‘Father of pen drive’ now a Datuk

GEORGE TOWN: Pen drive inventor Pua Khein Seng was beaming with joy after being conferred the Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri (DSPN) award which carries the title Datuk.

“I was informed last week that I would be receiving the award. It was surprising news for me,” said Pua, who is CEO of Taiwan-based Phison Engineering Corp.

The 38-year-old Malaysian, who is popularly known as K.S. Pua, invented the pen drive when he was only 27. The father of three is even regarded as the “father of the pen drive” in Malaysia.

“I want to share this award with all Chinese-educated students who pursue their studies overseas.

“They must put more effort and strive harder. They must also be humble,” he said yesterday.

 Official recognition: Pua receiving a gift from his business partner Hotayi Electronics (M) Sdn Bhd general manager Goh Guek Eng after the investiture ceremony.

Pua, who hails from Sekinchan, Selangor, said the recognition was a form of encouragement for Malaysian talents to return and contribute to the country’s development.

The former Pin Hwa High School student left Malaysia at the age of 19 to pursue his degree in electrical and control engineering at Chiao Tung University in Taiwan.

During his third year at Chiao Tung, he began conducting research into flash memory technology.

Pua founded Phison Electronics with four partners and produced the world’s first USB flash drive with system-on-chip technology in 2001.

To date, Phison, which stands for “five persons”, boasts a market capitalisation of US$1.4bil (RM4.43bil).

Pua’s success has brought him many awards in Taiwan including Outstanding Young Entrepreneur Award, Top 10 Outstanding General Managers’ Award and the Electronics Research and Service Organisation Award from the Pan Wen Yuan Foundation.

In Malaysia, he received an Outstanding Youth Award as well as the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

A total of 346 out of 1,138 recipients received their awards during the second session of the investiture ceremony in conjunction with the 74th birthday of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas.

By KOW KWAN YEE kowky@thestar.com.my

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