Saturday, January 4, 2014

Friend 1949 YHF

Friend 1949
By Sun-Hoo Foo 符傳孝 (32-74-109) January 29, 2012

On December, 15, 1949, Dad started working at Booty & Edwards in Kuala Lumpur.  Fifteen days later, a young talented local graduate named Mr. YH Fong began working at the same company.
They soon became very good friends. Dad was most impressed with Mr. Fong’s philosophy.   Mr. Fong believed that a person should help another out.  For example, he suggested that if one of their Malay friends wanted to build a house, they could help their Malay friend submit a plan in their free time and without charging.
Soon, Mr. Fong and Dad established an advertising company to design and paint commercial signs.  This was started as family business and Dad was offered to purchase 1 out of the 8 shares for $20.  Dad viewed this as a reflection of Mr. Fong’s trust in him.  At this time, Dad and his other friend owned a small Lorry (.i.e. truck).  Dad further contributed to this business by hanging the signs. This was quite a challenge for a man of his size.
Soon after that, Mr. Fong proposed that they should build two family houses together, one for each of them.  At that time, Dad had no saving, he spent all of his wages supporting the family and extended family.  Mr. Fong assured Dad that he would put up Dad’s half of the money and that Dad could pay back later.
However, Booty Edwards in Kuala Lumpur was looking to expand to Brunei.  The company recruited Dad to build the Omar Ali Saifudin Mosque and establish the company’s Brunei office.  Mr. Fong’s plan of building two houses together never happened since Dad was being transferred. Before Dad left, he recommended Mr. Fong for his position.  Later, after Mr. Fong studied and past his architect license exam, he told dad, “I will help you to get that.”  Although Dad ended up staying in Brunei and did not pursue that idea, Dad still remembers Mr. Fong’s promise.
Mr Fong went to the central station to see dad off to Brunei. “He must walk up and down the train 5 times. The last time, he went to get me a Reader’s Digest and did not leave till the train was moving.” This came out one day in the conversation and mom told dad, “Didn’t you know, in1954, when we were moving to Brunei, Mr. Fong took days off of work to accompany us on the train from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.  He wanted to make sure that we reached the cargo ship safely.”
Dad regards Mr. Fong as one of his best friends because of Mr. Fong’s trust and belief in him.  Mr. Fong’s caring thoughts for him and family are extraordinary.   It is rare that a person can voluntary offer another a house without the need of a contract or even collateral.  This act is a testament to Mr. Fong’s extraordinary character.

No comments:

Post a Comment