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Board of Directors

General Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohd Shahrom Bin Dato’ Hj Nordin (Rtd)

(Independent Non-Executive Chairman)

General Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohd Shahrom Bin Dato’ Hj. Nordin (Rtd.) (“Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohd Shahrom”) (Malaysian/male, aged 73) was appointed as the Independent Non-Executive Chairman of the Board on 9 January 2018.

After his secondary education, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohd Shahrom was selected for Officer Cadet training at the Royal Military College, Kuala Lumpur in 1966 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the Royal Malay Regiment in 1968. He served in various appointments at command, staff, training and the diplomatic services levels and was the Chief of the Malaysia Army in 2003. Prior to that appointment, he was the Chief of Staff at the Armed Forces Headquarters.

Currently, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohd Shahrom is the Executive Director (Defence and Business Development) of the National Aerospace & Defence Industries Sdn Bhd (“NADI”) and also a Director of SME Ordance Sdn Bhd (SMEO), a subsidiary company of the NADI Group of Companies. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Retired Armed Forces Officers’ Association.

Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Palaniappan A/L Ramanathan Chettiar

(Group Managing Director)

Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Palaniappan A/L Ramanathan Chettiar (“Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Palan”) (Malaysian/male, aged 65) was appointed to the Board on 9 January 2018 and redesignated as Group Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer on 20 February 2018. He was then redesignated as Group Managing Director on 23 January 2019.

He completed his PhD (Education) at the Federation University, Ballarat, Australia, and the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School. He has authored 16 books including the Reflections of an Entrepreneur published by University Malaya Press. More details about Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Palan can be found at www.palan.org

He serves as the Pro-Chancellor of University of Cyberjaya (UoC). He is also the Executive Chairman of SMRT Holdings Berhad, a listed company on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad. He is also a Director on the Board of Directors, University of Malaya.

He was also recently appointed as a member of the Special Independent Committee to advise the Yang Di Pertua Agong on the state of Emergency.

He founded Yayasan Palan to support Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and his voluntary contributions include serving on non-profit organisations, both governmental and private.

Maha Ramanathan Palan

Executive Director

Maha Ramanathan Palan (“Maha Palan”) (Malaysian/male, aged 27) was appointed as Non-Independent Non-Executive Director to the Board on the 23 July 2018. He was redesignated as Executive Director on 30 March 2020.

He has a Masters in Financial Engineering from Imperial College London and a Bachelors (Hons) in Chemical Engineering from the University of Manchester.

Maha Palan currently leads the strategic turnaround initiative at Minda Global Berhad. Since his appointment on the Board, the Organisation has improved its academic credentials (as demonstrated by international rankings recognitions), reduced its cost base by over 25% while maintaining consistent, above industry average student enrolment growth rates of over 15% culminating in the Group’s first ever quarterly profit in Q4 2020.

Prior to his time at Minda, Maha Palan has served in investment-focused roles in firms including British Petroleum Plc, Piton Capital LLP and Maven Global LLP. During his tenure with these firms, he has invested in and helped grow a diverse range of companies that amongst other allowed for equitable access in market participation and improved the interoperability of energy infrastructure.

Maha Palan, alongside Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Palaniappan, is also a co-founder of The Palan Foundation, a registered non-profit organisation committed to improving the educational attainment of young disadvantaged individuals.

He is also a Director of SMRT Holdings Berhad, the majority shareholder of the company.

Tan Sri Datuk (Dr.) Rafiah Binti Salim


(Senior Independent Non-Executive Director)

Tan Sri Datuk (Dr.) Rafiah Binti Salim (“Tan Sri Datuk (Dr.) Rafiah”)(Malaysian/female, aged 74) was appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director to the Board on 9 January 2018 and redesignated as Senior Independent Non-Executive Director on 20 February 2018. She is the Chairman of Nomination and Remuneration Committee and a member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee.

Tan Sri Datuk (Dr.) Rafiah graduated with a Masters and a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from Queen’s University, Belfast, United Kingdom and was awarded an honorary Doctorate by the same University in 2002. She was called to the Malaysian Bar in 1988.

Tan Sri Datuk (Dr.) Rafiah has excellent service records within both the domestic public and private sectors, and international environment. She has served as a Lecturer, Deputy Dean and Dean of the Law Faculty of University of Malaya, Assistant Governor of the Central Bank of Malaysia, Human Resource General Manager of Malayan Banking Berhad and the Assistant Secretary General for United Nations Human Resource Management in New York. Tan Sri Datuk (Dr.) Rafiah was previously an Executive Director of the International Centre for Leadership in Finance and in 2006, she was appointed as the first female Vice-Chancellor in Malaysia posted to University of Malaya.

Tan Sri Datuk (Dr.) Rafiah is currently the Chairman of Allianz Malaysia Berhad, Allianz General Insurance Company (Malaysia) Berhad and Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre Berhad. Tan Sri Datuk (Dr.) Rafiah is also a director of Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Berhad.

Professor Colonel Tan Sri Datuk Wira Dr Hj Mohd Shukor Bin Haji Mahfar (Rtd)

(Independent Non-Executive Director)

Tan Sri Datuk Wira Dr. Mohd Shukor Bin Mahfar (“Tan Sri Datuk Wira Dr. Mohd Shukor”) (Malaysian/male, aged 65), was appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director to the Board on 9 January 2018. He is the Chairman of the Audit and Risk Management Committee and a member of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee.

He started his career as a Bank Officer back in 1978. He later joined the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia as an Assessment Officer. He then quickly rose through the ranks and was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer in January 2011 until his retirement in December 2016.

Tan Sri Datuk Wira Dr. Mohd Shukor was elected as the President of the Malaysian Association of Statutory Bodies and Chairman of The Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA); and was awarded the CEO of the Year 2015 by The European Emerging Markets Awards and received the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award – Outstanding Contribution in Shaping People by The Asia HRD Award.

Tan Sri Datuk Wira Dr. Mohd Shukor holds a Bachelor of Economics with University Malaya, a Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science with Malaysia University of Technology, and Master of Taxation and Doctor of Public Administration with the Golden Gate University, USA. He also received an Honorary Doctor of Management from Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) and Asia Metropolitan University.

In July 2020, Tan Sri Datuk Wira Dr. Mohd Shukor has been appointed as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Universiti Utara Malaysia. He also serves as the Chairman of McMillan Woods National Tax Firm and MSM Management Advisory. Tan Sri Datuk Wira Dr. Mohd Shukor is currently a Director of Paragon Globe Berhad (formerly known as Goh Ban Huat Berhad) and Censof Holdings Berhad. He is also an Advisor to Century Software (M) Sdn Bhd.

Dato’ Tan Choon Hwa @ Esther Tan Choon Hwa

Independent Non-Executive Director

Dato’ Tan Choon Hwa @ Esther Tan Choon Hwa (“Dato’ Esther Tan”)(Malaysian/female, aged 71), was appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director to the Board on 9 January 2018. She is a member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee.

She is a Fellow Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (FCA), a Member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) and a Fellow Member of the Chartered Tax Institute of Malaysia.

Dato’ Esther Tan began her career as an auditor with Grant Thornton in UK and later with Kingston Smith in UK before coming back to Malaysia. In 1984, she started her practice which eventually merged to be what is known as GEP Associates. The firm is a member firm of an International Organisation called AGN International with its headquarters in the United Kingdom boasting of 465 offices worldwide. In 2008 and 2009, Dato’ Esther Tan became its first lady Chairperson to lead the international organisation and is today still an active Board member in the Asia Pacific region.

In 2006, Dato’ Esther Tan received the award from the National Association of Women Entrepreneur Malaysia as “The Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” under the Finance section. 

Dato’ Esther Tan currently also sits as director of Poh Kong Holdings Berhad and MK Land Holdings Berhad.