I am writing this obituary to express my deepest sadness and sorrow upon learning the news of the passing of Pak Tim Mackay, President Director of PT Holcim Indonesia.
In the past few years, I have became the best of friends with Pak Tim, especially after Holcim's management decided to build a Cement plant in Tuban, East Java. I've met Pak Tim for the first time at around mid 2006, in a dinner arranged by a friend to introduce me to Pak Tim. My intention was to introduce our company for consideration in the Project Tender participation. Before the dinner, I mentally prepared myself for a meeting with a foreign CEO from a major worldwide holding company. I was expecting a serious business dinner and a "hard sell" to convince an Indonesian contractor to be given opportunity to participate in the project .
However, during the dinner, his first immediate impression totally changed the atmosphere of the night. Here is pak Tim, several years older than me, a man who is very polite, soft spoken and came out very caring. From the start, he showed sincere respect to all of us. I mean, this is Holcim. One of the biggest cement producer in the world, and he is the President of Holcim Indonesia, which also produces one of the largest amount of Cement in Indonesia. He can show his proudness of the company if he wants to, but at that night and on the days that followed, he was very, very humble with us. He immediately gained my respect.
I remembered clearly that we finally did not even talk about the project at all that night. We talked mostly about his thoughts of working in Indonesia since 2004, and his impression of normal Indonesians. He indicated several times that he has very high regards of his Indonesian employees in Holcim. Upon learning and understanding his views, I did not even try to push for our company to be considered in the tender. I am very sure that he will consider the participation of Indonesian contractors in his project.
Since then, we became best friend. We had dinners, meetings, chats, phone calls and many, many sms. He sometimes became very upset with the"red tapes" in Indonesia and complained of how slow the various process of approval progressed. I always shared my experiences and try to help him in any way I can. However through it all, he was always patient and continually push the cement plant investment in Tuban.
"This is very important for the future growth of Indonesia, pak Hengki", he said many times. "I am fighting to push this project to our head office so that the Tuban Project is at the top of Holcim's worldwide investment priority. However, at the same time I have to push through the various Indonesian stakeholders. It is actually not easy, but I will persevere and try to realized this project", pak Tim adds confidently. Through the help of many Indonesian officials and friends, Holcim's Tuban Cement plant project is finally nearing implementation stage, targeted to start at around fourth quarter 2008.
Suddenly, oil price collapse and commodity prices went tumbling down. At the end of December 2008, before Christmas holidays, I received a phone call from pak Tim asking me to come to his office.
"Pak Hengki, I am very sad and very sorry to inform you that Holcim head office today has decided to cancel the project", Pak Tim started. "We were very seriously considering your company to perform some of the work in this project, but our current assessment indicates that the growth in Indonesia, will not be projected as high as we thought. Meanwhile raising funds has become very difficult and expensive", he adds. I can really see the sadness in his face. After his explanation, I conveyed my disappointment but fully support and understand Holcim's decision. When preparing to leave his office, I asked when this project will be expected to be restarted. He said possibly around 2011, but he is still not sure.
I can see pak Tim was watching my face. I think he knew that I was distraught. I was thinking at that time, "Without Holcim's project, what project can Rekayasa's employees worked on, to survive this crisis". He then offered me these words, "Please sit down for a while pak Hengki. I always know how efficient and short, our previous meetings always are. But this time please take awhile and tell me what is in your mind". I then informed him that we were really counting on Holcim's project for 2009 and 2010 income. So my mind was already thinking of what next urgent actions that I have to do to keep our company afloat. He listened and smiled caringly as he always does.
These were the words from pak Tim to me, which I did not realize at that time, was his final and last advice to me, "Pak Hengki, just work as hard as you can. Although there is a crisis, please do not layoff any of your employees. I will not do that in PT Holcim Indonesia. I will cut my salary, and I will reduce all top management's salary, but never layoff any employee. I have committed this to all of Holcim's Indonesia employees. Also please don't forget to pray. God will always lend his hand and show you the way". Pak Tim said it with sincerity and laser like focus on his eyes. I felt strengthened and said thank you so much for his advice. Before departing, I wished him Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2009. He thanked me and flashed his famous smile.
This morning I received the shocking sms from many friends that pak Tim is killed in the bombing at Marriot Hotel. I became very sad because I did not meet Pak Tim again after last year's meeting. We tried several times to have dinner, but our schedule seems not to match. I prayed for Pak Tim's soul and tried to pour my sadness by writing this story, in remembrance of pak Tim.
On behalf of PT Rekayasa Industri, and also on behalf of my family, please accept our condolences for the passing of pak Tim Mackay. Our hearts and prayer are always with Pak Tim's family and PT Holcim Indonesia big family. We have lost a great friend, a good man, an inspiring leader, and a decent man.
"Save Journey and God Speed, Pak Tim. Please rests assure that I will always try to realize your dream of building cement plants to support the growth of Indonesia".
Triharyo soesilo (Hengki)