Category Archives: Captains & Legends 传奇


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).

Committee Members  of Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Victoria

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”.

Alex’s family photo

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。


由于对本身立足点的不明确,他回到了马来西亚,在建筑、金融和保险公司兼职工作。多年来,他身兼数职,甚至曾是Nexnews Bhd的董事。1997年金融危机爆发之际,一名好朋友在马来西亚东部帮他敲定了一笔交易。“当时正历经金融危机,那时在沙巴的土地很多,人们却毫无投资兴趣。我和兄弟以不可思议的价格买下了一大片土地,开始种植油棕。这是相当昂贵的学习曲线过程,由于缺乏油棕种植经验,我们犯了许多错误,付出一些代价,但最终我们也成功且创造利润。”十二年后,在一家大型种植园集团展开不可抗拒的银弹攻势下,两兄弟转手了事业并兑现资金,Alex移居澳大利亚墨尔本。


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。”

对Alex来说,除了事业,妻子Li Har和4名儿子对他来说是最重要的。他花了大量时间与妻子培育孩子们具备良好的品格和价值观。他总是强调态度和言谈举止;“一个人即使再聪明富有,但没有个性主见,而且对周围的人麻木不仁有什么意义?”



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     

From Success to Significance 从成功到真谛

Simon J. Costa

Humanitarian, AO

人道主义者, AO

Nelson Mandela once said, “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice.” In this perspective, Simon J. Costa is the judge, jury and executive power. 

The 52-year-old Australian has been recognised for his services to the disadvantaged within Australia and internationally with the Pride of Australia Medal, appointed a Senior Officer of the Order of Australia and awarded a Global Humanitarian Award by the United Nations. 

Costa describes his life journey as being separated into two distinct halves. “During the first half I was driven by a relentless pursuit of success. In my second half, I still have the same determination, but I am now pursuing significance.” 

“Everywhere I went, the priority was studying the problem – not solving the problem. There was severe malnutrition in regions where tonnes of food was being produced and never consumed; the result of inefficient agricultural and supply chain practices.”

Never a person to settle for mediocrity, Costa is always pushing boundaries. At age 37, he became the head of one of Australia’s largest private organisations, controlling multiple companies and employing over 13,000 people. He had wealth, power and influence. At age 44 Costa began reflecting on his purpose in life and the legacy he wanted to leave behind. “I did not feel a meaningful legacy would be represented by the amount of money I had in my bank account or the number of properties I leave to my children. I began exploring ways in which I could use the gifts I had been blessed with to benefit others.” 

In 2011, Costa made the life-changing decision to step away from all corporate responsibilities and tackle two of the world’s most significant problems – starvation and poverty in developing countries. Costa joined the United Nations as a volunteer, focusing on improving the lives of people in sub-Saharan Africa whose existence revolved around agriculture. “I never expected the work would become such a passion for me, nor did I anticipate I would stay involved for over seven years.”

“I did not feel a meaningful legacy would be represented by the amount of money I had in my bank account or the number of properties I leave to my children. I  began exploring ways in which I could use the gifts I had been blessed with to benefit others.” 

The compassionate businessman was initially shocked to discover the scale of the food loss in the region and the lack of urgency to address the causal issues. Working with the UN World Food Program, Costa and his team launched a pilot program involving 2000 farms in East and West Africa. The success of the project attracted strong donor support and expanded to involve over 100,000 farming families over the following years. 

A study conducted by MIT University (Boston) revealed the education and technologies introduced by Costa’s team resulted in a staggering 98% reduction in food loss and provided a pathway towards global food security, greatly reducing poverty and starvation.

Since returning to Australia at the end of 2018, Costa has remained highly active. His new company, Inspiring-Leader, supports CEOs and executives in becoming more effective business leaders. Not surprisingly, Costa gives 100% of his fees to charity. 

前南非总统 Nelson Mandela 曾经说过:“战胜贫困不是慈善的任务,而是正义的行动。”从这个角度解析,Simon J. Costa同时集法官、陪审团和行政力量于一身。




他从来不是一个甘于平庸的人,总是在挑战极限。37岁时,身为澳大利亚最大的私人组织之一的负责人,掌管着多家公司,手下拥有超过1.3万名员工,可谓是财富、权力和影响力兼具。 而44岁时, Costa开始反思他的人生目标和名下的财产。“我觉得有意义的遗产并非银行账户里有多少钱,或者要留给孩子多少资产,而是开始思索如何利用我所被赐予的一切来造福他人。”





自2018年底回到澳大利亚以来,Costa一直保持活跃状态。他新成立的公司Inspiring Leader,提供支持和咨询予企业的首席执行官和高管们,让他们成为更高效的领导者。当然,毫无疑问,所有相关收益100%捐献慈善机构。

By Billie Ooi-Ng Lean Gaik

The Thor of Real Estate 房地产之雷神

Toni El-Helou
Director & Senior Auctioneer of Biggin & Scott Boroondara
Biggin & Scott Boroondara董事、高级拍卖商

Acclaimed pianist and composer Vladimir Samoylovich once said, 

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is practice.” Learning to manage an auction is no different. 

As powerful as Thor with his hammer, award-winning auctioneer Toni El-Helou knows that better than anyone else as he pushes himself with endless drills and practice. “Motivation gets you started, habits keep you going.”

‘Sold!’ is a word he uses regularly, closing deals with ease for buyers and sellers alike. As director of Biggin&Scott Boroondara, El-Helou is a respected name in the real estate industry. Skilled in negotiation, sales, real estate and business development, he is a strong real estate professional with a master’s degree in architecture, finance and real estate from BHS. Co-founder of a successful mortgage brokerage business with his wife Kris, his professional background includes a wealth of knowledge in finance, properties, commercial and residential developments. “We believe in creating relationships not transactions.”

His lean and slim built come from a love for sports. El-Helou enjoys tennis competitions and is an active member of the Royal Melbourne Tennis Club. His wife and four kids ensure he strikes a balance between work, pleasure and family life.  This state of happiness and equilibrium makes him more connected to his clients.  He can understand, consider and listen to their needs more effectively and appreciates that everyone has different goals and ambitions.

Motivation gets you started, habits keep you going. Believe and you will achieve.

A local resident of Boroondara for the last 20 years, Tony lives and breathes the local lifestyle of fantastic restaurants, cafes, reputable schools and sporting facilities. He brings passion and an exceptional understanding of what clients want in the Boroondara precinct and surrounding areas. Delivering results and a personalised service, he is known in the industry as an excellent communicator and has a reputation for ‘not leaving any stone unturned’. As a community-minded individual and family man, El-Helou has been described as ‘a dedicated breath of fresh air to the real estate industry’. 

We believe in creating relationships not transactions.

闻名的钢琴兼作曲家Vladimir Samoylovich曾说过:“平凡与非凡的区别在于实践”。至于拍卖的管理学问也出自同样原理。

手执与雷神一样强大力量的锤子,屡获殊荣的拍卖师Toni El-Helou会比任何人都清楚这一点,因为他以不间断的努力和实践来推动自己。“动力让你开始,习惯让你前进。”


“卖出!”他的这句常用词撮合了众多买卖双方轻松达成交易。而作为Biggin & Scott Boroondara 的董事,Toni El-Helou 在房地产领域还是一个备受尊崇的名字。他擅长谈判与销售,房产和商业开发,身为颇具实力的房产专业人士,拥有BHS的建筑、金融和房地产硕士学位。他妻子Kris共同创立了一家成功的抵押贷款经纪公司,而他丰富的学识背景运用在金融、房地产、商业和住宅开发方面更是得心应手。“我们相信建立关系,而不仅是交易。”


Toni El-Helou的标准身材源于对运动的坚持不懈。他热爱网球比赛,是墨尔本皇家网球俱乐部的活跃成员。而妻子和4名孩子也是他确保在工作、娱乐和家庭生活之间取得平衡的重心。这种幸福平衡的状态使他与客户的联系更加紧密。他能更有效与深刻的理解、考虑和倾听客户们的需求,并清晰知道每个人都有不同的目标和抱负。

20年以来安居于Boroondara,他享受着当地写意舒适的生活方式,无论是一流的餐厅、咖啡馆或者是著名的学校和体育设施。他对Boroondara区域和周边地区的客户需求推动有着极大的热情和更深层的了解。至于效率和个性化服务方面,他在业内以出色的沟通者著称,处事态度讲究全力以赴。作为同时具备社区意识的个人和居家男性,ToniEl-Helou 被誉为“房地产业界的一股清流”。

Text by Billie Ooi-Ng Lean Gaik