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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Short video competition on unity to be launched together with youth forum

A youth forum on Unity will be held on 14 November 2015 together with the official launching of the short video competition on “Kuching…City of Unity”.

This is a collaboration with the Sarawak State Government in conjunction with Kuching’s declaration as a City of Unity.

For interest in joining this youth forum and for the official launching of the short video competition, please confirm your attendance using this link :

8 October 2015 ** Talk on Community Based Story Telling Through Video **

Talk on Community Based Story Telling Through Video

Organised by Angkatan Zaman Mansang Sarawak (AZAM Sarawak) in collaboration with the US Embassy Kuala Lumpur

Date : 8 October 2015

Venue : Conference Room, Kompleks AZAM, Crookshank Road, Kuching, Sarawak


2.00 pm          Arrival of participants

2.30 pm          Welcome Remarks

                          By Mdm. Norjanah Haji Razali

                          Member, Board of Directors 2014 / 2016

                          Angkatan Zaman Mansang Sarawak (AZAM Sarawak)

2.45 pm         Video Presentation

3.00 pm         Knowledge Sharing

By Mr. Bird Runningwater

                         Associate director of Native American and Indigenous Programs for the Sundance Institute


                         Question and Answer


 4.30 pm       Ends



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.


As with other professions, journalism is guided by a set of values under their code of ethics such as commitment to professionalism, separation of news and opinion, a concern for accuracy and the ideals of objectivity. Media practitioners are also subject to specific legislation covering their various areas of work. The digital revolution has added new dimensions to issues with regard to media ethics and legislation as conventional journalists increasingly share the public domain with “citizen journalists’, bloggers and tweeters. Traditional rules may not apply anymore or lines are blurred between what is ethical or not, what is legal or illegal, due to the changing media and social landscapes.

As an effort to help update local media practitioners on such concerns, Angkatan Zaman Mansang Sarawak (AZAM Sarawak) in collaboration with the Commonwealth Journalists Association (CJA) Sarawak Branch will be organising a workshop Media Law and Ethics on 14 August in Kuching.

The half day workshop will be conducted by Dr. Venkat Iyer, a barrister and academic attached to the School of Law of the University of Ulster where he teaches constitutional law, media law, and business law. A former Nuffield Press Fellow at Cambridge University, Dr Iyer has lectured in a number of countries including the United States, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, Korea, Iran, Ukraine, Bahrain, Kuwait, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and India, and has acted as a consultant to a number of governments, private corporations, and non-governmental organisations. Dr Iyer runs training courses on media law and ethics for newspapers and media organisations around the world. He is the author of a number of books and articles, and the editor of The Commonwealth Lawyer and The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, both published from London. In 2008 the British Government appointed Dr Iyer to the position of Law Commissioner for Northern Ireland, a position he held until May 2015.

On media law updates, the workshop will cover topics such as Defamation, Contempt of Court, and Hate Speech. On media ethics updates, the workshop will cover topics such as truth/accuracy in reporting, keeping news and comment separate, avoiding ‘paid news’, dealing with grief and shock in reportage, avoiding ‘chequebook journalism’, and pros and cons of self-regulation.

About 25 local editors and reporters are expected to participate in the half-day workshop.

The chairman of the CJA Sarawak Branch, Alice Wee hopes that the local media will take this opportunity to update their knowledge and understanding of the law and ethics with regard to journalism practices especially in this current era of more sophisticated and discerning audience and stakeholders.

The Commonwealth Journalists Association is a voluntary professional association for working journalists throughout the Commonwealth, comprising 53 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, North and South America, and the Pacific. Since the formation of the CJA Sarawak in 2003, the association has essentially emphasized on training to help upgrade the standard of journalism in the state.

AZAM Sarawak is an NGO that promotes development communication to facilitate the development process in the state, targeting mainly grassroots communities. The media are among AZAM’s important partners in its efforts to promote development consciousness and participation among the people of Sarawak. AZAM’s work with the local media dates back to the 1980s mainly in the form of journalism training.