Do or die for successful Lahad Datu entrepreneur
Last Update: 04/06/2019
By Khatijah Jistoh
LAHAD DATU, June 4 (Bernama) -- Father of four Suhailly Waydie did not have a steady job but always believed that he could have a better future by doing something about it, which was what he did.
With a do or die conviction, he set up a seaweed company with one Albani Dammani as a business partner to form Albani Enterprise Sdn Bhd in 2015.
"All I had was my enthusiasm, my wife (45-year-old), Ratnah Kassim's support, my business partner's vast experience and some financial capital to start a farm growing tambalang (Kappaphycus) seaweed in the waters in Bangkaruan, about 30 kilometres off Lahad Datu.
"Bangkaruan is a strategic location as it is not exposed to the open sea, not wavy and rarely disturbed by turtles,” he told Bernama.
His farm has grown to 90 acres yielding more than 30 tonnes of seaweed a month.
“We can harvest in 25 to 40 days and usually those that we harvest after 25 to 27 are lush and good,” he shared.
Suhailly, 46, said the seaweeds are then sent to the collection centre in Semporna and sold for between RM3.50 and RM6 a kilogram, depending on the season.
To deepen his knowledge, he reads books and magazines on aquaculture, research as well as shares and exchanges information with others in the field.
“We faced a lot of challenges but thankfully, we received assistance to this day from the government through the district fisheries department."
After all, he noted, the seaweed industry is a catalyst for the economic well-being of the local community.
“Currently I have 30 workers and they are provided quarters near the farms where they can live with their families."
Concentrating not only on his seaweed farm, the intrepid entrepreneur ventured into cage fish farming involving kerapu sampan hibrid (hybrid grouper) and keratang (giant grouper) over an area of five acres in the same waters.
All his 27 cages have produced quality fish and a lucrative income, allowing him to further expand his dream.
“At the moment, my market is only within Sabah and it is my desire to expand it to Japan, China and Hong Kong," he said.
Not satisfied with his achievement, he forged a partnership with four other entrepreneurs to form a company Heng Seng Trading, with 60 per cent being his share, in a fish landing jetty venture in Merabong, Tungku, located about 52 kilometres from Lahad Datu.
Suhailly utilised one acre of the 15 acres he had applied for the jetty, for five fishing industry companies and their fishermen.
"As for my future plans, I want to build a factory that runs on technology and innovation."
Meanwhile, he has this advice for the youth - "Be daring to change if you want your life to be better.
If we dare to dream, we must have the audacity to achieve it because this life is just too short; if we are too lazy to change, we will die without leaving any legacy,” he said.