Founder of Emkay Group – Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu

It was a very special evening for him and the Emkay Group, which he founded in 1983. The abundance of good food, entertainment

Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu

Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal Abu

and even a one-minute display of fireworks celebrated three official launches — the Menara Mustapha Kamal office tower, the Emkay gallery, and the Building Passion with Mustapha Kamal book — to mark Emkay’s 26-year journey as a property developer.

The towering 21-storey Menara Mustapha Kamal, said MK, is a monument of Emkay’s achievements. Also, it houses the entire group under the same roof for the first time.

Since its inception 26 years ago, Emkay has built properties amounting to more than RM8 billion in value, the bulk of which were affordable homes, according to MK, dubbed ‘The King of Affordable Homes’, in his welcoming speech.

The Bumiputera property magnate shared the ‘secret’ of his success, the driving force that kept him going when challenges came his way.

`The fear of failure,’ MK revealed to the 530 guests present.

`I could not afford to fail. My family depended on me. The livelihood of my staff, and their families, depended on the company. And most importantly, my greatest fear was that people would point to my failure and say that Malays could never succeed,’ he shared.

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Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who officiated the event that night, hailed MK as a `shining example’ of successful Malay entrepreneurship, and commended him on his attitude of tahu malu (knowing how to be ashamed).

`I am proud of Mustapha Kamal’s attitude. He took full advantage of the opportunities opened to him (as a Bumiputera), but unlike others, he never abused them. He was not interested in the “get rich quick” route. He knew how to be malu (ashamed),’ said Dr Mahathir.

MK’s 26-year journey with Emkay is documented in the book Building Passion with Mustapha Kamal as well as the Emkay Gallery located at the lobby floor of Menara Mustapha Kamal.

The book, wrote author Cheah Chor Sooi in the preface, was originally meant as a biography, ‘but being an individual who despises the act of self-praise, it was decided that this book would only focus on MK’s business philosophy and management methods‘.

“The book is based on my experience, not on theory. With what we have gone through and experienced, I sincerely believe that we can humbly share some thoughts on how we have managed to keep the Emkay Group agile all this while and sustain it to what it is today. If what I say is in line with the management gurus, Alhamdulilah (Praise God), if not, so what?” MK said candidly.

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The 3,063 square feet Emkay Gallery, meanwhile, features five sections: The Journey, The Mission, The Passion, The Love, and The Legacy. The gallery, which cost RM1.5 million to set up, is open to the public from Nov 1. Entrance is free.

Menara Mustapha Kamal is a 21-storey office tower with a total built-up space of 201,508 sq ft. The Emkay Group occupies six floors while the remaining available space will be rented out. The tower, purchased at RM85 million, is one of the four towers of the PJ Trade Centre, Damansara Perdana. It was developed by Tujuan Gemilang Sdn Bhd, a company helmed by MK’s heir apparent Ahmad Khalif Mustapha Kamal.

Emkay has come a long way since its first major breakthrough project: Bandar Baru Sungai Buloh. As it continues to grow, MK will make sure Emkay will always be driven by his vision of ‘Building a Better Tomorrow Today‘.