MCOBA Presidential Address 2006



2005 has been an exciting year for all of us, as MCKK celebrated its first centennial. I wish to thank everyone who worked hard to ensure that all activities planned for the centenary were successfully executed, and to everyone else who came in force to support and participate in the events. And please convey my heartfelt gratitude to your fairer halves for their understanding and sacrifices throughout the year.

Yes, 2005 has indeed been a hectic but obviously exciting year for MCOBA, MCKK and all those who are associated with us. We organized many events to celebrate the Malay College centennial, which climaxed with the 26th March celebration at the MCKK grounds, complete with re-enactment of the elephant procession of 1897 and Watikah declaration of MCKK as a National Heritage as well as the reaffirmation of the Conference of Malay Rulers as the patron to the Malay College Kuala Kangsar.

Among events that we had in conjunction with the MCKK Centenary celebration were: the establishment of MCOBA Institute for Leadership Enhancement or MILES; the 100-kilometre bicycle race in Kuala Kangsar; centenary art exhibition and auction of paintings at Petronas Gallery in KLCC; publication of a special supplementary issue on MCKK Centennial in major newspapers; launching and sale of several books, such as the MCKK Impressions 1905-2005, The Last Expatriate, LEADERSHIP But What’s Next, The Centenary Pictorial Book; exhibition at Muzium Negara and other locations; adoption of the geriatric ward at Kuala Kangsar Hospital; KL-KK treasure hunt; issuance of commemorative stamps and first day cover; initiate a Malay Culture centre in MCKK with the introduction of the gamelan troupe; and many other activities. And for a fitting finale, we had the very successful staging of the MCOBA Royal Gala Dinner 2005 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center. To top it all, the Bargreaves Ballerz, which is officially recognized as the cultural/theatre arm of MCOBA, produced a sterling bangsawan performance that received rave reviews from the audience.

2006 marks the new century for MCKK. And MCOBA, being its proud alumni, is determined to strive harder to ensure that the glorious traditions and achievements of the College are sustained, if not bettered. In order to ensure that this vision is achieved, MCOBA itself has to be strengthened and must be willing to take a more pro-active role in the future.

The 2005-2006 Management Committee of MCOBA has identified and prioritized a few key critical areas that needed reviews and actions to be taken:


Total membership is currently touching 1,800. Compared to an estimated 8,000 who had passed the gates of MCKK, the present membership represents only a quarter of old boys alive!

For 2006, MCOBA has planned a comprehensive initiative for membership drive and targeting a total of 4,000 members. The member recruitment drive is aimed to strengthen the MCOBA voice as well as bargaining power; to enhance the activities of the association; to improve networking support within MCOBA as well as vis-à-vis other alumni that share our aspirations to have a better future for this nation; to ensure MCOBA continues to remain relevant and stay in the forefront in the contribution towards nation-building.

There will be several packages available: simplified registration for busy ones; affordable installments for the younger ones; and a few other variations tailored for others. I urge that members will do their bit to encourage their non-member friends to register.

MCOBA is also keeping pace with the advancement of technology. Apart from having full wireless internet coverage for Penthouse, MCOBA is also upgrading its membership database system, as well as its membership card. The new membership card incorporates the IQ smart chip which allows for faster membership identification and comprehensive loyalty program. The loyalty program, which will soon be adding more merchants to sign up, shall offer various interesting packages and discounts for MCOBA members each time they spend their money at MCOBA and selected IQ outlets.

Review of MCOBA Constitution

A sub-committee for the revision of the MCOBA Constitution has completed a draft, incorporating earlier feedbacks, comments and inputs from members. The Management Committee will review and discuss the proposed draft before tabling for discussion by MCOBA members, and eventually to be approved in an EGM which will be decided later.

In addition, to address other issues relating to trustees and the holding of MCOBA assets, as well as owning shares in businesses, MCOBA is studying the proposal to set up a company limited by guaranty to run parallel with the association, whereby all MCOBA members will be the shareholder of the company, but their liability will be limited to the RM1 shareholding. This proposal is still in the preliminary stage but a draft constitution has been completed for first review.

We will inform MCOBA members when the final drafts of both documents are ready for members’ review and comments.

Business and Commercialization

In order for MCOBA to stepped up its activities and provide more benefits for members, the association has to strategize its financials. Currently, our sources of income are merely from the small proceeds from the annual dinner, and the lease from our MCOBA Building. By June 2006, the building will be free from encumbrances; however we do not expect much bigger surplus from the lease of office space since current market rentals are competitively low. Furthermore, our expenditures are expected to increase due to inflationary pressures, plus additional premiums we have to pay from our non-performing assets, such as the additional land we acquired at Batang Berjuntai. Hence, there is a need to re-look on new ways to source for cash inflow.

MILES Academy Sdn. Bhd. will come under the purview of this committee, until and if the MCOBA Berhad (company limited by guaranty) is set up. In the past two years of its set-up, MILES Academy has tried to use a few models for operation but was unsuccessful; now it has embarked on a new strategy for 2006: organizing quarterly Leadership (Public) Seminar, and monthly workshops, tea-talks, CEO breakfast talks, in collaboration with COMAT Academy, Carnegie Mellon and Universitas 21. In addition, MILES Academy will also kick-off a Fellowship program (limited membership of 500 leaders of industry from among MCOBA membership); MILES Academy will also offer consultancy and facilitation for top management level of corporations; MILES will also offer leadership enhancement facilitation at school and university level as part of its “pay back to society” program under the auspices of MCOBA.

Our other immediate plan is to set up a proper merchandise company to undertake design, production and sale of souvenirs and premium items, especially for MCOBA and MCKK. We will also offer our services to other organizations, such as other alumni, universities, and corporations through our MCOBA networks. Setting up this company will ensure that MCOBA will not be tied down to finance merchandise orders and sale, and proper accounting and stock-tracking will be established for proper governance.

Publication and Internet-based Communication

We are currently re-organizing our Berita MCOBA publication to be self-funded (or even become a revenue earner for MCOBA) through advertisement offerings. The committee is planning to regularize publication on fixed intervals and update the mailing addresses to ensure members receive their copies.

On e-communication, a task-force has been assign to re-construction the MCOBA website ( to ensure that it is informative, up-to-date, and serve members better by highlighting links to other sites maintained by those associated with MCOBA and MCKK. We also have plans to include a 3-channel MCOBA TV which can be used for corporate or individual advertisements (money generation), broadcasting videos on MCOBA activities, etc.

Public Relations and MCOBA Branding

We are looking into positioning MCOBA vis-à-vis contributions to nation-building. We have at different times been portrayed as the good, the bad, and the ugly. Well, it’s time that we manage what others may perceive of us.

Insyallah, we’ll come up with a series of program that support social contributions, such as the one we initiated at the geriatric ward at Kuala Kangsar Hospital. In addition, we have to strike a better rapport with other organizations, at all levels!

Redevelopment and Repositioning of MCKK

MCOBA, through the Board of Governors of MCKK, is currently in the midst of studying several initiatives to prepare MCKK in facing new challenges in its second century. Among the immediate plans are to introduce Sixth Form (or equivalent) classes, and to offer Arts/Social Sciences/Commerce classes for the upper forms. Proposals have been submitted to the Ministry of Education for review and approval.

In 1997, MCOBA proposed a redevelopment of MCKK hostel facilities, a smart-school concept, and to build a sports complex on a newly-acquired 11-acre piece of land. Unfortunately the plan was aborted due to the financial downturn. Now it is our intention to reactivate the proposal and we hope old boys will support us by donating generously to a Fund for this purpose. In the 1970s, Tun Razak encouraged and appealed old boys to support this type of projects for the alma mater. Once we get the outcome of a re-study on the redevelopment plan, and the green light to proceed, we will set up a bank account for this purpose—and old boys as well as friends can contribute what ever amount to be credited (lump sum or monthly standing order) to this account.

A New Chapter for MCOBA

I wish every one of us all the best in your future endeavors. And with your full support for our activities, I pray that MCOBA will thrive and continue to be a strong bastion for the Malays and the nation.

Pride, Passion and Tradition.


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