Business Hoinser Magazine Top 50 Entrepreneurs – Oct 2023

Master Boon: Blending Modern Science and Ancient Tradition

As a young scientist, I was utterly committed to improving lives and words like entrepreneurship were not even in my vocabulary.

My first big break was with the government-owned CSL Limited biotechnology company, to develop a safer and purer method for human albumin purification. I didn’t realise it then but my entrepreneurial journey had begun in commercialising innovation. The project was a great success and I was even granted naming rights that still exist today – Albumex. We went on to build a world-class facility and introduced its safety and purity merits to the medical profession in the APac region. All this before I turned 30.

As an introvert scientist, I was surprised when I was headhunted by an American start-up CellPro Inc., to spearhead their APac business throwing me into the exciting world of leading edge stemcell therapy, global business development and the rough and tumble of biomedical patents. I emerged a bit older and a whole lot wiser and went on to run my own biomedical consultancy focused on bringing leading edge medical therapies into APac.

My professional life was Western, but my roots in colonial Malaysia were Chinese, steeped in Eastern wisdom.

My father, Grandmaster Yap Cheng Hai, world renowned for Feng Shui was first to introduce the Traditional practice to the West. He was also among the top 10 martial artists globally. Growing up, I often witnessed Feng Shui discussions or watched my father teaching kung-fu in our courtyard, to everyone from gangster youth to business executives.

He trained me in martial arts from a young age, ensuring I could defend myself in a male-dominated world. He then introduced me to the fundamentals of Feng Shui to harmonize energies in my life. My commitment to both disciplines was unwavering. I became a martial arts instructor in the Five Ancestors style at 21, eventually attaining a 7 Dan Level Instructor status. At the age of 46, I became world champion in WuMei’s special form and secured gold and silver medals in the Five Ancestors form.

To counterbalance my biomedical career, I felt drawn to explore Feng Shui as a tribute to my heritage. This marked the beginning of an enduring master-student relationship with my father.

As my father shared his wisdom with the West, I accompanied him observing from behind. Over time, friends learnt to seek my Feng Shui advice, which then led to referrals. Becoming a Feng Shui consultant was never my intention, however began a dual life, with neither world aware of the other.

After years of guidance from my father, he honoured me with the title of “Master.” To my knowledge, I am the sole recipient of this recognition among his students.

Scientist, international consultant, Feng Shui master, and kung-fu champion—little did I anticipate what would come a few years later.

From his deathbed, my father charged me with continuing his legacy and passing on our lineage to the West. I had just retired from my biomedical career, seeking a peaceful life. Now I was tasked with stepping into big shoes, at a time when most are easing into their twilight years. This journey has had some detours, including marriage, relocation to New Zealand, and building my perfect “Feng Shui house”, as well as a newfound passion for sailing.

Just as I was about to launch my Feng Shui consultancy, Covid hit. Do I close down or pivot to the online world? With unwavering determination, I embraced modern technology, using Google Earth, video conferencing, and blueprints for virtual consultations. This gives me the fantastic opportunity to consult globally without leaving home.

This global opportunity fuelled my Vision – to apply Feng Shui’s principles to urban development, public spaces, institutions, and residential properties, fostering peace, harmony, and prosperity within communities. Both Singapore and Hong Kong, built on Feng Shui principles, enjoy enduring vibrancy and prosperity.

Today, I am a Feng Shui Master in the world of social media, accessible to clients and visible to students, inspiring a movement for Feng Shui for Humanity. Learning the intricacies of this new digital realm has my husband bewildered.

One facet of my martial arts practice relates to longevity—an apt pursuit given the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Forever young!

Master Boon, MBA, MSc.
Master of Feng Shui
7 Dan Level Shaolin Five Ancestors Fists
Director, Walk the Dao Ltd /


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