The History of Batu Pahat Furniture Association
In early 1972, the government had announced imposition of a 5% sales tax to various industries in Malaysia to increase income of the country and to be used as construction and development fund. In view of the new tax system would burden businesses and affect profits, a lot of manufacturers and traders had acted in groups to urge the government to reconsider the decision. This is the historical background of the formation of Batu Pahat Furniture Association.
Some of the local manufacturers and traders had foreseen the needs of forming a furniture association in Batu Pahat to safeguard and secure common interest and rights for those who were in the business. They then began to organize the details. The main initiators were Tu Go San village head of Sin Heng Furniture Trading & Co., Neo Lea Kong of Hock Perniagaan Perabot, Lim Ong Chuat of Yih An Furniture, Goh Guat Ghim of Tong Guan Furniture, Yap Hoo Bi of Kedai Perabut Hup Heng, Ong Seng Kiat of Chop Seng Kiat & Co., Lee Kee Tuan of Sin Tai Seng Furniture, Neo Kim Seng of Tak Heng Furniture, Teo Ah Peng of Yong Tat Trading, Tee Boon Kong of Syarikat Wah Kong Trading, Tan Hock Kim of Tan Hock Kim Furniture and Khaw Kay Teck of Hau Hwa Interior Design Sdn. Bhd.
At the initial stage, the base of the association was set at Sin Heng Furniture Trading & Co. which was located at 55-1A , Jalan Besar, 83010 Tongkang Pechah, Johor. It had taken years and numerous efforts, contributed by the organizing committee members before Batu Pahat Furniture Association had finally being registered as a legal association under Registry of Societies Malaysia at Johor Bahru on 21 September 1981. In year 1982 , Batu Pahat Furniture Association had shifted its office to 37-2C Jalan Mohd Salleh, 83000 Batu Pahat, Johor. The association had then relocated its office for thrice from 1983 to 1992. The premises were:
- 150-2A, Jalan Rahmat. (1983 to1987)
- 3B, Jalan Kuning, Taman Bukit Pasir. (1987 to 1989)
- 36-A, Jalan Kuning, Taman Bukit Pasir. (1990 to 1992)
The members of Batu Pahat Furniture Association had increased by large numbers after several years from its establishment. The committee members of 1991/1992 had presented a proposal to raise fund to purchase a permanent premise for the association’s activities instead of renting from third parties. The proposal had received positive response. The committee members had then worked hand in hand to gather funds from local traders and manufacturers. They had also contributed their own donations so that the plan could be realized within the shortest time frame. Finally they were able to purchase a double-storey shop house as the association’s premise and it is now still the administrative office of the association. The shop house was bought for RM188,000 and the renovation expenses was RM50,000. The premise was properly designed and perfectly equipped for meeting, administration and event purposes. The building is located at 48, Jalan Kundang 4, Taman Bukit Pasir, 83000 Batu Pahat, Johor. The administration office is set at the first floor while the ground floor is rented out to earn some monthly fund for the association.
Since the association’s establishment, the committee members have been continuously fighting for common benefits and welfare for the members. The association has also been promoting the value of consideration among the members and putting in efforts in preventing unhealthy price competition in the market. Besides that, Lu Ban festival banquet is held annually to commemorate Lu Ban – the patron saint of Chinese builders and contractors. The celebration of this festival also serves the purpose of cultivating business networking among the members. Since 1984, Batu Pahat Furniture Association has initiated a Reward Program of Outstanding Academic Performance for the members’ children to encourage them in their pursuit of knowledge in education institutions. The association is planning to organize more seminars and workshops for the members in the future to enhance their professional expertise. The association also hopes to promote and upgrade the use of information technology and at the same time contribute in cultural and educational sector in the local community.
The permanent premise of Batu Pahat Furniture Association has started its operation since January 1993. The grand opening ceremony and a banquet were held at 31 July of the same year at Chinese High School Batu Pahat. Representatives from the local associations and organizations were invited to share the joy of this remarkable day.