Datuk Dr Kelvin Tan: Man of the hour

News | 25 October 2013

For Datuk Dr Kelvin Tan, life is meaningless if one does not know how to love oneself.


THE watch that graces the wrist of TSH Resources chairman Datuk Dr Kelvin Tan is set in a platinum case. It is a unique piece by Ulysse Nardin called the Freak, possibly so because of its radical movement. It has neither hands, dial nor crown. To wind, the case is turned counter clockwise.

It is a fascinating piece to behold for all its parts can be seen moving in total transparency. Considering how minute the mechanism has to be, it is amazing to know that to stabilise the main spring, there is a ball bearing containing exactly 196 balls. It acts to minimise friction and provides enough power to last the watch seven days.

Available in a limited edition of 99 pieces, the Freak is perhaps a reflection of Tan’s personality – unique, self-made and full of amazing ideas.

It is the mark of a man who made the bold move to uproot to Tawau, Sabah, in 1986 to start a business in cocoa trading before venturing into palm oil. It speaks of someone who went into business and had to set up everything from scratch. It tells of an individual’s refusal to stick to convention, who researched the process of tissue culture, resulting in substantially higher oil yields in his company’s plantations.