LIEW CHOON KONG
(KONG WOOI FONG TEA MERCHANTS SDN. BHD.)
CHAIRMAN of Tea Trade Association of Malaysia
Tea is ranked amongst the top three most revered beverages in the world. For centuries, tea has been gracing the tables on all occasions and bridging the gaps of all walks of life, especially in its country of origin: China, where tea drinking has long been upheld as an important cultural aspect.
In a broader perspective, the entire tea growing and trading process of the commodity has not only been beneficial to individuals and nations, but also to the world, socially, culturally, economically and even politically, over the span of thousands of years.
Through the hard work and determination of our predecessors, tea has since spread far and wide from China. It was with the same unwavering spirit and resolve of the overseas Chinese that we, their fellow descendants in Malaysia, get to share and reap the fruits of this wondrous commodity from our forefathers.
Driven by the revival of tea drinking culture, the twenty-first century foresees an upsurge of tea consumption, which in turn enables a steady growth of the commodity. Whilst global warming and/or political instability in some tea-growing countries may have posed negative impact on total tea output; Malaysia still serves as an ideal tea stowing and trading point with our import duty-free policy and strategic geological conditions.
Malaysia has a unique blend of Chinese and Western tea-drinking cultures that delve deep into our tradition. While it is reflective of our multi-racial society, it also enables Malaysia to play a vital role in promoting tea trading on a global basis.
As we journey into our 57th year of establishment, it is most gratifying to see that our Association has progressed and flourished over the decades, fueled by the abundant wealth of experiences of our fellow members. So long as we stay united in safeguarding the rights and benefits of our commodity and endorse fair trade, I am positive of a buoyant outlook for tea trading for years to come.
In the spirit of spreading tea culture further and building a platform for knowledge sharing and gathering amongst our members, we debuted our very own periodical entitled MTTA(茶事茶味） in October 2012. With the impressive forces of our fellow members, a publishing committee and a voluntary, non-tea trading entity combined; the periodical is undoubtedly a labour of love, of which the steadfast dedication and selfless contribution of all involved have touched my heart. It is my hope that with the periodical and website in place, fellow members can now obtain deeper understanding of and connection in tea-related activities, culture, history and even the future.
In appreciation of the efforts and determinations of our forefathers and your invaluable support and high regard to the Association, I endeavour to uphold our coalition, give selflessly for the rights and benefits of all and scale new heights for our glory.
I am blessed to be able to follow in the footsteps of my late father, Liew Yin Beng, who co-founded the Association and served as the President for many years. Having witnessed the hard labour of our predecessors, I cherish the Association with the highest esteem and vow hereby, once again, to put all I have towards the welfare of our Tea Association!