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Sunway University hosts forum to help businesses and individuals navigate the pandemic


Upon being hit by the wave of pandemic for over a year, it has become increasingly crucial for the nation to adapt to the new normal. However, many businesses and workforces were and still are affected by lockdowns and social restrictions imposed to flatten the curve. The World Bank stated that this pandemic has caused the deepest recession since the Second World War. 

Pandenomics’ represents the union between pandemic and economics and it has become evident that COVID-19 has gravely impacted the global economy.

Sunway Project for Asian and International Relations (Sunway PAIR) club has conducted an open-to-public virtual forum, “Pandenomics: Global Economic Sentiment to COVID-19”, to address the public's concern on the pandemic that has adversely affected multiple industries. 

This forum aims to provide a platform for future business owners to learn from industry leaders on business sustainability during unprecedented times. It also intends to create a space for individuals anxious about the future of their careers and gain insight on how to survive and succeed in a competitive employment market.

“With the shift in teaching and learning trends moving towards entrepreneurship, we need to have graduates who not only seek employment, but who can also help create jobs too. Current students, graduates, and many of you in the workforce need to be retrained and upskilled to ensure that you stay relevant and be up-to-date according to the shifts in the job environment,” said Professor Elizabeth Lee, CEO of Sunway Education Group in her welcoming address. 

 “In economic terms, the biggest lesson from this pandemic is: if you don’t control COVID-19, COVID-19 will control you. Because of the very rapid vaccination in the wealthy and developed countries, they are beginning to control it and recover,” said Tan Sri Andrew Sheng, Pro-Chancellor of Bristol University & Distinguished Fellow of Asia Global Institute during his keynote. 

He added that the pandemic had widened the gap not only between rich and poor nations but also among businesses and members of society. The rich and elite have better access to resources, allowing them to work and do business online while the small traders and daily-wage earners are struggling. 

The forum was divided into two parts where the first session was titled ‘Business Pivot: A Survival Tool During Pandemic,’ and was centred on business sustainability and survival. The panelists who attended were Sarena Cheah Yean Tih, Executive Director of Sunway Group; Nadiah Wan, CEO & Group Chief Executive Officer of Thomson Hospital Kota Damansara; Smita Kuriakose, Senior Economist in the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice, World Bank; Vimala Murugan, Deputy Senior Director, Industrial Development Division, Ministry of International Trade and Industry; Nicholas Khaw Hock-Lu, Head of Research, Economist, Khazanah Nasional Berhad (KNB), and was moderated by Jason Jonathan Omar, Co-founder and CEO of Talent Shop Co.

The second session was titled ‘Graduation = Unemployment? Labour Market Under COVID-19 Crisis’ and emphasized on the unemployment issues in Malaysia. The panelists attended were Chook Yuh Yng, Chief Growth Officer, Careers and Connect Platform, SEEK Asia; Vinesh Naidu, Human Capital Leader of PwC Malaysia; Clayton Tan Ju Chiae, Senior General Manager, Head of Organization Development of Sunway Group; Sophia Ang Wui Jiun, Executive VP, Head, Talent Attraction and Workplace Futurisation, Maybank; Danial Abdul Rahman, Director of the CEO’s office, Sunway Education Group, and was moderated by Kelvin Tay, Founder and podcast host of Renegade Radio, Podcast Host. (check?)

“During the pandemic, we saw how this lack of trust in institutions caused significant harm. That is why the challenge for us is to restore hope in the people, to trust institutions, that the Federal Constitution is still worthy of upholding, that our system of parliamentary democracy can get us out of this pandemic,” said Yang Amat Mulia Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin, Trustee of Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, Founding President of Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs during his closing address.

The full video of the virtual forum is available for the public on Sunway PAIR Facebook page.