怀念浓浓乡亲情—第39届交际股长曾英庭(火强)
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怀念浓浓乡亲情—第39届交际股长曾英庭(火强)

会馆理事若要买车,或者要了解车子的性能,总是会找交际股长曾英庭(原名火强)。也难怪,英庭从事日本车维修和营销36年,在维修部任职十多载,对汽车的里里外外以及汽车行业的运作了如指掌。

买车必知

选购车子,除了得注意车子的大小、性能、外观、维系保养和汽车附件之外,价格是其中一个重要因素。在经济不景的时候,平行入口车辆的价格,更是极具竞争力。不过,英庭说,要购买这类车子得小心,因为平行入口车辆的款式,往往和代理商所售卖的不同,包括一些售后服务。所以车主其实很难作比较。

所谓买车容易、养车难。作为汽车经销商,英庭当然希望顾客盈门。不过,作为同安会馆理事,他却认为有责任提醒乡亲,买车时人们容易忽略的盲点。一些人以为,碰到经济不景,周转不来,让贷款公司或银行拖车好了。其实,问题不是那么简单。英庭解释说:“如果车辆被迫拍卖,拍卖价比贷款额加上利息还来得低,贷款公司或银行是有权要求你偿还价差的,如果无法偿还,对方有权申请宣判你破产。”

和车攀亲 与人结缘

原籍马来西亚的英庭,21岁离开家乡马六甲后,南来新加坡工作。他的第一份工作便是在陈唱汽车公司打工。最初是在维修部工作,随后多次获派前往日本受训。80年代初,他升任维修部副经理。过后,升任营业部经理。1995年,他获得公司的汽车代理权,自立门户成为陈唱汽车的经销商。

除了和车辆结缘,英庭也喜欢结交朋友,而且是各行各业的朋友。相识满天下的性格,让他担任会馆交际股长的职务游刃有余。除了代表会馆出席本地大大小小的活动,英庭也不辞劳苦,经常驱车北上马来西亚,参加当地团体的联谊活动。

当然,喜欢挥杆的英庭,每周都会到樟宜高尔夫球俱乐部打球,更不会错过在果领上和新知旧雨碰面。

会馆文化熏陶

英庭会加入会馆,和儿时的会馆文化熏陶有关。三、四岁时,住在马六甲的英庭便随相当活跃于会馆活动的父亲,到当地会馆走动。会馆长辈对年幼的英庭,当然是呵护备至。浓浓的乡亲情谊,在英庭脑海里挥之不去。

待英庭来到新加坡后,在父亲的已故朋友、会馆前资深理事陈启锐的鼓励下,英庭开始和同安会馆有接触。不过,真正加入会馆,是在80年代中期,英庭在朋友,也是前任理事林成福的介绍下,成为会馆的一员。当时和英庭一起参加会馆的,大约有十人,包括了前任理事陈企业博士、现任福利股长陈皆成等人。

会馆的未来

对曾经浸淫在马六甲会馆浓郁乡情氛围中的英庭来说,狮城的会馆肯定给人另一番感觉。这里的生活节奏快,没有太多时间叙旧话新。更何况和南来新加坡的老一辈比较,现在的年轻人土生土长,不需要会馆照应,加上学历普遍比较高,有太多活动供他们选择,参与会馆活动可有可无,甚至是不在他们考虑范围内。

不过,会馆并不需要走进历史。英庭认为,会馆其实有本身的发展空间。只要勇于转型,会馆可以在协助新移民融入社会这方面、扮演重要角色。而为不同国家和地区的年轻人提供交流和经商的平台,也是会馆可以负起的任务。 

英庭认为,新加坡同安会馆在金融区拥有自己的会所,先天条件优越。只要理事同仁和会员能够以更包容的态度处理事务,抛开成见,同心发展会务,那么,就算是有不同的声音,也能编奏出悦耳的乐章。

Those were the Days

Need a car? Council members know who to contact first: he is our Head of Public Relations Mr William Chan Hay Kiong. Mr Chan has 36 years of experience in selling and maintaining cars. He knows everything about cars at the back of his hands.

What to consider before buying a car

Price is certainly a factor, as well as size, performance, appearance, maintenance and spare parts.

While parallel imports offer competitive pricing, Mr Chan cautions that buying parallel imports often means sacrificing after-sales service. Furthermore, parallel imports often do not offer the same models as authorized agents, making exact comparisons difficult. 

One should also not buy beyond their means. It may be easy to buy a car, but certainly not easy to keep up the payments. As a car dealer, Mr Chan certainly hopes to have more customers come through his door, however, he feels that he has the responsibility to caution his fellow clansmen not to over-commit their financial resources in buying a car. Some consumers believe that they can simply let the car go if they cannot keep up with the payments during bad times. However, it is not so simple. Mr Chan advises that “a forced auction of the car often fetches a lower price than the car loan plus interest, hence the car finance company can still seek payment of the balance, and if you cannot pay, then it may apply bankruptcy against you.”

A Marriage to Cars and an Affinity for People

Mr Chan left his home twon in Malacca for Singapore when he was 21. His first job was at Tan Chong Motors. He was initially in the car repair and maintenance department, and then subsequently went for further training in Japan. He was promoted to be the deputy manager of the repair and maintenance department in the 1980s, and later became the head of the sales department. In 1995, Mr Chan became an authorized agent for Tan Chong Motors. His friendly and extroverted personality has won him many friends from all walks of life. It is certainly the main reason why he is the head of PR at TADG. Mr Chan has contributed tirelessly to local clan events and often travels to Malaysia for the clan’s social events there.

Mr Chan can also be spotted hitting the greens at Changi Golf Club, always in the company of old and new friends.

 The Influence of Clan Association Culture

Mr Chan joined the clan association as he was exposed early on to the clan association’s culture. His father used to bring him to the local branch of TADG for activities when he was 3 or 4 years old in Malacca, where he was well taken care of by clan elders. The friendliness he encountered there was to remain in his memories.

Upon arriving in Singapore, Mr Chan came into contact with TADG in Singapore through Mr Tan Kei Tua (Chen Qirui), an eminent TADG council member. However, it was only until in the mid-80s, that he became a member through the introduction of another TADG member Mr Lim Seng Hock (Lin Chenfu). There were about 10 other members who joined TADG around the time Mr Chan did, including TADG’s present counsultant Dr Tan Khee Giap (Chen Qiye) and TADG’s Welfare head Mr Tan Khai Seng (Chen Jiecheng).

The future of TADG

Mr Chan thinks that the Clan Association in Singapore has a different feel from the Malacca branch. Life in Singapore is fast-paced, which does not allow much time for nostalgic reminiscences. Furthermore, young people who are often higher-educated and do not need the Clan’s assistance (unlike immigrants of previous generations) have many options for social activities and clan activities often do not come into consideration.

However, Mr Chan believes that the clan association still has room to develop. It plays an important role in helping new immigrants adjust to local society and provides a platform for interaction amongst youths in different countries.

Mr Chan believes that TADG in Singapore is blessed with the advantage of having its own premises in the middle of the financial district. TADG can continue to be successful as long as council members continue to co-operate and work for the good of the association.