Chevening Alumni Malaysia (CAM):
Highlights of Activities in 2014

Chevening Social featuring artistic alumni - 22 February

The social featuring our artistic luminaries Dato' Seri Dr Ng Kah Ming (musician), Dina Zaman (writer) and Eddin Khoo (artistic all rounder) was attended by more than 20 alumni and partners. After our guests shared from their experiences, we had lively and interactive conversations. Everyone present said it was a pleasant and enjoyable evening.


Highlights of Activities from April to May 2013

Meeting with Indonesian Chevening alumna – 11 May

CAM President Nithi Nesadurai met with Indonesian Chevening alumna (LSE, 2006-2007), Dr Farah Purwaningrum, on 11 May in Petaling Jaya. Currently a Fellow at the Institute of Asian Studies at Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Farah was in Malaysia to conduct research on environmental change and energy policy.

Also keen to network with Chevening alumni in Malaysia interested in this topic, Farah (front, in photo) sent an email of enquiry to CAM which led to contact with Nithi who works on environmental issues. They were joined at their discussion over coffee by Siti Rahyla Rahmat, an academic from Universiti Sains Malaysia currently pursuing her PhD studies in Bonn, Germany.


Firefly Viewing and Dinner at Kuala Selangor – 27 April

The Committee organised its first social outing on Saturday, April 27 to view fireflies in Kuala Selangor, about an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur. By making it a family-oriented outing, this event was held to reach out to a different segment of the alumni.

The strategy worked! All seats on the coach chartered for the outing were snapped up. On the day, 39 individuals comprising alumni, their partners and family members, and British High Commission staff participated in the outing.  A Chevening alumna from Hong Kong working in Kuala Lumpur also joined us. On arrival in Kuala Selangor at about 6.30pm, the group first indulged in a sumptuous 10-course Chinese dinner at the Firefly Park Resort Bukit Belimbing.

Then, on receiving the signal from the boat operator, we headed to the Berembang River, a short walk away, boarded two boats and embarked on the cruise. Fireflies are found in mangrove trees along the banks of the river. At night, bright lights emitting from their abdomens illuminate the trees in which they reside, providing a spectacular visual effect similar to that of a lighted Christmas tree.

Due to good weather conditions, fireflies were glowing in large numbers and the group was able to witness and enjoy this sight. Another attraction of the cruise was the complete silence and serenity in which it took place, making it a very relaxing experience. After the 20-minute boat ride, we headed back to our coach and left for Kuala Lumpur. We returned to the city at 10:30pm.


Annual General Meeting – 18 April

The AGM for 2013, held on Thursday, 18 April at La Bodega Restaurant in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, turned out to be a smooth and successful event. Members present were very supportive of the Committee’s efforts over the past year and its plans for the next year.

While it was not an election year, some positions on the Committee had to be filled up because of vacancies caused by resignations. The new line up of Committee members for the 2013/2014 term is as follows:

President:   

Nithi Nesadurai

Vice President: Abdul Rashid Ismail (previously a Committee member)
Hon. Secretary: Sharifah Bakar Ali
Asst. Hon. Secretary: Leong Lai Ming (previously a Committee member)
Hon Treasurer:   Ashwin Jeyapalasingam
Committee members Mark Pui (newly appointed)
Navin Gopal (newly appointed)
Samsurin Welch (newly appointed)
Tan Mei Ling (previously Vice President)
Vicky Wong (previously Hon Auditor)
Hon Auditors Julius Cheah
Siva Somasundram (newly appointed)

The AGM also approved the resolution to change CAM’s current membership structure comprising ordinary members, life members and honorary members to only life members and honorary members. The new subscription for life membership was set at RM100.


Round Table Discussion on Race Relations in Britain and Malaysia – 11 April

The Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Chevening Alumni Malaysia jointly hosted a round table discussion (RTD) on race relations at the office of Dignity International in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 11 April.

The catalyst for holding this event was the recent publication of the book ‘Race Relations in Britain and Malaysia: An Anthology of Discussions with Professor Dr. Aneez Ismail’ by KITA-UKM. The book is a documentation of the lectures and discussions held during the visit of Professor Aneez Ismail to Malaysia in 2009. A Professor of General Practice, Dr Aneez is attached to the University of Manchester.

The RTD was especially timely given that the Malaysian government is considering introducing the National Harmony Act as its version of a Race Relations Act. Serving as commentators on the topic were KITA-UKM Principal Research Fellow, Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria; Deputy British High Commissioner, Ray Kyles; think tank head and business consultant, K K Tan; and former head of Dignity International, Jerald Joseph. CAM President, Nithi Nesadurai moderated the discussion.

About 20 alumni and friends attended the RTD which was a new format for CAM which mainly organises public forums. Here the focus was on getting everyone to participate in the discussion and share their points of view. Overall, the consensus was that the British experience with race relations had provided many positive examples for Malaysia to emulate and that having legislation for this area was required as a benchmark. UKM-KITA will publish a monograph on this topic based on the discussions which took place. CAM accepted UKM-KITA’s invitation to co-host RTDs on other topics in the future.

Review of Activities up to March 2013
and
Record of Activities for 2012


Chevening Alumni Malaysia (CAM) experienced a very positive start to 2013. This follows a highly-eventful year in 2012 in terms of events and activities organised.

The CAM Committee is pleased to document its activities for this period.

1. CAM PLAYS LEADERSHIP ROLE IN REGION

A successful project proposal, jointly developed by CAM and the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, and submitted to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, UK in 2012, led to Malaysia playing a leadership role in helping strengthen the capacities of the Chevening alumni associations in the region.

It was a huge honour and recognition for CAM for the proposal to be approved for it to play a leadership role within the region in conducting this programme. The basis of this project was for CAM President Nithi Nesadurai to travel to countries in South East Asia, meet with Chevening leadership teams and encourage them to become more dynamic and raise their profile.

This was achieved by Nithi conducting a training programme which shared CAM's strategies and experience in organising multiple alumni-based activities and more than 20 public events over the past five years. A capacity-building Manual was specially prepared by Nithi for this purpose.

A secondary objective of the visits was to encourage greater networking between Chevening alumni in the region. The sequence of visits by Nithi was as follows:

1.1 1st Asia Pacific Conference for Chevening Officers, Seoul, Korea
20-21 March 2013

Nithi participated in this conference held in Seoul. While primarily meant for British Embassy and British High Commission (BHC) staff in charge of the Chevening scholarship programme (CSP), it also included participation from Presidents of the Chevening alumni associations of Korea, Cambodia and Malaysia.

Opened by the British Ambassador to Korea, participants of this two-day Conference were from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Taiwan and Vietnam. They shared their experiences on managing the CSP. Jade Robinson represented the BHC in Kuala Lumpur.

Nithi made a presentation on "The Role of the Chevening Alumni in Promoting the Chevening Scholarship Programme." He also informed the audience on activities organised by CAM, its capacity building role in the region and the plan to facilitate networking among alumni in Asia.





1.2 Capacity Building Programme in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
– 20 February 2013

In Phnom Penh, Nithi met with six Committee members of the British Chevening Alumni Association of Cambodia (BCAAC) and Senior Programme Officer of the British Embassy responsible for the Chevening programme and went though the Manual he had prepared to develop the capacity of national associations. His presentation was followed by a lively discussion. The Deputy Head of Station paid a courtesy call during the session.

A few days after Nithi's visit, BCAAC President presented a detailed report supporting the training session and outlining his vision and plans for his Association.




1.3 Capacity Building Programme in Bangkok, Thailand
– 30 November 2012

Nithi engaged with five Committee members of Chevening Alumni Thailand (CAT) as well as two British Embassy staff responsible for managing the Chevening scholarship programme. The CAT President said the training session would motivate them to organise more activities. The British Ambassador met with those present.

As follow up to the President's visit, the CAM Committee proposed that a Malaysia-Thailand Chevening alumni exchange to Bangkok be considered, to be held from September 14 to 16, 2013.





Both BCAAC and CAT and participants at the conference in Seoul supported greater interaction between Chevening alumni in the region.




2. CAM ORGANISES BIPARTISAN PUBLIC FORUMS


Organising public forums continued to be the flagship activity of CAM, with a difference. Two of its most recent forums were themed as the Vision series in view of the impending 13th General Election. The forums brought elected politicians on both sides of the political divide, face-to-face with each other in a bipartisan manner, to discuss and articulate on critical issues such as higher education and economic development.

2.1 Vision for Economic Development for Malaysia
– 17 October 2012

The speakers were:
Dr Jayakumar Devaraj, Member of Parliament for Sungai Siput, Perak
Tony Pua, Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara, Selangor
Khairy Jamaluddin, Member of Parliament for Rembau, Negeri Sembilan

Showcasing the vision and oratory skills of the younger generation of prominent politicians in Malaysia, this forum attracted 230 participants. It exceeded the capacity of the auditorium by more than 70. The highlight of the event was the frank and lively question and answer session. Mr. Ray Kyles, Deputy British High Commissioner, delivered the opening address at the forum.







2.2 Vision for Higher Education for Malaysia – 5 July 2012

The speakers were:
Nurul Izzah Anwar, Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai, Kuala Lumpur
Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Deputy Minister of Higher Education, and Member of Parliament for Temerloh, Pahang

The articulate presentations by Nurul Izzah and Datuk Saifuddin were followed by a lively question and answer session that continued outside the auditorium long after the forum had ended. British High Commissioner Mr. Simon Featherstone delivered the opening address at the forum attended by more than 120 participants.

Both forums were held at the Auditorium of Bangunan Getah Asli in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.



3. CAM ORGANISES ALUMNI SOCIALS

3.1 Book Reading Night – An Evening with Dato' Zaid Ibrahim and Sharon Cheah – 13 December 2012

Thirty-five participated in this event, held at La Bodega in Bangsar, which was opened to Chevening alumni and CAM’s regular forum participants. The authors were happy to sign copies of books they had brought with them, all of which were sold out.



3.2 Post Hari Raya Social – 4 September 2012

The second social for Chevening alumni in 2012 was organised over a three-course dinner to coincide with post Hari Raya celebrations. It was held at Chawan Cafe, Publika in Solaris Dutamas. Each attending alumnus was given a small "Duit Hari Raya" packet, sponsored by CAM Secretary, Sharifah Bakar Ali, in the spirit of the festival.

3.3 Social at Leonardo's in Bangsar – 28 June 2012

This was the first social event organised by the CAM Committee elected in April 2012. It enabled all those present to connect and mingle with fellow alumni.



4. CAM PARTICIPATES IN BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION-HOSTED EVENTS

4.1 Reception to Welcome Back 2011/2012 Chevening Scholars
– 14 March 2013

CAM President, Nithi Nesadurai; Secretary Sharifah Bakar Ali, Treasurer Ashwin Jeyapalasingam and Committee member Leong Lai Ming represented CAM at this reception to recognise Chevening scholars who had completed their studies in the UK in late 2012. It was held at the British High Commissioner's Residence.

Deputy British High Commissioner Mr. Ray Kyles and Nithi gave short speeches congratulating the scholars and urging them to participate in CAM's activities. Mr. Kyles then presented the scholars with their Chevening certificates.


4.2 Royal Visit by Prince William and Princess Kate
– 14 September 2012

Nithi was invited by the British High Commissioner to the Royal High Tea Reception held in conjunction with the visit of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Princess Kate Middleton. Nithi Nesadurai got to brief Prince William on CAM and its role in Malaysia. Held at the High Commissioner's Residence, it was attended by 80 guests.



4.3 Pre-departure Briefing for Outgoing Chevening Scholars
– 13 August 2012

Sharifah Bakar Ali attended the afternoon tea reception at the Elizabethan Club to brief outgoing Chevening scholars starting their university session in September 2012. Joined by two other alumni, they spoke with the scholars and shared their experiences of living and studying in the UK.

4.4 London Olympics Event – 28 July 2012

Nithi, Vice President Tan Mei Ling and former Committee member Dinesh Cheryan took part in the quiz competition held in conjunction with this fun and social event hosted by the British High Commission and British Council. The aim was to celebrate the ongoing London Olympics. It was held in and around the premises of the British Council in Wisma Selangor Dredging.

4.5 Queen's Birthday Party (QBP) – 13 June 2012

Nithi attended the QBP, the most prominent annual event hosted by the British High Commission (BHC). Held at the High Commissioner's Residence, it was attended by about 600 dignitaries and guests.



5. OTHER HAPPENINGS OF INTEREST

5.1 Article on Chevening Alumni by Harian Kosmo – 19 February 2013

Sharifah, fellow alumnus Jayaprakash Muralitharan, and a current scholar, Shazwan Mustafa Kamal were featured in an article published in Harian Kosmo. They related their experience of applying for the Chevening scholarship, living in the UK and the contributions they made to Malaysia while studying in the UK and as an alumni member. |


5.2 Promotional Video of Chevening Alumni – 17 October 2012

The BHC produced a short video clip containing interview snippets with Chevening alumni on their impressions on being Chevening scholars. Part of this video was filmed during the Forum on Vision for Economic Development for Malaysia on 17 October 2012.

Various alumni who attended, including forum speaker and MP Khairy Jamaluddin, provided a short 30-second response to the question: “Why choose the Chevening scholarship?”  The video was uploaded on You Tube to encourage more applications for the 2013/ 2014 session. It can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uwpGiNbvBc



6. CAM COMMITTEE FOR THE TERM 2012 TO 2014

The following were elected as the CAM Committee for a two-year term at the annual general meeting on 26 April 2012:

President : Mr. Nithi Nesadurai
Vice President : Ms. Tan Mei Ling
Secretary : Ms. Sharifah Bakar Ali
Asst. Secretary : Ms. Leong Lai Ming (from 30 March 2013)
Treasurer : Mr. Ashwin Jeyapalasingam
Members : Mr. Abdul Rashid Ismail
    Ms. Leong Lai Ming (until 30 March 2013)
    Ms. Priscilla Yap (until 9 October 2012)
   

Mr. Roshan Jason (until 9 October 2012)

   

Mr. Shahril Hamdan

   

Ms. Vicky Wong (since 6 November 2012)

Hon Auditors :

Mr. Siva Somasundram (elected on 12 March 2013)

   

Mr. Julius Cheah

Prior to the AGM, the following events were organised in early 2012.

6.1 Forum on Political and Market Outlooks for 2012 – March 27, 2012

More than 100 attended the excellent public forum on 'Political and Market Outlooks for 2012 – Global and Malaysian Perspectives'. The two speakers, Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Mr Chris Eng of OSK Research, provided in-depth analyses on politics in Malaysia and the market. It was followed by a lively question and answer session, with Chevening scholars Roshan, Azlan, Kay Peng and Ashwin leading the discussion.






6.2 Alumni Social – March 22, 2012

Ten alumni gathered at Ben's in Publika, Solaris Dutamas in a fine setting exclusively reserved for us. We had great conversations on a wide-range of topics.



Top!
Nation Building” continues to be the theme for activities organised by the Chevening Alumni of Malaysia. We believe that awareness, empathy and dialogue are tools that can help us reach out and engage Malaysians in a positive way. 

Updates from Chevening Alumni Committee 2010-2012

A new Committee was elected into office for a two-year term at the annual general meeting held on 28 April 2010.  They are:

President : Mr Nithi Nesadurai
Vice President : Mr Siva Somasundram
Secretary : Ms Tan Mei Ling
Asst. Secretary : Ms Arividya Arimuthu
Treasurer : Mr Azrudi Mustapha
Members : Ms Aileen Toh
    Mr Dinesh Cheryan
    Mr David Lee
    Dr Pirunthavany Muthuvelu
    Mr Razali Sulaiman

The Committee provides a good mix of representation from the public sector. including a government-linked company, private sector, non-governmental sector, academia and a foreign mission.

The Committee got down to work straight after taking office.

Alumni Social – 25 June, 2010

On 25 June it hosted a get-together at The Social in Bangsar for members of the alumni and Rotary Club of Damansara West. It was held during the World Cup to coincide with the much anticipated match between Brazil and Portugal. While the game did not live up to expectations, those who turned up had fun with the fellowship and networking.

Farewell for outgoing British High Commissioner – 13 July, 2010

On July 13, the Alumni hosted a farewell party for the outgoing British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Boyd McCleary. The Committee had worked closely with Boyd during his tenure in Malaysia. In a fun-filled occasion, Alumni President Nithi presented a souvenir to the High Commissioner on behalf of the Alumni. Boyd left Malaysia on July 23 after four dynamic years in the country. Read about the event on the Reports page.

In his blog, the High Commissioner refers to the Chevening Alumni of Malaysia as “one of the most active such groups of Chevening scholars anywhere in the world.” You can access his blog at http://boydmccleary.blogspot.com/

The incoming High Commissioner is expected to take up office by October.

Public forum on Protecting Biodiversity – 27 July, 2010


The Committee continued with its highly successful public forum series that was launched in 2007. While the year 2009 witnessed a shift from forums to lectures by persons of high-standing under the banner of Chevening 25th Anniversary Public Lectures, the Alumni reverted to its forum format when it hosted the public forum on “Protecting Biodiversity: Malaysia’s Natural Wealth and Heritage” on July 27, in partnership with WWF-Malaysia.

With speakers from the United Nations Development Programme (Dr Hari Ramalu Ragavan), University of Malaya Law Faculty (Professor Gurdial Singh), WWF-Malaysia (Dr Dionysius Sharma) and Department of Wildlife and National Parks Malaysia (Dr E. Sivananthan), the Alumni continued with its tradition of providing the public with access to top practitioners in their respective fields. About 130 attended the excellent forum, including a bus load of students from UiTM Melaka, 160km away.

List of past events


For a list of forums and lectures organised by the Committee from May 2007 to April 2010, please go to the
Events page. All of these activities were well received and helped raise the image and public profile of the Alumni.

In addition, the Chevening Alumni was also directly involved in co-organising major events in partnership with the British High Commission and the British Council. These are also highlighted.

If you have ideas for new events/topics of interest, or wish to get involved in future activities, please email the Secretary at:
info@cheveningalumni.org.my
 
 
 
22 February 2014: Chevening Social featuring our artistic alumni personalities.
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