Speaker Biographies: [VIRTUAL] The Real Challenge Begins Now

Dr. Ong Kian Ming

Former Deputy Minister of International Trade & Industry

Dr. Ong Kian-Ming is the Member of Parliament for Bangi (since May 2018). He was formerly the Member of Parliament for Serdang (from May 2013 to April 2018). He was the Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) from July 2018 to February 2020.

He was a former Fulbright Scholar and holds a PhD in Political Science from Duke University, an MPhil in Economics from the University of Cambridge and a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics. Prior to his political life, he was formerly a lecturer at UCSI University, a researcher at the Socio-Economic Development and Research (SEDAR) Institute and the Institute of Strategic Analysis and Policy Studies (INSAP) and a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in the Kuala Lumpur office.

He was also an ASEAN Scholar in Singapore and completed his “O” and “A” levels in Raffles Institution and Raffles Junior College respectively. He attended primary and secondary school in La Salle Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

He enjoys jogging, watching movies and listening to podcasts in his spare time.

Pankaj Kumar

Managing Director of Datametrics Research and Information Centre Sdn Bhd (DARE)

Pankaj is the Managing Director of Datametrics Research and Information Centre Sdn. Bhd. (DARE), a Malaysian-based think-tank performing research and advocacy for a multitude of topics such as economics and social policy and developing policy recommendations for stakeholders and the Government,

Pankaj has more than 25 years of experience in investment research, fund management, and corporate strategy. He was formerly the Head of Research of OSK Research, Chief Investment Officer of Kurnia Insurans (M) Bhd, and Director of Investment and Corporate Strategy at KSK Group Bhd.

In addition, Pankaj is also a columnist in StarBiz’s Saturday’s “Inside Insight” and published more than 230 opinion pieces related to the economy, market, and sectors as well on issues related to governance and ethics since June 2018. Pankaj also regularly appears on BFM Morning Run, providing his views on the economy and financial markets.

He also sits as an Independent Non-Executive Director of MN Holdings Berhad, a Bursa Malaysia ACE market-listed company. In addition, he is also an Independent Non-Executive Director at Esente Capital Berhad. He holds a Bachelor of Accounting (Hons) degree from University Malaya and completed his MBA (Finance) from the same University in 2014.



 Shazwan Mustafa Kamal

Associate Director of Vriens & Partners

Shazwan is an Associate Director at Vriens & Partners’ office in Kuala Lumpur and brings along 10 years of professional experience in the field of politics, journalism, and the media. Under his current role, Shazwan participates in various levels of government affairs work for healthcare clients ranging from tobacco-related public healthcare issues to advocacy efforts relating to COVID-19 vaccine procurement.

From 2014 to 2020, Shazwan worked for online news portal the Malay Mail as an assistant news editor and senior journalist. In this role, Shazwan directly oversaw the news desk’s day-to-day operations as well as its political analyses. He also led the news team in the coverage of important event like the 2018 general election, and spearheading story packages.

From 2009 to 2012, Shazwan worked as a journalist for the news portal The Malaysian Insider, where he extensively covered breaking political and economic stories.

Shazwan received his Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Monash University, and a Master in Diversity and the Media from the University of Westminster, UK. He was also a 2012 Chevening scholarship recipient.