WELCOMING ADDRESS BY
Y.BHG. DATO' DR. WAN ABDUL AZIZ WAN ABDULLAH
Director, Malaysian Directors Academy (MINDA)
22 OCTOBER 2007 (TUESDAY) ; 8.00 PM
SHANGRI-LA's RASA SAYANG RESORT & SPA, PENANG
Yang Berusaha Encik Abdullah Abdul Hamid,
Executive Director, Transformation Management Office;
Tan Sri-Tan Sri and Dato'-Dato'
Respected and Distinguished Government-Linked Companies (GLCs)
Professor Ulrich Steger and Professor George Kohlrieser of the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Lausanne, Switzerland
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatoh and a very good evening.
1. It is indeed a pleasure and a privilege for me to be in a company of very distinguished and highly respected personalities to share this momentous occasion this evening. On behalf of the Malaysian Directors Academy or MINDA in short, I would like to warmly welcome all of you to this special programme for Chairmen of GLCs entitled the "Chairman's Forum". Your attendance today marks the beginning of the MINDA's Inaugural Chairman's Forum, which is MINDA's Flagship Programme for GLC Chairmen. In fact, this "Chairman's Forum" is an important and central component of MINDA's agenda.
2. I have been advised that for this maiden programme, there are 18 Chairmen of various GLCs, who have come together for this MINDA Chairman's Forum with a common objective. Thank you for all your support and participation for this programme.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
3. GLCs constitute a significant part of the economic structure of the nation and account for approximately 39% and 50% respectively of the market capitalisation of Bursa Malaysia and the benchmark KLCI , reinforcing the critical role that all of you collectively can play in contributing to the nation's wellbeing. Indeed, this is a very special group of highly distinguished personalities with invaluable years of leadership experience with various important organisations, and who are entrusted with a pivotal role in harnessing your respective Boards to drive GLCs towards greater performance.
4. To reiterate, MINDA is one of the initiatives of the GLC Transformation Programme. MINDA's objective is to equip Directors of GLCs with world-class knowledge, skills and mindsets and serve to complement Initiative One on Enhancing Board Effectiveness (The Green Book). For information, MINDA has been established as a company limited by guarantee wholly-owned by the Ministry of Finance with an initial grant of 10 million ringgit provided by the Government. I am sure that many of you were present when MINDA was officially launched by the Right Honourable Prime Minister of Malaysia on 8 December 2006.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
5. MINDA's Flagship Programmes, including this "Chairman's Forum", are conducted in partnership with International Institute for Management Development (IMD). Through our partnership with IMD, and learning from their experience in running their very established High Performance Boards programme, we have developed MINDA's own flagship programme specially designed for the Malaysian context, with special emphasis on the requirements of the GLC Transformation Programme. Therefore, in designing the Chairman's Forum, we have sought the views and inputs of very experienced Chairmen of GLCs, many of whom are also with us today. We are confident that this forum will be able to effectively address the unique needs of Chairmen of GLCs and the challenges you face in leading your respective GLCs.
6. Increasingly, the role of Boards in corporate governance is changing from compliance to value-adding. In this relation, the Green Book provides best practice recommendations for Boards to achieve this goal; through structuring a high-performing Board, ensuring effective Board operations and interaction, and fulfilling the Board's key roles and responsibilities. Therefore, the Chairman must play a very crucial and defining role in ensuring that Board members function as an effective team. In playing the leadership role, the Chairman surely faces challenges, issues and dilemmas which would be unique to his own organisation and context. However, sharing and discussing these issues with other participants who may have had similar experiences or who are able to provide different perspectives have proven to be very beneficial to one's own learning.
7. In this context, a "Forum" approach relies less on the traditional lecture or presentation, but more on facilitated discussions on prevailing issues faced by GLC Chairmen. In order to extract the best learning, challenge the current thinking and provide alternative insights, we have two renowned professors from IMD, whom you have met earlier today, experts in the field of Board Work and Leadership respectively. Professor Ulrich Steger and Professor George Kohlrieser, I am sure we all look forward to interacting with you over the next couple of days.
8. As with IMD, MINDA Programmes end with a clear Learning Action Plan. However, a clear MINDA trademark is that with every MINDA event, we will present a book related to the programme. For this programme, the organisers have chosen a very good book, which we believe will change the readers' views on what constitute highly-performing companies, an important topic that would certainly be of interest to Chairmen in helping shape a company's strategy. However, I have been requested by Professor Ulrich that the identity of this book be revealed only at the end of the Forum.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
9. In conclusion, we need to underscore that GLC Boards are key drivers in achieving and delivering the long-term and sustainable results of the GLC Transformation Programme and it is important that Boards rise to the challenge as the Programme enters Phase 3 of the transformation journey. For Boards to deliver value, Chairmen too have to play an important role in leading Boards and GLCs to greater performance. To this end, as Initiative Two of the GLC Transformation Programme, MINDA is well on its way to provide a learning platform for Directors and a catalyst for creating high performance Boards.
10. Thank you for your presence here today. Your participation and your very keen interest is a testimony of this positive development within our own GLCs and I am indeed very encouraged by this. As you know, the Government itself is trying to apply some of the lessons learnt from the GLC Transformation Programme by way of the recent decision to implement key performance indicators (KPIs) with the Secretaries General of ministries and Heads of Services. I am confident that MINDA will work closely with Boards to ensure results, and I would strongly encourage all Boards to make full use of the various programmes offered by MINDA for they really are here to serve all of you in your quest for success.
I wish you all the best and have a productive session ahead.