The Leap to Textile Industry from Police Force

Growing up in a large 300 acre estate in Kajang, Selangor where my father was the manager, I spent my early years observing my father do business. From an early age I learned how to look for business opportunities. Within myself a spirit of entrepreneurship is waiting to be awaken.

By the age of 21, I was already trading in the coconuts from father's estate. Although this gave me a great sense of achievement, I soon yearned to be independent.

At the age of 23, I decided to venture out into the world. My uncle who was in the Police Force and suggested that I join the Police Force to gain experience and exposure. I leapt at the opportunity and was appointed the rank of Probationary Inspector in the Special Branch. Little did I know of the heroic deeds I would be engaging in soon.

When I joined the Police Force in 1976, it was during the height of the communist insurgency. Nobody wanted to be posted to Perak which was at the heart of communist activity. In the Special Branch, only 15 out of 126 officers volunteered to go to Perak. I was one of them. I was involved in special operations throughout in the jungles of Perak, fighting against communists who were infiltrating the orang asli communities.

My first contact with the enemy was in a mining field in Gopeng during Ops Sitiawan, when my troops were engaged in a firefight with the communists. It was during these deadly situations that I learned a vital life-changing lesson - focus was the number one factor that separated success from failure. In 1991 I became the Head Prosecutor in Batu Pahat.

It was during the height of my career in the Police Force that my entrepreneurial spirit awoke again. So I started to do what I used to in his younger days - look for business opportunities.

Whilst in Batu Pahat I met an old colleague, Mr. Muniandy from Taiping, Perak, who was attached to a Textile Company, Sigma Textiles Sdn. Bhd as the factory manager. The factory was looking for a buyer. I bought over the company and engaged Mr. Muniandy as the General Manager to manage the business. Mr. Muniandy remains with me until today.

It was only in 1995 that I took up my optional retirement from the Police Force after 20 years of service. In 1996, I was finally able to actively participate in the running and building of the company. I garnered knowledge on Textile Manufacturing beginning with Warp Knitted Fabrics and subsequently indulged myself into the Textile Industry. 

Starting with a staff of 10 from the previous company, I focused on achieving a minimum target of 10% growth annually and diversified marketing.  

Hence Maple Tricot Industries Sdn Bhd supplies textiles to large manufacturers of branded apparels as well as to local garment makers large and small. The company also supply to the government and GLCs on tenders. Today the company employs around a hundred workers and able to produce 100 + tons of fabric a month, and have even started to produce fabrics for the automotive industry.  

This year marks the 25th anniversary since establishment. I believe in the potentials in the industry and will keep venturing forward from year onto year.

    ~ By Mr Khadmudin Bin Hj Mohd Rafik  ~

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