Class of 2019 arrived in Kuala Lumpur mid-Saturday afternoon on April 27 and spent the afternoon at leisure, recovering from their 25 hour journey.
With the majority of the week devoted to business development activities for their clients, the candidates took advantage of Sunday morning’s three hour tour to visit select landmarks within the city.
Half Day City Tour
The first stop was to Theon Hou Temple, one of the largest temples in Southeast Asia. Candidates were introduced to the syncretic temple that houses three goddesses in the prayer hall: in the Tian Hou; goddess of the sea, Guan Yin; goddess of mercy, and Shui Wei Sheng Niang; goddess of sea way.
The second stop on the tour was Istana Negara, also commonly known as the King’s Palace or the National Palace. The royal household sits on approximately 97 hectares of land, enclosed by a metal gate and protected by symbolic guards on horseback. Visitors can only view the palace from afar so candidates took the opportunity to pose for photos with the guards and infront of the black and gold gates.
After a quick bus ride, the cohort arrived at their third destination, Tugu Peringatan Negara. The Kuala Lumpur Cenotaph was built to commemorate the Great War against the Japanese from 1914 to 1918. The National monument was designed by renowned artist, Felix de Weldon. It was built for the Great War and the Malayan Emergency from 1914 to 1960. The 15 meter high, bronze sculpture featured soldiers fighting with the inscription of “To Our Glorious Dead of the First War”. IT consists of seven soldiers holding up the Malaysian flag. Each of the warriors signifies one of the seven qualities of leadership: command, unity, strength, wariness, suffering, courage and sacrifice
There was a short stopover at the river front before reaching our final destination at the Central Market. The Klang River, heavily polluted through rapid development and poor dumping policies, was the focus of the 2012 rejuvenation project. Named the ‘River of Life’ project, over ten kilometers of the Klang River was put through the three phased project- cleaning, master-planning for future growth and beautification of the river front itself - to attract people back to the City’s waterfront.
After moving along the Klang River, the last stop was central market, an indoor and air-conditioned market featuring boutiques, handicraft and souvenir stalls allowing candidates to have some shopping time where candidates engaged their negotiation skills during their shopping experience.
The Opening Banquet
The official commencement of business week kicked off on Sunday evening through the program’s Opening Banquet. The Program’s Annual Opening Banquet connects key stakeholders invited from various industries within the market to teams of candidates and their client representatives that have flown in from Canada.
The program had the honour of hosting Her Excellency Julia Bentley, High Commissioner of Canada in Malaysia and Tom Abols, Trade Commissioner of Canada in Malaysia for the banquet. Her Excellency provided opening remarks to attendees and welcomed the program to Malaysia given the alignment of their mandate of supporting Canadian organizations with interests in Malaysia.
“We work together, with partners like you, to identify opportunities that are mutually beneficial to economies…” – Her Excellency Julia Bentley
The banquet provides a networking opportunity for clients and candidates to meet with business contacts socially prior to their business meetings scheduled for later in the week.
A Social Impact Shift to the Telfer Executive MBA Tradition
Special guests also included representatives of SOLS 24/7, a humanitarian organization in Malaysia that is engaged in several sectors including education and technology. Class of 2019 invited Harvind Ganase, Director of Marketing Communications and Daniela Strimbei, Director of Senior Education from SOLS 24/7 to present a cash donation on behalf of their cohort.
This donation represents the continued tradition of previous cohorts presenting a gift to the Telfer Executive MBA, however this year, similar to Class of 2007, they focused on a social impact gift that would be left within the region they visited. A plaque will commemorate the Class’ gift to SOLS 24/7 within the Centre for Executive Leadership in Ottawa