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ASEPTEMBER 2013 Bi-monthly Magazine | Issue 17



THE OPPORTUNITY IN RISK Dr Lee Siew Peng the Head of MBA programme (general MBA and specialized MBA – Corporate Governance and Building Management) at UTAR



Dr Clare Chan Suet Ching Deputy Dean (Postgraduate & Research) of the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, Sultan Idris Education University.

Ainol Rahmah Shazi Shaarani Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP)

Sia Hok Kiang, Managing Director, Malaco Mining explains why cold storage mines make red-hot investment picks “Facebook Got me Hired” Dato’ Michael Tio, PKT Logistics Group Sdn. Bhd. Secret of success: ‘SHINE LIKE A DIAMOND’ Dato’ Tony Looi Chee Hong, Managing Director of Ban Lee Hin Group Sdn Bhd PP17103/17/2013 (030736) 2013 Issue 17/ 2013 September RM7.00



Secret of success: ‘SHINE LIKE A DIAMOND’ Dato’ Tony Looi Chee Hong Managing Director Ban Lee Hin Group Sdn Bhd




BILLIONAIRE ESPRESSO a recharge for entrepreneurs Available in all major bookstores. POPULAR | MPH | KINOKUNIYA | TIMES | BORDERS ISBN 978-967-5945-28-1 2

Photo credit: mccain photography


Ainol Rahmah Shazi Shaarani Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) 3


CORPORATE Managing Director: Steven Shim Office Manager: Vicky Shim Key Accounts Manager: Wong Finance Manager: Bonnie


EDITORIAL TEAM Editor: Alexandra Wong Writers: Lee, Michael Contributors: Yuen Mun Kwun, Foo Wai Wai, Than Bing Hoe, Thinakaran Raveendran Photographer: Mccain Photography Graphic Designer: Nazir Tay PUBLISHER Penerbit Wawasan Nusa (M) Sdn Bhd (866716-P), Wisma Wawasan, 19-2 Jalan PJS 8/12, Dataran Mentari, Bandar Sunway, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia Tel: 603-56301802, Fax: 603-6301803, Email:, Website: PRINTER BS Print (M) Sdn Bhd No 10 Jalan Indrahana 1, Off Jalan Kuchai Lama, 58200 KL, Malaysia Distribute by MPH Distributors Sdn Bhd All rights reserved by MBA Edge™ and its publisher. While every care has been taken, the publisher, writers, and editors will not be held liable for errors, inaccuracies or commissions. Unsolicited material is submitted at sender’s risk. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the prior written permission of copyright owner. The scanning, uploading and distribution of this magazine via the internet or any other means without the permission of publisher is illegal by law.

explains why the PhD is unparalleled as a scholastic undertaking to absorb the gamut of rich experiences, skills and knowledge that enable academicians and thought leaders to pioneer change and innovation.

While interviewing Dr Clare Chan, one of the three cover ladies in this issue, I asked, “What drives you as an educator?” The modesty of her answer surprised me. “To deliver what I know.” Upon closer examination, her answer reflects a rarely-addressed truth about most great educators.

Not everyone who pursues higher knowledge ends up as an educator, but those who do, are often driven by something bigger and better than personal ambition. This issue is filled with inspiring thought leaders who are blazing trails in their respective fields. Dr Clare Chan, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts in the Sultan Idris Education University,


NOTE Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) lecturer Ainol Rahmah Shazi Shaarani, one of Malaysia’s first candidates in years to win the scholarship to the prestigious Fujitsu Global Leadership for Innovation and Knowledge (GLIK) programme, shares how educational institutes can help increase the country’s pool of technopreneurs by providing students with broad-based IT exposure. Dr Lee Siew Peng, UTAR’s Head of MBA programme for general MBA and specialized MBA – Corporate Governance and Building Management – speaks on corporate governance, an exciting new area in academia that’s increasingly relevant, given that more robust and transparent practices are essential in making this country a developed nation. Also in this issue: Sia Hok Kiang, Director of Malaco Mining Sdn Bhd, Cape Lambert Leichardt Pty Ltd and Crossland Strategic Metals Ltd, makes a compelling economic case for reviving distressed or “cold storage” mines. One of Malaysia’s most successful miners, known for his astuteness in identifying deposits which escaped earlier exploration, Sia’s passion for his field continues to inspire up-and-coming miners and entrepreneurs.

Alexandra Wong

May these trailblazers inspire you. 5







Dr Clare Chan Suet Ching, Deputy Dean (Postgraduate & Research) of the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, Sultan Idris Education University


Training Technopreneurs Ainol Rahmah Shazi Shaarani Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP)


Business Segment


“Facebook Got me Hired” 32

PKT Logistics Group Sdn. Bhd.



THE OPPORTUNITY IN RISK Dr Lee Siew Peng, the Head of MBA programme (general MBA and specialized MBA – Corporate Governance and Building Management) at UTAR


9th Malaysia Festival of the Mind Delivers Splendid Show


A Pencil Can Change A Life


Memorable Majlis Tahlil and Berbuka Puasa for Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih Children


46 Secret of success: ‘SHINE LIKE A DIAMOND’

Dato’ Tony Looi Chee Hong Managing Director Ban Lee Hin Group Sdn Bhd

Cold Storage Mines = Hot Investment Picks


Sia Hok Kiang, Managing Director, Malaco Mining Sdn Bhd

Interviews Yuen Mun Kwun


Than Bing Hoe


Foo Wai Wai


Thinakaran Raveendran




COVER STORY Today, the worldwide rates have improved to about 50 percent, but doing your PhD is still notorious for being demanding: Your research and dissertation needs to be original, innovative, cutting-edge, creative and extend the boundaries of human knowledge, and a contribution to the current body of knowledge in the field is mandatory, says Dr Clare Chan Suet Ching, Deputy Dean (Postgraduate & Research) of the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, Sultan Idris Education University. So why do it anyway? Simply because no other scholastic undertaking can match the PhD in providing the rich experiences, skills and knowledge to enable academicians and thought leaders to pioneer change and innovation in their chosen field for the benefit of the future generation.

Q1. Dr Chan, what led you to pursue postgraduate studies in your chosen field?

CHARACTER-BUILDING PHD To give you an idea of how gruelling doing a PhD can be, consider what William Chace wrote in his memoir, 100 Semesters (Princeton, 2006): “Graduate students were being considered for membership in a secular priesthood.” The attrition rate in 1961, when Chase entered graduate school at the University of California at Berkeley, was 90%.


Clare and her PhD Supervisor, Prof. Emeritus Dr. Ricardo D. Trimilos (2010)

Dr Clare Chan Suet Ching has a PhD in Music (Ethnomusicology), University of Hawai’i, Manoa, Hawai’i, USA and a Master of Arts (Ethnomusicology), University Sains Malaysia, Penang.

I questioned and sought answers to many life phenomena. I also desired deeper knowledge, expertise, and professionalism in my area of study, Ethnomusicology. During my postgraduate study, I was molded to become a critical and creative thinker, a socialcultural and ethnically aware person with a sense of humility toward life. Studying the literature and writings of great thinkers from History, Tourism, Anthropology, Philosophy and Cultural Studies, I developed a broader and deeper understanding of

humans’ perception of the world. The binaries between black and white or right and wrong that I was encultured in from a young age became gray; life issues became more subjective and contextual. I developed flexibility for change and the courage to be different. For example, the classical music tradition I grew up performing inculcated a specific paradigm of perceiving musical creativity and production. Studying the music(s) of the world made me realize the infinite possibilities of making music. It gave me the courage to explore my inner creativity and freedom of expression. 9



Q2. How has your postgraduate experience helped you in your career? Postgraduate study is crucial to those intending to pursue academic excellence and expertise in specific fields. In postgraduate studies, one delves deeply and thoroughly into a very specific research area. Completing a PhD provided me with intrinsic knowledge of

my field; it grounded me with understanding of the globally practiced scholastic system. These skills provided me with confidence to lead the way toward change and innovations in research and education for the benefit of the future generation.

Q3. What is the difference between postgraduate studies at the Masters level and PhD level? At the Masters level, one only begins to delve deeper or open up more questions to a specific area. The PhD level is many times more demanding for one’s research and dissertation needs to be original, innovative, cutting edge, creative and extend the boundaries of human knowledge. A contribution to the current body of knowledge in the field is required. An important quality for a PhD candidate to possess is cogency – the ability to write and present clear, convincing, and logical thoughts. One also has to be prepared to champion over periods of unproductivity, demotivation and failure. To see the light at the end of the tunnel, one needs to be determined, disciplined, resilient, and persistent. 10

My advice for those who sought a PhD degree is to honestly question one’s motive for pursuing a PhD. Do not do a PhD for its prestige, to earn a better income or as a job requirement. Do it because you

thirst for deeper knowledge and understanding in your area of research. Motivation and goals that come from within remain essential to reaching the finishing line.

To see the light at the end of the tunnel, one needs to be determined, disciplined, resilient, and persistent.

Professor Emeritus Dr. Ricardo D. Trimillos, Barbara B. Smith (founder of the Ethnomusiology Dept. (University of Hawai`i at Manoa), Prof. Dr. Adrienne Kaepplar (President of the International Council of Traditional Music) and Clare during the Society of Ethnomusicology Conference in Atlanta, Georgia (2005)

Research in indigenous pedagogy among the Semai of Tapah (2012)

Q4. What is the thesis of your doctorate paper? My PhD is about the music and dance of the Mah Meri, one of the 18 indigenous minorities known collectively as the Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia. I examined the reconstruction of the Mah Meri’s traditional music and dance as it shifted from ritual enactment to stage presentation. I analyzed how power structures such as tourism, national policies, and modernization influence the Mah Meri’s musical style and performance structure. I examined the negotiations made to maintain true to their “traditional” culture while tailoring their performance to the local and global audiences’ gaze.

Visiting the Mah Meri community in 2013




Q6. In your opinion, what should be the two top considerations in choosing an educational faculty to do our postgraduate studies?

Q5. Why did you choose to pursue your PhD at University Of Hawai`i? University Of Hawai`i at Manoa was one of my top choices for pursuing a PhD in Music because of its strong and vibrant Ethnomusicology program. I was also offered a full scholarship from the Music Department of the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, a Fulbright Scholarship by the US Embassy of Malaysia, and later an East-West Center Degree Fellowship to pursue my doctorate degree. Hawai`i is an ideal place to study music and culture as it is a multicultural state that consists of Hawaiians, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Caucasians. The Ethnomusicology department provides the graduate student with a strong foundation in Ethnomusicology theories as well as musical skills on chosen 12

ensembles ranging from Javanese gamelan, Okinawan sanshin, Koto ensemble, Gagaku ensemble, Korean Dance, Chinese Ensemble, Hawaiian slack guitar, hula and Tahitian dance. The University Of Hawai`i at Manoa is also affiliated with East West Center, the center of United States, Asia and Pacific Studies. The center’s research programs exposed me to the critical issues of common concern among these regions. The East West Center provided a conducive studying environment for international students. The degree fellows organized annual activities that promoted inter-cultural understanding such as international music, dance, and food festivals. We

Okinawan Sanshin Ensemble, Music Dept. of the University of Hawai`i at Manoa (2005)

Motivation and goals that come from within remain essential to reaching the finishing line.

had an excellent international community and friends for surfing, beach picnics, exercise, and potluck parties. These activities were crucial for the well being and mental health of postgraduate students far away from home and experiencing the stress of postgraduate studies.

First, one must study the nature of the program and the department or faculty that hosts it. One of the ways to examine the state of the faculty is through their website. A comprehensive description and updated website are indicators of a good, progressive program. Second, one must select a supervisor who is experienced in the field and has a good reputation as a supervisor.

Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris

A good working relationship with your supervisor and camaraderie is important during any postgraduate studies. It is important that mutual trust and respect is established between supervisor and student. While

a good supervisor provides both intellectual and emotional support, the student must do his part in being persistent and diligent.

Q7. You’ve participated in numerous international forums and seminars, both as a speaker and as an attendee. What is your key takeaway from these sharing sessions? aspects of being an effective presenter is the ability to conjure a cogent presentation in 20 minutes.

International Conference on Tourism in Rhode Islands, Greece (2011)

Society of Ethnomusicology Conference at Philadephia (2011)

During international conferences, scholars from around the world meet to share and present their paradigms and angles on musical performances from different groups and

ethnicities. The diverse and creative ways in which these scholars interpret and present their arguments stimulates and refreshes our view of our own research. One of the challenging

What do I want my audience to take away with from my presentation? How can I capture my audience’s attention and provoke their thoughts for questions after the presentation? I am always intrigued with presenters with the ability to comprehensive arguments in a simple, clear, logical, and convincing argument. 13


COVER STORY Q8. How can your learnings be applied to the Malaysian context? The networking and intellectual exchange that occurs in these conferences situates our research and understanding of musical phenomena on a global pedestal. While Malaysia recognizes the importance and value of international conferences, creating a vibrant scholastic environment among young, enthusiastic scholars remains a challenge in the academic world. Command of language and good writing skills remain setbacks for many young scholars in our country today.

Q9. What sort of career opportunities await students in this field today? How broadly varied, and rewarding, can a career in the arts be?

The music industry is one of the richest sources of human capital! 1st International Symposium on Ethnomusicology and Ethnochoreography (27 September 2012)

Talk, Play & Think Academic Talk and Performance Series, Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Tanjong Malim, Perak


Musician graduates have careers directly linked to music in the areas of education, performance, composition, or music technology. Many graduates obtain jobs that acquire musical knowledge in the areas of music business management, media and communication, marketing and publicity, organization and administration. In the field of education, one usually acquires professions as a schoolteacher, private

music instructor, or university professor. Appointment as professors requires a more advanced degree, preferably a doctorate degree. Freelance musicians who play at live bands in nightclubs or music gigs often also engage as private music instructors to pay the bills. In state or nation-funded orchestras, one may obtain a full time job a conductor, composer or instrumentalists in the orchestra. Indirectly linked to the management of an orchestra are jobs including orchestra librarian, publicity manager, human resource management, and international relations officer.

In business management, one may venture into managing of a music store, music school, musical instrument consultation, music instrument repair, maintenance, and restoration. Music archivists, librarians, and museum curators are careers that require musical knowledge too. Composers gain income and royalties from music arranging, composing lyrics, songs, orchestral or ensemble music.

A field of growing importance is music therapy that provides counseling at hospice centers, mental health clinics, hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers.

SEADOM- Southeast Asian Directors of Music (2012)

Music graduates also engage in social-related careers that promote music for the welfare of society and community such as arts administrators and community arts. Disc jockeys or video jockeys work in the radio and television in the media sector. Music journalists and critics for magazine, newspaper, and websites publicize musical events in the communication sector. In an arts or music production, there is need for a music producer, director, stage manager, concert hall manager, event organizer, conductor and musicians.

Q10. On a personal note, what is your educational philosophy?

Learning is a lifetime endeavor; there is never a moment of boredom for we will never cease to marvel at the endless wonders this world may present to us. 15


Yuen Mun Kwun Sales & Project Manager UTAR

Job Description Be accountable for managing the delivery of critical projects, and for providing managerial support for all the projects conducted by the company. Also responsible for providing monthly financial and technical updates of any known issues/risks to Project Director.

Favourite quote “Treat people with sincerity and build a good organization. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter how famous or how capable you are, just like Han Dynasty” – Xiang Yu, general and leader of the rebel forces that overthrew the Qin dynasty.


What made you want to study an MBA?

Initially I was considering Msc Project Management or MBA to advance my career path. Although it may be possible to climb the ranks over the years, there are some careers that require a master degree for advancement. After having gone through some research and advice from professors, my final decision was MBA as I felt it gives me more value in terms of business perspective and the mastery of knowledge at a higher level of business management. Besides, assignments and course work practices throughout the course gave me the ability and confidence to speak on equal terms with senior executives in the company or even in the markets.

What inspires you?

All the lectures teach me to think like a businessman, or an entrepreneur - a critical thinking skill for problem solving encountered during the course study. In addition, my point of view became wider when sharing opinions, ideas or while doing brainstorming among my course mates. This is because my course mates come from different industrial sectors, different roles in an organization, different education background, etc. “People cannot be trained and taught creative, but can be trained and taught innovative,” one of my lecturers said. Innovation is the key to success in the 21st century business. Besides upgrading my mindset, I also developed good habits and self-discipline developed during the MBA program. Attitude and ability are equally important ingredients for the successful of a great leader.


What made you want to study an MBA? When we study for an MBA, we are learning the strategies and knowledge that people who have been in the field for years and years already have. You are going into the profession with one foot already in the door. When we are studying MBA, we tend to meet more people from other backgrounds. In other words, we are networking. There are no greater reference than earning the respect of professors and colleagues who will say great things about us in future. If we want to succeed as a professional, one has to learn discipline. An MBA will teach us that discipline by helping us to become competitive and teaching us to prioritize our tasks. Nevertheless, if we feel we lack confidence, an MBA can help us feel a sense of accomplishment. After all, these programs are not easy to complete. We will feel good to be working towards a goal.

What inspires you? The thought that I can attain the highest limit of education - PhD - by next year. My MBA program has developed and transformed me into a totally different person, one who has more leadership capabilities and management competency.

Foo Wai Wai

Assistant Manager, Department of Alumni Relations & Placement (UTAR)

Job Description

In my job, I ensure that all alumni database records are accurate and complete. I obtain all contact details, biographical details and career information of alumni via surveys, websites, postal returns, and etc. Additionally, I also establish and build relationships with a wide range of alumni all over the world and maintain regular communication through direct contact, email blasts, alumni web pages, or printed publications.

Favourite quote

The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I haven’t read. Abraham Lincoln




About DR LEE SIEW PENG Assistant Professor Dr Lee Siew Peng has been attached to UTAR’s Faculty of Accountancy Management for 10 years. As Head of programme, she provides academic and administration support to the faculty and assisting students in their pursuit of their MBA programmes and carrying out daily operations of the divisions to ensure they are consistent with university policies and procedures. Dr Lee has a Doctor of Philosophy (Corporate Finance), Universiti Malaya; Master of Finance, Curtin University of Technology, Australia and a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Information Systems), Curtin


Corporate governance has come under greater public scrutiny as a consequence of the financial crisis, resulting in increased focus on risk management, especially in areas of critical risks as operational, compliance, and fraud (Richard Chambers, President of Institute of Internal Auditors). In this exclusive interview, Dr Lee Siew Peng, the Head of MBA programme (general MBA and specialized MBA – Corporate Governance and Building Management) at UTAR, explains how sound knowledge in corporate governance could significantly increase your value in your organization.


University of Technology, Australia. Her professional qualifications include ASCPA.

Q1. Prior to moving into an academic career, you worked at an auditing firm. Why did you make the career switch? Having acquired the necessary experience conducting audit activities, I felt a need for a career change, something more educational. Teaching has always been my childhood dream. I decided to pursue higher education i.e. my Master and Phd to fulfill my dream of being a lecturer.

Q2. What did you find most fulfilling about your PhD experience? Pursuing my PhD was a great five-year experience. I was continuously challenged to understand the existing theories in finance, some of which were developed even before I was born. I found that discovering knowledge gives me tremendous satisfaction. I decided to pursue my PhD in Universiti Malaya while I was working at UTAR. I had a good mentor/ supervisor, Prof. Dato Dr Mansor Md Isa who guided me well throughout the five years. I wrote journal articles with him, presented papers on his behalf, listened to his advice - all of which

contributed to what I am today. My goals were for personal development and career progression. Studying the PhD part-time was intense. It was really a challenging for me to juggle work and study. However, through this struggle, I learnt time management and became more proficient in the advancement of my knowledge in finance. 19



Q3. What is the main thesis of your doctorate paper? My PhD research focuses on mergers and acquisitions in Malaysia. We often read in the newspapers about a particular company merging with another company and one company taking over another company. Why do companies merge or acquire another company? What are the motives of mergers and takeovers? Who gains in the process? Are these activities good for the economy? If these are public-listed companies,

what is the market reaction to merger or acquisition announcements? These are really interesting questions for conducting research but there are not many comprehensive local studies available. So I decided that this was a good topic for my PhD thesis. I hope my research has been able to contribute to the academic profession and society in general.

Q4. What motivated you to pursue the Master of Finance and not MBA? I wanted to become an academic specializing in finance. A traditional MBA covers broad areas of business functions that include general management, finance, marketing, human resource management, accounting, organization behavior, operations research, etc. A Master of Finance is more focused in the area of finance. It offers programmes in core finance areas as well as those indirectly related to finance. It really provided a solid foundation for a career in finance.


The general MBA is more of a general degree; the programme incorporates core subjects that are general in nature, and students are trained to be in general management and with an emphasis on leadership. A specialized MBA tends to be more focused and have greater depths in a particular discipline i.e., finance, accounting, marketing and management.

Q5. Why did UTAR introduce the MBA (Corporate Governance) and MBA (Building Management) programmes three years ago? What kind of demand does it fulfill in corporations? We felt that it is important to have an MBA that specializes in Corporate Governance, given that frequent financial crisis was happening all over the world; the Asian Financial crisis of 199798, the Enron and WorldCom debacle, and more recently the subprime crisis in 2007. We felt that the lack of good corporate governance practices around the world contributed significantly to these crises. This programme aims to equip students with the competencies (knowledge, value and skills) to interpret the importance of corporate governance in

the contemporary business environment and in Malaysia. The MBA (Building Management) is new. The programme was jointly developed with the Building Management Association of Malaysia (BMAM). It is now professionally recognised by Building Management Association of Malaysia (BMAM). We only introduced the programme last year along with the BA (Hons) Building and Property Management. This postgraduate degree was important to meet the current needs of new entrants or

aspiring professionals seeking to work in the property/ building profession. In Malaysia, real estate/ property industries are expected to grow at a steady rate over the next decade and provide employment opportunities for well-trained individuals. As a growing population has greater housing needs and businesses look to expand, there will be an increased need for qualified property/building managers to oversee and manage residential and commercial properties, and shopping complexes. 21



Q6. How is UTAR’s programme diferent from most of the real estate programmes that are currently offered? Most of the real estate programmes that are currently offered focus on the technical aspects of building management. UTAR’s Building Management programme focuses on the comprehensive knowledge of the management of building, properties, shopping complexes as well as condominiums. In additional to the technical aspects of building management, this programme aims to infuse diverse knowledge into our MBA (Building Management) students - for example, strategic marketing and management, facilities management, financial management and property investment appraisal. We hope this programme will make a difference with additional management knowledge to students; and they will have the opportunity to advance to higher positions and oversee larger properties with a wider range of responsibilities.

Q7. For graduates who originate from an unrelated field looking to take up this programme, how would the MBA help them in their career prospects? For alreadyworking audit practitioners, how does the programme help them bring more value to the corporate organizations they serve?


We hope this programme will make a difference with additional management knowledge to students; and they will have the opportunity to advance to higher positions and oversee larger properties with a wider range of responsibilities.

Corporate governance is about good management practices and controlled practices of organizations. It brings more transparency and accountability in corporate management and builds market confidence for investors. Large companies control large amount of resources at their disposal. Good corporate governance practices

ensure that these resources are properly managed for the benefits of all stakeholders, and should not being abused or misused for personal benefits of those entrusted with these resources. Students in the programme would have strong and solid knowledge and application in the corporate governance’s best practices and they should be able to contribute positively to their organizations. We have also linked with other institutions to provide value

add to the MBA (Corporate Governance). UTAR recently signed an Memorandum of Collaboration with The Malaysia Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (MAICSA). Under the collaboration, students who have completed the MBA (Corporate Governance) are eligible to apply as MAISCA Graduate members giving them full graduate status. This means that upon completing their MBA (Corporate Governance),

students will also receive the ICSA status. Corporate Governance has started to gain prominence and play a more important role in corporate management in the past decade. Company Secretaries are high ranking professionals, welltrained to uphold the standards of corporate governance, and to achieve compliance and administration efficiency of an organisation.

Q8. According to the Institute of Internal Audit Malaysia (IIAM), Malaysia is striving to make Internal auditing a profession by 2015. Presently, the only people accepted as “professional” auditors are members of the accounting profession. Will the UTAR programme help to achieve this goal? And do you see the programme playing a role in nation-building – e.g. help strengthen Malaysia’s PLCs in terms of leadership, governance and risk management issues? Definitely. UTAR is taking a proactive decision in offering the MBA (Corporate Governance) programme. We are confident that the graduates of this programme will bring real value add to their organizations by putting their knowledge into practice and improve corporate governance practices in

these organizations. Malaysia seeks to be a fully developed nation by 2020 and we see transparency and accountability in organizations as a trajectory towards that aim. We are aware of the IIAM’s position and we believe that we complement each other.

We look forward to working closely with IIAM to enhance Malaysia’s PLCs in terms of their leadership, governance and risk management. We will continuously re-design our programmemes to suit current need as we meet the needs of the country.


COVER STORY Q9. Who should enrol in the MBA (Corporate Governance) and MBA (Building Management) programme? The MBA (Corporate Governance) is an ideal programme for any professional aspiring to a senior career in Corporate Scretaryship, Corporate Administration, Corporate Governance and Risk Management or any senior executive, and/or board director position.

The MBA (Building Management) is ideal for any candidates who wish to contribute effectively in the fields of property and asset management, property investment appraisal, facilities management, real estate and tenancy law, risk management and Insurance, and marketing management.

Q10. What is your advice to those interested to pursue the MBA? An MBA is considered a good investment for career building. A post graduate qualification prepares you for possible changes at work and mobility in the workplace. Obtaining an MBA is about maximizing your personal worth, and learning and developing new skills. If you are looking to become more marketable in the business field, an MBA can prove helpful. My

advice to MBA students is that to obtain maximum benefits from the programme they have to give themselves time and effort, to immerse themselves into the programmeme, to take advantage of your lecturers by probing deeply into the subject area, and to understand how theoretical knowledge can be practiced in organizations.

Q11. Lastly, what is your educational motto? I believe that to be a good academic, we need to continuously update and improve our knowledge. To me, the PhD is probably the “door� which 24

provides a convenient entrance to acquire new knowledge and research skill.



Ainol Rahmah Shazi Shaarani


17 years after the Multimedia Super Corridor was established, technopreneurs are acknowledged as one of the country’s most valuable human resource for their role in identifying the most relevant technical solutions to critical business problems today. So what can IHLs do to deepen Malaysia’s pool of technopreneurs?

Ainol Rahmah Shazi Shaarani, a lecturer in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP), believes that the answer is in a far-sighted curriculum that involves meaningful industry engagement and lifelong learning skills which enable students to acquire a broad-based IT exposure at tertiary level while meeting specific industrial demands


Ainol Rahmah Shazi Shaarani has a Bachelor of Technology from UTP and a Master of Commerce (Advanced Information Systems and Management) from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia. She also has a Certificate in Foundational Computer Science Courses – an Industry Perspective from Infosys Tech. Ltd. (Mysore Education Campus, India). Currently attached to the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, UTP,

Ainol teaches E-Business, Software Engineering, IT Project Management, Introduction to Computers and Information Technology, Management Information Systems. Her key research areas are Electronic Commerce, Software Engineering, Knowledge Management and mobile education/commerce. In addition to teaching classes for Foundation and Undergraduate ICT & BIS students at UTP and supervising final year thesis students, her primary

tasks include collaborating on research, writing academic papers and promoting technopreneurship through relevant avenues and programs.

Q1. Why did you chose to do your postgraduate degree in Commerce when your undergraduate degree was in Information Technology? I did a Masters degree (by coursework) in Commerce where I specialized in Advanced Information Systems and Management. With a background

in Information Technology, I was quite technically conversant but when I started studying Information Systems, I was able to put the technology into context. One of the common problems plaguing ‘technical’ people is the tendency to focus on the technology. Techies, as these people are often called, often think that the latest or most sophisticated technology is the ‘best’ solution to business

problems. In real-life, what we need is to be able to recommend or provide the most suitable and appropriate technical solution to business problems. The field of Information Systems emphasizes these greatly and the exposure that I had received during my Masters had helped me understand the importance of critical thinking in the process of eliciting and analyzing business problems and requirements. 27


COVER STORY Q4. How does your IHL ensure that its syllabus stays up to date with industry developments? What can corporations do to improve industry connections? Team advisor/MIBPC Coordinator for UTP during its first ever win in the MSC-IHL Business Plan Competition 2008/09

Q2. Can we say that essentially, you teach technopreneurship? I personally do not believe that technopreneurship is something we can ‘teach’ the way we teach programming. In the words of one senior technopreneur, “Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle.”

After having spoken to several CEOs of well-established local IT companies, I understand that many people are afraid to take the risk often associated with failing in an entrepreneurship venture. Thus, the first step in

‘teaching’ technopreneurship is to help students understand how a technopreneur deals with risks. Contrary to popular belief, technopreneurs do not take unnecessary risks. They do their own internal risk analysis and take mostly calculated risks.

Q3. How does an IHL bring in the industry connections to make its syllabus relevant? One way is to have experienced industry practitioners engage with students to allow them to understand the journey technopreneurs undergo. It makes a difference to hear someone who has been on the journey speak about their ups and downs and could be


just the kind of inspiration and motivation they need to jump onto the bandwagon to become one themselves. Ultimately, that is the intention of the course; which is to contribute towards the growth of the pool of technopreneurs not just locally, but also globally.

Presenting at the FSIT Strategic Workshop 2011

I can’t speak for all IHLs but UTP engages with industry experts in order to ensure that we stay relevant and are keeping up with industry developments through our Industrial Expert Panel programme.

We try to balance between providing students a broadbased IT exposure at tertiary level with meeting industrial demands of specific skills. As a university, we focus on imparting lifelong learning skills instead of making students focus on one specific skillset.

Participating in ICT/BIS student’s Raya gathering.. enjoying a light moment with students and colleague Azhan Hassan

Personally, I do think that IHLs and industries should look at building stronger connections because the industry can benefit from having expert advice from academia whilst the academia can benefit from having real-

world problems to solve through their research advancement. There are already many examples of this in Malaysia but it is not as prolific as in some other countries like the US, UK, Australia, Japan, and the like.


COVER STORY Q5. What sort of opportunities await students in computer-related fields of study after graduation? How do you position yourself to take advantage of these opportunities?

Facilitator at the 2009 Program Kepimpinan Tun Razak, a leadership programme organized for students leaders. Ainol Shazi was there as part of the team from Alumni Yayasan Tun Razak of which she is a member.

In 2012, the UTP team led by Ainol won the National Level MSC APICTA, after which they represented Malaysia at the International Level at International APICTA. This is Ainol and team receiving the Merit prize from HRH Crown Prince of Brunei.

In Malaysia, all computer-related fields of study tend to be lumped together under the banner of IT. This is sad, because IT actually represents a lot of various disciplines. There is something for everyone. As a lecturer, I prefer for students to choose a field which they are firstly interested in, and secondly suits their personality type. All the courses that I have taught are part of the realm of Information Systems (IS) which is suitable for those who are interested in business but at the same time enjoy the challenge of thinking critically and doing analysis. In this day and age where the world pretty much shuts down without computers, there are many opportunities waiting for someone who understands business issues and speak the lingo, but at the same time possesses technical skills and

knowledge. IS practitioners can act as the bridge between management and the technical people and that is what makes them valuable to the organization. The technical training provides them with the systematic clarity that average business graduates somewhat lack while the management exposure allows them to focus on seeing the big picture, something that techies often are not inclined to emphasize. The job possibilities are almost endless; starting from doing the requirements analysis, designing a software solution, actually developing the software solution, marketing the solutions to management, or conducting the uses testing and training. What is important in all these situations is that the person is willing to learn and explore their own limits.

Q6. Congratulations on being the only Malaysian in the last few years to win a scholarship to the prestigious Fujitsu Global Leadership for Innovation and Knowledge (GLIK) programme. What do you think boosted your chances of winning? Is this the first industrial scholarship you’ve acquired? Leadership and Innovation are two areas which are of real interest to me. We find that both often go hand-in-hand; because 30

without leadership even the best innovation will not make it to the market, while conversely without innovation leadership is

just someone getting people to do the same thing the same way over and over again. I’ve lived by these beliefs and as much as I can, I try to impart these beliefs

What is important in all these situations is that the person is willing to learn and explore their own limits. to my students. Hence, over the years I have always looked for opportunities to improve myself and my participation in GLIK is just one of the many initiatives that I had taken to fulfill that goal. This is not the first industrial scholarship I have acquired; in

2007 I was fortunate to have been selected to participate in a 4-month software training programme at Infosys Limited Global Education Center at Mysore, India. A few months after my return, I did a 6-week stint at the Software Centre of Test Excellence at MIMOS

Berhad. I think it is important for academics to venture outside the academia and get involved in industrial work so that we can return and share our experiences with our students in order to better prepare them for the working world.

Q7. Your career arc includes a stint in PETRONAS. How does your corporate experience add value to your academic role? My experience working in the IT unit of PETRONAS enabled me to share first-hand real case studies that are relevant to whatever is being discussed in the courses. I also did a stint with the Merdeka Award where I served as the Head of Operations and later with the multinational’s Corporate Affairs Department working with the Strategy department. These diverse industrial experiences have allowed me to work towards becoming an all-rounder with diverse skillsets and have helped me in my current role as Advisor to SynTech Club, which is the IT students’ association in UTP.

In 2007, Ainol participated in a 4-month software training programme at Infosys Limited Global Education Center, India. This photo was taken on the way to Bangalore.

I also serve as the UTP Coordinator for the MDeCorganinzed IHL Business Plan Competition and last year UTP proudly cinched the first prize with their educational mobile application. This is in line with my other efforts to promote technopreneurship to students and having them experience the journey is an effective way of immersing them in the idea.

Q8. Lastly, what is your educational motto? I personally believe in the motto “Learning is a

journey of a lifetime.” This is why I am always looking for learning opportunities everywhere. As an educator, I can only give what I have and I believe by upgrading myself, I can benefit others around me.



“Facebook Got me Hired” PKT Logistics Group Sdn. Bhd. shakes up the human resource landscape in Malaysia with its benchmark-setting Career Day 2013.

PKT’s most active facebook fans being reconised

Tuan Haji Sahdan(left), Ketua Pengarah Lembaga Nenas Malaysia & Datuk Michael Tio

Facebook fans, rejoice. Joining the social media site may just land you your dream job, Joining the growing bandwagon of modern employers who turn to non-traditional means of hiring, PKT Logistics Group Sdn. Bhd. (PKT Logistics) held its second Career Day 2013 targeting its Facebook fans.

Thumbs Up by Air Asia Exhibitors

Datuk Wira Jalilah Baba & Dato’ Michael Tio with ALC college students.


Facebook Fans

As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, PKT Logistics conceived this event to benefit the many young graduates and job seekers who have shown continuous support to PKT via its Facebook page – its fans currently number over18,000 and mainly comprise members from the age of early 20s to mid-30s. 33


HIGHLIGHTS Datuk Wira Jalilah Baba, PKT Logistics chairman said,

“Today we are creating history as a corporate company by changing the perception towards job recruitment. We today solely use Facebook to hire our employees while all present here are solely Facebook fans.”

She added, “PKT is leading the way in showing the industry how a corporate company can create a sustainable CSR”. Chief Executive & Managing Director of PKT Logistics Dato’ Michael Tio’s personal tagline is “CSR is not about how you spend your profits, instead it’s about how responsible you make your profits”. Guided by this motto, PKT Logistics will continuously explore ways to instill awareness in the society through CSR.

UCSI students all ready to get hired

with 28,000 pineapples planted over a span of 1km - were also the attraction of the day.

Datuk Michael & Datuk Wira Jalilah visiting the booths

Up for grabs were over 350 job positions from a total of 40 participating companies. On-the-spot job interviews for fans who had pre-registered for interviews via Facebook was one of the key highlights

as PKT charges ahead in creating awareness on how social media has transformed their workplace. A wide range of food choices, facility tours, a walk down the “Sea of Pineapples” - the landscape surrounding the office

The event attracted an overwhelming response, with a total of over 1200 fans attending. Elated by the response to the event, PKT Logistics plans to incorporate it into their yearly calendar to create awareness on the importance of career development. After visiting The Sea of Pineapples


Datuk Michael leading an exclusive tour



Tun Ling (second from right) presenting a fruit basket to Tan Sri Yong while Prof Ewe (left) and Datuk Tan look on.

HIGHLIGHTS Articulating the festival’s objective, Tan Sri Yong, who was slated to speak on the importance of body and mind development, pointed out, “The brain is only two percent of the human body’s weight, yet it consumes 20 percent of the total resting oxygen, it is something that is very powerful. Here at the Festival of the Mind, we will learn to stretch the mind’s potential.”

9th Malaysia of

9th Malaysia Festival of the MIND Mind Delivers Splendid Show Festival the

A total of fourteen provocative public talks and seven mindbending workshops took place during Malaysia’s highly anticipated Festival of the Mind. Now in its 9th year, the annual extravaganza is jointly organised by the Malaysia Mental Literacy Movement (MMLM), Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) and Tunku Abdul Rahman University College. Held at the College Hall of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College Main 36

Campus in Setapak, the two-day festival was launched by guest of honour, Managing Director of Royal Selangor International Sdn Bhd, Tan Sri Datuk Yong Poh Kon together with UTAR Council Chairman and MMLM Chairman Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, UTAR Vice President (Internationalisation & Academic Development) Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat representing the President, and President of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Datuk Dr Tan Chik Heok.

“The Festival of the Mind is held every year to create greater awareness among the public about the fullest potential of our minds. Through all the interesting and fun activities during the festival, we aim to impart the importance of taking care of our mind, in other words, minding our minds.” said Tun Dr Ling during the opening address before the 700-strong audience.

West Wong – the human calculator

West Wong, a UTAR alumnus and bronze medallist in the Mental Arithmetic Flash Anzan

Tan Sri Yong giving his address

in the World Mental Olympics 2012, who is dubbed as ‘the human calculator, gave live demonstrations of his mental arithmetic prowess. In one startling demonstration, his mental computation outdid volunteers who used calculators! Other activities included an exhibition, mind games, MENSA admission test (at a special fee), and showcasing of Leonard Personality Inventory (a personality test) and mental literacy related products.

Participants had a field day at the public talks and workshops, which were delivered by a roster of renowned experts and professionals, including Prof Dato’ Dr Goh Sing Yau, Terry Winchester, West Wong, Bugs Tan, SK Tan, Sussanne Lee, KC Chia, Lily Kong, Rita Goh, Teoh Poh Yew, Lim Teck Guan, S. Nanda, Ng Thian Watt, S Jeyaraman and Iswari Vangadaraman. Since its inaugural launch in 2007, the annual festival has attracted favourable response from all segments of society, from school-going children to working adults and retirees. This year, it drew over 2,600 visitors in UTAR, Perak (15 and 16 June) and 1,400 visitors in KL. A special lucky draw with attractive prizes and the grand prize of a Samsung Galaxy Camera were given to lucky visitors.




About MMLM

Attentive audience at the ceremony

Toh Puan Ling (left) and Tun Ling welcomed by Datuk Tan and Prof Ewe

“I had participated in the Mind Competitions in 2012, but it was not until this year that I won a prize,” said an excited Chong Jie Han, the Champion of the Random Numbers Category of the Memory Competition segment of the

Mind Competitions 2013. For his effort, he received a certificate of achievement and cash prize of RM5,000, which he said he would use to buy presents for his teachers. Chong, a Royal Military College (RMC) cadet, was accompanied by eight fellow

MMLM Deputy Chairman Dr Milton Lam (second from left) and Prof Dr Ewe with visitors from RMC (from left) Ong, Col Ghazali and the cadets


cadets. RMC Commandant Colonel Wan Ghazali and English Department Head Mr Hafizul Ong were also present at the prize giving ceremony.

“I came here to learn and to interact with people,” said Ann Lu, who came with her husband Vincent Teoh, both retirees. “The festival is fantastic,” declared UTAR student Tiffany Seow, who particularly liked Wong’s demonstration. Igen Mak, a volunteer for Wong’s demonstration, agreed, “I was shocked by the speed and accuracy of the human calculator!”

The Malaysia Mental Literacy Movement (MMLM) was the brainchild of Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik. It was officially registered under the Societies Act 1966 by the Registrar of Society on 4 July 2006. The objective of MMLM is to introduce and promote various techniques and skills pertaining to the improvement of mental literacy among Malaysians. In doing so, MMLM wishes to contribute to the development and upgrading of human capital resources which are necessary to face the challenges of the new millennium owing to the increasing globalised world as envisaged by the Malaysian Government.

About UTAR UTAR was established in June 2002 under the Act of Private Institutions of Higher Learning 1996 of Malaysia and now has a student enrolment of over 22,000 and alumni strength of over 30,000. UTAR now offers 117 programmes ranging from Foundation and Bachelor’s to Master’s and PhD levels in its four campuses in Kampar, Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur and Bandar Sungai Long. UTAR has nine faculties, three institutes and three centres offering programmes in Accountancy and Management, Arts and Social Science, Business and Finance, Creative Industries, Engineering and Green Technology, Engineering and Science, Information and Communication Technology, Medicine and Health Sciences, and Science. In line with UTAR’s vision to be a reputable premier teaching and research university, 25 research centres and nine endowed professorial chairs were established. More than 70 international university partners and 50 local partners facilitate international exchanges, research and training.

About Tunku Abdul Rahman University College Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, formerly known as TAR College, is a premier institution of higher learning in Malaysia with a track record of excellence for over four decades. Its brand is synonymous with holistic education and it is well recognized locally and internationally among the academic fraternity and professional bodies. The University College has educated more than 160,000 graduates, many of whom are the eminent leaders in various industries. With the recent upgrading, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College will be offering Diploma and Degree programmes in disciplines such as accounting, finance, economics, ICT, applied science, engineering, architecture, quantity surveying, mass communications and hospitality management as well as pre-university programmes such as Foundation and A Level.




A Pencil Can Change A Life Now into its 4th year anniversary, the campaign Now Every Child Can Write aims to change lives through the humble pencil Children learn to write by observing the written language around them. To write requires conscious planning of “what to write” and “how to write”.

aspires to change lives through the humble but powerful pencil.

This campaign is supported by Miss World Malaysia 2012 Lee Yvonne, Datuk Wira Ir. Idris Haron, Melaka Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Haji Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam, former Melaka Chief Minister, Penang Governor Yang diPertua Negeri Pulau Pinang Tuan Yang Terutama Tun Dato’ Seri Utama (Dr) Haji Abdul Rahman Haji Abbas and local authors.

The ability to write requires time to develop and nurture as it doesn’t come naturally. Learning to write well will help children to do many things in life. It requires constant practice and guidance. Do you know that some children do not even have simple writing tools like It is also supported by UNHCR, a pencil to write with? Empowering Lives Asia, Swan Four years ago, we embarked on Foundation, Book Haven NGO, Jci united a mission to bring joy to these penang, corporate companies and more children. Join us in this journey to achieve the dream of giving 2 million pencils to all children in rural schools. Founded by entrepreneur Benson Wong, Now Every Child Can Write


Memorable Majlis Tahlil and Berbuka Puasa for Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih Children Kuala Lumpur – Impiana KLCC Hotel recently hosted a heartfelt charity Ramadan dinner for 25 children aged between five to sixteen from the welfare home of Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih with a joint Tahlil and Doa Selamat prayer attended by representatives from KLCC Property Holdings, Impiana Hotels & Resorts Management (IHRM) and hotel associates. Held on Thursday, 18th July 2013 at the Impiana Banquet Hall, the evening began with a warm welcome by the hotel’s

management team. The children were then gently ushered to the spacious prayer rooms (surau) at level 1. After Maghrib prayers, the children and other attendees were taken to the Banquet Hall for a buffet dinner. These young VIPs were feted with a host of sumptuous Ramadan dishes such as nasi briyani, beef and chicken satay with condiments, chicken tandoori with naan bread, daging kurma johor, bayam beining with anchovy, ayam sambal petai, nasi tomato, roti john and other mouth-watering delicacies.

Yvonne presenting the eco-friendly pencils to Ustad Saiful



During the dinner, the children and other invited guests were entertained with a few numbers of nasyid songs. The event concluded with the distribution of duit raya, Impiana bags and goodie bags to the children. There were other hotel representatives who also distributed duit raya to the children.

Francis Chung presenting the Impiana bags to Ustaz Saiful

It was a memorable event for everyone as Miss World Malaysia 2012, Yvonne Lee, graced the event and she personally handed over 400 units of eco-friendly pencils. This pencil campaign is supported by Yvonne Lee with the theme,









Now every child can write, a pencil will bring million smiles, a pencil can change a life! Not to be outdone, the invited guests also received goodie bags sponsored by Bio Elements.

Yvonne, Zihan and Datin Faudziah with the children

Leading the hotel team was IHRM executive director Francis Chung, who said, “It is always a nice feeling to have children around especially during this

holy month. We are grateful for the opportunity to make them happy and let them know that there are people who care for them.�

Impiana KLCC Hotel ( is strategically located within the vicinity of the majestic PETRONAS Twin Towers and the ultra-modern Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, and centrallypositioned amidst the city’s entertainment, shopping and business hub.




Than Bing Hoe Technical Project Manager Victoria University MBA (VUMBA) at Sunway; Monash University (B. Eng)

Job Description Managing new project startups, allocation of resources for project commencement, and client liaising for project succession.

Favourite quote “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao Tzu. Or rather the amended version, “A journey through VUMBA begins in Sunway University”.


What made you want to study an MBA?

What made you want to study an MBA?

My journey to pursue MBA wasn’t an easy one. Starting my career in the technical path provided me an insight to be analytical about my duties, but I always felt that there was something amiss. I was always curious about the management’s decisions, business strategy, and administration. I got some consultation from management and friends with MBA. They opened up my eyes to a whole new perspective, and about how MBA is able to provide me with a basis for the management experience. With that, my search for a higher degree to pursue ended, and I started my journey in VUMBA.

An MBA degree would prepare me to experience the many changes of employment. It helps me move into different areas and fields of business know-how, which will further equip me with the survival skills for today’s dynamic business environment. I believe that acquiring new management skills and techniques will open up new horizons towards increased responsibility, with the capacity for strategic thinking and critical analysis. This is frequently followed by better networking and prestige with a better career in management as it would provide a well-rounded understanding of the many facets of business.

What inspires you? In a nutshell, passion. Passion inspires people to achieve greatness. It is passion that creates the 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration. My inspiration comes from visionaries like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Robert Kiyosaki, and many more, who are so passionate in what they do, they change the world with their inspiration.

What inspires you? The fast and constantly changing business environment has inspired me to learn the best practices applicable to business. By deepening my knowledge in business and people management, I will not only be able to perform well in my career but in the real world. It is all about learning to build a great business that’ll be around for many years and at the same time help people. The world is full of opportunities and possibilities waiting to be explored.

Thinakaran Raveendran

Human Resource Executive at Coca-Cola Bottlers (M) Sdn Bhd Victoria University MBA (VUMBA) at Sunway; Bachelor of Psychology at Help University

Job Description

Oversee end to end recruitment activities, from hiring nonexecutives to directors for various functional departments of a FMCG organization. Responsibilities also include headcount planning, managing of recruitment channels, studying and driving low attrition in the organization and establishing and streamlining new recruitment processes.

Favourite quote

“Work hard, play harder” – as simple as it sounds, I do believe that “playing harder” always serves as a motivation for someone to work hard.




Secret of success: ‘SHINE LIKE A DIAMOND’

One of the main ingredients to be a successful entrepreneur is to have a positive attitude, he advised. “Success is disguised as something called positive attitude.” But that’s not enough - positive attributes were equally important. He explained, “Positive attributes such as hard work, sincerity, integrity, innovation, creativity and

persistence are among the key elements of success.” Citing desire as another important element to success, he said the problem with most people is that they do not have the burning desire and persistence to realise their capabilities and dreams as they feel it is easier to just be

average. Hence, strong passion, determination and confidence was also critical to success. Dato’ Looi operates a diversified network of companies that deal in construction, media advertising, education, publishing, furniture, machinery, logistics, hardware photography and food and beverage.

“Shine like a diamond and that is what is expected of a successful entrepreneur,” said Dato’ Tony Looi Chee Hong, Chairman of Ban Lee Hin Group of Companies, during his talk entitled ‘Secret to Success’. Held at UTAR Perak Campus on 26 June 2013, the talk was part of the UTAR Entrepreneurial Talk Series organised by UTAR Department of Consultancy and Commercialisation. Audience of the packed auditorium, who comprised mainly students 46

from the Faculty of Business and Finance (FBF), were glued to their seats throughout the two-hour talk in which Dato’ Looi shared his insights on entrepreneurship and valuable tips on business techniques.






Profiles of Extraordinary People “Success is disguised as something called positive attitude.”


Under his dynamic leadership, Ban Lee Hin has received multiple awards and recognition, including the Brand Laureate SMEs Best Brands Signature Awards for “Best Brands in Engineering and Construction”, Global Leadership Awards 2013 - Engineering Sector, 21st Century The Prestigious Brand Prestigious Entrepreneur Award, Asia Pacific Entrepreneur

Awards 2012 and the Golden Bull Award 2012. The “UTAR Entrepreneurial Talk Series” consists of talks organised by the University’s Department of Consultancy and Commercialisation to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship and the concept of commercialisation among students.




BUSINESS SEGMENT Q1. What are the most challenging factors facing the mining industry now?

COLD STORAGE MINES = HOT INVESTMENT PICKS At the recent Asian Minerals and Energy Investment Forum 2013, Sia Hok Kiang, Director of Malaco Mining Sdn Bhd, Cape Lambert Leichardt Pty Ltd and Crossland Strategic Metals Ltd, delivered a presentation on the hottest topic in the mining industry today: why investors are turning their attention to a previously neglected sector – abandoned, distressed or “cold storage” mines.


The depletion of rich, easily accessible deposits has now pushed mining companies into exploring more and more remote areas. The other challenge is the increasingly more stringent sovereign, socio-economic and environmental compliant requirements and rising energy costs. As a result, the cost of mining is much higher.

“See what others cannot see, move before others moved.”

Q2. The mining industry experienced a sluggish period recently, with substantial slowdown in financing for junior and medium-sized exploration companies. In the face of such challenging conditions, what is the prime draw of the mining industry for potential investors? I believe mining is something that won’t go out of fashion. Everything that we use in our civilization is dependent on metals, from basic needs like using copper as electrical conductors to the high-tech use of rare earth metals. As in other economic activities, the mining industry would have its ups and downs. But owing to the long gestation period required to start a new mining project,

but the escalating costs of minerals production will cause economic cycles in the mining the floor price of any metal to industry tend to be longer than increase as mineral producers other sectors’. Driven by demand, need to stay in business. In the I believe the metal bull cycle is not long run, all metal prices will over yet. increase. As an investor, you want to go into a business that will always be in demand and mineral products will always be in demand. To meet the continued demand, there must be continued supply

Here we are sitting on two beautiful factors. We are looking at a product in demand. We are also looking at long-term product price increase. These factors make mining investment very attractive. 51



I believe mining is something that won’t go out of fashion.

Q4. We often hear of “JORC” in mining investment proposals. What is JORC? JORC is the Australian Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC) code that sets out standards and guidelines for Public Reporting of Exploration results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. Guided by principles of transparency, materiality and

competence, a JORC compliant resource statement tells the investor how much mineral resources a project has and the confidence level of that resource being turned into a mined product.

Q5. It’s said that older geological data is not included in the JORC estimation. Can investors take this historical data into account when they do valuation? Q3. In your presentation, you equated the evolution of a mine to Eiffel Tower. What’s the rationale behind this analogy? The tower represents the three stages of a mine construction. The base represents the exploration stage, typically conducted by exploration companies and government agencies. This stage carries the most risk because you stake a large stretch of land trying to find an area of mineral potential. The bigger size of the base represents the higher financial risks at the exploration stage. Once a project has been identified, more money is spent on reserves drilling, 52

metallurgical tests and the identification of a financial model. This results in the next stage, the feasibility study which is done with the objective of securing financing, the final stage. At this point of time, your geological risk is much lesser. Geological risk here refers to the risk of not finding minerals. The biggest geological risk is at the beginning. When you reach the peak, it’s just a matter of development and construction.

The older geological database procured pre-JORC, though professionally produced, may not meet all the current JORC criteria and is omitted in the resource estimation. Before admission, the older data must be verified by check drilling, a costly exercise. A large amount of mineral wealth is thus trapped in

geological data that is shut out of the JORC compliant reports. It is up to the investor to go into the old data of their target area to unearth the project’s potential. The JORC code provides a level of confidence to the investors/financiers who are not technically trained in the mining sector. However, the JORC

resource statement could be just the tip of the iceberg and could inadvertently mask the true potential of certain projects with a long exploration history. For example, in Western Australia, mines with huge upsides were discovered through historical records.

Q6. What are high-ROI projects that investors should target? Matured mines with JORC reserves are safe investments; the only volatility is the operating economics, i.e. cost and price fluctuations. However, they provide little upside.

Investors should target quality distressed mining projects. There are some exploration companies who painted themselves into a corner due to under-capitalization. Entrepreneurs should look at the 53


revitalization of quality projects that are under foreclosure or abandoned. They make prime targets because they have borne the earlier risk of exploration. Going back to my Eiffel Tower analogy, most of the risks have been filtered by exploration

companies. If you go in at this level, you have a much better chance of success. Another area that yields high returns is strategic metals. As technology advances, as we go deeper into creating more green


cars, iPhones, etc, we need more strategic metals, especially heavy rare earth metals and strategic metals like tungsten, antimony, niobium, tantalum where the demand is growing but the supply is scarce.

Q7. What is your personal experience with projects that meet this criteria?

3) Charley Creek Rare Earth Project, Alice Springs, Australia

Let me share three case studies.

1) Mengapur Polymetallic Mine, Pahang The Mengapur copper deposit was discovered in 1979 by the Geological Survey of Malaysia. It was fully explored by Malaysia Mining Corp (MMC) in 19821992. However, prevailing low metal prices in 1995 caused the project to be relinquished. The Mengapur copper project was overlooked by most mining investors until Malaco Mining picked it up in 2005. Following a reevaluation of the data, we were able to turn it into a mine and found a much larger deposit than was originally identified. The project was subsequently sold to Monument Mining Ltd, which is undertaking a phased development plan.


Entrepreneurs should look at the revitalization of quality projects that are under foreclosure or abandoned

Crossland Strategic Metals Ltd (ASX) has a tenement of 690,700 Ha of tenement at the foothill of a 200km long rare earth granite ridge, encompassing large alluvial flats. From initial

2) Mt Cuthbert Mine, Mt Isa, Queensland, Australia. Originally a copper mine in the early 1900s, copper ore was mined here by underground method and locally smelted into blister copper. In 2007 it developed into a matured mine with a 9000 TPA copper cathode production facility and mining camp. It was shut down and put in cold storage in 2009 as a consequence of Global financial crisis. In July 2013, Malaco Mining

bought the project because it meets the criteria of fast ROI with long-term growth potential. The recoverable copper from the leach pad is sufficient to pay for the project acquisition. The JORC compliant resources can sustain the project for 10 years. The large tenement with historical copper mines and much quality old geological data indicate a large copper resource potential. It is currently at the financing stage, with the first copper production expected in January 2014.

scoping analysis, large deposits of monazite and xenotime were identified, both of which are heavy rare earth metals which command a high price. This alluvium amounts to 250, 000 Ha with an indicated average alluvium depth of 15m and volume of 37.5 billlion cu meter.

We are looking at potentially 67.5 billion tonnes of volume mass. With this project, Crossland stands to be potentially one of the world’s largest rare earth suppliers of rare earth, a segment currently dominated by China.

Q8. What can Malaysian companies learn from your experiences? Cold storage mines with large tenement with good historical mining and exploration data would provide much upside. As an investor, I look at a project from a mega perspective. Once I’ve determined its maximum potential upside, I would factor down and work from there.

In my work with the Charley Creek Rare Earth Project, I’d like to combine our Malaysian experience in dealing with heavy sand separation with the potentially very substantial resource in Charley Creek, and turn it into one of the world’s major rare earth suppliers.

There are a lot of good projects lying out there waiting to be picked, especially during this period of slowing down in financing for junior compaies. Study their exploration records, consider the long-term potential, then use your wisdom, knowledge and conviction to go out and find the winner.




MBA EDGE Postgraduate Studies Aug-Sept 2013  

The Premier Postgraduate Studies Bi-monthly magazine (with Business Segment)