Alex Hooi Kiang Lim
President Of The Chinese Chamber Of Commerce Victoria
The ancient Chinese were famous for their inventions and great feats of engineering like the Great Wall of China amongst many. Another forte of the Chinese, ancient or modern, is trade and commerce. Standing staunchly behind this philosophy is Alex Hooi Kiang Lim, President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce Victoria (CCCV).
Hailing from Klang, Malaysia, near Port Klang, the world’s 12th busiest port, he was not always born to trade although he came from a family of trading background. Graduating from Monash University with a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Geography and Planning, he was a bit overwhelmed when his professor finally told him that he was a qualified Urban Economic Planner. That was because he was probably a handful of Malaysians that enrolled in the Arts faculty as most were always in Engineering, Economics or Law and it was a stigma then not to be part of the mainstream!
Unsure of his footing, he went back to Malaysia and moonlighted with architectural, finance and insurance companies. Over the years he wore many hats and was even a Director of Nexnews Bhd. Nevertheless during the financial crisis in 1997, a good friend from Sabah landed him smack on a lucrative land deal in East Malaysia. “At that time during the financial crisis, there were lots of land but no interest in Sabah. My brother and I bought a large tract of land at an unbelievable price then and started planting oil palm. It was an expensive learning curve as we had no previous experiences in Palm Oil Cultivation. We made lots of mistakes and costly ones too but ultimately we made good.” After 12 years and an irresistible offer from a leading plantation conglomerate, the Lim brothers cashed in and Alex migrated to Melbourne, Australia.
“I made the decision to come to Australia mainly for my eldest son, who was very slow in learning but after migrating here he was diagnosed positively for Autism. Australia indeed provides a better environment for his area of autism. I chose Melbourne because I studied here thus quite familiar with the set up and indeed Melbourne has more support and education for autistic children. The community at large is also more caring and understanding towards people with disabilities. I am indeed very grateful to God and also the caring nature of the Government ”
“I hope to see the CCCV becomes more involved cross culturally, networking with the Italian, Israeli and Greek chambers of commerce to enrich the business community in Victoria. Regionally we are developing bilateral relationships with other Chinese Chamber of Commerce particularly in Malaysia,Philippines, Thailand and other Asean nations as our market threshold is relatively small therefore we need to encourage more investments both ways.”
Even in a land so far down south, Lim’s entrepreneurial fire burned within. He collaborated with Mammoth Empire Melbourne and developed a piece of land at the corner of Elizabeth and A’Beckett Streets. Together they completed MY80, 54 levels of 350 apartment units which sold out very quickly. Lim’s reputation as a property developer and consultant was then cemented and they soon developed Empire Melbourne which also sold out within six months. ‘Our timing of selling and final settlements were just right”.
To Alex apart from his business, his wife Li Har and and his 4 sons are most important to him. He spent plenty of time partnering with Li Har in grooming their boys to be of good character and values. He always stressed on attitude and mannerisms.” What is the point of being smart and wealthy but has no character and insensitive to people around you”
“I love to entertain. Our house was built for entertaining and to host people from all walks of life. I work out at the gym almost every morning and am passionately involved in world evangelical missions. I have been to Pakistan, India, Nepal, Xinjiang, Myanmmar and Laos for short term missions and more so to be exposed to the challenges faced by the people. It was a humbling experience.” When asked to describe himself in three words, this renaissance man thought carefully and chose “integrity, sincerity and simplicity”.
The irony of Lim’s ascension to the CCCV Presidency is that he is not Chinese educated background but yet was elected. So he struggles with Mandarin.” I always make good with my visions through speeches and sharing in English and Teochew and building good relationships with a good interpreter” he quipped.
He currently sits on the boards of a few development companies both locally and overseas providing consultancies and still looking at a few potential sites and will pounced on it when it meets the criterias. Finally, Alex stressed that his journey was never easy but were filled with lots of challenges be it relationships or businesses, and very grateful to his wife Li Har, his brother Hui Seng, Dato Tong Kooi Ong and Dato Seri Maximus Ongkili who has stood by him through those tumultuous years.”
中国古代以伟大的发明和建筑工程著称，比如万里长城。至于华人的另一个强项-商业和贸易，从古至今依旧源远流长。而维多利亚中华总商会(CCCV)会长Alex Hooi Kiang Lim也是商贸理念的坚定秉承者。
即使在如此遥远的南方，Alex的创业热情也在内心持续燃烧。他与帝国集团墨尔本(Mammoth Empire Melbourne)合作，在Elizabeth与A’Beckett街的拐角处买了一块地。他们携手打造了MY80项目,这栋54层的350套公寓深受欢迎，火速售罄。作为一名房地产开发商兼顾问，他的声誉得到了巩固，紧接着开发帝国墨尔本(Empire Melbourne)项目，6个月内宣布楼盘卖光。“我们售卖和最终结算的时机恰到好处。”
最后，Alex强调他的人生一路走来并非平坦顺畅，而是充满了许多挑战性的人际关系或业务，因此感谢他的妻子、兄弟Hui Seng，拿督童贵旺和拿督斯里Maximus Ongkili曾在动荡不安的年代支持着他。
By Sloane Patterson