Topic: Thriving in the Face of Pandemic
Organiser: ASEAN-BAC Malaysia
Supporting Organiser: CARI ASEAN Research & Advocacy


The ASEAN-BAC Malaysia webinar on “Thriving in the Face of the Pandemic” was held on 29 July 2021 to promote the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) 2021 which will be open for registration in early August under the theme “Recover, Stronger, Together, Sama-Sama’’ set by the ASEAN-BAC Brunei. Brunei helms this year’s ASEAN Chairmanship.

The webinar brought together last year’s Malaysian ABA winners to honour their resilience and innovation, as well as to encourage more Malaysian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to participate in this year’s awards. The webinar was hosted by ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Supervisor, Ms Jukhee Hong and moderated by its Council Members.

Session 1: Moderated by Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon
Panel Speakers:

  • Mr William Rodney Yeo, Founder & Managing Director of Airestec Innovations Sdn Bhd
  • Dato’ Chevy Beh, Founder & CEO of Health4U Solutions Sdn Bhd (BookDoc)
  • Mr Raja Singham, Managing Director of Brickfields Asia College
  • Mr Raman Gandotra, Board Member of Chemopharm Sdn Bhd

Session 2: Moderated by Mr Raja Singham
Panel Speakers:

  • Mr Lee Yen Ming, Co-Founder & CEO of PolicyStreet
  • Mr Loi Tuan Ee, Founder & Managing Director of The Holstein Milk Company Sdn Bhd
  • Ms Shahnas Oli Mohamed, Managing Director of Natural Wellness Group of Companies

ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Chairman, Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Munir Majid said in his opening remarks that the purpose of the webinar was to highlight Malaysian companies that won the ABA award last year and draw attention to the positive response they have received from other countries. He also encouraged Malaysian businesses to apply for the ABA 2021.

ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Council Member Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon, noted that some countries are considering antibody passports as opposed to vaccine passports as a way to circumvent issues surrounding varying vaccine requirements across ASEAN Member States as the region looks to bounce back through herd immunity. He also hopes that this webinar will inspire and motivate other SMEs to thrive in these challenging circumstances.

Meanwhile, ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Council Member, Mr Raja Singham who is also the ABA 2020 Combating COVID-19 award winner, emphasised the need for businesses to renew, reinvent and regenerate to remain relevant, especially during the pandemic. He added that the new normal has also meant the need for organisations to embrace technology and operate in new ways in response to digitalisation.

Topic: Outlook and Pathways to Recovery
Organiser: CARI ASEAN Research & Advocacy (CARI)
Supporting Organisers: ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) & ASEAN-BAC Malaysia


CARI in collaboration with its supporting partners the ASEAN Business Club, ASEAN-BAC and ASEAN-BAC Malaysia, hosted the “ASEAN Tourism Webinar: Outlook and Pathways to Recovery” to do a deep dive into the most viable short and medium-term recovery pathways available to ASEAN’s tourism industry so that they may regain their footing in tandem with existing regional work plans.

The dialogue featured a keynote presentation by Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy H.E. Sandiaga Uno, Special Remarks by ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chair 2021 the Honourable Yanty Rahman, Closing Keynote by ASEAN Economic Community Deputy Secretary-General H.E. Satvinder Singh, and a Panel Discussion that was moderated by CARI Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Munir Majid. The speakers—which also included AirAsia Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Riad Asmat and Minor International PCL Founder and Chairman William Heinecke—were of the view that innovation and collaboration were needed to revive ASEAN’s tourism industry.

Tan Sri Munir also stressed that ASEAN countries should focus on developing intra-ASEAN tourism and not merely domestic tourism. Furthermore, with the revival of the ASEAN-BAC Healthcare Working Group (HWG), there should also be an increase in mutual confidence, as well as a trusted standard in ASEAN countries.

Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, H.E. Sandiaga Uno, touched on the country’s three pillars for tourism recovery: innovation, adaptation, and collaboration. He also highlighted the preparation of the Bali Travel Bubble in anticipation of Indonesia taking over the G20 chairmanship in 2021 and added that they aim to reach an 80% full vaccination rate and under 100 COVID-19 daily cases before opening the island to visitors.

Organiser: CARI ASEAN Research & Advocacy (CARI)
Supporting Organisers: ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) & ASEAN-BAC Malaysia


CARI ASEAN Research and Advocacy (CARI), in collaboration with its supporting partners ASEAN-BAC and ASEAN-BAC Malaysia, hosted two sessions as part of “Pathway to Green Recovery for ASEAN Dialogue” to discuss and gather recommendations, perspectives and priorities towards greening ASEAN from the region’s private sector, foreign business associations, and sector champions.

The dialogue featured a special address by Brunei LNG Managing Director and CEO, Hajah Farida Dato’ Seri Paduka Haji Talib, special remarks by ASEAN Business Advisory Council 2021 Chair, Honourable Yanty Rahman, and a presentation by CARI Executive Director, Ms Jukhee Hong on the “Pathway to Green Recovery for ASEAN”.

CARI and ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Chairman, Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Munir Majid highlighted five perspectives on the green recovery in ASEAN during the dialogue:

  • Regulations in ASEAN should be tightened to encourage more green investments from the private sector
  • Regulatory regime for carbon pricing
  • Promoting the benefits on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)
  • Creating mass media campaigns to spread awareness, urging the government to partner on green recovery
  • Coordinate a global green deal among ASEAN legislators

Meanwhile, Ms Jukhee Hong presented the ’21 actions for a greener ASEAN’ from the four papers published by CARI in early 2021 in ASEAN’s green recovery which aim to align economic activities with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement. She also highlighted that given the critical role the economic sector plays in carbon emissions and that key fiscal policy stakeholders are from the economic sector, cross-pillar and sectoral collaboration within ASEAN policy channels should be pursued.

ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Council Member and BAC Education Group Managing Director, Mr Raja Singham, for his part, stressed the need for proper branding, awareness, and an education plan to make the green recovery more appealing.

Tan Sri Munir closed the session by sharing two suggestions based on input he received from ASEAN-BAC members and the Joint Business Councils (JBCs):

  • Establish a sustainable vaccination manufacturing source in ASEAN
  • Consider having Green Guards among the youths across ASEAN
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