The Peak (Malaysia) - - Huawei Special -

May­bank, Malaysia’s largest fi­nan­cial ser­vices group and the lead­ing bank­ing group in South-East Asia, has been at the fore­front of golf de­vel­op­ment in the coun­try for the past decade. Its Chair­man, Tan Sri Me­gat Za­harud­din Me­gat Mohd Nor, ex­plains how the in­au­gu­ral May­bank Cham­pi­onship Malaysia, tak­ing place at the Royal Se­lan­gor Golf Club from 18 to 21 Fe­bru­ary, is an ex­ten­sion of its en­deav­ours to el­e­vate golf­ing stan­dards in Malaysia. What in­spired May­bank to cre­ate its own pres­ti­gious, in-house golf tour­na­ment? We are al­ready well-known as the ti­tle spon­sor of a key Euro­pean/ Asian tour­na­ment in this part of the world over the last 10 years. The May­bank Cham­pi­onship Malaysia (MCM) tour­na­ment is an in­no­va­tive step up to that and fur­ther en­hances our ASEAN fo­cus. More­over, golf will be fea­tured in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this year and our sup­port of some of the Pro­fes­sional Golf of Malaysia Tour (PGM) and the Pro­fes­sional Golfers As­so­ci­a­tion of Malaysia (PGAM) tour­na­ments, cou­pled with the MCM next month, should give our Malaysian pro­fes­sion­als more chances to ac­quire the World Rank­ing Points es­sen­tial for gain­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tions into the Olympics. How dif­fer­ent will it be from ex­ist­ing tour­na­ments al­ready on the cal­en­dar? If you look at what we have an­nounced so far, we have in­tro­duced a num­ber of dif­fer­en­tia­tors in the MCM. The first is the venue – the Royal Se­lan­gor Golf Club (RSGC) – which is host­ing an in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment af­ter a long time. It is of in­ter­na­tional class and has a set­ting that is truly dif­fer­ent from other golf­ing grounds.

There’s also the in­no­va­tion in player se­lec­tion. We will have the top play­ers from the Euro­pean and Asian Tours, and from the PGM and PGAM. We’re giv­ing an op­por­tu­nity to five ASEAN pro­fes­sion­als based on their Asian Tour Or­der of Merit, Asian De­vel­op­ment Tour Or­der of Merit and Na­tional Pro­fes­sional Golfers As­so­ci­a­tion of ASEAN Coun­tries – some­thing which no one else has done. Ad­di­tion­ally, there will be one top player from the Middle-East North African Tour, two who are not mem­bers of Euro­pean PGA and Asian Tours, as well as the high­es­tranked Malaysian in the Am­a­teur World Rank­ings and the Asia-Pa­cific Am­a­teur Masters Cham­pion.

We’ll also be hav­ing some ex­cit­ing spec­ta­tor ac­tiv­i­ties that we’ll an­nounce in due course. Our ob­jec­tive The re­vamped RSGC course will be a chal­leng­ing venue for the play­ers. For many of them, the cham­pi­onship of­fers them the chance to col­lect the much-de­sired World Rank­ing points to en­able qual­i­fi­ca­tion to the Olympics. We are also work­ing to make sure the venue will be ac­com­mo­dat­ing and ex­cit­ing to spec­ta­tor needs, build­ing on our past ex­pe­ri­ences and ideas on how to lev­er­age the club and its lo­ca­tion. For over­seas vis­i­tors, there is the draw of Kuala Lumpur it­self, a vi­brant city with a pic­turesque sky­line famed for its cul­ture, food, shop­ping and en­ter­tain­ment. May­bank has long been a sup­porter of golf. What are your thoughts on its de­vel­op­ment over the past decade and fu­ture hopes? From the grow­ing num­ber of pro­fes­sional tour­na­ments in Malaysia af­ter we first got in­volved, way back in 2006, the cal­i­bre of Malaysian play­ers, pro­fes­sional and am­a­teur, has cer­tainly been raised. But so have the non-Malaysian play­ers! In May­bank, we have not yet re­alised our (Malaysia’s) hope for a lo­cal cham­pion at our events over the last 10 years. But, hav­ing the right mix of ex­po­sure to in­ter­na­tional events, which re­quires men­tal fo­cus, ded­i­ca­tion and the de­sire to win, will pro­vide fur­ther im­pe­tus to our Malaysian play­ers. Of course, in the im­me­di­ate term, I’m hop­ing to see a Malaysian qual­ify for golf in the Rio Olympics and do well there! How does golf tie in with May­bank’s cor­po­rate en­deav­ours? Pur­suit of lead­er­ship in the game of golf needs many of the val­ues that May­bank be­lieves in. Among

Tan Sri Me­gat Za­harud­din Me­gat Mohd Nor at the Royal Se­lan­gor Golf Club, which will host the in­au­gu­ral May­bank Cham­pi­onship Malaysia next month.

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