The Malaysian Insider features a report on Liew Mun Leong, The President and CEO of Singapore's CapitaLand Group.
Mr Liew has more than 30 years of experience in construction and real estate in Singapore and overseas. For five years, he was CEO of Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research (SISIR), From 1997 to 1998, he was elected the President of International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).
Mr Liew graduated from the University of Singapore with a Civil Engineering degree in 1970 and is a registered professional civil engineer. In 2006, he was awarded Outstanding CEO of the Year in the Singapore Business Awards.
He was also conferred the CEO of the Year award at the 2007 Singapore Corporate
What has Mr Liew got to say about the current economic downturn? Take a look:
"Retrenchment is 'morally wrong'."
“When someone is retrenched, they lose their livelihood, their ability to support family, send children to school, pay their mortgages. There's lots of suffering,” he says.
Mr Liew knows what he is talking about for he had tasted the bitterness when his father was retrenched back in 1963.
Home was a rented room in a terrace house in Serangoon, where seven of them crammed into a single bedroom. After his father got fired, he remembers how worried they all were. “No work, no money,” he sums up grimly.
“I feel it more because I went through this myself. Maybe that's the difference between a CEO who has suffered through this and someone who hasn't. I'm from the proletariat,” he says.
“I believe in the theory of common happiness and common misery. In good times, give bonuses. In bad times, take a salary cut. If the cost savings of retrenching 100 out of 1,000 employees can be obtained by a wage cut, you achieve the same objective. It's a better way of maintaining viability, even at the expense of more people. It saves some jobs.”
“From our perspective, loyalty between company and staff is a two-way street,” he says. “Unless the company is loyal to its staff, they cannot be loyal to the company."
“You cannot treat people as dispensable items — in good times, we want you; in bad times, we don't want you. Our staff are an asset on our balance sheet and we must treat them as such.”
And what about this gem of a statement?
This separates the mediocre from the excellence!! The wise from the foolish. The successful from the failure!! The visionary from the myopic.
What do you think?