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2019 Exco

Emma Davidson
Emma read PPE at Corpus Christi and has lived in Malaysia since 1997 with her Malaysian husband and their children. She left the world of insurance and loss adjusting for the more soul satisfying work of being a teacher. After 7 years with the British Council, she now teaches at Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar, which she initially joined to help open their new primary school in 2013. She is the Deputy Head of the Sixth Form at KTJ and especially focuses on creating and running outreach events. In her free time, she enjoys open water swimming and long distance running and has successfully competed in many Oxford-Cambridge Boat races in Malaysia organised by the Society.

Gerard Bodeker
Vice President (Oxford)
Dr. Gerry Bodeker researches and advises on international public policy on integrative medicine and wellness. An Australian, whose doctoral studies were at Harvard, he has held research and teaching appointments in the Division of Medical Sciences at the University of Oxford for two decades and is a member of Oxford’s Green Templeton College. He is Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University, New York. Gerry has worked with a number of UN agencies, including WHO, the World Bank and FAO and is currently working with the United Nations University on Asian dietary traditions in preventing non-communicable diseases. He has worked with the Qatar Foundation on cultural traditions of wellness in the Islamic world and chairs the Mental Wellness Initiative of the Global Wellness Institute. In Malaysia, he produced a book on Malaysian health traditions and is a co-founder of a natural-products R&D Company working on tropical medicinal plants for skin repair. He is a Fellow of the International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry.

Shawn Tan
Vice President (Cambridge)
Shawn Tan has a PhD in Engineering from Magdalene College, Cambridge. He is a Chartered Engineer who has been programming since the late-80s. A former research fellow and academic, he minds his own business at Aeste while serving as an industry advisor to universities. He attempts to hack the operating system of society by reading Law. He designs open-source micro-processors for fun (and profit). He can usually be caught reading a good book.

Max Purser
Max is an agricultural consultant and keeps himself busy with multiple projects around the region. As a father of four children he looks forward to reading an article or chapter of a book without being interrupted. He is coach for the KL Tigers Rugby Club U5s which keeps him on his toes. Max graduated with an BAgSc from University College Dublin and an MBA from Jesus College, Cambridge.

Faisal Ariff
Faisal runs a tech startup after a career in investment management in the UK, Singapore and Malaysia. He studied Law at Peterhouse, Cambridge and Columbia University, New York where he was a Fulbright Scholar. His hobbies include photography, reading, writing, indoor soccer and computer games.


Elizabeth Lee
Elizabeth Lee cannot deliver babies; her doctorates are honoris causa. She considers herself just a humble teacher at heart, who has been denied her great love for playing the female role of To Sir With Love to now indulge in her self professed hobby of managing a group of private education institutions including 2 Universities, a medical school, schools of all levels from the kindergarten years and Colleges of Higher Education all over Malaysia. She finds shopping a chore and tries desperately to understand the alien language & planet her children seem to have migrated to whilst dragging a totally bewildered partner-for-life to catch up on what she’s up to through Twitter. For her sins of involving herself too much in Oxbridge Society events, she has been serving in “EXCO” for as long as she can remember & was even its first Madam President.

Chook Yuh Yng
Chook Yuh Yng is a graduate in Engineering from Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Unfortunately she does not have any specific skills or hobbies but likes poking her nose into new things. In the past, she has initiated events such as The Oxbridge Malaysia Boat Race and Oxbridge Alumni-Students Mentorship Program. During her free time, she actually just likes spending time with her family at home. Fortunately she contributes more to the society at work. Yuh Yng is the Country Manager for Malaysia and Singapore, and jobsDB Singapore. She works hard to uphold the company’s purpose of Improving Lives through Better Careers, and is passionate about anything hiring or career related.

Melissa Kong
Melissa cares deeply about addressing the issue of education inequity in Malaysia. She currently works at Teach For Malaysia, and was a Fellow in their 2014 Cohort who taught English in a FELDA kampong school in rural Negeri Sembilan. Outside of her day job, Melissa moonlights as a performer and studies musical theatre with Monday Show School. She graduated with a Master in Chemistry from St Hilda’s College, Oxford.

Balraj Pannu
Balraj read law at Keble College, Oxford. This was because his dad was very clear that he could study anything he wanted, as long as it was law or medicine. Anyway, he trained as a solicitor in London and Hong Kong with Slaughter and May. After a stint of voluntary work in India with meditation research, he moved on to doing business predominantly in private equity investee companies. The most fun was a founding Malaysia’s best wellness centre as part of a property company health branding drive. This allowed him to live his yoga teacher dream – he taught yoga to a Malaysian Sultanah, Tun Badawi and KJ. He is now engaged with a Indian telemedicine start up and a European muscle activation tech business. There is a suspicion that he is trying to go into the medical line without looking like he is going into the medical line.

John Teng
John Teng Yong Shen is a graduate in Land Economy from Wolfson College (Cambridge). As an great lover of eggs, he admits to eating up to six eggs daily and find them in all manners of preparation delightfully scrumptious. When he isn’t at work wandering through a forest of data, massaging data, sieving for insights, or slicing it up in creative and exciting ways, he would be looking for new ways to chop and dice information. He often challenges himself in his gym workouts – he thinks it might be an artifact of overcompensating for his sense of self-insecurity. In his spare time, he daydreams about how possible technology of the future would shape the way we live and how we organize ourselves as a global (or interplanetary) society.

Margaret Hall
Margaret graduated from St. Anne’s College, Oxford in 1972 with a degree in Geology and is a past-President of the Society. She worked in the oil industry in London and lived in Denmark for a year before moving to work in the oil industry in KL in 1983. She has been a member of the Society since the 1980s and a committee member for many years. Margaret’s main contributions have been in the area of education: an English Language programme for FELDA primary school teachers in 1996 and the annual Oxbridge English Language Event and the Sunway Oxbridge Essay Competition since their inception in 2003 and 2014 respectively

Patrick Helson is a Director of Swordbridge Sdn. Bhd. Patrick was formerly with Actis LLP, the emerging markets’ private equity investor. He holds Masters Degrees in Law (Cambridge University) and Economics (London University). He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Mark Disney
Mark has recently celebrated 25 years in Malaysia working in the education sector as a lecturer, publisher, consultant, and exam board COO. He has also accumulated a wife, three children, and an emotional attachment to his adopted country. He is the immediate Past President of the Oxbridge Malaysia society and currently teaches A Level students about Life, Literature, and how to get into top universities.

Sharifah Bakar Ali
Sharifah is an independent consultant providing advice in the areas of financial and capital markets. She also advises her clients on strategy formulation and transformation initiatives. Prior to this, Sharifah was the Head, South East Asia Business Development for Gatehouse Bank Kuala Lumpur Representative Office, a position she held from May, 2013 to March 2016. She previously worked as an investment banker in Malaysia and the Kingdom of Bahrain specialising in the areas of debt capital markets and Islamic finance. Sharifah was instrumental in the completion of landmark real estate securitisation transactions in Asia, namely the Government of Malaysia’s and the Kingdom of Bahrain’s inaugural Residential Mortgage Backed Securitisation transactions in 2004 and 2008 respectively. She has also successfully led large deal teams in executing Sukuk and other Islamic finance transactions in South East Asia where she project-managed the due diligence process. Sharifah was awarded a Chevening Scholarship by the British government in 2010 to pursue a Master in Business Administration degree at Cambridge Judge Business School. She graduated from CJBS in 2011. Sharifah is also a Chartered Accountant and a Certified Public Accountant.

Yen Chua
Yen is the co-founder and CEO of Science Bridge Academy, a science education company with a mission to inspire the next generation of scientists. She is also a mother of two adorable children. When she is not working or dealing with her energetic kids, she likes to spend time reading or relaxing with friends. Yen graduated with a PhD in geotechnical engineering from Churchill College, Cambridge.

Danial Rahman
Danial is a director at the Sunway Education Group, one of Malaysia’s largest education groups with over 16 institutions and 30,000 students. His passion for education has seen him serve at Malaysia’s education and higher education ministries as the press secretary to the former minister. He has also taken an education technology startup public on the Australian Securities Exchange. An experienced communicator, he has hosted a tv-show and is a newspaper columnist. Danial graduated with a Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL), the postgraduate law degree, from the University of Oxford. He has two adorable cats with their own Instagram account, @tuanramses.