The very first MDF mill in Malaysia was built by a Japanese, a Mr. Hikozo Takeuchi, the founder of Takeuchi MDF, in Masai road, Johor Baru using a Bison Mende Press System in 1989 to produce thin MDF. Takeuchi MDF was not only the first in Malaysia but also the very first MDF mill in South East Asia. Takeuchi MDF's entry into the Malaysian market with a humble 60,000 m3 capacity opened up a flood gate for other MDF manufacturers to blossom like mushrooms after the rain over the next 25 years.
Just a year after Takeuchi MDF, Hume Fibreboard became the first locally produced thick MDF in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan in 1990. Two years later in 1992, Evergreen started their MDF in Batu Pahat, Johor. The 1990s was a period of cheap rubber wood source which were going for a low as US$ 10 per ton while the furniture industry in Malaysia experienced a super boom in demand. These two factors prompted the MDF rush in Malaysia between 1993 and 1997 where seven more MDF mills namely; Merbok, Golden Hope, Daiken, Robin, Guthrie and Samling joined the band wagon.
Capacity shot up from only 60,000 m3 in 1989 to almost 1 million m3 by 1997.
Then came the Asian crisis of 1997. This cooled down the industry for a short while but by 1999, the demand was again booming, existing mills were increasing their capacity and new mills are being commissioned in Indonesia and Thailand. Only one new MDF mill appeared in Malaysia with the establishment of Segamat Panel Boards in Segamat, Johor in 2002. Elsewhere in Malaysia, came a period of consolidation, mergers and takeovers.
Samling Fibreboard was the first to exit the industry by selling off their Miri mill to Daiken and they were promptly followed by Golden Hope, Takeuchi, Guthrie and Merbok. During this period, Dongwha emerged into the market as a major MDF player while Evergreen consolidated their position also as one of the top producers. Last to leave was Hume Fibreboard in 2008 and since then, the Malaysian MDF scene is left with 5 manufacturers *.
* with the exception of Soon Seng, a small capacity mill producing less than 2,000 m3 per month.