Proof of loyalty:
Three staff who serve The Federal Hotel more than 3 decades
A Supayah, maintenance manager
At 66, A Supayah, dressed smartly in his bush jacket, still struts around The Federal Hotel Kuala Lumpur making sure nothing hampers operations.
He is a man of few words but thoughts of how his family also grew up with his job at the hotel brought a smile to his face. “I have two children, a son aged 36, works as a Safety Manager and a daughter 34 is a doctor,” he proudly declared.
“Both my children’s wedding dinners were held at the ballroom of The Federal Hotel. It was like a celebration with one big family. My colleagues here helped with the preparations and entertained the guests,” said Supayah in explaining the reason for his long service.
A young Supayah walked into The Federal Hotel when he was 18 on a friend’s recommendation. During that time, recommendation from a friend who worked in the hotel is a good enough testimony of one’s worthiness for hire.
Soon after a brief interview Supayah began work as a general apprentice and worked diligently up the ladder to become assistant supervisor in 1971.
“I was a trainee plumber in the 1970s. On one occasion when I was fixing the toilet on the first floor, I looked up and saw the late Tan Sri Low Yat standing there watching me. He told me “Tamby, ini barang jangan kasi pecah (Brother, don’t break this thing!)’ I was so shocked I said no, no I will fix it.”
That was Supayah’s lasting memory of his boss Tan Sri Low Yat, the late Chairman of Low Yat Group. When Tan Sri Low Yat’s son Tan Sri Low Yow Chuan took over the helm, he too were frequently seen on the floor of the hotel.
“I have worked for 3 generations and a 4th is coming on board,” Supayah who walked through the doors of The Federal Hotel believing that he was working for the best hotel in town. He will carry this feeling when he finally walks out into retirement.
Ng Eng Sang, 64, Driver
“IF they were to give medals for long service, I think I will receive a bronze one,” Eng Sang laughs as he proudly declares his service of 42 years at The Federal Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.
When he was 22, like most of the colleagues, he came to work for The Federal Hotel on a friend’s recommendation. He was hired as a driver to transport the Aeroflot airline crew to and from the airport.
“They were not well to do, they couldn’t give me tips but they brought me souvenirs. I remember how they used to tell me to turn down the air conditioner in the van. I was surprised that coming from a cold country like Russian they should be able to withstand the cold,” Eng Sang quips.
He also holds good memories of the football teams who used to stay in The Federal Hotel during Merdeka Cup tournaments. Eng Sang looked forward to the celebratory atmosphere in the hotel when the national team and various foreign teams stayed there each year.
But what Eng Sang, who is unmarried, truly holds dear to his heart is how caring his ‘family’ at The Federal Hotel is and he appreciates the generosity of the management who provides him three meals a day.
As such he doesn’t feel the stress even when he has to work beyond the stipulated 8 hours.
At 54, Razak is considered the youngest amongst the group veterans. Even so, he has already served 31 years in the maintenance section of the hotel.
He used to work at a factory until his neighbour in Kuala Selangor recommended him a job at a prestigious hotel – The Federal Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. And he has not looked back since.
Razak is appreciative and proud that he is working for an establishment that was declared open by the first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman. And he makes sure his 3 children are aware of this.
“I have worked a long time here because people are generally cooperative and we don’t fight with one another. We talk through our problems,” Razak said he would continue to serve at the hotel for as long as he can work.
The Federal Kuala Lumpur Timeline
Federal Hotels International (FHI) has over six decades of experience in the Malaysian hospitality industry. FHI is the pioneer Malaysian Hotel Management Company, established in 1957, to manage the first international hotel in Kuala Lumpur – The Federal Kuala Lumpur – that opened its doors on 28 August 1957. Today, FHI manages The Federal Kuala Lumpur, Hotel Capitol Kuala Lumpur, The Grace Hotel Sydney and Tribeca Serviced Suites Bukit Bintang.