Royal Selangor Singapore just celebrated its 50th anniversary at an event at Shangri-La Hotel featuring a specially curated heritage gallery that traces the company’s history.
Brought into Singapore by Yong Poh Shin, son of Yong Peng Kai who is the owner of Selangor Pewter in Kuala Lumpur, he and his young team of Malaysian artisans hopped onto the southbound train in 1968 and dived straight into the business of pewter crafting in the company’s first overseas endeavour.
Today, Royal Selangor Singapore offers a wide range of tableware and gift items.
“It was in early 1968, the Singapore Economic Development Board paid us a surprise visit at our KL factory. He said he would like to invite us to set up production of pewter in the Republic of Singapore (to help with the unemployment issue in the Republic of Singapore).
“We asked Mr Chua (of EDB Singapore) what made him consider us and he explained that because you are labour intensive which is still practised up till today. He said he will be writing to us officially with an offer of pioneer status,” reminisced Yong Poh Shin, the chairman of Royal Selangor Singapore.
“We see Malaysia and Singapore as our home markets because companies on both sides of the Causeway give Royal Selangor items as something from this region to their foreign visitors.
“We feel that over the last 50 years, we have grown together with Singapore: in the early days the focus on hard work to survive in difficult circumstances, then the excitement of adolescent growth, the shift from low cost to value-add, the maturing phase with confidence in our heritage, and today the search for that next growth stage driven by creativity and technology,” said Chen Tien Yue, executive director of Royal Selangor Marketing.
Pioneering employees were honoured at the event and guests were also treated to a live demonstration on the art of engraving by Wong Suet Mooi, who has been with the company for more than 50 years.