Kamarul Bahrin Haron (Moderator)
Freelance Journalist & Media Consultant
Kamarul Bahrin Bin Haron was formerly Editor-in-Chief of Astro Awani. In his 27 years of media career, this multiple award-winning TV journalist, editor and talk show anchor is well known for his grassroot focused journalism without fear or favour.
He is especially sharp on the issues of digital, social, and economic inclusion, new politics reforms, 4th Industrial Revolution and socio development balance, social entrepreneurship for a more equitable society and science and technology communications.
This bachelor of broadcasting graduate from Universiti Sains Malaysia has refined the art of balancing the depth and width of challenging topics like political reforms, vaccine inequality and inter faith issues into mass friendly editorial narratives and even live discourse on air.
His acumen and media contributions has also been recognised internationally. For example, he is the first Malaysian to be accredited as Media Leader to attend and cover the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos after moderating key strategic sessions at WEF ASEAN in Kuala Lumpur, Phnom Penh and Hanoi.
Kamarul is currently on a new mission to disrupt the old and build new ways to make media platform more grassroot driven than elitist in terms of content generation and revenue opportunities.
He is sparking a momentum with like-minded disruptors for a much-needed disruption of media, financial and government technologies by innovating a digital grassroot driven regional media.
While striving for this innovation, Kamarul makes time for gigs of journalistic passion as journalist, director, producer, anchor and strategist for media and communication initiatives.
Dr Matteo Lanzafame
Senior Economist, Asian Development Bank (Philippines)
Matteo Lanzafame is Senior Economist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB). He is a macroeconomist and conducts research in many areas, with a particular focus on growth and development issues. He has several publications in peer-reviewed international academic journals. He is part of the team that produces ADB's Asian Development Outlook and conducts macroeconomic surveillance and monitoring. Prior to joining ADB in 2019, Matteo was Associate Professor of Political Economy at the University of Messina, in Italy. He holds an MA in Development Economics and a PhD in Economics from the University of Kent in the UK.
Professor Geoffrey Williams
Professor & Dean of the Institute of Postgraduate Studies, Malaysia University of Science and Technology
Geoffrey Williams is a Professor and Provost for Research and Innovation at the Malaysia University of Science and Technology.
He is also a Senior Fellow at the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research and a Visiting Research Fellow at Bank Negara Malaysia.
A graduate of the University of Cambridge, he has held academic positions at London Business School, Pembroke College University of Oxford and the University of London.
He is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Geoffrey has been living and working in Asia for 18 years focusing on economic policy, higher education and sustainability.
Professor Williams is a regular commentator in the media and writes a regular column in Free Malaysia Today.
His academic work has been published in international journals and his recent books include Responsible Management in Asia – Perspectives on CSR (Palgrave-Macmillan) and Advancing Innovation and Sustainable Outcomes in International Graduate
Dr Muhammed Khalid
Research Fellow, Institute of Malaysia and International Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Dr. Muhammed bin Abdul Khalid (“Dr Muhammed”) is currently a Research Fellow at the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS),Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and Adjunct Professor at the Center for Policy Research and International Studies (CenPRIS), University Sains Malaysia.
He is also the chairman of Allianz General Insurance Malaysia Berhad, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER), and Member of the Honorary Council of Advisors at the European-Malaysian Chamber of Commerce. He had also served as Member of the Board at Malaysia Investment Development Agency (MIDA).
Previously, he is the Economic Adviser to the former Prime Minister, and Member of the Economic Action Council chaired by the Prime Minister from 2018 to 2020.
Dr. Muhammed has served as consultant to the World Bank, United Nations Development Program (“UNDP”), United Nations Children’s Fund (“UNICEF”), United Nations Population Fund (“UNFPA”), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (“UNESCAP”), United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
He has worked at Khazanah Research Institute, Securities Commission Malaysia, and the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia. He was also a Senior Technical Advisor at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Malaysia.
He obtained his PhD from the Institut d’études Politiques de Paris (Sciences-Po Paris), France, and a Master of Economics from University of Malaya, and a BSc from University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.
Malaysia Tax Leader, EY
Farah Rosley is the Malaysia Tax Leader at Ernst & Young Tax Consultants Sdn. Bhd. She is also the President of the Chartered Tax Institute of Malaysia (CTIM).
Farah has more than 20 years of experience in managing corporate tax engagements and working with large multinational, public companies across a variety of sectors including services, telecommunications, property development, construction and manufacturing. She has also advised on special government initiatives and studies on tax matters as well as lent insights into government policies for specific sectors.
As President of CTIM, Farah plays an active and facilitative role in working with key government stakeholders and the private sector on leading-edge tax decisions and improvements for the nation.
Farah is a firm believer in supporting the next generation of tax professionals and initiated the EY Young Tax Professional of the Year program in Malaysia in 2013 to create awareness of the tax profession and encourage the young to consider a career in tax.
A regular speaker in national and international tax conferences and seminars, Farah has also authored numerous articles and commentaries for various publications.
Sivasuriyamoorthy Sundara Raja
Deputy CEO, Investment Promotion and Facilitation, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA)
A Business Administration graduate from the University of Malaya, Sivasuriyamoorthy Sundara Raja joined Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) in 1989 as an Assistant Director in the Food, Beverages and Chemical Division. Over the last 33 years he had served in the Strategic Planning and Policy Advocacy Division, Investment Promotion Division and Incentive Coordination and Collaboration Office (ICCO). Mr.Siva was posted to Germany twice to head MIDA’s office in Cologne (2006- 2009) and Frankfurt (2013-2017). He was responsible to move MIDA’s office from Cologne to Frankfurt and to establish MIDA’s second office in Germany in Munich. As an overseas Director in Germany, Mr.Siva was responsible to attract foreign direct investments from Germany and the Benelux countries, namely Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
Throughout most of his 33 years career with MIDA, Mr.Siva was involved in various projects on Malaysia’s industrial development, such as the 2nd and 3rd Industrial Master Plans (IMP), 8th-10th Malaysia Plans, equity liberalisation of the manufacturing sector, formulation of investment incentives and policies, and empowerment of MIDA. Mr.Siva was also responsible for the coordination of the Study on Exit Strategy for Foreign Labour Intensive Industries, formulation of policies and guidelines for the establishment of Domestic Investment Strategic Fund (DISF) to accelerate the shift of Malaysian-owned companies in high technology industries, as well as the establishment of One Stop Centre and Business Travellers Centre for Short Term Business Travellers during COVID 19 Pandemic.
Mr.Siva was promoted as the Executive Director (Investment Promotion) on 1st November 2018 and moved to his current position as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Investment Promotion & Facilitation) effective 1st May 2021.
Datuk Tan Kok Liang
President, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA)
Tan Kok Liang who holds a Masters in Tourism from University of Toulouse, France and a Chartered Accountant by training, started his career in the travel industry in 1990. Tan Kok Liang is also a Certified Hotel Administrator. Apart from his involvement in the travel industry, he is also a Partner of a firm of Chartered Accountants. He is currently the elected President of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA).
He is currently the Director of several tourism businesses that has won prestigious state and national tourism awards for service excellence over the years.
In 2018, he was the award recipient of Tourism Promotion Organisation (TPO) Best Award – Best Tourism Industry Leader, in recognition of his valuable contribution to the development of the tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region. The award was conferred by Tourism Promotion Organization for Asia Pacific Cities, an international organization established in 2002 with the blessing of the 5th Asian-Pacific City Summit.
He has made representations to the Government on behalf of the private sector to invigorate the tourism industry. Amongst the issues raised were the granting of visa-free entry to China and India nationals to boost arrivals, funding and incentives for digital marketing, tax incentives for inbound tour operators, upgrading of tourist vehicles, capping of domestic airfares to encourage domestic tourism and raising concerns of safety and security challenges affecting the tourism industry.
As MATTA President, Tan has instituted several key initiatives to further drive inbound tourism to Malaysia such as setting up the Malaysia-based online booking engine (mattaonline.travel) and initiating aggressive overseas promotions to China, India, UK, Europe and ASEAN.
Prof. Dr. Shaufique Fahmi Ahmad Sidique
Professor, Agricultural Economics, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)
Dr Shaufique Fahmi Sidique is a Professor of Agricultural Economics at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Director of its Institute of Plantation Studies. His research interests are mainly in agriculture policy, food security and resource economics.
His previous research is on smallholder livelihoods in palm farming, the valuation of artificial reefs and marine protected areas in Malaysia, and the welfare of rural artisanal fishing households.
He has served as a consultant and trainer to private companies and government agencies, including the Economic Planning Unit for Selangor, the Department of Fisheries, the Malaysian Palm Oil Council, the Economic Planning Unit, the Prime Minister’s Department and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.
Professor Shaufique holds a PhD in agricultural economics from Michigan State University. He received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Cardiff University.