Sports Direct, Jeffrey Cheah named winners at BMCC Business Excellence Awards

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on June 21, 2019.

(From left) Hay, Ong, Sports Direct managing director Paul Gibbons, Guan Eng and Sill at the Business Excellence Awards. Photo by Kenny Yap

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KUALA LUMPUR: Sports Direct MST Sdn Bhd clinched the UK-Malaysia Business of the Year title at the Business Excellence Awards organised by the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (BMCC) yesterday.

The award recognises a British company investing in Malaysia or a Malaysian company investing in the UK, having displayed a stellar track record of investment in each other’s country by building on its successful local business and bringing mutual economic benefits to both nations.

Sunway Group founder and chairman Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah was named the UK-Malaysia Business Personality of the Year for his outstanding contributions to bilateral trade and business between Malaysia and the UK.

Held for the second year, the 2019 edition of the BMCC Business Excellence Awards took place at the St Regis hotel. It seeks to offer a heightened standard of recognition to companies and individuals that have excelled and progressed the business landscape of the UK and Malaysia.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Ong Kian Ming, British High Commissioner to Malaysia HE Charles Hay and BMCC chairman Andrew Sill graced the event.

Another winner was Sunway Medical Centre which bagged the Outstanding UK-Malaysia Partnership Award for successfully partnering with a UK counterpart.

PwC Malaysia won the Diversity and Inclusion Award, having proven its strong commitment to developing an inclusive workforce and establishing effective strategies, policies and programmes to drive diversity.

Capital DK emerged a winner under the Innovation category, while the Social Enterprise of the Year award, a new category introduced this year, was claimed by Teach For Malaysia.

The sponsors of yesterday’s event included The Edge, Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp Malaysia (HSBC Malaysia), Sunway Medical Centre, Henry Goh & Co Sdn Bhd, Eco World International Bhd, Petrofac Malaysia Ltd, Tesco Stores Malaysia, DDGI Ltd and CIMA SE Asia while acknowledging its partnerships with the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Royal Selangor, British Airways, Malaysia Airlines Bhd, Triumph, MINI Malaysia and The Legian Bali.

In his speech, HSBC Malaysia chief executive officer Stuart Milne said the BMCC Awards are a celebration of everything that is great about UK-Malaysia collaboration and also encouraging the development of increasingly robust ties between the two countries.

“The UK and Malaysia have enjoyed a strong and enduring relationship. This has evolved significantly in a rapidly changing global environment. The time is right for both countries to boost the level of engagement.

“The UK is only Malaysia’s 19th largest trading partner, so there is much to be done to increase the flow of trade and investments between our two countries,” he added.

BMCC’s Sill said it was inspiring to see many companies of various backgrounds stepping forward to nominate themselves this year for the awards.

“There was a noticeable increase in quality submission, signifying the level of depth and a positive sense of pride placed into these nominations.

“Collectively, all our nominating companies presented strong cases of synergies, value creation and contributions to the overall economy, doing so by capitalising on the best of UK-Malaysian expertise,” Sill added.

The BMCC, established in 1963, sets to advance bilateral trade relations between the UK and Malaysia.