Goh Miah Kiat - Prestige Online - Society's Luxury Authority
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Goh Miah Kiat

Who would have thought the winner of the 2016 EY Entrepreneur of The Year Malaysia award is a condom maker. “There is something about the word ‘condom’ that makes people uncomfortable,” begins Goh Miah Kiat, CEO of Karex Bhd. “And sadly, such social norms around condom use and safe sex are fuelling the global HIV epidemics.” As chief of the world’s largest condom manufacturer, Miah Kiat emphasises greatly on the importance of product innovation and the mission was determined after participating in a trade delegation to Uganda 17 years ago. “While manning the booth, I was shocked to see common symptoms of HIV on the majority of the people there. It was an eye-opener as we don’t normally experience these situations in Malaysia.” Following the incident, Miah Kiat was compelled to dig deeper into the dark world of prostitution. “When you talk to sex workers, especially women, you’d know the struggle for survival and existence is real. It’s something we’d never think about and that’s where I feel that my business can make a difference: by creating the awareness and dispelling the stigma.” And this is the inspiration behind its latest nasi lemak- and durian-flavoured condoms. “By doing something controversial, it gets people talking and in a way, taking the first step out of the barrier.”