Message from the CEO

Welcome back and welcome into the new year and WHAT A START it has been.

Starting 2021 by entering another Movement Control Order (MCO) on January 13 has not been ideal but given this new wave and the increasing number of COVID-19 cases across the country we hope it will flatten the infection rate and give relief to the healthcare system. By doing so, we’ll be looking at a brighter 2021 and an exciting, hopefully, recovery year ahead.

Last night also we witnessed a new beginning with the installation of the new Biden Administration in the United States of America. We congratulate and welcome President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on their new roles. Unfortunately, yesterday also marked the farewell to our very own “Kamala”, our much-loved Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir, U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia.

We had almost 100 members join us with a final Town Hall yesterday which was very bittersweet for all. Just prior to the Town Hall, the Ambassador also presided over the 2020 MY AMCHAM CARES recognition ceremony, which despite best efforts since last year finally happened, but virtually for the 34 companies. The Ambassador’s passion for CSR and especially education was one of the hallmarks of her time here.

Ambassador Kamala has been one of the Chamber’s most stalwart fans, always encouraging participation where she could. I cannot thank her and the teams at the Embassy enough? that she shepherded into what has become a vibrant working partnership. All this to ensure that U.S. businesses have as strong a platform to represent perspectives to not only external stakeholders but to each other through the power of community. On behalf of AMCHAM, we wish her continued success in the next phase as she returns to Washington D.C.

Brian McFeeters is the Ambassador-designate whom we also look forward to welcoming back to Malaysia; yes, he has served here once before.

We hope that our newsletters that have been transmitting critical updates are still useful to the community-at-large. Please stay updated by visiting our website, click here.

We rely on information from our members as well as our regular sources so I invite you to please share news or information with us by sending a note to yvonne@amham.com.my or jeta@amcham.com.my.

Thank you all for your support as we rolled out AMCHAM’s new membership tiers. We are encouraged that companies see the value of a strong Chamber and are willing to contribute and provide support through a larger contribution for their membership. We start the year with around 280 member companies, 38 of which have taken up higher tiers. We look forward to working closely with the whole membership to ensure you continue to see the value of participating in the Chamber.

I would like to remind every member to please update your profiles and for the Primary members to review your representative list and ensure the right people in your organization are listed as reps. We are looking not just for the right functions like C-Suite, HR, Government Relations, Finance, Operations. etc. but individually who will be proactive and engage with the community. If you have any questions please contact Kevin Roch at kevin@amcham.com.my; he will be happy to assist.

This representation is vitally important, especially now, when the demand for accurate and timely information is needed. Please bear with us when you see requests for quick polls and surveys and I humbly request that you please fill them out. As we are engaged at various points with the Government, helping them navigate the very turbulent times, the best thing we can do is provide the most up to date information and sentiment from our membership.

Please take the polls we send out. These really help us shape the conversation. We are also open to hearing from you directly as issues deepen. Please email us at gr@amcham.com.my.

We have a lot planned for the year, but wanting to be mindful of the latest SOPs, the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, and corporate restrictions on attending meetings we will be limiting ourselves to hosting virtual or smaller, hybrid programs when possible.

We will continue to address critical topics this way, but overall, with the correct safety measures, we hope to see more of you as the year and the situation progresses in a positive direction. If there are some interesting speakers you come across or topics you are interested in learning more about, please email us at events@amcham.com.my. We will need to be creative to develop new formats and look forward to exploring these with you.

As we mentioned in our call at the end of last year, 2021, bring it on! Let us all face the challenges, known and unknown, together. Stay safe, stay vigilant, and let us continue to prosper in 2021. Happy New Year and an early Gong Xi Fa Chai #togetherwecan

 

Siobhan Das

Chief Executive Officer