Singapore, August 3, 2005, Wednesday - The humanitarian organisation under his leadership extended humanitarian relief to many countries and placed Singapore on the world map.
For his outstanding contributions in relief work, especially in tsunami-devastated countries, Chairman of Mercy Relief, Zulkifli Baharudin, 46, is the winner of this year´s Achiever of the Year Award, organised by Berita Harian and presented by HSBC Amanah Islamic Financial Solutions.
Zulkifli will receive the award from Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Minister for Education, at 9.15pm tonight at the Ritz Carlton, Millenia Singapore.
The annual award, into its seventh year, is given to Malay/ Muslim individuals for their achievements in the fields of education, business, arts, and culture, sports, the professions or social work. The recipient must show perseverance, determination and a willingness to overcome odds in his or her respective field, and possess an outstanding integrity and be looked upon as a role model for the Malay/ Muslim community in Singapore.
The winner is picked by a panel of six judges from the Malay/ Muslim community. The panel of distinguished judges is headed by Mr Ridzwan Dzafir, Singapore Ambassador to Bangladesh (Non-resident).
Mercy Relief, led by Zulkifli, has embarked on a massive public relations campaign for tiny state of Singapore. Under his leadership, the humanitarian organisation has grown into an internationally-recognised organisation in a short span of four years. Initially focusing on relief work in Singapore, it has extended its aid to countries such as Iran, Palestine, Cambodia, Afghanistan, China and Indonesia. Its most recent contribution is to tsunami-affected areas like Banda Aceh and Meulaboh. Its humanitarian efforts in these areas were recognised by the Singapore government, which publicly declared them as national projects.
Since heading Mercy Relief as its Chairman in August 2003, Zulkifli has turned the small humanitarian organisation which was initially set up by a Malay/Muslim organisation Perdaus, into a solid outfit with international reach and standing.
Mercy Relief has also established a wide base of volunteers consisting of members from various racial groups. Its beneficiaries include various needy groups including children from calamity-stricken, disaster struck and war-torn countries.
Financial support for Mercy Relief has also been pouring in from all countries. Under Zulkifli´s stewardship, Mercy Relief has been able to garner the support of not only Singaporeans and local businesses, but international companies as well.
Among the local businesses include travel agency, Travelways Pte Ltd, which agreed to be Mercy Relief´s official travel planner and provide free travel for Mercy Relief´s staff.
International company like Cathay Pacific also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mercy Relief to allow the humanitarian body the use of its planes for the transportation of food and other supplies.
But Zulkifli made his mark way before he made his name in the non-profit and humanitarian organisation sector.
He was a popular Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) from 1997 to 2001, a well-respected political critic and a high-flyer in the logistics industry.
Zulkifli is also a successful corporate figure. He was the Managing Director and shareholder of logistics companies, Indo-Trans Logistics Co. Ltd in Indo-China and PT Fedalitas Sempurna Abadi in Indonesia, and also held senior management positions as Vice-President of Logistics of Circle International and Eagle Global Logistics, heading in Asia Pacific Logistics operations.
He was also the Independent Director & Chairman of the Board and Audit Committee of the Mentor Media Ltd and sat on various Government Boards such as Singapore Sports Council, Temasek Polytechnic and Network Indonesia.
He was also one of the founders of the now defunct political discussion group, The Roundtable. His thought-provoking political commentaries were widely recognised by the Malay community.
Past year´s winners of the Berita Harian Achiever of the Year award include Dr Mansoor Abdul Jalil, lecturer with the Department of Electrical Engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS), Professor Aziz Nather, director at the Tissue Bank and consultant with the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at NUS, Madam Halimah, Assistant Secretary General of NTUC, Master potter Mr Iskandar Jalil, Veteran Composer Mr Iskandar Mirza Ismail and Veteran of social service Haji Abu Bakar Maidin.
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