Loh Wai Kiew
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Loh Wai Kiew, (b. 1961, Malaysia - ), President and CEO of SembCorp Environmental Management (SembEnviro) Pte. Ltd., is a prominent female entrepreneur. She has expanded the operations of the company to focus on recycling (instead of waste management). As an active advocate of household recycling, she has admitted to buying clothes from used clothing stores. She is also a volunteer in the Bonding the Ethnic Environmental Programme.
Early Life and Education
Loh Wai Kiew is the great-great-granddaughter of Kapitan Yap Kwan Seng, one of the founders of modern Kuala Lumpur. She spent her childhood in Ulu Kelang, Selangor. In Cantonese, her name means timid or immature, and she has made it her undertaking to prove that she is not that. As she had overcome asthma in her childhood, she would do so for the other obstacles in her life.
At 12, she picked a girl's Catholic school in Bradford, Yorkshire, England, for her secondary education. Her father was a pilot and since she was a child, she had nurtured a love for aeronautics. She pursued this love through a scholarship, studying aeronautical engineering at London's Imperial College of Science and Technology. However, upon her graduation, she accompanied her family to Australia but was left doing menial jobs as the country was in the throes of a recession. In 1994, she took a Masters degree in management science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA, on a scholarship from Sembawang Corporation.
Loh is inspired by Richard Branson's branding of the Virgin group of companies and Coca Cola's tactic of customising products to local taste.
The major milestones in her career are:
1982 : Aircraft engineer in Singapore Technologies Aerospace., the first female in Singapore to hold this position.
1986 : seconded to the Economic Development Board by Singapore Aerospace for nine years where she became the first female director of their Boston office.
Jun 2000 : Head of SembEnviro, originally with four staff. The unit later expanded to 1,600 staff in Singapore and Australia.
2001 : Began the "green-bag programme" to encourage the recycling of waste from households. This program was accompanied by a S$3 million publicity campaign that involved 400 kindergartens, and primary and secondary schools using Toria, a stylized tree frog, as a mascot.
2002 : On the Board of Directors, National Environmental Agency.
2002 : Chairman, Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore.
Dec 2002 : Made the SembCorp annual calendar a must-have featuring artistic photographs of scantily-clad models posing with animals.
2003 : Member, Engineering Services Working Group, Ministry of Trade and Industry.
2003 : International Management Action Award.
Balbinder Kaur Dhaliwa
Tan, J. (2003, June). Cleaning up the state. Singapore Tatler, 82-83.
(Call no.: SING 959.57 ST)
Cheong, S. W. (2003, March 16). You go, girl! The Straits Times, Life!
Kaur, S. (2001, April 17). Getting aggressive about recycling. The Straits Times, Home, p. 1.
Kaur, S. (2003, January 19). She is at the top of the heap. The Sunday Times, Prime News.
Ministry of Trade and Industry. (2003). Composition of the Engineering Services Working Group. Retrieved August 11, 2003, from www.erc.gov.sg/Public/CMN/frm_OTH_default.asp?cid=987
National Environmental Agency. . National Environmental Agency organisation chart. Retrieved August 11, 2003, from www.nea.gov.sg/cms/cpodd/org_chart_2002.html
The information in this article is valid as at 2003 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.
Loh, Wai Kiew, 1961-
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