Tan Kok Ping back in business

Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce lifetime adviser Tan Sri Tan Kok Ping has returned to the spotlight in his home state after listed firm – Berjaya Sports Toto Bhd appointed him as the non – independent and non – executive chairman of the gaming group effective immediately.

The weekend announcement sees Tan replacing Cheah Tek Kuang who has resigned.

Tan had previously replaced Cheah in Berjaya Sports Toto six years ago.

Tan, 76, is tycoon in Penang, who was also involved in politics having joined both MCA and Gerakan before deciding to fully focus on the business world since 2008.

He was accredited as the individual, who guided DAP into Penang’s mainstream politics when as the Han Chiang College board chairperson, he allowed the party access to the school grounds to hold a finale ceramah on the eve of the 2008 general election.

His return to the corporate work also marked two major events to have emerged in Penang recently.

The first was that mediation had failed between Tan’s legal team and Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow’s one which will see both sides proceeding with their defamation trial.

Tan is suing Chow for libel on grounds the latter’s remarks in a media conference had belittled him concerning his resignation as the honorary chairman of the Silver Jubilee Home for the Aged.

Tan & Tan

The second major event concerns reports that the Penang Turf Club, which sits on 81ha of prime land in Batu Gantong, is seeking board approval to sell their land next month.

If it happens, the club will cease operating as a race course and horse racing entity here, paving way for the redevelopment of the strategic land parcel.

Next to the Turf Club, is a Berjaya Land Bhd retirement home project.

Berjaya is a conglomerate, helmed by Tan’s friend – Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun.

Political observers here see Tan’s corporate manoeuvring as an eye opener given the impression that he had opted to scale down his business dealings in recent years, and after retiring from the chamber, he was seen to be edging towards retirement.

But the events of late, has indicated otherwise.