KUALA TERENGGANU: He may have been a high school dropout at 15 but Chong Fah Ming proved that dedication and hard work can make all the difference.
Better known as S.P. (for Syarikat Perniagaan) Chong, he is now deemed the ‘brake master’ in the country with his AFI brand of integrated, motor vehicle disc-brake pads, shoes and lining.
“I started off from scratch after finishing Form Three at the Budu Secondary School in Benta, Kuala Lipis, Pahang.
“As the youngest son of five children of a poor farmer from China, and unable to continue schooling, my father challenged me to make the best in life.
“I got my break in 1971 when at 17, I became a van salesman distributing sundries in Kelantan and Terengganu for a mere RM40 monthly salary,” said Chong, 63.
He added, two years later, he established his own Syarikat Perniagaan Chong Sdn Bhd as a general trading wholesaler. The company still exists in Gong Badak today.
Buoyed by the rapid industrialisation of the country, Chong took the bold step in 1995 to take control of the joint-venture AFI (automotive friction industries) Brake Manufacturing Sdn Bhd as its chairman in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur.