Wednesday, March 21, 2007

MNC-CIGRE 12th AGM...A Reflection

On Tuesday 12th March 2007, the Malaysian National Commitee of CIGRE or MNC-CIGRE held its 12th Annual General Meeting at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

CIGRE (International Council on Large Electric Systems) is one of the leading worldwide Organizations on Electric Power Systems, covering their technical, economic, environmental, organisational and regulatory aspects. A permanent, non-governmental and non-profit International Association, based in France, CIGRE was founded in 1921 and aims to:

* Facilitate and develop the exchange of engineering knowledge and information, between engineering personnel and technical specialists in all countries as regards generation and high voltage transmission of electricity.
* Add value to the knowledge and information exchanged by synthesizing state-of-the-art and world practices.
* Make managers, decision-makers and regulators aware of the synthesis of CIGRE's work, in the area of electric power.

More specifically, issues related to planning and operation of power systems, as well as design, construction, maintenance and disposal of HV equipment and plants are at the core of CIGRE's mission. Problems related to protection of power systems, telecontrol, telecommunication equipment and information systems are also part of CIGRE's area of concern.
MNC-CIGRE was estbilished in Malaysia in 1996 by a group of forward looking engineers from TNB and other industry players and to date it is celebrating the 11th year of its establishment. The MNC-CIGRE is an affiliate to the Paris based CIGRE and it is governed by a constitution with members from the Malaysian power industry and managed by bi-annually elected executive commitee members comprising of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Honorary Secretary and an Honorary Treasurer. Traditionally, the Chairman of the MNC-CIGRE also holds the highest executive position in TNB being the leader in the power industry here in Malaysia. Currently, the Chairman of the MNC-CIGRE is Dato Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Nor, the CEO/President of TNB.

On personal note, I have been involved with the MNC-CIGRE since its establishment in 1996. In 2003, I was elected as the Honorary Secretary after the previous secretary, Mr Ahmad Ali of Malakoff Berhad stepped down from this position. My current term (third term) will end next year but having held this position for more than four years now, I have decided to call it a day.

Actually my desire to step down has started last year due to the increase work load and responsibility in the office. The decision finally culminated about three weeks ago when I wrote a personal letter to the Chairman expressing my desire to step down during this years AGM. In my letter, I explained the reasons on why I would like to ask his permission to resign from the secretary position. Essentially, I cited the increase responsibility and the need to focus my attention more in my daily work to ensuring system security and also, to inject fresh air into the management of the MNC-CIGRE. It took about ten days before I finally knew that the chairman has accepted my resignation albeit he regretted the request but have to respect my decision, from his written response to me.

During the AGM after all usual business matters were over, the chairman made a special announcement about the resignation and I was actually touched by his open praises and appreciations to me on whatever little contributions to MNC-CIGRE I have made over the years. In fact, he also jokingly said that my resignation was due to my promotion or in anticipation of a promotion and this got our VP, who was also present, felt uneased a bit. This is something new to me as things like this never happened to me before. After all, its not everyday that you can get appreciated from your bosses let alone your CEO.

The AGM proceeded with a simple election to elect a new Secretary. In my letter to the chairman, I also indicated my choice of a successor and to my surprise he totally agreed and accepted my proposal and announced it in the AGM. Thus, Dr Ridzal Othman was unanimously elected as the new MNC-CIGRE Secretary until next year AGM.

After the AGM was over, all of us proceeded to a special room for a 'high-tea' luncheon. Well, I wouldn't call it 'high-tea' as it was already 7.00 PM by that time. During the luncheon, I sat beside the chairman and chatted with him and others on things not related to the company or work. I could see how comfortable and relax he was when we talked during the luncheon. I guess, being a CEO at such age, he might find talking to people at about his age more relaxing and enjoyable. After all, we don't talk about KPIs or issues related to the company but rather general issues on social behavior and happenings around the nation. Actually, I have spoken to him on few formal occassions before but I really know now that despite his seemingly serious and high social status, he is actually like most of us but you really have to catch him at the right moment and place to discover...

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