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MISA 2023

MISA 2023

A well known and respected awards program, MISA continues to grow and evolve.  In addition to being the ninth edition of the program, MISA 2023 was also a delayed (due to the pandemic lockdown) celebration of MDBC’s 25th anniversary which took place in 2021.  To mark the occasion, this special edition of MISA was expanded to seven (7) categories which ranged from investment to export.

With the expanded program of the 2023 Special Edition, MISA was held across two days for the first time.  Open to all, the Day Program with presentations by shortlisted finalists took place throughout the day on Monday, 27 February at Sunway University.  Guests joined the event to learn from the leaders in the wide array of competition fields, network with peers, and lay the groundwork for future partnerships.  

Organized in partnership with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, it also featured venue partners Sunway University and Sunway Resort Hotel, award category partners – NLinBusiness and TalentCorp, as well as event sponsors – Quill Automobiles, Control Union, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, TMF Group, MIDA, InvestKL, and nexperia.  The Special Edition was also supported by 25th Anniversary Sponsors – Besi APAC, HQ Pack, Shell Malaysia, and Signify.

At this special occasion, attendees ‘checked in’ at registration and received a special MDBC / KLM boarding pass as they commended their ‘journey through history’ with elements of MDBC’s 25 years of history being on display throughout the event.  Highlights of that journey were also shown during an MDBC 25 Year History video, courtesy of Pico International.  Excitement came not only from the announcement of MISA winners, but also from two special BMW vehicles on display.

According to BMW, “The future of cars globally is undoubtedly fully electric. BMW Group have a definite plan on how to go further in this direction. By 2030 at least half of the BMW Group’s global deliveries should be fully electric. This is the world premiere of the new BMW 7 series. It’s the most innovative, cutting – edge automobile in the luxury segment and for the first time in the history of the 7 series, the top performance model will be fully electric. The new BMW i7 moves body, hearts, and mind.”

Winners of the Special Edition were announced at the MDBC 25th Anniversary Celebration & MISA ’23 Awards Ceremony & Dinner which took place the day after (Tuesday, 28 February) at Sunway Resort Hotel and featured guest of honor, Jaya Sinigam Rajoo (Senior Director – Trade (Multilateral Policy & Negotiation Division), Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI)), representing YB Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz (Minister of International Trade & Industry).  

Awards were presented by the VIP Guest as well as MISA Chief Judge, H.E. Jacques (Jaap) Werner (Ambassador, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands) in an exciting evening program to the following winners of MISA ’23:

  • Outstanding Dutch Investor in Malaysia (MNC) [MDBC MEMBERS ONLY]:
    HEINEKEN Malaysia
  • Outstanding Dutch Investor in Malaysia (SME) [MDBC MEMBERS ONLY]:
    Enza Zaden Asia
  • Outstanding Malaysian Investor in the Netherlands:
    Sime Darby Plantation
  • Promising (new) Dutch SME to Malaysia [MDBC MEMBERS ONLY]:
    Hoogendoorn Growth Management
  • Outstanding Dutch – Malaysian Partnership:
    Kloth Malaysia
  • Best Flexible Work Arrangements Program:
    Dutch Lady Milk Industries (DLMI)
  • MDBC Penang Chapter Recognition Award:
    Actiforce Mechatronics Technology
  • MDBC Johor Chapter Recognition Award:
    Terberg Tractors Malaysia

Winners of MISA ’23 with VIP Guests: H.E. Jacques Werner (Ambassador, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Chief Judge of the MISA ’23 Special Edition), Guest of Honor Jaya Singam Rajoo (Senior Director – Trade (Multilateral Policy & Negotiation Division), Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI), representing YB Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, Minister of International Trade & Industry, Zainul Rahim (Chairman, MDBC), and representatives of the category winners together with MDBC Chairman Zainul Rahim and Marco Winter (far right) (Executive Director, MDBC).

2023 Special Edition Categories

2023 Special Edition Categories

The 2023 Special Edition featured an expanded one off expanded program of seven (7) categories which ranged from investment to export.  The seven categories were:

    1. Outstanding Dutch Investor in Malaysia (MNC) [MDBC MEMBERS ONLY]:
      Being an ‘Outstanding Dutch Investor in Malaysia (MNC)‘ means that you are a multinational company established in Malaysia which invests and owns a large number of physical and financial assets. You have your headquarters in the Netherlands and do business in two or more countries (with Malaysia being one of them) with locals and internationals working together. 25% of your revenue is from foreign operations, you have more than 250 employees and an annual sales turnover of over RM 20 million. Your organization should be eligible to be registered under SSM. Additionally, you are a member of MDBC and your organization values positive change and is investing money back into the well – being of the Malaysian public. If you fit into this category and looking to gain wider knowledge of a variety of industries, compete in this category.
    2. Outstanding Dutch Investor in Malaysia (SME) [MDBC MEMBERS ONLY]:
      One of the main goals of MISA this year is to celebrate the contributions of ‘new’ Dutch small and medium sized enterprises. For the manufacturing sector, the SME should not have more than 200 full – time employees, or an annual sales turnover exceeding RM 50 million. For the services sector, there should not be more than 75 full – time employees or an annual sales turnover exceeding RM20 million. For both sectors, the organization should be eligible to be registered under SSM.The contributions made should be to the Malaysian economy and society as a whole, as well as to trade relations between the Netherlands and Malaysia. Being an ‘Outstanding Dutch Investor in Malaysia (SME)‘ means that you are an SME that has proven to have had a beneficial impact on the Malaysian economy and community. To compete in this category, you must be a member of MDBC. If you fit into this category and would like to strengthen your organization’s network and skillset, compete in this category.
    3. Outstanding Malaysian Investor in the Netherlands:
      Being an ‘Outstanding Malaysian Investor in the Netherlands‘ means that not only are you a Malaysian company investing responsibly in the Netherlands, you’re also establishing yourself in the Dutch business environment and community. For businesses looking to accelerate and expand, the Dutch public – private partnership offers a conducive environment. Are you a unique Malaysian business investing in the Netherlands and looking for further exposure and knowledge? If you are then compete in this category.
    4. Outstanding Malaysian Exporter to NL / EU:
      Geographically, the Netherlands is centered in Europe making it a viable country to use as a gateway for Malaysian exporters. Being an ‘Outstanding Malaysian Exporter to NL / EU‘, you would already understand the value of this and made use of the Netherlands’ ideal location. Outstanding Malaysian exporters stand out with their innovation and effective supply chain management to make the process more sustainable and efficient. The focus for many organizations is innovation and sustainability within the supply chain but the nominee knows how to convert this from theory and goals into practical processes and achievements. If this is your organization, compete in this category.
    5. Promising (new) Dutch SME to Malaysia [MDBC MEMBERS ONLY]:
      Dutch Entrepreneurs play an essential role in bringing new ideas, knowledge, and practices in terms of innovation, sustainability, and circular economy to the market, which is advantageous for the ASEAN community by encouraging research, technology, and innovation. As a ‘Promising (new) Dutch SME to Malaysia‘, you are a member of MDBC and have been operational in Malaysia for less than five (5) years, but clearly, have set your focus on long – term sustainability and social value for Malaysia and ASEAN. If you want to gain recognition for this and increase your network, compete in this category.
    6. Outstanding Dutch – Malaysian Partnership:
      The partnership agreement must be between at least one (1) Dutch organization AND one (1) Malaysian organization.  The partnership must include at least one company and may also include government, knowledge institutions, or civil society organizations.  To be recognized as an ‘Outstanding Dutch – Malaysian Partnership‘, you must, in addition to being in a partnership, showcase differentiation in terms of innovation and sustainability while strengthening the Malaysian – Dutch relationship. Highlight how the partnership solves an issue in Malaysia and / or the Netherlands. This Dutch – Malaysian business partnership can be any kind of cooperation such as a joint venture, agency, distributor, system integrator, consultancy, or project management, knowledge exchange, and more. If your partnership stands out and you are looking to be nominated together with other organizations, then compete in this category.
    7. Best Flexible Work Arrangements Program:
      Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA) Programs are alternate arrangements or schedules from the traditional work day and week. Employees may choose a different schedule to meet personal and / or family needs. Employers have been offering FWA programs as a way to increase their ability to attract and / or retain high performing and experienced employees.During the pandemic, the well – being of employees increased in importance; In recognition, MDBC is looking for the organization with the “Best Flexible Work Arrangements Program“.These organizations have implemented and encouraged FWA for long term retention, showcasing workplace strategies that demonstrate a strong drive and commitment to achieving diversity and inclusivity, to the benefit of their employees. They will be able to demonstrate business compliance, company policy and procedure, as well as the organization’s culture and permanent arrangements.

      If you want to highlight your FWA Program, demonstrating that it is the best way you can support your employees, then compete in this inspirational category.

MDBC takes great pride in its Chapters – In Penang (launched in 2010) and Johor (launched in 2017). In recognition of our chapter members, MDBC is introducing the Penang and Johor Chapter Recognition Awards. MDBC members from these chapters who participate in any of the MISA award categories were automatically entered into their respective Chapter Award. Although the categories, and therefore submissions, may be different, each organization’s submission will be put through the same rigorous judging process to determine who is crowned the winner.

MISA 2023 Special Edition Shortlisted

As always, MISA ’23 Special Edition shortlisted finalists faced a strict, highly competitive, and difficult selection process.  The following organizations were announced as shortlisted finalists and were invited to present their projects during the MISA ’23 Special Edition Day Program, which was open to the general public, at Sunway University for final judging.

The shortlisted nominees and projects in the ‘Outstanding Dutch Investor in Malaysia (MNC)‘ category were:
– ATT Tanjung Bin
– Control Union (Malaysia)
– Dutch Lady Milk Industries (DLMI)
– HEINEKEN Malaysia

The shortlisted nominees and projects in the ‘Outstanding Dutch Investor in Malaysia (SME)‘ category were:
– Actiforce Mechatronics Technology
– Brunel – Energy (Malaysia)
– Enza Zaden Asia

The shortlisted nominees and projects in the ‘Outstanding Malaysian Investor in the Netherlands‘ category were:
– Basis Bay
– Cornerstone Group
– Kuala Lumpur Kepong
– Sime Darby Plantation

The shortlisted nominees and projects in the ‘Promising (new) Dutch SME to Malaysia‘ category were:
– Creating Winners
– Hoogendoorn Growth Management
– Incitement
– Orbis Business School

The shortlisted nominees and projects in the ‘Outstanding Dutch – Malaysian Partnership‘ category were:
– Centre of Water Engineering Technology
– Dutch Lady Milk Industries (DLMI)
– Kloth Malaysia
– Pengerang Independent Terminals
– Sime Darby Plantation
– Terberg Tractors Malaysia

The shortlisted nominees and projects in the ‘Best Flexible Work Arrangements Program‘ category were:
– Agensi Pekerjaan Randstad
– Dutch Lady Milk Industries (DLMI)
– Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia
– Tenaga Nasional
– Unilever Malaysia


MISA ’23 Special Edition Judges

Led by a Chief Judge – the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Malaysia, a panel of highly regarded, independent, expert individuals review and judge all MISA submissions.  Each category has a panel of three judges who do a final round of assessment during the MISA Day Program where finalists present their submission.  Judges and audience alike are allowed to ask questions of each nominee before the panel meets privately to confer and tally up the points.

Winners of each category are announced at the MISA Awards Ceremony and dinner.  This announcement is inclusive of a Judge’s Report on the winner’s submission, highlighting the underlying core concept of MISA – the sharing of best practices.

CHIEF JUDGE – H.E. Jacques Werner
Ambassador, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

The Ambassador is acquainted with Malaysia and the region, having visited the country in 1988 and having been posted as Ambassador to Singapore from 2013 to 2017. Having previously served in Iran, Singapore, Romania, Bulgaria, and India, he is keen to initiate and catalyze tangible partnerships in areas such as agro, water, business, entrepreneurship, and culture.


Judge A: Aidil Azman
(Senior Manager of Investor Relations – EMEA, InvestKL)

Aidil brings a wealth of experience covering Fintech, Global Equities, Property Investment, Media Planning, and Country Advertorial Reports.  Prior to InvestKL, Aidil was part of Sime Darby Property’s Vision Valley Malaysia tasked with attracting global catalyst investments into various development components.  He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic Society and Media Studies from Swinburne University, Melbourne.


Judge B: Datin Dr Vijayalakshmi Samuel
(Director, AGV Environment)

Datin Dr. Vijayalakshmi Samuel has more than 25 years of experience in environmental, health & safety (EHS) and sustainability / ESG consulting services; she also holds a PhD in Sustainability Studies.  Currently, she is the CEO and co – founder of AGV Sustainability & ESG Services Sdn. Bhd. and an Executive Director at AGV Environment Sdn. Bhd.  Prior to AGV, she held various senior positions at a US environmental consulting firm for more 18 years and was a Partner during the last 3 years.


Judge A: Riduan Rahman
(Director – Green Technology Division, MIDA)

Riduan joined MIDA in 2003 and has served in various divisions with vast exposure in the international arena. He was the Director of MIDA Tokyo as well as Regional Director, covering Japan and South Korea.  Most recently, Riduan was the Deputy Director in the MIDA office based in Frankfurt, Germany.  His current responsibilities include the overall planning, implementation and co – ordination of investment promotion strategies to attract investments as well as promote the adoption of green technology with the objective to create ESG ecosystem, expand the green market, and generate new economic activities.


Judge B: Lim Lee Kuan
(Managing Director, TMF Group)

Lee Kuan joined the TMF Group in 2012 as Director – Corporate Secretarial, before being promoted to Managing Director of TMF Malaysia (KL and Penang) in 2021.  She has more than twenty five (25) years of experience in corporate management and administrative services and has served in various capacities which include, but are not limited to, corporate restructuring exercises, initial public offering, and applications to various regulatory authorities.


Judge C: Sashi Ambihaipahan
(Head of Corporate Communications & Sustainability, BMW Group Malaysia)

A marketing, media and corporate communications expert with over two decades of experience in the innovation, lifestyle, luxury, and automotive industry, Sashi is a subject matter expert on the topics of Future Mobility as well as Technology and Development in the premium automotive industry.


Judge A: Supun Nigamuni
(Managing Director, Control Union (Malaysia))

Supun is an accomplished forestry and environmental specialist with experience in compliance auditing, training, certification, program management, and environmental assessments.  He serves as the Managing Director for Control Union Malaysia and is responsible for managing certifications for Control Union Malaysia. In addition to the local responsibilities Supun also chairs the global expert team overseeing certification activities related to Forestry, Palm, Sugar, Soy, Rubber, and Tourism.


Judge B: Dato’ Dr. Yazid Manap
(Associated with the Embassy of Malaysia to the Netherlands)

Dato’ Dr. Yazid Manap is a Mechanical Engineer and Food Technologist by qualification and a Researcher / Academician by profession.  He graduated from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and the University of Glasgow, Scotland.  Dato’ spent many years as a professor at the University Putra Malaysia (UPM), as the Dean of Faculty of Food Science and Biotechnology (UPM), and as the Director of the Halal Research Institute. 


Judge A: Lise Hordijk
(International Business Manager, NLinBusiness)

An experienced Project Manager, Lise has been with NLinBusiness for five years.  Prior to this she gained a wide variety of experience working with companies such as SuperFlora BV, Stichting De Instap, Colgate Palmolive, MeetIn B.V., and the Benelux Chamber of Commerce in China.


Judge B: Matthijs van Leeuwen
(Chief Innovation Officer, Sunway Group)

In addition to being the CIO of Sunway Group, Matt is also the Founding Director of Sunway iLabs.  Previously, he was a commercialisation specialist in PlaTCOM Ventures and gained significant entrepreneurial experience through three start – ups he co – founded in the UK, Singapore, and Malaysia. Before that he was a consultant at the Cambridge – MIT Institute and Library House in Cambridge (UK) and an Analyst at Imperial Innovations in London (UK), one of Europe’s leading Tech Transfer Offices and Venture Capital firms.


Judge A: Prof. Dr. Rob van Tulder
(Professor of International Business, RSM Erasmus University)

Professor van Tulder has published extensively on the topics of European business, multinationals, high – tech industries, corporate social responsibility, issues management, skills, network strategies, smaller industrial countries (welfare states) and European Community / Union policies. He is co – founder of RSM’s Department of Business – Society Management, a world – leading department on the issues surrounding sustainability.  He is the Academic Director of The Partnerships Resource Centre and the founder of Scope, an expert centre at Erasmus University in International Business and Sustainable Development. Together with UNCTAD, Scope compiles the widely – published lists of the largest Transnational Corporations worldwide from developed and developing countries, published annually in the World Investment Report.


Judge B: Prof. Sibrandes Poppema
(President, Sunway University)

Professor Sibrandes Poppema has been the President and Vice – Chancellor of Sunway University in Malaysia since January 2021. He is a Dutch Canadian Citizen and studied Medicine at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He trained as a pathologist and holds a doctorate in Immunopathology from the University of Groningen. He held postdoc positions at the University of Kiel in Germany and Harvard University in the USA. He has widely published on subjects in immunology, haematology, oncology, and transplantation and is among the top 2% cited authors in immunology. He held several leadership positions in healthcare and in education institutions, including as Director of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, Alberta and later at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) in the Netherlands. He was Dean of UMCG for nine years and next President of the University of Groningen for 10 years. He was awarded a knighthood in the Order of the Netherlands Lion by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and an Officers Cross in the Order of Merit by Frank – Walter Steinmeier, the President of Germany.


Judge A: Puan Mahuran
(Vice President Group Research, Development & Policy, and Malaysian Professional Talent, TalentCorp)

Mahuran has more than 20 years of experience in human resources management, having started out at the Ministry of Human Resources.  She also has a wide knowledge and experience in human capital strategy & development, as well as industrial relation management.  In her current capacity, she works closely with stakeholders from federal and state government / agencies, industry players, employer federations, labour unions, and international agencies in conducting research studies on human capital requirement, including demand and supply talent / skills.


Judge B: Dato’ Nathan K. Suppiah
(Vice President, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM))

Dato’ Nathan Suppiah graduated from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth with a Bachelor of Laws LLB (Hons) degree.  He has had an illustrious career spanning more than 30 years in the manufacturing and retail industries.  In July 2022, he was elected into the General Council of the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCIM) as Vice President.

MISA 2023 Special Edition Supplement
MISA ’23 Special Edition Day Program Photos

MISA ’23 Day Program Photo Album
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MISA ’23 Special Edition Awards Ceremony & Dinner Photos

MISA ’23 Awards Ceremony & Dinner Photo Album
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