Singapore, 30 July 2008 – For his outstanding leadership as President of the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SMCCI), and his efforts in increasing the number of Malay-Muslim entrepreneurs locally and overseas, Datuk Mohd Zain Abdullah is the winner of this year´s Berita Harian Achiever of the Year Award.
The 52 year old will receive the award from Mr. Raymond Lim, Minister for Transport, at the Shangri La Hotel Singapore tonight.
The award, now into its tenth year, is given to Malay-Muslim individuals for their achievements in different fields. The winner must show perseverance, determination and a willingness to overcome odds in his or her respective area. He or she must also possess outstanding integrity and be looked upon as a role model by the Malay-Muslim community in Singapore.
The winner is picked by a panel of seven judges headed by Mr Wan Hussin Wan Zoohri, President of LBKM (Prophet Muhammad Birthday Memorial Scholarship Fund Board) and SMBA (Singapore Malay Badminton Association).
This is not the first award for Datuk Zain. In 1998, he won the Best Business Award by SMCCI, and was subsequently elected as its President. He has made significant contributions, including coming up with various programmes to help the Malay-Muslim business community, and increasing the membership by 15 percent.
One historical milestone for the SMCCI under Datuk Zain´s leadership is the setting up of the Enterprise Development Centre, which offers assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The centre specialises in halal food certification and Islamic financing, providing access to the lucrative Middle Eastern market. Launched in October 2006, the centre, with support from Spring Singapore, succeeded in attracting more than 150 SMEs to make use of its services in its first month of operation.
Datuk Zain is also the Executive Chairman of Prestige Marine Services (Prestige Marine). From just 2 tankers when he first took over in 1994, Prestige Marine now has 18 ships registered in Singapore, nine subsidiaries, more than 200 staff and a combined revenue of about $1 billion. By the end of 2008, Prestige Marine will be operating 18 tankers, with its total assets reaching $250 million.
Though regarded as one of the richest Muslims in Singapore, Datuk Zain feels deeply for the less fortunate. He has raised more than $2 million for various worthy causes, such as the upgrading and rebuilding of mosques and madrasahs, and providing financial aid to educational and charitable organisations like Jamiyah, Ain Society and Mendaki.
Previous winners of the Berita Harian Achiever of the Year Award were:
- 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 Yacob, Assistant Secretary General of NTUC
- Mr Iskandar Jalil, master potter
- Mr Iskandar Mirza Ismail, veteran composer
- Haji Abu Bakar Maidin, veteran of social service
- Mr Zulkifli Baharudin, Chairman of Mercy Relief
- Mr Mardan Mamat, millionaire golfer, and
- Mr Ashley Isham, fashion designer.
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