Yip Chee Yeong: A Diligent Professional & Firm Advocate Of ‘There Are No Shortcuts When Pursuing Success

Yip Chee Yeong: A Diligent Professional & Firm Advocate Of ‘There Are No Shortcuts When Pursuing Success

Yip Chee Yeong , CFO

Yip Chee Yeong


Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad (Hibiscus Petroleum) is Malaysia’s first public listed independent oil and gas exploration and production company. Its securities are listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the company’s core activity is focused on monetizing oil and gas fields with a portfolio of development and producing assets in Malaysia, the United Kingdom (UK), Vietnam and Australia. Its market capitalization is circa $450 million.

Its Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Yip Chee Yeong, is a member of the UK's Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and a graduate in Accounting and Finance from Middlesex University in the UK. Chee Yeong has 29 years of professional experience. His previous positions include being the CFO at Microsoft Malaysia, Finance Director at Saatchi & Saatchi Malaysi and Singapore, Financial Controller at Danone Dumex Malaysia, Senior Group Accountant at Brook Crompton UK, Senior Risk Consultant at Andersen Singapore and Senior External Auditor at KPMG Malaysia. The CEO Insights Asia Magazine met Chee Yeong for an exclusive conversation and here are the highlights.

How has been your path to success in over 29 years of your working experience and what is your success mantra?

I believe that it is for others to judge if I am successful and that my skills and knowledge are continuously evolving with there being always room for improvement. I also believe no one can help you succeed if you do not take the first steps independently. The first steps are often difficult and will likely involve personal sacrifices. Expecting success without first working hard is like trying to harvest the land when you have not planted the seeds.  In my role as a leader of a finance function, I appreciate that teamwork is necessary for highquality outcomes. Amongst my colleagues, I advocate that success is not a personal achievement but instead the result of collaboration. I promote trust and transparency in all that I do.

How would you define Hibiscus Petroleum as an organization and its current position in the market?

Hibiscus Petroleum can be best defined by its vision, core values and its business performance metrics, particularly in the areas of operational excellence and safety prioritization. It aims to be a respected, valuable and responsible energy company. The company is not a passive investor but is actively involved in the management and operations of its assets. The company also looks at value accretion for its stakeholders and this agenda is built on four pillars - organic growth, disciplined cost management, securing of new opportunities through applications to host governments for concessions or licenses and selectively making acquisitions.

The values of the company demand that it remains agile and trustworthy and pursues high standards of business integrity, ethics and professionalism. To motivate our people, we practice meritocracy as a core philosophy amongst our staff, enabling talented and ambitious people to progress if they are competent and work hard. Finally, the company recognizes the importance of business sustainability and is actively participating in activities that promote energy transition.

As a CFO, how do you determine the profitability of an investment by the company?

In my role as the CFO, I scrutinize the financial projections that we make covering new opportunities at a micro level to ensure the input assumptions are realistic and the forecasted outcomes are robust. The underlying determinants of a positive investment decision by Hibiscus Petroleum are - its Value Investment Ratio exceeding a certain threshold and its payback period not exceeding a certain time period. Both these factors prioritize cashflow generation but the specific risk profile, affordability and strategic fit with the existing activities of the company are also critical considerations. To strike the right balance and to prevent an overly risk-averse approach, we ensure that risks are assessed by knowledgeable staff who have an in-depth insight into the relevant areas.

Tell me about the sustainable practices that Hibiscus Petroleum has adopted for a sustainable future.

Even before environmental, social and governance and sustainability considerations became part of the corporate lexicon, Hibiscus Petroleum had already infused high standards of health, safety and environmental management into our corporate DNA in addition to prioritizing corporate governance at every level of our business.

The company’s efforts have been recognized as a repeated top performer in the FTSE4Good Bursa Malaysia Index since late 2020 and the FTSE4Good Bursa Malaysia Shariah Index. We are always looking for ways to move the bar higher. In 2021, Hibiscus Petroleum announced its aspiration to be a Net Zero Emissions Producer by 2050. We have also aligned our Sustainability Policy to dovetail with key components of the United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goals and their call to a Decade of Action.

What is the future destination you are heading towards? What advice would you give to budding industry leaders?

I wish to develop myself to become a more complete all-round leader. Despite coming a long way since I started my career almost 30 years ago, I wish to continue the learning process to enhance myself as a more effective professional and a more knowledgeable person. I also feel it appropriate that I invest time imparting my knowledge to help young professionals in their career-building processes. In the years to come, I hope that my staff can honestly say that I have guided or inspired them to achieve their own potential.

My advice for budding industry leaders is to maintain a high level of agility and integrity. Be flexible in your approach but never compromise on your principles. The business world may be volatile and stakeholders may be demanding but ethics and professional standards must never waver. To remain relevant, incorporate sustainability into your business model and stay abreast of the latest trends and technologies. Celebrate with humility the success you have achieved but raise the bar a little higher each time you cross a hurdle. Most importantly, enjoy the journey, stay true to your faith and never forget the people who helped you along the way.

Yip Chee Yeong, Chief Financial Officer, Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad

Yip Chee Yeong, having started his career as an External Auditor has since worked in various types of industries such as oil and gas, manufacturing, technology, services, risk consulting, audit and taxation. He is currently the Chief Financial Officer in Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad.

Current Issue