ONE FOR THE ALBUM: James Ling, his wife Doris Wong and son Joe,
with the Dayang bigger family, gather in Kuching
for the State Entrepreneur Award accorded to James.
MIRI: Coming from a poor family, he beat the odds to become an industry leader despite his lack of tertiary education, money and experience.
James Ling Suk Kiong, 63, was the epitome of a local boy who had toiled and sweated through the tough as nails environment of the uncompromising oil and gas industry maintenance business, coming out on top.
He has came a long way, without taking any shortcuts, to became one of the most respected regional players in this industry with zero tolerance for mistakes and accidents.
"It has been a long road of hard work and patience to come this far and the award is personal satisfaction for me and recognition for our team of onshore and offshore staff in Dayang Enterprise," he said.
The State Government through the Ministry of Industrial Development recently duly accorded him recognition for his contributions and sterling entrepreneurship spirit by awarding him the Sarawak State Entrepreneur of the Year Award in representing the Sarawak Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry category.
Ling founded Dayang Enterprise Sdn Bhd (DESB) in 1980, venturing into this field despite the lack of financial capital or experience, armed with the vision that this is the future instead of timber and single-minded determination to succeed.
With RM10,000 loan from bank and four staff on it's inception, he went on to list the company on Bursa Malaysia. Profits attributable to shareholders stood at RM71.4 million against a turnover of RM183.1 million last year.
The company has contributed a great deal to the economy of the state, creating employment and business opportunities for many Sarawakians, benefiting the state and generating many downstream economic activities.
His hard work, ethical business practices and honest approach earned him all round respect from clients, banks, business associates and staff.
Born in 1946 in Bintangor, he completed his Form Five Senior Cambridge Examinations at Catholic High School, Sibu in 1967 before stepping into his first job in Kong Thai Sawmill in Batu Niah, Miri the following year.
His good ethics, integrity and diligence saw him rising to chief clerk to manager of the timber camp within a year and half before he was transferred to Nunukan Island in Indonesia where he work far two years before returning to Miri in 1972.
With another looming prospect of being transferred to Indonesia, he baldly decided to resign as he was eager to settle down and start a family in his home state.
His personal belief and conviction that hard work, ethics and integrity always succeed in the long run in both business and at the personal level has been proven by his impeccable track record which is the envy of peers in the industry.
Despite the heady success of the company, Ling has always kept in mind and remained true to what was most important things in his life - family, health and business.
A very private person despite leading a public-listed company, Ling is married to Doris Wang Siew Hong and they are blessed, with two sons Joe, Jason and a daughter Joyce.
The children are all graduates from the University of Western Australia with degrees in mechanical engineering (Joe), medicine (Joyce) and architecture (Jason).
Joe has been groomed to take over from his father after joining the company in 1988 and is the deputy managing director, while Joyce is a consultant doctor at Sydney General Hospital while Jason is now a practicing architect.
His philosophy in life, as he would always tell people, is to live a simple life, never to cheat and be honest. This is reflected in him valuing honour and gaining the respect of his peers, where making profits in an honest and respectable way is the only way.
His numerous contributions to schools, churches, mosques, NGOs and other worthy causes spanning the state speaks of his benevolence and values and nobility in motion.