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The President's Report 2021

Dear Members and Friends

The 2020/2021 year has been another difficult year for AMBC Victoria especially in the delivery of our programs that support bilateral trade with Malaysia.  Malaysia too has had a very difficult year with daily new cases of Covid-19 Delta variant exceeding 20,000.  This has led to severe restrictions in movement of people and the closure of some industries.

We have had to cancel a number of networking functions, seminars and briefings over the year due to the Covid-19 restrictions.  However, I can report that we did deliver a number of events during the early part of 2021 including a luncheon at Tian38, an economic update by Leigh Howard, Deputy Commissioner for Victoria in Kuala Lumpur, a networking function at Temple Brewery and a number of Speed Networking events with AMBC NSW/ACT and MABC in Kuala Lumpur.

To assist our members during these difficult times, we suspended membership fees for 6 months. These fees have now been reinstated as of 1 July this year and we ask all members to ensure that they have re-joined AMBC Victoria so that we are in the financial position to deliver our programs into the future.

We are currently planning to deliver two seminars in the coming months: City of Monash seminar will feature the opportunities for the construction sector in the City of Monash and the Franchising seminar will look at the opportunities in franchising with a focus on the legal requirements and the franchising regulations.  Our annual Malaysia Day Dinner has been postponed until Thursday 28 October and will be held at the Marriott Melbourne Hotel with Vivienne Nguyen AM, the Victorian Multicultural Commission chair as the guest speaker and entertainment from Cassidy La Crème.  Details of the dinner can be found under Events on the AMBC Victoria website at

During the year, we welcomed a new Life Member to AMBC Victoria: Colin Abbott has been a long-time member of the Business Council and a strong supporter of all our programs and events. Circa 2000, Colin Abbott joined the Australia Malaysia Business Council Victoria to prospect for new business for his family’s business Felton Grimwade & Bosisto’s Pty Ltd.  Colin had recently taken on the role of export manager and wished to introduce the company’s product range of healthcare products, initially to Sabah and then expand distribution throughout Malaysia and Singapore.  Success was had through Sime Darby who was instrumental in marketing the company’s product range.

In 2004, Colin established his own business consultancy focusing on South East Asia and then re-joined the family business in 2008 to assist the newly appointed Managing Director who had a Malaysian background.

Throughout this time, Colin was and still is an avid photographer.  In 2015, Colin joined the AMBC Victoria/Australia Asia Association cultural and business visit to Singapore and Sabah and more recently, he has had a book published highlighting his extraordinary skills as a photographer.
Throughout his time with AMBC Victoria, Colin has supported the Council through his participation in our events and through supplying his photographic books as a ‘thank you’ gift to guest speakers who have presented at AMBC events.  Colin is always willing to contribute and has supported all of the AMBC Victoria initiatives and together with his wife Heather, will continue to support and be part of the business council that has assisted him with his business and photographic endeavours.

Our membership numbers have remained fairly constant throughout the year.  We currently have 32 active members/organisations including three Life Members.  Obviously, Covid-19 restrictions have made service delivery difficult but we hope that the situation will change in the coming months and more businesses and individuals will join the business council.

I am pleased to report that the Victorian government has provided us with a grant to develop and deliver a number of seminars which will target regional areas of Victoria.  The seminar entitled Halal and Beyond will focus on food and beverage, pharmaceuticals and wellbeing products suited to the Malaysian market that can be showcased at Malaysia’s International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) in September 2022.  Further details will be made available in the near future.

This will be my final report as President and as a Board member of AMBC Victoria.  After 20+ years, I have decided to retire from the Board and pursue other interests.

I take this opportunity to thank all Board members for their service and support of the objects of AMBC Victoria.  In my role as President, I have been well supported by the two Vice Presidents – Josh Chye and Nathanael Kitingan, Trevor Haines as Treasurer and Public Officer and the three remaining Board members – Meileng Tam, Shok Kuan Ho and Ken Ong OAM.

I also take this opportunity to thank our Secretariat – Christine Rutter-Strangward.  Chris has worked tirelessly throughout the year ensuring that members and friends are kept up-to-date with events and the various changes brought about by the Covid-19 restrictions.  Chris also updates our website and social media pages and is the minute taker for the Council’s Board meetings which have been virtual this year.

Finally, I would like to thank you our members.  Without you we would not survive and I invite you to re-join the Council if you have not already done so.  I leave AMBC Victoria in a very sound financial position and with a Board that is dedicated to delivering the services and programs that benefit all members.

Yours sincerely,

Mike Anderson
Outgoing President &
Life Member