A man with an illustrious track record, Wong Kuen Kong (also known as KK Wong) is no stranger to the property development sector and heads Dynasty View Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of UM Land Berhad, as Chief Executive Offi cer. A seasoned developer with a good sense of the market, Wong Kuen Kong also serves as Deputy Chairman of the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (REHDA). A thoroughbred ‘Johorian’, Wong has seen how Johor Bahru has transformed from a rustic border town to a bustling metropolitan drawing tourists, investors and international communities who see the potential that Johor holds.
Wong’s journey began far from the road of property development. An accountant by training, his career started off in the fi nance section of an audit fi rm where he worked for 6 years. “After 6 years in the audit firm, I felt that I should venture into the commercial sector. I received an off er to join a property development firm, and that’s where it all started,” he reminisces.
It has been 25 years since that decision was made, and Wong has made a name for himself in the property development sector. He is now also a sought-after speaker at property seminars and conferences.
As an industry specialist and corporate leader, Wong subscribes to the philosophy that passion and commitment are indispensable attributes to achieve sustainable success. He explains that a pleasant and approachable character is very important in business. Wong’s leadership style is of a hands-on leader who prioritises the need to engage his people. “By engaging my staff , I am able to prevent and solve various problems. I also have a strong emphasis on teamwork, as I believe that’s what creates a healthy and productive workplace.”
Indeed he has proven that his formula works – Dynasty View has successfully bagged a total of 42 awards over a span of 3 years for industry excellence. In 2013, the Group won 3 awards, whilst in 2014 they won 20 awards, followed by another 19 in 2015. “These award are for the townships we developed, green initiatives, Best Developer recognition and various other categories. In fact, last year we were even awarded for our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) work,” shares Wong. The Group was the only developer to be awarded the Iskandar Malaysia Social Heroes Award (IMSHA).
A humble leader with a heart for his people, Wong credits these successes to his team, saying, “My defining moment was when I stepped on stage to receive these awards, and I was not only proud to be receiving this award but also proud of my team’s contributions and of the townships we have developed. I share this honour with my staff and business associates, who have made these achievements possible.”
Success is not all about winning awards but also watching the townships progressing and growing, as well as receiving positive feedback explains Wong.
When asked, how does a man of his stature observe work-life balance, he quips, “I have been working 7 days a week – so that’s not much of a balance there, but I do try to play golf once a week. That’s why passion for work is important as it keeps you going.”
Despite his many successes, Wong has had his fair share of challenges in his career. “The toughest challenge in my career was when I was assigned this project in 2005.” However, as a true leader, he was ready for the challenge and took it up. “Why not? I was excited to try something new. This opportunity exposed me to all areas and not only the financial portion.” Today, Wong is proud that his decision has paid off. Seri Austin is now one of the most soughtafter townships in Johor Bahru.
SERI AUSTIN AWARDS 2013
01 SME Recognition Award 2013 – Sahabat Negara Award
02 Malaysian Reserve Property Press Award 2013 – Seri Austin Residence – The Most Livable Residential Enclave
SERI AUSTIN AWARDS 2014
03 Asia Pacific Property Awards 2014-2015 – Property Single Unit (Best 5-Stars Award)
04 Asia Pacific Property Awards 2014-2015 – Residential Development
05 Southeast Asia Property Awards 2014 – Best Housing Development (South Malaysia)
06 Conducive Living Township Award 2014 by Johor Bahru City Council
07 Iskandar Malaysia Social Hero CSR Award 2014 by IRDA
08 Asia Success Award 2014 – Super Brand
09 Asia Success Award 2014 – Super Green Technology
10 Sin Chew Property Excellence Award 2014
11 CIDB Malaysia QLASSIC Top Quality Award 2014
12 Asia Most Impactful Brand Award 2014
13 Recognition as 1st Smart Healthy City and Communities Township in Iskandar Malaysia 2014 by IRDA
14 Recognition of 1st Smoke-free Townparks in Iskandar Malaysia 2014 by Ministry of Health
15 1st Smart Township with TM High Speed Broadband in Southern Malaysia Award 2014 by Telekom Malaysia
16 The Blue Ribbon Award 2014 by Ministry of Health
17 International Branding Showcase 2014 – Passion and Commitment Leadership Award
18 Sustainable Healthy Community Township Award 2014 by Johor Bahru City Council
19 Malaysian Reserve Property Press Readers Choice Award 2014 – Best Township
20 Malaysian Reserve Property Press Award 2014 – Property Man of The Year
21 Malaysian Reserve Property Press Award 2014 – Most Promising Smart Healthy City & Communities Township Concept
22 SME Recognition Award 2014 – Sahabat Negara Award
23 Outstanding Asia Entreprenuer Leadership Award 2014 by MAWN
SERI AUSTIN AWARDS 2015
24 Global Branding Awards 2015 – Global Best Brands in Green Initiative of The Year
25 ASEAN Outstanding Business Award 2015 – Master Class Award in Green Township
26 Asia Most Impactful Product Award 2015
27 21st Century Prestigious Brand Award 2015 – Master Class in Township Development
28 Asia Pacific Property Awards 2015 – 2016 Development Marketing Malaysia
29 Asia Pacific Property Awards 2015 – 2016 Office Development Malaysia
30 Asia Pacific Property Awards 2015 – 2016 Leisure Development Malaysia
31 Southeast Asia Property Awards 2015 Best Developer
32 Southeast Asia Property Awards 2015 Best Green Township
33 Southeast Asia Property Awards 2015 Special Recognition in CSR
34 Asia Success Awards 2015 – Super Gold in Best Smart Healthy Township
35 Nanyang Golden Eagle Awards 2015 – Eminent Eagle Award
36 Asia Pacific CSR Awards 2015 – CSR CEO of the Year
37 Malaysian Property Press Awards 2015 – Property Entreprenuer of The Year
38 Malaysian Property Press Awards 2015 – Winner of Best Township Project
39 Malaysian Property Press Awards 2015 – Winner of Most Luxurious Residential Project – D’Lagoon
40 Sin Chew Business Excellence Awards 2015 – Property Excellence Award
41 Sin Chew Business Excellence Awards 2015 – CSR Excellence Award
42 SME Recognition Award 2015 – Sahabat Negara Award
43 Asia Pacific CSR Awards 2015 – Master Class in Socially Responsible Green Intiative Developer
44 Selangor Excellence Business Awards 2015 – Property Icon of The Year
OUTLOOK FOR THE FUTURE
Wong is confident that the property sector will recover and be at its best within the next 2 years. However, his wish list is to see Bank Negara Malaysia provide special schemes or incentives for first-time buyers and graduates to purchase residential property. He advises that it is very important to teach the younger generation how to invest wisely and manage their finances. In the wake of the tough current economic situation and the nation’s high household debt, Wong explains that it is crucial for youngsters today to be educated on the importance of financial management.
OUTLOOK FOR THE SOUTHERN CORRIDOR
Wong notes that Iskandar Malaysia has so much potential especially with the infrastructure that has been built into the region, however, considering the growth rate of the region, there is a need for more extensive infrastructure to cater to the growing economic engine of Johor Bahru. “There isn’t sufficient connectivity in Johor presently. Places like Danga Bay need more infrastructure to support the growth of the area,” explains Wong.
On a more personal note, Wong shares that it is important for people to have the right attitude towards work and business. “You may have an MBA or a PhD, but when you come out to the business arena, what matters is attitude.”
Asked about his viewpoint on healthy living, Wong quips, “Balance is important – everything must be done in moderation.”