Business

Ex-presidential hopeful to be president of Malay chamber of commerce

Former presidential aspirant Farid Khan will be the new president of the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SMCCI). He was the only candidate when nominations closed last Friday.

The 64-year-old - who wanted to take part in the presidential election in 2017 but was deemed ineligible - told The Straits Times he is confident that he can better serve Singapore in this new capacity.

"I am a businessman, and I feel this is where I can better contribute and give back to the country," said the chairman of marine services provider Bourbon Offshore Asia. "I see this as an opportunity for me to help the business community."

Mr Farid took two weeks to decide if he should run for the post after the SMCCI broached the matter with him.

The new board is expected to take over after SMCCI's annual general meeting on May 31. Its term will run for two years till 2021.

Mr Farid had applied to run in the presidential election in 2017, which was reserved for Malay candidates. But he was deemed ineligible as he fell short of the criterion of helming companies with $500 million in shareholder equity in the most recent three years, a key threshold required for private-sector candidates.

Mr Farid, who will replace technopreneur Shamir Rahim - the chamber's president since 2017 - hopes to groom more young entrepreneurs and to continue digitalisation efforts to help businesses transform.

Mr Shamir, chief executive of transport management start-up VersaFleet, is stepping down to focus on his company's growth.

The 36-year-old, who became the SMCCI's youngest president at age 34, will work with the new board to ensure a smooth transition. - THE STRAITS TIMES

BUSINESS & FINANCE