Title: Tengku Noor Zakiah: Malaysia’s Pioneering Stockbroker
Author: Tan Sri Datuk Paduka Tengku Noor Zakiah Tengku Ismail
Publication year: 2019
Publisher: MPH Group Publishing Sdn Bhd
The book ‘Tengku Noor Zakiah: Malaysia’s Pioneering Stockbroker’ is a memoir about a woman going through her tough life on a journey to become the most successful women in the stockbroking business in Malaysia.
In the book, Tan Sri Datuk Paduka Tengku Noor Zakiah Tengku Ismail writes how her life began as a Malay royalty from a Patani ruler in Kelantan since she was a child. Her book also tells stories about her own family, about her father and mother, and other events that occurred throughout her life.
From natural disasters to the event of World War II, her life can be described as extraordinary and adventurous moving here and there. The book also tells how she began to do business since little until she was old enough to set-up shops.Through trial and errors in bu
siness, she worked her way to become the best that she could without giving up. Her love life also made it interesting to read the book, adding emotions in reading experience.
Included in the book are the origins of the company name, which was inspired by the Kenanga flowers that grew on the Mengkebang Estate managed by her father, as well as her ventures into the stock market in the 60s where she eventually acquired her stock broking licence and co-founded the investment company she has become synonymous with today.
Her success in the stockbroking business lifted the name of Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd (KIBB), founded by herself in 1973 and she remained the executive chairman of the company until January 2007. She was designated as non-executive chairman in 2010, and then appointed as an advisor for the company.
Tengku Noor Zakiah’s KIBB was the pinnacle part of the book, how she started from nothing to becoming known throughout the global stage. KIBB was part of her and her success in the stockbroking business.
It was a learning process in the beginning of her career, meeting new people to becoming an examplary leader, a teacher and a ‘mother’ to her employees. She described those who work with her company as “part of family”.
She was the first lady to be a member of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE), now known as Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd, in 1964. She was also one of the founders of the Association of Stockbroking Companies Malaysia and was the chairman in 1994.
Tengku Noor Zakiah was conferred the “Lady Extraordinaire Award 2014” in recognition of her contributions and achievements in stockbroking. She also received the “Ikon Peniagawati 2015” in recognition of her entrepreneurship and for being the first female Bumiputera in the stockbroking field in Malaysia.
The book carefully navigated throuh phases of her lifetime, and it was an interesting read for me. I can feel the passion, the enthusiasm, and the love that she poured in the things she loved to do.
Her memoir can inspire everyone, especially women who will or may want to read this. Every chapter shows the human side of her, along with references of family members and also friends that helped her, weaved into her excellent stroytelling together with the unusual events she experienced throughout her journey.
It is a compelling story that will pull the reader into wanting to know more about her life and her road to success. I feel like details in her memoir can spur the young adults of Malaysia to strive to benchmark their performance to the highest level possible, and venture into new sectors continuously being opened up by the process of globalisation.
The book itself is really easy to understand, yet it still gives more for the readers to enjoy, with each chapter telling stories, even with smaller details of what was going on in her past.
Through her writings, we can see how family values and entrepreneurial spirit honed in her youth have shaped her into the formidable business woman she is today. For me, it fits to my kind of taste as reading to pass time, and for inspiration.
I would give Tengku Noor Zakiah’s memoir thumbs up, rather than rating it because it is enjoyable to read, inspirational, motivating and a good lesson too. From my personal opinion, there is nothing wrong with it because it is a story that everyone will love to read. Tengku Noor Zakiah really is an inspiration as she has proven that there is no barrier for success in any endeavour.