It was the first of many events to come that have been successfully organised for the Northern region, with a strong attendance of approximately 20 Malaysian Alumni from Australian Universities residing in Penang, despite the heavy downpour. This includes those from Who’s Who in the Penang community, with memories of their Australian Education, working life whilst studying and living in Australia in as much as 3 generations of graduates. We were able to make the number count this round through a concerted effort together with our associate member, ANZGAM and the link provided by Encik Zairil Khir Johari to connect with AusEd, who is also the Administrator of our MACC Scholarships. Other efforts include general cold callings, due to much earlier notifications.
It was through this effort, The MAAC Penang State Chair Representative, Mr Erasmus Koay managed to get people such as Mr Francis Tan, manager with 24 years experience in Fairchild who had never been to such gatherings to meet up with the seniors from all other associations and Captains of industries. The Australian High Commissioner enthusiastically met up with all of us and we enjoyed our get-together session with him going up and down the tables. In his retinue include Ms Karen Welsh, Counsellor (Education & Science) and Mr Philip Kimpton, Counsellor from the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, both from the Australian High Commission as well as others who we understand in one or two discussions shared the same lecturers with the attendees in universities of yesteryears. They then swapped contacts. We also had the chance to meet up with Dato’ Kon, a senior managing director of Leader Group, Dato’ Terry, Mr Michael Loh, director at Motorola, Mr Alan Ong, executive director of PwC and Mr Andy Choong for the first time, who shared with our table how he and three others first started The MAAC and its progress to this present day. I was then introduced to him by Mr Vincent Tan, the former National President of ANZGAM and we made acquaintance. We were invited to provide opinions on ideas to start a new campus for a prominent university after talks with the Penang Chief Minister, Yang Berhormat Tuan Lim Guan Eng who is also an Alumnus from Monash University the day before. We then took a group picture before saying our goodbyes. The early morning tea session was largely successful – it has all the elements and a benchmark for future events – education, history, politics, social and business.