Malaysian bank Standard Chartered commits to gender parity in the workplace

KL at night. Copyright: Phalinn Ooi

Pay equality and women empowerment among the Bank’s initiatives to further narrow the gender pay gap

30 April 2018, Kuala Lumpur – In conjunction with Labour Day, Standard Chartered Bank has announced its commitment towards gender parity through a set of initiatives aimed at further narrowing the gender pay gap.

In its Gender Pay Gap Disclosure report, the Bank pledged to have 30% female representation in senior leadership roles by 2020 globally. To achieve this, the Bank has, among others, launched a Global Women’s Network, and committed to fair policies and processes including the Fair Pay Charter.

The charter, the first of its kind, sets out the principles which guide all the Bank’s reward and performance decision-making. One of these principles is the Bank’s ongoing commitment to rewarding its people in a way that is free from discrimination of any kind, including based on gender.

Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia MD and CEO, Abrar Anwar, said the Bank is committed to a culture where all colleagues feel valued and can contribute their best.

“Fair pay should be understood to mean that remuneration is consistent across the board, that is, the absence of discrimination in how wages are calculated. Our vision is to create a culture of inclusion where talents and individuality are valued and respected, and where everyone is given the opportunity to excel and develop.”

Abrar, who is a member of the Bank’s Global Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Council added, “The Fair Pay Charter is our way of holding ourselves accountable, and to have a public declaration of our promise of fair wages for all colleagues.”

Currently, nearly 60% of the Bank’s total employees in Malaysia are women; the executive committee also has a strong 42% female representation.

The D&I Council was formed early this year and is an initiative to strengthen the Banks’ commitment to being a real employer of choice, and towards raising the bar and increasing the value of the brand. Driven by the imperative of ensuring diversity and inclusion forms the core of the Bank’s business, the council is responsible for ensuring that the Bank is one where every individual feel valued and respected, and for executing the Bank’s D&I agenda.


Penang presents International Jazz Musicians

Germany's Eva Klesse Quartet will be performing at the PIJF 2017 (Photo: Arne Reimer)

Germany's Eva Klesse Quartet will be performing at the PIJF 2017 (Photo: Arne Reimer)

This year’s 14th edition of Malaysia’s longest running annual jazz festival, The Penang Island Jazz Festival, will be held from the 30th November to 3rd December 2017. 

A number of musical activities will be held in various venues on the island such as an opening performance at 23 Love Lane and an exhibition at The Black Box – Penang House of Music in George Town, Fringe Stages in the lobbies of Hard Rock Hotel, Penang and Bayview Beach Resort, the early morning “Sunrise@Tropical Spice Garden in Teluk Bahang and the “Jazz By The Beach” stage in the gardens of Bayview Beach Resort.

Besides musical performances, there will also be workshops conducted by participating artists, the Island music forum on topics revolving around other aspects of the music industry, gallery exhibitions and the after-hours jazz jam.

Fingerstyle guitarist Peppino D’Agostino from Italy (photo: Jarek Pepkowski)

This year’s main stage programme showcases a diverse and eclectic line-up of performers on the “Jazz By The Beach stage” on 2nd & 3rd December 2017 with Italian fingerstyle guitarist “Peppino D’Agostino”, jazz, blues and swing band “Adam Hall & the Velvet Playboys”, jazz saxophonist cum opera singer “Haakon Kornstad”, the Polish-Indonesian collaboration “Grzegorz Karnas Formula”, creative jazz drummer “Eva Klesse and her Quartet” from Germany, Ethno-fusion bands “SE:UM”, and “Modern Pansori” from Korea, modern jazz Luxembourg-USA collaboration trio “Reis Demuth Wiltgen”, acoustic folk jazz quartet “Holler My Dear” and Penang’s own jazz quintet “Tonal Alchemy”.

The Penang Island Jazz Festival 2017 is part of 10 Days 3 Festivals and supported by Penang Global Tourism Sdn. Bhd., Goethe Institut,  Austrian Embassy Kuala Lumpur, Embassy of The Republic of Poland, IAM Culture, Jazz Polsku, Norsk Jazz Forum,, Music Norway, Sori festival, Jeonbuk Culture Contents Industry Agency, Redcon Music Factory, Music LX, The Culture Factory SE:UM, Incheon Cultural Foundation, Arts Council Korea, Bupyeong Cultural Foundation, Aesop, KK Jazz Festival, LBS Music World, Roland Asia Pacific, The Guitar Store, Official Ride Partner – UBER, Venue Partners,  Bayview Beach Resort, Hard Rock Hotel Penang, Tropical Spice Garden, The Black Box Penang House of Music, 23. Love lane, Media Partners, Malaysian Insights, Homegrown Productions and Rentak Sejuta.

Tickets to the “Jazz by the Beach” performances are priced at RM85.00 per night and is available via and its authorized outlets.

For more information on the Festival activities, visit  Join us on FB,,  on Twitter @penangjazzfest, on instagram @PenangIslandJazzFestival and our youtube channel PenangIslandJazzFestival.

The Penang Island Jazz Festival is organized and managed by The Capricorn Connection

Ms. Chin CY, Festival Administrator (012 – 356 5544,

Mr. Kevin Theseira, Administrative & Programme Executive (016– 360 7091,



13. German Malaysian Round Table (GMRT) in Frankfurt

Der GMRT Frankfurt lädt ein

Dear Friends of GMRT, sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

als Initiator des GMRT Frankfurt laden ich Sie ganz herzlich ein, auch im Namen der KT Bank AG und Matrade, Frankfurt zum

13. German Malaysian Round Table (GMRT)

am Donnerstag, den 16. November 2017, in der KT Bank AG, Platz der Einheit 1, Kastor-Gebäude, 16.Stock, 60327 Frankfurt am Main

Registrierung ab 17:30 Uhr, Dauer von 18:00 Uhr bis 21:30 Uhr

Malaysia ist stolz auf seine Position als Weltmarktführer in Islamic-Banking. Zur Zeit sind fast 16 unterschiedliche lokale Banken, sowie 5 ausländische Geldinstitutionen in dem Lande auf „Islamic-Banking “spezialisiert. Das gesamte Volumen der Transaktionen im Malaysia betragen über US$135 Billionen.

Es gibt mehrere globale Player, die ein Stück des Islamic-Banking für sich erobern möchten. Die Britische Regierung unter der Führung des ehemaligen Premierministers David Cameron, plante im Jahr 2014 das größte Islamic-Finanzzentrum außerhalb eines muslimischen Landes in London zu etablieren. Sind diese Pläne der Britten immer noch aktuell?

Was steckt hinter dem Begriff „Islamic-Banking“? Die malaysischen Banken beherrschen über 60 % der „Sukuk“ Markt. Was steckt sich hinter dem Begriff „Sukuk“.

Ich freue mich sehr, dass führende Manager der KT Bank AG beim kommenden GMRT als Keynote-Speaker auftreten werden.

Die folgenden Themen werden präsentiert:

Das islamische Bankwesen – ein international wachsendes Segment: Rechtszwecke und Werte des Islam und Prinzipien des Islamic Bankings
2015: Einführung des islamischen Bankwesens in die Eurozone durch die erste Bank mit islamkonformem Geschäftsmodell
Wirtschaft im Islam – Handel erlaubt, Zins verboten/ Islamisches Geschäftsmodell – universelles Wertekonzept
Markt und Moschee – geschichtlicher Abriss des islamischen Wirtschaftssystems von der vorislamischen Zeit bis heute

Islamische Finanzierungstechniken und Beispiele aus der Praxis
Das islamische Bankwesen als wirtschaftliche Brücke zwischen Deutschland und Malaysia
Herausforderung des Islamic Bankings in Deutschland und allgemein in westlichen Märkten – Kulturwandel?

Das ausführliche Programm können Sie der Webseite entnehmen.

Im Anschluss freuen wir uns auf eine lebhafte Diskussion, sowie einen intensiven Erfahrungsaustausch.

Ich danke besonders KT Bank AG für das großzügige Sponsoring des Events und die Rolle des Gastgebers zu übernehmen.

Ich freue mich auf eine rege Teilnahme, die Sie mir bitte per mail an bis spätestens Montag, den 13. November 2017 bestätigen.

Kind regards / Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Paramsothy Göbel


Malaysia’s Furniture Sector Recognised Globally

Source: flickr/Yun Huang Yong

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2017, KUALA LUMPUR: The National Export Council (NEC) in its third meeting for 2017 held today recognised the importance of furniture industry to Malaysia’s economy. It is expected that by 2020, the industry will generate RM12 billion in revenue, with employment opportunities of around 240,000 and is set to continue contributing to the nation’s exports earning.

Currently, Malaysia stands as the eighth largest furniture exporter globally. By 2020, the industry aims to be the world’s seventh top furniture exporter and this is in line with the National Timber Industry Policy (NATIP).

Members of the NEC, chaired by Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, have agreed that the furniture industry can be further elevated through enhancement in product innovation and creation of high-value segments, adoption of smart and sustainable manufacturing, usage of new materials, and establishment of furniture hub in the country. Both the Government and private sector are making efforts to move up the value chain from being Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to Original Design Manufacturer (ODM).

In 2016, 80% of Malaysia’s furniture exports are wooden furniture, valued at RM7.6 billion. The top three export markets, representing more than 50% share, are developed countries notably the US (valued at RM2.60 billion with 35% of export share), the EU (RM840 million, 11% share) and Japan (RM696 million, 9% share).

At the meeting, the NEC also discussed issues and the way forward to accelerate Malaysia’s petrochemical exports. Petrochemical is a significant sector as it is used in many industries such as agriculture, construction, automotive and electronics, among many others. In 2016, trade of petrochemicals increased by 6.4% to RM54.77 billion with exports at RM25.81 billion. The major export markets include China (valued at RM6.78 billion and 26.3% export share), Indonesia (RM3.30 billion, 12.8% share) and Thailand (RM1.99 billion, 7.7% share). By 2020, the sector export is forecasted to grow by 16% with a value of RM36.58 billion. Growth is supported by increased capacity, thanks to the Pengerang Integrated Petrochemical Complex (PIPC) that will position Malaysia as the largest producer of petrochemicals in ASEAN. The PIPC is poised to generate Gross National Income of RM8.90 billion by 2020, create 4,600 new jobs, attract RM129 billion of private investment and RM2.5 billion of public investment.

The meeting was also updated on the progress of Electrical & Electronics (E&E) industry. E&E industry assumes a crucial role in driving the Malaysian economy and contributed 44.6% to the country’s total manufacturing exports in 2016. This industry has created more than 780,000 jobs until 2016 and contributed 27.4% to Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product in 2016. NEC acknowledged the prominent role of E&E Multinational Companies in Malaysia in developing local companies to be part of their global value chain. Key areas within the industry namely semiconductor, solar and LED will be further promoted to support the demand for smart devices, digitisation and Internet of Things (IoT).

The NEC was established in December 2014 and meets four times a year. It is tasked with formulating strategies to drive Malaysia’s exports and to advance Malaysia’s exports ecosystem to be accommodative to the development of local industries.



SoundBridge Contemporary Music Festival 2017 

Fri 06 – Sat 07 October: Black Box, Damansara Performing Arts Centre (DPAC), Petaling Jaya.  

SoundBridge is a contemporary music festival that runs every two years in Malaysia. Organised by the Society of Malaysian Contemporary Composers (SMCC), this festival features some of the most prominent works from acclaimed Malaysian and international composers performed by a diverse range of musicians and visual artists. There will be concerts, panel discussions and workshops. The festival aims to bring forth a platform where young composers of South East Asia are able to explore interdisciplinary and intercultural collaboration.
Among many other guest performers is Xie Ya-Ou from China, who has been based in Berlin for many years. Below are some of the programs that involve her.
Piano Master Class With Xie Ya Ou 
Tue 03 Oct @ 2:30pm-4:50pm
Music Theatre Hall, 6th Floor, SEGi University & Colleges (Subang Jaya)
The piano master class is also open to public observation. A limit of 3 active participants and each participant will have a 45-minute of one to one lesson. Each participant suggests to present a piece of the 20th century piano music.
Open Lecture: „20th century Piano extended technique“
@ 5pm-6pm
Xie Ya-Ou draws the examples from American composer George Crumb’s „Makrokosmos“ and others.
Festival Opening Concert – Connecting Cities II
Fri, 06 Oct @ 8:30pm
Connecting Cities features works by music composers from different cities in SEA countries, China, Taiwan and also Germany.
Xie Ya Ou is a conductor and a pianist guest professor at several universities. She is a co-founder and the director of the Ensemble Berlin PianoPercussion and the Berlin Kairos Quartet. In February 2017, Xie was nominated as Kayserburg-Artist by the world biggest piano producer Pearl River Piano Group. She is a guest performer at numerous festivals, among others Gaudeamus Music Week in Amsterdam, MaerzMusik Berlin, and the Beijing New Music Festival.
For more information about her please visit:
And for more information about tickets and program about the festival please visit:
This festival is supported by the Goethe-Institut Malaysia

The Future of Shopping


The fashion e-tailer remains committed to supporting young talents by offering grants and industry experience

Kuala Lumpur, 29th August 2017; Following the success in its first two years, ZALORA, Asia’s online fashion destination, is pleased to announce that the ZALORA Scholarship is back for the third year running. Designed to turn passion into profession, the ZALORA Scholarship will award six tertiary students from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia and Philippines with a tuition grant and an invaluable industry experience at ZALORA.

The theme for ZALORA Scholarship 2017 is “Redesign the online shopping experience for the next generation of shoppers.” As consumers become more tech savvy and sophisticated, ZALORA aims to encourage students to be innovative and creative and explore how shopping experience will change in ten years’ time, both online and offline. Applicants can submit their compelling insights on post-millennial consumption styles based on their perceptions and analysis on factors such as shifts in social media usage, societal changes, technological changes in their preferred format including essay, video, or even infographics. Winning entries will be selected based on creativity, innovation and relevance to the theme as well as their analytical skills and academic results.

ZALORA welcomes applicants from all fields of study, from all tertiary institutions that fall under the ZALORA Partner Institutions in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Philippines. One student from each of these countries will be offered a scholarship and the chance to gain valuable insights from the ecommerce industry. The ZALORA Scholars will receive RM7,000 sponsored towards their tuition fees and a paid internship opportunity at ZALORA.

Applications will close at 11:59 PM (GMT) on 30th September 2017. Interested students can find out more about the application details and eligibility criteria at All queries are welcome at


Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2018 at KLCC

KUALA LUMPUR, 28 August 2017 ­– The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s (the Centre) Executive Chef, Hisham Bin Jaafar (Standing 6th from left); Worldchefs President, Thomas Gugler (standing in the middle with medallion) and (Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Zulkefli Hj Sharif standing 3rd from right), celebrating a successful pre-event meeting, held at the venue, with members of the Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2018 Organising Committee and the Centre’s chefs.

Chef Hisham, shared “We are honoured and excited about hosting the Worldchefs Congress & Expo next year. Worldchefs is the global authority on food and their congress is a hallmark tradition of the association and has been organised in over 20 cities across the world throughout its illustrious 82-year history. The 2018 congress will be its first time in Malaysia and only the second occasion in the organisation’s history that the event will be held in South-east Asia.”

“Our team can’t wait to host the over 1,000 delegates of the culinary world’s crème de la crème. Our award-winning chefs will ‘leave no stone unturned’ in our efforts to showcase the best produce and ingredients Malaysia has to offer and to ensure these culinary experts have a truly unique Malaysian gastronomic experience they will never forget,” added Chef Hisham.

Organised by the World Association of Chefs’ Societies (Worldchefs), the biennial event gathers culinary heavyweights from around the world to discuss developments in the culinary field and compete in the Worldchefs Global Chefs Challenge. A trade show component showcases the latest products in the global food and beverage industry.

Founded in October 1928 at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, Worldchefs is a global network of chefs associations dedicated to maintaining and improving the culinary standards of global cuisines through education, training and professional development of her international membership. The global body currently has 100 official chefs associations as members that represent over 10 million professional chefs worldwide.

For all the Centre’s latest news and information, visit


Almost 1 million visitors at KLCC in 2017 so far

Visitors at Bookfest@Malaysia 2017 in KLCC

Visitors at Bookfest@Malaysia 2017 in KLCC

KUALA LUMPUR, 10 August 2017 ­– It has been a fruitful first seven months of the year (2017) for the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) as it hosted 667 events, which attracted over 970,000 delegates and visitors and delivered an economic impact of over RM285 million to Malaysia. This is an increase of 249 events or 37% and an additional 240,000 delegates and visitors, compared to the corresponding period last year.

Elaborating on the Centre’s performance from 1 January to 31 July 2017, the Centre’s General Manager, Alan Pryor shared, “We are fortunate to have a strong base of loyal clients across the board, which resulted in the 37% jump in number of events hosted this year compared to 2016.”

He continued, “In the first seven months of the year, the exhibitions segment was one of our strongest performers. We hosted 36 exhibitions, welcoming over 230,000 of delegates and visitors. Of this, 97% were local exhibitions and 66% were consumer focused, while 44% were trade events. Long-standing exhibitions such as BookFest, HOMEDEC, ARCHIDEX and Star Education Fair also continue to be the pillar of our yearly business calendar. All of these have made consecutive appearances and/or hosted every edition with us since opening in June 2005 and is a testament to the quality of the venue, strategic location and the outstanding support provided by our professional team.”

The Centre also won six new bids in the first seven months of this year. These included the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare Asia 2017; IWA-ASPIRE Conference & Exhibition 2017; World Congress of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations 2017; Asia Pacific Retailers Convention & Exhibition (APRCE) 2017; Congress of The Asia-Pacific Vitreo-Retina Society 2017 and World Tunnel Congress (WTC) 2020.

Upcoming events include a host of other high-profile international events, including the Asia Pacific Acute Kidney Injury & Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy Conference 2017 (AKI CRRT) 2017; 5th International Secondary Lead Conference 2017; 17th Asian Battery Conference 2017; International Palm Oil Congress (PIPOC) 2017; Asia Petroleum Geoscience Conference & Exhibition (APGCE) 2017 and 11th Congress of The Asia-Pacific Vitreo-Retina Society 2017.

For all the latest news and information on the Centre, visit

Source: Press release


DiverseCity’s KL International Arts Festival is back!

Scheduled to take place throughout September 2017, the DiverseCity’s KL International Arts Festival will showcase acclaimed and up-and-coming artistes from Malaysia and around the world in Kuala Lumpur to celebrate the arts through music, dance, theater, visual arts and literature.

A highlight of the music performances is the open-air ASEAN and DBKL 50th anniversary concert in Panggung Anniversari, Lake Gardens , featuring local and ASEAN artistes who will perform hits across the decades set to new arrangements amidst the lush park setting. Dance enthusiasts can look forward to a 14 all-male Argentinian powerhouse, Che Malambo, whose percussive dance and music spectacle is sure to thrill audiences.

Visitors interested in visual arts will have the privilege of getting up close with one of the key drivers of art development in Malaysia – Yeoh Jin Leng – in a special Retrospective exhibition.

Returning to our shores due to popular demand is playwright Wolfe Bowart who will present Letter’s End this year; while children will certainly enjoy the hilarious and interactive performance entitled Bon Voyage, right on the platform of Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTM).

There ​are a host of other exciting performances​ and forums taking place in various venues around Kuala Lumpur including the Auditorium DBKL, Panggung Bandaraya​, Nu Sentral, and the Damansara Performing Arts Center, to name a few, and the Festival will include both ticketed and free events.

Source: DiverseCity – KL International Arts Festival 2017 press release

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