Back in year 2011, a designer in Maica Laminates decided to create a mascot that would soon bring some sparkle to the serious building and construction industry. However, a mascot will only be so much as a “mascot” if it is considered as a mascot. Hence, when the cherubic mascot was born in the afternoon of 11 January 2011, the team gave it a bigger role, as the maiAmbassador for the company. We called it, “maimai”.
The name is a combination of “M” which stands for “Mother” and “Ai” which means love in the Chinese and Japanese language. From that point onwards, maimai was given the task of being the voice of Maica, bringing forth the company’s subtle messages of care for the environment, for people and in general, beings, both animate and inanimate. The maiAmbassador carries a positive mindset, and is loved by staff members for its energy and passion.
Soon, all staff members are regarded as maimai in the company. Whenever you visit the company’s Facebook profile (yes, it is not a page, it is a profile), you will be greeted by maimai, and not by any other staff members of the company. maimai will also be the one answering to general email inquiries sent to email@example.com, and maimai will also be the one to delegate the requests to other colleagues depending on the nature and location of the inquiries.
Sometimes, some people will want to know who is this person behind “maimai”. Is it one person or are there many people? Well, sometimes there is only one, but at other times, it may be many. At this moment, nobody can really pinpoint who it is and it shall remain a company secret for many years to come.
Ultimately, the person behind maimai is not going to be important. The most important thing is for maimai to be able to bring happiness and help people to solve their problems. Whether it is one maimai or many maimai, it really does not matter. maiAmbassador maimai will always deliver the best possible within its ability to you.
There are very few older companies that have not changed their logo over the years. Logo is the identity of a company, and many companies have gone through rebranding exercises with the advance of modern economics.
We did too. Previously, our logo designs had been pretty standard, with the name of our company within an enclosure, first of an oval and then of a rectangle. In 2008, we changed.
The logo became borderless. The font became a friendly, non-invasive font with all its rounded edges and easy readability.
Why had it become colourful? Each colour represents Maica’s distinguish characteristics.
Blue – The original colour for Maica’s logo is blue. Blue is the colour of reliability, but we opt out of the traditional navy blue. We use a light blue, a colour often used by hospitals. Hence, the light blue is chosen as Maica takes up the responsibilities of providing our products for applications at different places, including hospitals and laboratories. The anti-microbial properties (anti-bacteria and anti-fungi) are possible with Silver Ion Technology, and as early as the start of the Y2K millenium we already offer anti-microbial panels to customers upon request. Late 2011, we decided to offer anti-microbial to our full range of products except for those that are not possible, such as maiMetal, and launched this idea to public in 2012. Also, besides anti-microbial properties, the panels are also constantly tested for VOC emissions under the GREENGUARD and GREENGUARD GOLD programmes, internationally accredited and acknowledge in the industry. This is our commitment.
Orange – The Orange colour is a representation of our maiLab Chem products. The orange colour is an energetic colour, and it suits well with our maiLab Chem products by being a chemical resistant product. When we talk about orange colour, vitamin C comes to mind, building resistance to our body, similarly maiLab Chem is resistant against chemicals used in professional laboratories. Similarly so for Maica Laminates, we ensure that our company is healthy as we still have a long way to go.
Yellow – Yellow is sunshine. Yellow is a bright and happy colour, which is representative of our people’s bubbly personality. Most of us are bursting with joy and energy on the inside even if we seem to be sitting down at our desks, seemingly lifeless with the laptop (haha!). Hence, you tend to see us maimai as happy people who have a cheerful outlook of life.
Magenta – maimai likes Magenta. It is not red, it is not purple. It is magenta. Magenta is a colour of passion, of loyalty. It is also the colour representing maiLaminate, our HPL range of products. maimai is passionate about HPL, and maimai is also loyal to the manufacturing of HPL products to maiCustomers. This passion is young and light hearted, which is why maimai seeks opportunities to explore. The world is huge, there are still a lot of things to learn, and maimai is passionate about learning.
Green – Finally, there is Green. Green is an ever-youthful colour. We use green to represent our maiCompact laminate range, and we are constantly finding new ways to make our maiCompact better and more applicable to everyone’s life. Similarly, maimai is constantly discovering new ways to make maimai relevant to the lives of others, for example the implementation of various maiCSR programmes to help others who need what we are able to offer.
So, the colour choices are not merely for aesthetic purposes. maimai is bursting with ideas and lots of energy, with the aspiration of making life better for everyone, every single day.
Last week, we promised to show you how beautiful our maiFactory environment is. The first photo above shows you the mini garden that greets you the moment you drive through the front gates of Maica Laminates factory in Mak Mandin.
These plants are well-cared for, and it provides a refreshing welcome to everyone. Each plant tells a story if you look at them very carefully, and they provide a beautiful relieve for sore eyes.
It takes real dedication to care for these flowers to blossom with such glorious beauty. They are enchanting bonsai of the Adenium obesum, and not everyone can succeed in cultivating them to such an extent.
If you look at the third plant from the left, it is also the same type of bonsai. This one is being cultivated, just look at the rich trunk and roots. And all the other plants here are carefully cultivated for them to realise their full potential in due time.
Even bougainvilleas blossom easily in Maica Laminates! There is so much richness in this land that plants thrive here regardless of what they are. As for the bigger trees, they are trimmed to look proper and neat.
Even trees that are behind the cars at the car park looks like they are dancing to the sunlight for the delight of the staff of Maica Laminates. They always say that plants reflect the well-being of the tenants. In this case, it is not surprising then that the plants in Maica Laminates blossom with such energy and youth. It reflects the energy and happiness of the people in the company.
Throughout the years, we experienced people coming and going. Some may be due to retirement, some due to different goals and ambitions, while there are also some who left this world. Such incidences are common as 49 years is not a short period of time.
Regardless, there are a lot of those who work with us for more than 10 years. It is not surprising, as we believe in humanity. Sometimes we may have activities to make life more interesting and meaningful for the staff members, such as our charity programmes and a Discorobic (disco-aerobics) programme for the staff to exercise after work. These programmes are offered to all staff members without any restriction.
There is also a canteen where the food is partially subsidised by the company to enable cheaper foods for the staff. It does not offer gourmet foods, but it offers some home-style cooking that offers daily soup (except if it is a fried-rice day). When the weather is bad (either too hot or raining), the canteen will be packed with our staff . The canteen is not big, but the cooking is pretty homely. Oh, and there is also ice cream.
Probably a most relaxing aspect of working in Maica is the simple landscape and plants. We shall explore on that further in another article, because the beautiful plants does bring forth a lighter mood for those who can appreciate the appeal of nature in the midst of the chaotic corporate world. Who does not welcome the embrace of greenery after a full day staring at the computer and looking at documents?
The process of building a factory is never easy. Maica chose to be in Mak Mandin Industrial Estate, and was one of the first factories in the area. In fact, Maica was the first local-foreign joint-venture company in Penang back in 1968, bringing in technology mostly from Japan and Europe.
Bringing in technology from abroad is not an option. It was a necessity, even until now. Maica is the first high pressure decorative laminates manufacturer in Malaysia, producing both HPL and Compact Laminates for local and export market. There had been no such engineering available to us back then, and even today we still need to refer to foreign technology to ensure that our products are in par with other manufacturers around the globe.
When the items were brought in, the construction can begin. As the machines are huge and sophisticated, the factory is not just a huge, flat structure. The mechanics of the machines require that some parts are below ground level, and those above ground level may be almost 2 storeys high.
Through hard work and perseverance, the factory building was finally completed. However, that did not mean the immediate manufacturing of products. The new machines will need to be calibrated and tested before it can finally manufacture products that are good for use based on the standards and criteria accepted by the industry.
Thus, came the day when all were ready to go. We manufactured our first batch of production and never looked back since then. Each piece of HPL and Compact Laminates carry the DNA of sweat and blood from our founders, and we are really grateful for their hard work and persistence to make this happen. Today, Maica is not the biggest in the world, but we are one of the most blessed manufacturing company in the country. We went through many hardships flagged as global economic crisis together with our customers, and we will continue to do so for many years to come. We are grateful to all our customers who stayed on with us through thick and thin, and we hope that this relationship will continue on for as long as the Earth remains in this solar system.
Year 2018 marks the 50th year of Maica Laminates Sdn Bhd in Malaysia. The manufacturing of Maica Laminates was established since 1968 at the beautiful industrial area of Mak Mandin, strategically located in the mainland of Butterworth, easily accessible to both land and sea transport. It is not in the hustle and bustle of heavy-traffic Penang island, but neither is it too far away from the bursting excitement of urban development.
Being 50, there are many expectations. We reflect upon ourselves for the past 49 years. Just like everyone else, we have our fair share of mistakes, experience and improvements that made it possible for our company to evolve into a household name in the country, and also to have our presence in other countries around the world. We take pride in being able to uphold our honesty and integrity, and not compromise our values in the midst of our growth for the past 49 years.
There are also a lot of expectations from our customers to us. As we have 49 years of experience in this industry, we tend to be very careful about our investments as we carry not only the responsibilities of our business to our customers, but also the responsibilities to our staff and their family’s well-being. Some of our staff may be sole breadwinners of their family, hence we need to be very careful about not making rash decisions that may jeopardize the company and the livelihood of our staff. We take this responsibility very seriously.
This is exactly the reason why our staff include individuals who stayed on with our company for more than 10 years. There are many of them, not just one or two. We spend so much time together that some of us may actually become family and very close friends. Some may even get married to each other!
At 50 years, we know that we still have a lot to do. We are not young enough to be reckless, but we are also not old enough to claim that we know it all. However, we are definitely old enough to say that whatever we try to do, we strive to give our best to those around us. Our aim is to make life better, everyday, for everyone. This is a commitment that will require daily review of our decisions, actions and considerations. We shall continue to undertake this responsibility for all.
Thank you very much for your support to Maica Laminates for the past 49 years. We will continue our tireless effort for many years to come. We are only 50 years young, anyway.
The year 2017 had closed its chapter, and maimai anticipates that 2018 will be a better year for everyone. Well, mostly everyone, since we cannot discount the fact that the economy has not fully recovered yet and some parts of the world is still full of confusion due to uncertain political conditions. We hope that all will be well and healthy.
To start 2018, maimai shall recap some important and significant events throughout 2017.
a. maiCSR programmes – Year 2017 was pretty tough on many people, and we did our best to help as much as possible. maimai was happy to be able to give throughout the year with our programmes to the following recipients:
St. Nicholas Home for the Blind
House of Hope
Precious Family Home
b. Launch of new products – We also launched new products as follows:
maiModesty – new anti-finger print product that is applied to any colour or designs, including woodgrain patterns. This product helps you to reduce your time on housework.
The Triplets – 3 new colours under the 6ft range, namely Kabuki White, Agouti Brown and Merlyn Green. These 3 new colours will bring new life to your interior designs as each have their own personality and vibes.
maiLaminate New Collection – The big maiLaminate catalogue was launched during the ARCHIDEX 2017, with new woodgrain designs for everyone to choose from.
An Encyclopedia of Maica Laminates – This encyclopedia consists of the A to Z of Maica Laminates products and specifications, meant for easy understanding and reference.
Overall, there had been great successes of the little things that made us happy throughout the year in the midst of the pain there is. The biggest nation-wide issue had been the flood that happened two times during the last quarter. This was out of our plans and cannot be helped, so maimai can only brave it through together with everyone else.
We sincerely hope that year 2018 with a peaceful start will continue to bring peace and happiness to us all. It will definitely be better than 2017.
Christmas is a special time for many people. It is a time for family reunions, holidays, fun and games, and for some, it is a “panic” time.
Why panic? Because you made some “New year’s resolutions” in January that you did not fulfil even now when it is December. maimai says, let’s not be so hard on yourself.
The year end is a good time for reflection, but not on the material things that we may or may not have gotten. The most important reflection is on whether we have become a better person, or did we spend enough time with our family and friends, and nurturing the younger generation. Every time, we should always be reminded with one question: If this is the last day we have in this life will we have any regrets?
Throughout the year, maimai had been pretty good. We have expanded our maiCSR programme (House of Hope, Precious Family Home, St. Nicholas…) and we still have room for more good works to be done.
There had also been some natural disasters lately, with the flood water rising and causing a commotion all over Malaysia. Our factory had been affected some with water rising high during the late October flood, just like many other victims in Penang. It took us a few days to clear things up, and thankfully maimai’s team is pretty cooperative with each other in this. Some of our maimai staff homes were also affected by the flood and the top management had taken the initiative to offer aid to them. We are thankful.
We also had more opportunity to share knowledge with our customers. We have been inviting our customers over for training with us, because we care about their progress and their business. maimai likes to nurture our customers, because maiCustomers are lovely people who earn an honest living. We hope that we are able to continue sharing knowledge that we have with our maiCustomers to make life better everyday for everyone.
There may have been mistakes and hiccups throughout the year, and maimai takes this opportunity to extend our most sincere apologies to everyone who had been affected by our mistakes. We also thank all who had given us the opportunity to correct our honest mistakes, because really, we had not been intentional.
We hope that year 2018 will be kind and peaceful. It will be our 50th anniversary, maimai’s Maica Laminates will be 50 years old in 2018. We have come so far in our journey, and we know that there is still a long way to go. maimai pledges to continue learning and improve, as maimai continues to work in Maica Laminates, the place Where Imagination Comes to Life, in the quest of Making Life Better, Everyday.
It is here… the long awaited year end game for all you angpow lovers out there ❤
Rules and Regulations:
DO NOT post your answers on here. If anybody does any sharing of answers in public, maimai shall cancel this game.
Send your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Send only once, do not hit “Send” repeatedly because if maimai gets fed-up, your entry will be disqualified.
If you would like to send more than 1 submission, you may do so. But the BONUS a and b will have to be different answers for each submission.
Do not ask for hints. There are many channels that will give you the answers, for example Maica’s website, YouTube videos, maiMAG, or if you have gone through maimai’s FB throughout the years, you will know (too bad if you only visit maimai’s FB once a year for the angpow packets!).
After you have submitted, maimai will not be sending you a reply. Please do not call to maimai’s office to look for maimai, nobody will pass your call to me. They won’t have my extension.
All your Bonus “a” submissions will be posted on FB when maimai announces the winners. So, do not cheat. Do not take the short cut to use maimai’s photos here and photoshop your own face on it. maimai will disqualify your submission.
Deadline of submission is 12:00am, 16 January 2018. Winners shall be announced here on FB and the red packets will be sent out accordingly.
DO NOT ASK for free red packets. The reason of this competition is for a fair chance to all to get the limited edition of red packets. Limited to the first 100 winners of this game only. If you do not win, DO NOT message maimai and threaten maimai by saying that maimai is the only one who does not give you free red packets even if you are a collector of red packets for the past 1000 years. It is not fair to other collectors if maimai gives you a red packet.
It was once a lovely old folks home where each of the elderly was pampered with a television connected to an Astro. The elderly, with their own TV, enjoys a relaxed life watching whatever they wanted during their stay there.
However, a case of fund abuse had caused the elderly to lose all their privileges and luxury, to the point where they were sleeping on the floor instead of beds. The previous manager who was hired to manage the home, had misappropriated the funds in the blind trust of the owner who was also managing several other homes at other places.
The pathetic condition of the home was only known when the owner received notice about the house owner’s intention to evict all tenants of the home due to the failure of the management to pay the monthly rent of the premise. The owner, by then who had lost one leg due to a motorcycle accident, came back and decided to stay stationed at this home, to make sure that the elderly are all well taken care of.
maimai was introduced to this home by House of Hope, another charity organisation for very poor families. House of Hope had come to know of this place and decided to step in and help, at the same time sharing the photos of the home to maimai with a silent plea for help. It was in a really pathetic state, where the floors were covered in sticky dirt, broken furniture, exposed kitchen area, and many broken wheelchairs “donated” by people who seemed to have taken this home for a dump storage area. While House of Hope worked on some aspects of the home (the hygiene and the food), maimai ventured to seek for more help outside.
This time, maimai decided to make cabinets for the elderly. They were using those flimsy plastic cabinets and maimai drew the design of a vertical cabinet approximately 5ft high. Then the owner, Mr Timothy, requested for a storage cupboard as well. Apparently, since the home was in seclusion, there may be unkind people who came in pretence of being relatives of the old people and stole things from the elderly or the home. Timothy requested for a storage cupboard so that he may lock items such as oats, beverage and other things that are important for the home. Yes, people even stole MILO from them!
Besides the cabinets and storage cupboard, maimai observed that the kitchen was exposed in the open area at the back of the premise. All the pots and pans and dishes were on open shelves and make-shift tables, so maimai designed an U-shaped kitchen set for them. Not big, but a useful design to allow for more comfortable cooking and hygienic storage.
Hence, with these plans in mind, maimai contacted Chow Choon (M) Sdn Bhd who was willing to sponsor the accessories to create the furniture and kitchen set to the home. Ms Vanessa Tan gave the sponsorship without giving it a second thought, which is a very sincere gesture of compassion in this effort. Thank you, Ms Tan.
What resulted was 3-times delivery due to the staggered production of the items. A total of 12 vertical cabinets, 1 storage cupboard and a kitchen set was delivered to the home on 11 October, 25 October and 14 November. In all these three instances, maimai was also blessed by the kindness given by Long Express, who had performed all these deliveries including the help of carrying the items for free! It was not an easy delivery too, Long Express had to collect the complete furniture from our Lunas factory the day before actual delivery (kudos to the team for such handicraft and making those highly durable furniture for this purpose) and to send them over in the morning all the way to Penang island. This process was repeated 3 times since we made 3 deliveries. Thank you very much, Long Express!
While most of the items can be used immediately upon arrival at the centre, the kitchen set had to be installed on-site. 3 maimais were deployed for this purpose and did a really good job with it. As a token of appreciation, Timothy offered Yakult to all our maiAmbassadors for the day!
The result is satisfying. Not much, but at least we know that the elderly is able to keep their belongings in good, vertical cabinets instead of flimsy plastic drawers. The kitchen can become neater with the utensils kept in the cabinets instead of exposed to the possibilities of crawling lizards, cockroaches and rats. Timothy was happy too, and we hope that all the elderly staying there, including Timothy and his staff, will be blessed with excellent health and great happiness always!