Forging a new direction for ‘Greater AZAM’

KUCHING: Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak plans to create a bigger impact through greater cooperation and collaboration with its sister organisation Sarawak Development Institute (SDI) and its subsidiary, the Faradale Group of Companies.

Azam Sarawak and SDI chief executive officer Datu Aloysius Dris explained it was important for this collective group, which he coined as the ‘Greater Azam’, to find a new direction to work together more closely in order to achieve its mutual objective.

As such, he stressed on the importance of moving in the right direction and in tandem with trends not only locally, but regionally and internationally as well.

Read more here: Forging a new direction for ‘Greater Azam’


Applying the Silicon Valley startup culture here in Sarawak

Originally referring to the large number of silicon chip innovators and manufacturers in south San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley is headquarters to 39 businesses in the Fortune 1000, and thousands of startup companies.

A paradise for most startup entrepreneurs, while Silicon Valley is a thousand miles away from Sarawak and it may be impossible to replicate the exact components here, it doesn’t mean we can’t understand what makes it work and try to adapt it to our circumstances.

Read more here: Applying the Silicon Valley startup culture here in Sarawak


Fighting for zero corruption

Building financial literacy is an important step in combatting corruption, stressed panellist Syed Nizamuddin Sayed Khassim during the one-day Anti-Corruption Seminar for Youth on Nov 5.

The Youth Parliament Malaysia member was speaking to a crowd of 50 or so undergraduate students at the seminar themed ‘Together we fight for zero corruption’ organised by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (AZAM) Sarawak in collaboration with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Read more here: Fighting for zero corruption


The Next New Thing: Trends and Disruptions in the World of Venture Capital and Startups

Local start-ups must learn to take risks, be more open and be mentors to each other in order to make it in today’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

In giving the advice yesterday, IBM Venture Capital Group software strategy director Deborah Magid said that startups today are capable of ‘disrupting’ traditional businesses through innovations as what they do through technology tend to be cheaper, more engaging and efficient to customers.

Read more here: The Next New Thing: Trends and Disruptions in the World of Venture Capital and Startups


AZAM Sarawak wins ASEAN Leadership Award for Rural Development & Poverty Eradication

VIENTIANE, Laos: Angkatan Zaman Mansang Sarawak (AZAM Sarawak) has won the prestigious 2nd ASEAN Leadership Award on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication.

AZAM Sarawak Chief Executive Officer, Datu Aloysius Dris received the award on Friday night from Le Luong Minh, ASEAN Secretary-General at the gala dinner held in conjunction with the 9th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication and Related Meetings held at Lao Plaza Hotel here. The award comprised a certificate and a trophy.

AZAM Sarawak, which represented Malaysia at the award ceremony, was one of the two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) nominated by the Sarawak state government at the state-level for the award. At the national-level, it was identified by the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development as the most qualified NGO to receive the ASEAN Rural Development and Poverty Eradication Leadership Award.

Present at the award presentation ceremony here were Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi, Deputy Secretary-General of the ministry Datuk Rahim Abu Bakar and Deputy Undersecretary (Strategic Planning Division) Mohd Ali bin Sebran and Principal Assistant Secretary (Strategic Management Division)  Farah Felinda Hanim binti Razali. Also present were the AZAM Sarawak general manager Rosalind Yang Misieng, board member Adeline Liong and member Sim Ah Hua, who is also general manager of Sarawak Development Institute (SDI), a sister body of AZAM Sarawak.

Besides AZAM Sarawak, nominees from other nine ASEAN countries also received the leadership award at the gala dinner hosted by Bounheuang Douangphachanh, Minister to the Government’s Office and Chairman of the National Committee for Rural Development and Poverty Eradication in Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (PDR).

The dinner was for the ASEAN Rural Development and Poverty Eradication Ministers and delegates. Guests at the event were entertained to Laotian dances and songs as well as Western songs and feted to Laotian cuisines. The dinner concluded with the guests joining their friendly Lao hosts in the traditional Laotian dance called Lamvong Lao Dance.Yesterday, Prime Minister of Lao PDR, Thongsing Thammavong declared open the 9th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting at Lao National Cultural Hall here.

Datu Aloysius Dris (left) receiving the prestigious ASEAN Leadership Award from ASEAN Secretary-General, Le Luong Minh (right) as others look on.

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Elements of Volunteerism

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Perhaps this is one of the many reasons people take part in volunteerism.

Among those speaking about volunteerism at Angkatan Zaman Mansang Sarawak (AZAM Sarawak) seminar on Sept 7 to mark its 32nd anniversary was public speaking champion Stephen Fernando who gave an insight on how to make a difference by being different.

Read more here: Elements of Volunteerism



About 150 participants are expected to attend a seminar on “Volunteers as Social Change Agents” to be held on 7th September 2015 in Kuching. The seminar is organized by Angkatan Zaman Mansang Sarawak (AZAM Sarawak) in conjunction with its 32nd Anniversary celebration this year.


Dr. Peter Devereux, a Research Fellow with the Faculty of Humanities, Curtin University, Australia, will present the keynote paper on “Volunteers as Modern Change Agents”. Dr. Devereux is a part time Research Fellow at Curtin University’s Sustainability Policy Institute advancing the Doctorate of Sustainable Development focused on the UN Sustainable Development Goals that will take over from the MDGs in 2016. He has focused on volunteering for development policy, research and practice for the last twenty five years. Previously he worked in United Nations Volunteers headquarters in their Volunteer Knowledge and Innovation Section as Policy Specialist, Volunteerism and Civil Society, worked as a volunteer university lecturer and NGO environmental adviser in Nicaragua, UN Volunteers Programme Officer in the UNDP multi-country office in Fiji, and State Manager for Australian Volunteer International’s Perth office. He completed his PhD in 2010 on long-term international volunteers in development and sustainability.


Other speakers include Datuk Ahmad Bin Abd Talib, Chairman of Yayasan Salam Malaysia who will provide “An Overview of Volunteerism in Malaysia Today”; Encik Mohamad Ariff Irwani Bin Azahari, Honorary Secretary of AZAM Sarawak who will share on AZAM Sarawak’s Experience on volunteering for development; and Mr. Stephen Fernando, a Public Speaking Champion, Toastmasters International who will motivate participants with a session titled “Make a Difference by Being Different!”.

A panel session, entitled Taking Volunteerism in Sarawak to the Next Levelwill also be held at the seminar featuring panelists Dr. Rusmailani Binti Abdul Aziz, Head of Community Development Division, Social Welfare Department of Sarawak; Miss Marahaini Binti Marikan, Assistant Director, Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia Sarawak Office (who will speak on “voluntourism”) Mdm. Margaret Bedus, President, Sarawak Women for Women Society and, Mdm. Rebecca D’Cruz, President, Friends of Sarawak Museum.


The one day seminar aims to


  • to generate discussions on the future direction of volunteerism in Sarawak particularly on how volunteers could be effective social change agents and;
  • to generate seed ideas on how the various voluntary organizations, individual volunteers and other relevant stakeholders in Sarawak could work collaboratively to bring volunteerism in Sarawak to the next level.


The participants expected are mainly members of various voluntary bodies in Sarawak. Also invited to attend are representatives of the relevant government agencies, the private sector and corporate sectors, and members of the media.


AZAM will also hold its 32nd Anniversary Dinner on the same day, to be graced by His Excellency the Governor of Sarawak, Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud, who is also AZAM’s patron.