountancy, I started my career as Audit Assistant in one of the Audit firms in Kuala Lumpur. Not too long thereafter, the owner of the firm who split from his other partners had passed away. As a result, his family members decided to sell the firm and his clients to another audit firm. Consequentially I also  moved along and joined the acquirer of the firm. 

Being the staff of the acquired firm, I have to struggle to conform with the new culture and system they operated on. I noted that the staff from the acquired firm left, one after another as they found  the changes uncomfortable. Whereas I decided to quit after being rejected for  a promotion from the partner. His reason was that I was much too junior as compared to their other senior staff despite a recommendation from my immediate superior, Mr Koh, whom I am still in touch with till to date. Though I was more junior, yet I have the chance to lead the team in auditing some of their big clients. They requested me to lead some of big assignments as I have always extra notes, in term of good and sound recommendations in regards to the clients' internal control and system, for them. 

With God's blessings, I managed to stepped into commercial sector as Assistant Accountant in a listed company ( IJM Corporation Berhad). Initially, I was assigned to take care of their plant and machinery department, which is one of their major departments other than construction projects. After I was familiar with this department's operation and their accounting system, my superior, Mr Loy, whom I still keep in touch with, assigned me to other tasks in other subsidiaries within his care so as to tap my past audit experience and skill. He also assigned me to set up the accounting system for some of their subsidiaries such as quarry and other manufacturing companies.

Thank God again. He was satisfied with my performance, and assigned me to other new assignments such as revamping and implementting  standard costing in another manufacturing arm. Thereafter, he increased my portfolio and I also act as the Reporting Accountant for all the the projects of  the company and its group. I began to be exposed to various level of consolidation, that includes projectsl, joint ventures,  subsidiaries and finally the entire group. From there, I began to draft and implement certain accounting policies and practices so as to standardise their practices to ease the consolidation work.
amongst the project accountants.

At that time, the company called for extra fund via rights issues which I was also involved actively as I was very familiar with the software application such as Lotus spreadsheet. It was very popular at that time and we used it to produce the framework and spreadsheet for this exercise. My other major contribution to this exercise was to recommend for adoption IAS 17 finance lease. This changes of accounting policy resulted in the company booking couple of millions of gain prior to this exercise.
After the completion of the above exercise, i was offered the post as Branch Accountant, to take charge of several construction projects in East Malaysia. I took up the offer as I was so excited to work as Project Accountant. 

I finally left the company off after this exposure and decided to join another well managed company in Malaysia- none other than Hong Leong Group. I have again been blessed with the exposure to these three operating manuals/bible (HR, Credit Control and Group Accounting and Policies and Procedures) to govern the group's operations. Besides that, they also adopted Key Performance Indicators and quarterly audits to streamline their individual operating units. 

Again I was so blessed to be placed in one of the cash cow motorcycle unit where I had opportunity to demonstrate my new potential to generate more than a million of interest income as compared to couple of hundred thousand ringgit prior to this. Here, I worked well with my team members to tap every opportunity to generate interest income, apart from bargaining for daily best rate with our commercial bankers. We are also the pioneers to introduce Islamic banking concept into our treasury unit. My other contribution to the group is assisting in the group consolidation at our Head office due to shortage of staff, participation in Acquisition Audit assignment and quarterly audit where my recommendations were fully agreed and implemented by my boss, Mr Ron Lim and Mr Soh. I am still in touch with the latter.

Again, I moved on after I have completed my mission and move to another challenging job as turn around manager apart from my other new functions such as administration, payroll, inventories and credit control Manager in one of the ill trading company. I worked very closely with my General Manager, Mr Tay until we almost turn it around, he got a very much better job which he can’t resist. As a result, he quitted from the company.  My other significant contribution to this company was successfully implementing the FGH integrated accounting software  to replace our stand alone system. We were also selected to pioneer in EDP project in the group.

Again, I moved and join the company which is also my longest service in any company and I  managed to engage all my valuable experience and skill which I learnt from the above company. I managed to put all these into practice and grow the company to a certain extent. Some of you may know that I also completed my mission as turnaround manager in this company before I was being transferred to take care of other portfolio.

Finally I landed in this venture after working with several companies locally and oversea. 

Thanks for spending your time to read this article.

Your Chief Servant,

James Oh

Founder and Group CEO
Skype me at james.oh18

Thursday, 10 June 2010


Dear my friends,


Literally means “above sea” – no wonder it has so much to offer as 
it is the city that never sleeps – exhilarating for those who seek an 
active lifestyle. To facilitate its crucial function as a gateway to 
China , it's integrated logistic and transportation systems manifestly 
reflect this main heart of activities. Easy and excellent accessibility 
by all modes of transportation, namely road, air, sea and rails is 
Not withstanding the fact that it has a super duper public 
transportation system, it also has clean streets and surprisingly little 
air pollution which is clearly in contrast to other major cities. The 
city is also linked with thousands of bus lines apart from the 
Shanghai Metro (subway) which has four lines at present. All these 
facilities are made available for them to fuel demand of a highly 
educated and modernized workforce. Such infrastructures are 
crucially required to facilitate the movement of the labour forces 
domestically as well as internationally.
Not surprisingly to note the world first of its kind, maglev railway 
was erected there, from Shanghai’s Long Yang Road subway 
station to Pudong International Airport. It takes only 7 minutes 
to travel a 30 km journey with its maximum speed of 431 km/h. 
Such an advanced and sophisticated transportation mode is 
necessary in view of its huge population coupled with its 
attraction as a favorite tourist destination.

This city also has two airports; namely Pudong International 
airport, caters for both domestic and international flights, served 
as one of the most important hubs in China. Whereas Hongqiao 
Airport is mainly used for domestic flight purposes.
 To supplement its function as the gateway to China, numerous 
elevated roads are also added, apart from the three railways 
intersections in this grand city. You may find these elevated 
roads appear in expressway-like road conditions (direction 
separated lanes).

 These bridges/multi level highways in the centre of this great 
city, featuring the Chinese character “well”, link up the flow of 
traffic from every direction. This zig-zag crossing afloat and 
under the elevated highways truly reflected the glory of their 
local architectural designs. If you were traveling at high speed, 
you may feel like traveling on a roller coaster. Tunnels and 
bridges cleverly creep in to link up certain areas such as Puxi 
to Pudong.

Everywhere you find big crowds of people, truly reflects its 
real success as a tourists destination. Normally you may also 
find parades of buses bring in and out thousands of visitors, 
local and foreign, to and fro this grand city. As such, parking 
problem becomes a norm here. To overcome this problem, the 
drivers (locally called “Shi fu” or master) of all these tourist 
coaches usually stopped their vehicles at the road side of the 
main destination to drop their valued passengers. Thereafter, 
they have to drive to a destined parking area, which is a walking 
distance away from these tourist spots. What will happen if more 
and more people, whom majority at present are still using 
bicycles and scooters as their main mean of transportation, 
upgrade to motor cars.

Although it has well equipped with all these sophisticated 
transportation infrastructure, ironically we find some of their traffic 
rules are not in harmony with the international traffic laws. 
Pedestrians who are used to normal traffic rules, usually have to 
ensure that both sides of the traffic where two lanes of flowing 
directly opposite to each other, are clear before crossing, they 
have to be extra cautious especially when crossing the road. 
Pedestrians are legally obliged to give way to the motorists 
as the latter are legally obliged to slow down their vehicle, 
but not obliged to stop even when approaching a zebra-crossing
 – contradictory to the normal traffic rules. I was told that the 
local authority is looking into the matter seriously. I guess it 
is due to their own uniqueness where pedestrians and cyclists 
at one time form the majority far beyond when compared to 
motorists. That may be the reason why they think it is more 
appropriate to shift the legal burden to pedestrians, rather than 
the motorists. With the present situation, the Zig-zag traffic flow 
has complicated the above problem especially to the pedestrians.

Being one of its tourists’ main attraction spots, Shanghai Bund, is the 
classic image of Shanghai. Here, you will find huge crowds of 
tourists flooding the area day and night. It is worthwhile to note the 
elegant colonial architectural buildings and the new futuristic buildings 
actually blend in easy harmony, separated by the famous Huangpu river,
being the main attraction. Naturally it never failed to attract visitors, 
being individual or groups to snap their photos with such wonderful and 
rare background of its kind.

Taking a cruise along this famous river, which divide the majestic 
buildings dating back to Shanghai’s grandest days and the latest 
landmark area such as Oriental Pearl Towers and trade centre, you 
may find some fun and excitement.
Alternatively, taking such a cruise at night may prove romantic 
especially for young loving couples. The effect of the neon lights 
from those elegant buildings along the river, may be viewed as if it 
is candle lights from mighty candle stands. Just imagine you are at 
that scene, staring at the beauty of the lighting while you let other 
parts of body do the talking with your sweet and lovely partner – 
a real romantic and joyful sensation. The breeze blowing towards 
both of you, may add more sensation to their already intimate 
feeling. By snapping a photo with such a memorial and sweet 
moment is worth far beyond the effort.
For those who have already known of its port, being the largest in 
the world as of December 2004, will not find any surprise to see 
huge cargo ships frequently moving along this river. As such, taking 
a photo with such unplanned cargo ship as a background would 
become a norm here.
This never sleeping city brings in and out hundreds of thousands of 
visitors either domestic or foreign daily. Coaches forming beelines 
along the bund is a normal sight to the local people. Beggars; young 
and old, able and disable, are also seen trying to take advantages of 
the crowds.

Your Chief Servant,

James Oh

Founder and Group CEO

Skype me at james.oh18