Global Transformation Forum 2015

Global Transformation Forum 2015

About GTB 2015

Global Transformation Forum 2015

Date : 22nd October 2015

Time : 8:00 am – 2:00 pm

Venue : Ministry of Works, Kuala Lumpur

The first of its kind and organized by Big Fast Results Institute, this forum brought together extraordinary people from governments, industries and global organizations to generously share about their experience in transforming themselves, their organizations and their countries.

60 members of PFAA managed to get themselves to this prestigious forum, of which 40 tickets were generously allocated to us by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, while the remaining 20 were graciously provided by the organizer.

There were numerous notable speakers, including but not limited to Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Razak,  Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Governor of California, Carl Lewis, Olympic Champion, Kiran Bedi, activist, Pierluigi Collina, Chief Refereeing Officer, Union of European Football Association and Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, CEO of Air Asia Group.

Our favourite, besides The Terminator, was the Premier Forum, where four former prime ministers and presidents shared the stage to share how they lead the transformation of their respective countries.


The session started with each former premier talking about the transformation that occurred under his or her leadership. Then Lorraine Hahn, the moderator, asked how they could keep on par with other countries in this fast paced changing economy.

Kevin Rudd, the former Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia, said that they overcame the global economic crisis by crafting early interventions to prevent the fall of financial institutions. Rather than saying it was not possible for the country to avoid recession, they asked, “What could we do to make it possible?” Eventually Australia succeeded and was the only major developed economy that evaded the economic crisis. Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, said that she had a very strong team of ministers, who were essential in strengthening the cabinet’s capacity in analyzing risk and managing it.

Former Prime Minister of Singapore Goh Chok Tong attributed the government’s success in the 17th Singapore General Election to trust between the government and people. Effective communication with the people instigated this trust. Whether it was politics, climate change or economics, the government must be aware of the challenges faced by the country and effectively communicate policies to the citizens. This trust allowed them to take measures that were painful in the short-term but rewarding in the long-term.

On the issue of trust, Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, observed two mottos as a politician, that is, never promise what you cannot deliver and never do things you promised not to do. Nevertheless in countries with diverse demographics, trust becomes more difficult to be earned. “I think building a sense of nationhood is a challenge. We have to overcome those divisions,” said Calrk. Rudd added that migrants who obtained their Australian citizenships were there to build a new nation, and that the divisions that existed in their original countries should not be brought forward. Goh firmly believed in a fair, just and equal society. When the Muslim community struggled to tender for lands to build mosques, the Mosque Building and Mendaki Fung (MBMF) was introduced to raise funds from Muslim employees to build mosques in new housing estates.

But what if trust is lost? Kevin Rudd said the leader had to acknowledge his or her mistake, apologize and explain to the people what would be done differently this time. Goh very appropriately said he would have stepped down if that precious trust were lost from the people.

And finally, Jorge Quiroga, former President of Bolivia, wrapped up by sharing the five principles he thought democracy should have – (1) Free, fair and transparent elections; (2) Independent institutions; (3) Free press; (4) Oppositions can express their point of view without being criminalized; and (5) Rule from wisdom.

Prepared by,

Lydia Hong.


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