The British Malaysia Society Annual General Meeting and President’s event was held via Zoom on 26 June 2020.
Chair, Mei Sim Lai OBE DL, welcomed members and guests and, together with members of the Executive Committee, provided an update on the Society’s activities, outlined plans for the future and summarised the immediate forthcoming events. The move to virtual meetings/webinars caused by Covid -19 provides an opportunity to produce and promote a greater number of cultural, educational and business events more cheaply and with greater potential participation, both in the UK and in Malaysia. This should assist in retaining and attracting more corporate, individual and student members particularly ones based outside London. Five new ‘Exco’ members were appointed as set out below. Mei Sim thanked the two members retiring – Hon Treasurer Chris Neoh and Rahiyah Yahya who was on BMS Exco for many years and a staunch supporter of the Society.
President Sir Mark Moody-Stuart reflected on the continuing progress of the BSM and its future plans to extend the membership base and develop further high value member events. Since the last AGM, BMS has been successful in increasing membership, improving finances and raising its profile internally and externally.
Sir Mark Moody -Stuart KCMG- President
Mei Sim Lai OBE DL- Chair
Dr Euvian Tan -Hon Secretary
Stuart Eu – Hon Treasurer ( New )
Martin Barrow CBE
David Pittaway QC
Rav Roberts ( new )
Alex Swan ( new)
Navin Sivanganam ( new)
Gavin Wilkins ( new)
The AGM was followed by the President’s Event on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Global Compact UK – with BMS President, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart and Steve Kenzie, the executive director of UN Global Compact UK.
In their informative discussion, they discussed issues pertaining to Sustainable Development Goals including: poverty, zero hunger, quality education, gender equality, climate action, and peace, justice and strong institutions partnerships for the goals. They asserted the need to shape the definition of leadership on critical sustainability issues and inspire continuous performance improvement as well as engage with stakeholders that have the power and influence to move players and peers in the right directions.
Sir Mark chairs the UN Foundation for Global having served as the Vice Chairman of UN Global Compact under the UN Secretary General who chaired it. Currently he is a Non Executive Director of Saudi Aramco and Chair of Envision Energy having previously chaired Royal Dutch Shell, Anglo American PLC, Hermes Equity Ownership Services and being a non executive on the boards of HSBC holdings and Accenture
Thursday 20 August zoom webinar at 11am to 12.15pm London time:
Current Developments & Opportunities in Property investment in the UK and Malaysia
Saturday 19 September zoom webinar at 1pm to 2.15pm London time:
Managing Covid-19 in the UK and Malaysia with medical experts
Thursday 10 September at 11am to 12,30pm:
Renewables & Clean Energy: Opportunities in the UK and Malaysia webinar
Tuesday 29 September at 11am to 12.15pm:
Capital Markets Update – Opportunities for Malaysian businesses for UK listing
Wednesday 14 October zoom webinar at 3pm to 4.15pm:
BMS -UKEC Mentoring Scheme Part 1 followed by Presentation by Carole Still on “Smart Networking for Career Success”
Thursday 19 November:
BMS -UKEC Mentoring scheme Part2 at 3pm to 4.15pm followed by panel discussion on Employability
Monday 23 November:
Joint event with Sarawak Association at 4,30pm to 6pm. Talk by June Corpuz on “Ada Pryer, a Curious Victorian Lady in North Borneo”
Thursday 3 December:
Joint ASEAN Societies event with ASEAN Ambassadors ( Time to be confirmed )
The celebratory BMS Eid Hari Raya Virtual Party was held on Tuesday 26 May 2020. BMS Chair, Mei Sim Lai OBE DL welcomed members and guests followed by opening remarks by Zehan Albakri- Verden, BMS Exco member responsible for Culture and Chair of PAWA ( Pan Asian Women’s Association ) a charity helping the education of teenage girls in Asia.
There were Hari Raya greetings from Martin Barrow CBE, director of Matheson Ltd/Jardine Matheson group, Mazlina Binti Muhammad, General Manager of Maybank London, Haris Danial, Chairperson of UKEC 2019/2020 who specially thanked BMS members for supporting the special Covid-19 Appeal to help Malaysian students in the UK and Professor Kanes Rajah, Executive Director of the Centre for Executive & Professional Development London. The celebration programme covered:
-Cultural performances including an accordion performance of Selamat Hari Raya, Mak Inang and Kapur Siri by Dr Corina Teh, Consultant Community Paediatrician in Nottingham;
-Pantun and Poetry Readings by Lizzie St Clair George, Chairman of Kuala Lumpur Speakers Club London and members of the Club, Zehan Albakri, Lady Judy Moody-Stuart, Sally Ann Cleghorn and Liz Davies;
– A Silat talk and Demonstration by Taufiq Wan, Instructor of Silat and Journalist with Al-Araby al Jadeed
– A performance of the song ” To know Malaysia is to love Malaysia ” by Stephanie Vanden Driesen, international singer and actress and Founder of /CEO of Stagecrafts.
Haliza Hashim Doyle, TV3 Malaysia journalist based in London and Chair of Mercy Malaysia UK thanked BMS for helping her charity and the Appeal for Aid for the less fortunate, homeless and marginalised communities in Pahang who were badly affected by the pandemic.
It was a packed hour of fun, entertainment and celebration ably managed by our zoom technical hosts, BMS Exco members David Stringer-Lamarre and Carole Still.
BMS organised a Curator’s talk by Dr Alexandra Green of the British Museum and Private View of “Sir Stamford Raffles: Collecting in Southeast Asia 1811 – 1824”. It was also a wonderful occasion to celebrate 2020 and BMS’s first event of the Decade with Drinks and a Canapes reception in Gallery 91 of the British Museum which was closed specially for our Party.
The exhibition Sir Stamford Raffles: Collecting in Southeast Asia 1811-1824 investigated how and why Raffles assembled his collections and touched on ongoing provenance research of his collections at the British Museum. On display was a rich variety of objects from Java and Sumatra collected by Raffles during his relatively short stay but industrious time in the region. Collected in groups (a practice previously only used in natural history), these objects reveal how he understood – and sometimes misunderstood – Southeast Asian cultures. Dr Alexandra Green who has lived in Malaysia and know the country well gave a fascinating account of the life of Sir Stamford Raffles in relation to the Exhibition.
In the spirit of true collaboration between international women, BMS joined forces with 7 other organisations to celebrate IWD at the China Exchange in Soho on 5 March 2020. Inspite of covid-19 fears in the run up to the lockdown, some 80 men and women from diverse backgrounds attended this East West Panel discussion on the 2020 IWD theme of #EachforEqual. The contributions of all the panel speakers were brilliant. All agreed that it is universally acknowledged that women are very good for the economy and greater participation of women in the workplace, in top positions and as entrepreneurs can make a significant difference to the world economy and the prosperity of all countries. Gender equality is not just a women’s issue but an issue for all men and women internationally. BMS was represented on the panel by Sheela Mackintosh Stewart. Born in Malaysia to an Indian father and a Hong Kong Chinese mother, Sheela is a family lawyer, Co-Chair of the Conservative Friends of the Chinese and Chair of the Diaspora Young Leaders programme. She spoke on the need to get more women into Parliament, her involvement with the Women2Win campaign as well as the barriers stopping women from becoming MPs. Sheela stressed the importance of being more visible plus the need to have a voice in Parliament to influence legislation that affects all of us. BMS exco member David -Stringer Lamarre represented IoD on the panel as he chaired IoD London Region. His former key question to businesses of ‘Why you are not diverse’ has moved to ‘How you can be more diverse and inclusive’, how to deal with women in the pipeline, how to get talented women back to work and stop leakage , how to deal with unconscious bias and finally the importance of successful women helping each other rather than pull up the ladder after they get to the top.
The Welcome was by BMS member and Chair of IoD City, Alderman Alastair King and Mei Sim Lai OBE DL who had organised the event wearing her hat as Hon Secretary of IoD City moderated the panel discussion. The Q&A was conducted by Aimee Alado, Chair of UKASEAN Business Forum.
BMS celebrated the Chinese New Year of the Rat with a Champagne Reception and Dim Sum Lunch at Bright Courtyard Club, a fine-dining Chinese restaurant in the heart of London, bringing the most delicious and authentic Chinese cuisine to Baker Street. As in the previous year we were very grateful to BMS member and jewellery designer Pauline Wong for sponsoring the Champagne Reception and the drinks at the event. Originally from Kuala Lumpur, Pauline spent many years creating clothing for the “ beautiful people” from Lauren Bacall to Barbra Streisand. She believes that fashion jewellery is not what you need but what you want to take you to the next level of edgy dressing. She uses precious and semi-precious stones such as jade, pearls, diamonds, rubies and sapphires. Each piece is unique. Pauline had a display of her jewellery pieces on sale at the event and had kindly agreed to donate a percentage of sales to the BMS fund to help student and other initiatives.
His Excellency Charles Hay MVO, the British Ambassador to Malaysia was our special guest of honour at our 2019 Christmas Drinks event hosted by BMS Chair, Mei Sim Lai OBE DL
The venue was the prestigious East India Club in St James Square founded in 1949.
The High Commissioner delivered an interesting and informative speech as well as his assessment of recent developments in Malaysia and UK Malaysia relations. He encouraged attendees to use his office when they are seeking to export to Malaysia or the ASEAN region.
Over 100 BMS members and guests attended this happy, successful and very enjoyable Christmas Celebration event.
Our thanks to the host and sponsor of this event, Arcadis UK, the leading global and built asset design and consultancy firm. It is part of Arcadis Group worldwide which employs 27,000 staff in 350 offices in 40 countries and is committed to creating exceptional outcomes for its clients through the delivery of social , environmental and economic value. Throughout its long history as a design and engineering Arcadis has never stopped innovating. In 2019 Arcadis UK was included in the Sunday Times list of best big companies to work for in the UK.
BMS President Sir Mark Moody-Stuart chaired this stimulating and excellent panel discussion covering UK Malaysia Environmental and Sustainability issues and the 3Ps- Plastics, Palm Oil/Deforestation and Pollution. Weng Lee, who is originally from Malaysia and the Global Account Leader for Real Estate and Infrastructure investors at Arcadis UK did the Welcome. The panel speakers were Dr Petronella Meekers, Global Head of Sustainable Procurement at Unilever Asia Products Singapore who had specially arranged to be in London so that she could take part and Matthew Cutts, Global Sector Leader- Financial Institutions at Arcadis UK. Jonathan Steel, the CEO of BMS corporate member, AirSensa whose business is Air Quality, Air Safety and Air Security was scheduled to speak but was not able to do in the end due to travel issues. His place was taken by his colleague at AirSensa, Nicholas Garrott, Head of International Development at AirSensa. There was a very lively Q&A after the presentations including strong views on deforestation policies. The final part of the evening was an enjoyable informal reception for attendees to network with each other and the speakers over drinks and canapes sponsored by Arcadis UK.
A dialogue and meeting session was held between BMS and the Penang State Exco members for Domestic & International Trade, Consumer Affairs and Entrepreneurship Development who were on a trade mission to London from 2 – 5 December 2019. The discussions centred on network building and exploration of halal market opportunities. The Penang delegation led by YB Dato’ Abdul Halim Bin Hussain included Datin Wan Zuraida Binti Amiruddin, YB Zulkifli Ibrahim-Adun, Siti Nur Farah Malek- Special Officer; En Harris Hardy Quah- Invest Penang; En Imran Bin Idris-PIHH Development Halal Penang.The MATRADE and BMS representatives included Megat Iskandar. Trade Commissioner London and the Assistant Trade Commissioner, Nor Faizah Ismail, Mei Sim Lai OBE DL from BMS, Anthony Lee of BMS corporate member DAC Beachcroft LLP who hosted the event. The firm operates internationally and has market leading knowledge in insurance, healthcare and real estate sectors.
Melaka State Executives, Mohd Rafiq Naizamohideen, State Exco for Industry, Trade & Investment, Noor Effandi Ahmad, State Exco for Education, Salhah Salleh Deputy State Secretary ( (Development)/Director Melaka Economic Planning Unit, Ridhuan Affandi Abu Bakar , CEO of Melaka State Development Corporation and others visited the UK from 13-15 November 2019 to meet potential investors, UK technologies and Education and training development centres. In conjunction with the visit, the Melaka State had a courtesy meeting with BMS Chair Mei Sim Lai and other BMS members on Wednesday, 13 November 2019 facilitated by MIDA London.
Iskandar Malaysia Promotion event in the UK on 22 November 2019
BMS members were also invited and some attended an I2M event to attract companies to invest in Iskandar Malaysia in Johore. The invitation was extended by the Foreign Investment division of MIDA in Kuala Lumpur on behalf of the Johore state of Malaysia. The special briefing event was hosted by HSBC UK in the City of London with informative Presentations on the business opportunities, incentives, facilities and support services available for business expansion and establishment for UK companies interested in expanding to Iskandar Malaysia.
BMS were greatly honoured to have both HE Datuk Mohamad Sadik Kethergany, the Malaysian High Commissioner to the UK and HE Charles Hay MVO, the British High Commissioner to Malaysia as our VIP guests of Honour at our Annual Dinner on 7 Octobetr 2019. Datuk Sadik was accompanied by his wife Datin Jakkiah Hj Basran. It was a very happy and enjoyable occasion with a record 120 attendees and a record £2,050 raised by the charity raffle and auction to go towards worthy causes to help Malaysian students in the UK and others. Musical entertainment was provided by Malaysian violinist Jinwey Tay. BMS would like to thank all who supported the event including those who took tables namely, Battersea Power Station Development Corporation who are corporate members of BMS, Azad Ayub Limited and Eco World London Development Company Limited. In addition the Society is grateful to all those who donated super raffle, auction prizes and items for the goodie bags. We are also specially grateful to BMS member Stephen Hall, (former British Defence Attache in Kuala Lumpur until 2019) for helping us to secure the Army & Navy Club as the venue for the dinner. Founded in 1837 and also known as The Rag the Club is one of the most prestigious clubs in London
he British Malaysian Society jointly with The Sarawak Association hosted a Welcome reception in honour of His Excellency YBHG Datuk Mohamad Sadik Kethergany on Thursday 20 June 2019 to mark his appointment as the Malaysian High Commissioner to the UK. The venue was the iconic Oriental in London founded by the 1st Duke of Wellington in 1824.
A diplomat since 1989, his key postings have included being Malaysia’s Consul-General in New York (2004 – 2008), Malaysian Ambassador to Iran in 2009 and Malaysian Ambassador to Hungary in 2014. From 2017 to April 2019 he was the Director General of IDFR (Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations) in Malaysia. He took up his appointment in London on 27 April 2019 and completed his term on 3 April 2020.
A Panel discussion on UK -Malaysia Tourism, promoting travel in both directions, was held at the Guildhall Club, Guildhall in the City of London Corporation on 25 June 2019.The panel discussion speakers included: Alderman Prem Goyal OBE JP of City of London, Mohd Shahrir Tourism Malaysia London, Timothy Jenkins of Visit Britain and Ashley Perez of Crystal Corporate.com
The meeting was chaired by BMS Exco member Martin Barrow CBE who leads on Tourism matters. The speakers gave an interesting overall view of tourism between the UK and Malaysia. Mohd Shahrir outlined the itineraries for ‘Visit Malaysia 2020’ Our thanks to Global Markets Consultants and Crystal Corporate.com for their sponsorship of the event.
A very useful discussion on the Current Developments in Islamic Finance was held, at Clyde & Co LLP on Monday, 16 September 2019 This was a joint event with IoD City of London and Clyde & Co who kindly hosted the event and sponsored the refreshments.
Malaysia was ranked Number 1 in Islamic Finance by country Index in 2018. The UK was ranked 17 on the same Index.
However the UK is the leading centre in the West for Islamic Finance, with sharia compliant assets totalling US$6 billion in 2017 and growing each year.
The UK is also the leading centre for Islamic Finance education and training. As the global leader in FinTech, the UK is also very well positioned to capitalise on the burgeoning Islamic FinTech market. The London Stock Exchange is a key global venue for the issuance of Sukuk, a total of 72 Sukuk having then been listed on the LSE so far with a total value of US$53 billion
The Speakers with expertise and experience in the Islamic Finance sector were:
– Professor Dr Ashraf Md Hashim, CEO ISRA Consultancy, Deputy Chairman Shariah Advisory Council of Bank Negara (Central Bank of Malaysia), Member, Shariah Advisory Council, Securities Commission Malaysia
-Tim Jones, Chief Commercial Officer, Al Rayan Bank PLC
– Lawrence Oliver,Deputy CEO DDGI Limited
– Alderman Alastair King, -Chairman of Naisbitt King. Asset Management Limited & Chairman of IoD City
The moderator was Fara A Mohammad, Legal Director at Clyde & Co LLP who is on the Malaysia Link UK (MLUK) Committee and a member of The British Malaysian Society.
Various aspects of Islamic finance, its future in financial markets and its impact were very well covered by the presentations and Q&A session.
Members of BMS were pleased to host a Reception in honour of Jennifer Lopez ( fourth from the left in the photo ) the Executive Director of BMCC ( British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce Berhad ) on the occasion of her visit to London to participate in the DIT Going Global roadshows and for the 2019 British Chambers of Commerce International Trade Summit. BMS and BMCC signed an MOU in 2017 and have been working closely since on UK -Malaysian matters relating to trade and investment. BMCC were very helpful during our 2019 delegation visit to Kuala Lumpur. Our planned 2020 delegation visit in April 2020 was postponed due to covid-19 but we will be liaising with BMCC again when our rescheduled visit takes place in the Spring of 2021, provided that the pandemic is over and it is safe for air travel.
BMS corporate member Coventry University London provided the venue for a talk by Clare Rewcastle Brown, Investigative Journalist and Author of The Sarawak Report: The Inside Story of 1MDB Expose. She is the Founder and Editor of The Sarawak Report. Clare gave a detailed account of how her original investigation into the activities of the Sarawak Government led her to uncovering the 1MDB Scandal. It was a most interesting and fascinating presentation on the 1MDB story. Those who wanted to find out more were able to buy copies of her book on sale at the event.
BMS member Kim O’Neill has been helping the Malaysian High Commission to organise the Merdeka Carnival each year for many years. The event celebrates Malaysia Day and is normally held in the 2nd Saturday of September in each year . Last year the date was moved to 12 October. With Kim’s help BMS took a stand at the 2019 Carnival. The event has traditionally been held at the Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre at Brickendonbury in Hertfordshire. Attendee numbers were down due to the wet weather but those who attended were able to visit the variety of Malaysian food stalls, stalls selling Malaysian crafts and items and a few commercial stalls.
Many congratulations to BMS Chairman Mei Sim Lai OBE, DL FCA FCCA who was conferred the Doctors of Laws, Honoris Causa at a Ceremony held at University of Nottingham campus in Semenyih in Malaysia on 27 July 2019. Amongst her vast and outstanding honours throughout an illustrious career was Mei Sim’s appointment as one of Her Majesty’s Deputy Lieutenants (DL) of Greater London in 2016. In 2017 she took over responsibility for representing the Queen in Brent and acts as her ‘eyes and ears’ in the borough.
A Chartered Accountant since 1979, Mei Sim holds and has held many board and committee appointments in the private, public, City and Charity and not for profit sectors She is a Past Winner of the Asian Women of Achievement Award, the TIA Award for 100 Women who make a world of difference in the world and the Sino Pro/PwC award for Outstanding Contribution to the Chinese Community. Mei Sim was elected Chair of BMS in June 2018 and enjoys using her vast experience and numerous contacts to benefit and develop BMS.
BMS is committed to supporting/helping Malaysian students in the UK and collaborates with UKEC, the umbrella body for Malaysian student societies in the UK & Eire. As part of this support a mentoring scheme to match young and other professionals with students was launched in 2019. If you are a BMS member and interested in becoming a mentor please contact BMS Exco member Navin Sivanganam who is responsible for this very worthwhile initiative. Navin will be very pleased to hear from you. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or you can also email MeiSim@LaiPeters.org.
If you have an interest in UK Malaysia relations do consider joining BMS. Whatever your interests there is likely to be something for you within the Society, especially for those who have lived or worked or done business in Malaysia and for the Malaysia diaspora in the UK. With a developing range of relevant business, educational and cultural events, and a diverse membership with unique and valuable experience and useful contacts it has never been a better time to join The British Malaysian Society.
To join please visit BMS’s website: https://www.thebritishmalaysiansociety.com
Produced and edited by The British Malaysian Society