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2023 Exco

Ir Dr Shawn Tan


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.

Danial Rahman

Vice President (Oxon)

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.

Dr Yen Chua

Vice President (Cantab)

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.

Dr Zamir Zulkefli


Zamir is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia. His research focus is in acoustics and he is also passionate about the commercialization of local innovations. Recently, as an ASEAN Science & Technology Fellow he worked with the Commercialization Division at MOSTI to look at the role of science parks in enabling Malaysia’s commercialization ecosystem. Zamir received both his bachelor and master degrees in aerospace engineering from Boston University, his PhD in mechanical engineering from Case Western Reserve University, and his MBA from the University of Cambridge.

Patrick Helson


Patrick 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.

Hema Letchamanan

Communications Officer

Hema is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Director at the School of Education, Taylor’s University. Her main area of work is on education for children from vulnerable and at-risk populations, and how children who are disadvantaged can receive the support they need to be able to effectively participate in society. She also works with alternative learning centres in the areas of curriculum development and teacher training. Hema is the co-founder of Projek BacaBaca, a literacy project aimed at reducing learning poverty in Malaysia. In the last three years, the project has helped over 150 children to read at grade level in Bahasa Melayu and English. Hema read Comparative and International Education at Green Templeton College, Oxford University. When she is not working, she enjoys travelling and catching up on TV series.

Emma Davidson


Emma read PPE at Corpus Christi, Oxford, 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.

Prof Gerard Bodeker


Dr. Gerry Bodeker, an Australian, whose doctoral studies were at Harvard, 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. An Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University, New York, and in integrative medicine at the University of Western Sydney, Gerry has worked with a number of UN agencies, including the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and the UN Development Program, and is currently working with the Asian Development Bank on a book and policy frameworks for Wellness in Asia. 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. He is a Fellow of the International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry.

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.

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.

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

Mark Disney


Mark Disney is from Nottingham in the UK. He is a longstanding Exco member and a Past President of the Society. After leaving Oxford with a degree in Literature and Language – so with few practical skills and minimal knowledge of the ‘East’ – he headed for Malaysia in 1992. During this time he accumulated a wife, three children, a dog called Cyril, and a broad experience of Malaysia’s various education sectors.

He has taught literature, history, and comparative religion at a private university, published and edited two higher education magazines, run a regional vocational qualifications business, and finally returned to teaching literature and language in the peace and calm of Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar in Negeri Sembilan.

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.

Chacko Vadaketh


Chacko is an actor, voice-over artist and host. He has appeared in shows  on CBS, Cinemax, BBC, Channel 4, USA, TV3, Mediacorp, HBO. He has narrated documentaries on History Channel, Nat Geo and hosted/moderated for ASTRO and in Los Angeles, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Bangalore and for a number of virtual webinars and events during the pandemic. He has voiced advertising campaigns and animation characters. He trains using acting skills in the workplace for multinationals and NGOs. He was a medico-legal litigator with Shearn Delamore and chaired the Law & Ethics Committee of the Malaysian AIDS Council. He is also on the board of Rimau that aims to save the critically endangered Malayan Tiger and AngsanaCare that helps with the mental well being of very ill children in government hospitals. He read Law and Archaeology & Anthropology at Pembroke College, Cambridge and is a Barrister of Lincoln’s Inn. 

Dr 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.

Sutheshan Shanmugarajah


Sutheshan Shanmugarajah, popularly known as “Shan”, is a graduate of Judge Business School and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He is a seasoned Corporate Strategist with professional experience spanning Financial Services and Telecommunication sectors, with special interest in Innovation. He is a Chartered Banker with the Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers.

Allen Ng


Allen read Economics at Christ’s College, Cambridge. He is currently the Chief Economist of Securities Commission Malaysia. Previously he was a director of research at Khazanah Research Institute – an independent think-tank established by Malaysia’s strategic investment fund, and an economist for over a decade in Bank Negara Malaysia – the central bank of Malaysia. He is also a Chevening Alumnus.