One of Malaysia's more prominent individuals, YM Datuk Seri Utama Raja Nong Chik is a man of many facets.
Indeed, few can claim to have worn so many different hats as YM Datuk Seri Utama Raja Nong Chik has done throughout his illustrious career: civil servant, entrepreneur, industry leader, NGO head and politician.
More importantly, he has done them well.
He has led the growth of his companies to what it is today, ascended the ladder of Malaysian politics—culminating as a senator and a Federal Minister—and now today, at 60-years old, still imbues a rigorous discipline and youthful energy into his work.
YM Datuk Seri Utama Raja Nong Chik was born in 1953 into a family already well-known for distinguished civil service. His grandfather, Dato' Mustapha Albakri was the Keeper of the Rulers' Seal and first chairman of the Elections Commission. His father, Dato' Raja Zainal Abidin, was the former Chief Secretary of the Health Ministry.
YM Datuk Seri Utama Raja Nong Chik received his early education at Methodist Boys' School before continuing his studies at the Victoria Institution and the prestigious Royal Military College, Kuala Lumpur.
He graduated with a Honours Degree in Economics from the University of Wales, Aberysthwyth. He is a fellow member the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA).
Upon completing his studies, YM Datuk Seri Utama Raja Nong Chik began his career with the Federal Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (FELCRA) and went on to join the Government-linked company FIMA Group, as its manager of corporate planning.
He then made the crucial move to leave Government service and delve into the business world. It was not long before the barely 30 year-old YM Datuk Seri Utama Raja Nong Chik began truly displaying his acumen for business.
In 1982, he had become the executive director of OYL Industries, a company that initially began as an assembler of air-conditioning, refridgerators and other appliances.
Realising the dream of a homegrown line of air-conditioning products, YM Datuk Seri Utama Raja Nong Chik founded the brand ACSON in 1984. Today, ACSON is one of the leading brands in air-conditioning and sold in over 50 countries worldwide.
By 1986, just four years after joining OYL, YM Datuk Seri Utama Raja Nong Chik successfully led the public listing of OYL Manufacturing Company on Bursa Malaysia (then known as Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange).
OYL had become one of the world's leading manufacturer for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) and with exports to numerous countries across the globe.
It wasn't long before OYL attracted the interest of others and the company was subsequently acquired by the Hong Leong Group and later Japan's HVAC giant—Daikin Industries Ltd.
Closing one chapter behind him, YM Datuk Seri Utama Raja Nong Chik's began setting his sights on building Rasma Corporation, which he had earlier founded in 1991, into a leading mechanical & electrical contractor.
Under his leadership, the company has grown rapidly and won awards for quality completion of its projects. Till date, Rasma has completed nearly RM300 million in value of electrical, mechanical, civil and other supply or build projects.
Despite his hectic schedule, YM Datuk Seri Utama Raja Nong Chik continued to contribute much towards the development of entrepreneurship in Malaysia. He was a member of the National Innovation Council of Malaysia and a committee member of the Selangor Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers for a number of years. He had also served as the President of the Bumiputera Manufacturers and Services Industry Association Malaysia and President of the Malay Mechanical Contractors Association Malaysia.
In April 2009, YM Datuk Seri Utama Raja Nong Chik answered a different call of duty. Asked to serve his country, YM Datuk Seri Utama Raja Nong Chik relinquished all his business positions to be sworn in as a Senator in the Dewan Negara (Malaysian Upper House of Parliament). He was also appointed Minister of Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing, Malaysia; an office in which he served tiil May 2013.
Now, back into the business sector once more, the affable and ever-smiling YM Datuk Seri Utama Raja Nong Chik is poised to launch several new diversifying ventures in the near future that will leverage from Rasma Corporation's core management experience and strengths. Undoubtably, the new ventures will benefit much from his sharp insight and tenacity.
It brings to mind, when at a political event someone once urged YM Datuk Seri Utama Raja Nong Chik to devote more time in holding political rallies that will boost his popularity. Without the slightest hesitation, he replied, "Leaders should be judged by the quality of their work, not their talk."
For YM Datuk Seri Utama Raja Nong Chik, there can never be a compromise when it comes to quality and timely delivery, even when faced with the risk of losing popularity. This commitment to quality, above others, defines the man and the company he has built.
YM Datuk Seri Utama Raja Nong Chik bin Dato' Raja Zainal Abidin