Mamee Monster snacks founder dies at 96

Datuk Pang Chin Hin and a Mamee Monster sign
Before founding the famous Mamee Monster product in 1971, Datuk Pang Chin Hin was a secondhand car dealer. (Photos: Otai/Facebook)

Datuk Pang Chin Hin, the founder of the company that manufactures the famous snack Mamee Monster, has died at the age of 96.

Reports from Malaysia’s Sin Chew Daily said Pang died at about 6pm in the evening on Saturday (5 Nov).

He is survived by his three sons and daughters, some of whom have taken the reins of the company he established in 1971.

The history behind the iconic Mamee

Pang was a secondhand car dealer before he founded Pacific Food, an instant noodle manufacturing company.

But it wasn't instant success for Pang. The company's first product, Lucky Instant Noodle and Vermicelli, did not succeed.

Pang’s son, Tan Sri Pang Tee Chew, continued to help his father with their business while he was away in Japan for studies.

When he returned in 1974, he realised there was an untapped market for business in rural areas and sundry shops after noticing a unique way of consuming instant noodles.

Rubber tappers would eat uncooked instant noodles straight from the packaging, which gave him and his father an idea to turn their instant noodle products into a snack.

They named the produced "Mamee", derived from the word "mother" to represent the familial ties between parents and kids, which became their primary target market.

The older Pang later expanded the company by launching the Double Decker’s crackers in 1980, followed by the Mister Potato snacks in 1992, which became famous all over Malaysia and Singapore.

The company would be rebranded again into "Mamee-Double Decker", producing more than 50 varieties of snacks, and was officially registered on the main board of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange on 18 March, 1992.

Tan Sri Pang Tee Chew would follow in his father’s footsteps to become the company’s director and chief executive officer, while his brother, Datuk Seri Pang Tee Nam, is the board’s chief operating officer.

His grandson, Pierre Pang, now serves as the company’s executive director.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news writer who focuses on politics, the economy, and democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.

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