PETALING JAYA: Khazanah Nasional Bhd has made a foreign appointment to its board for the first time.
This confirms a StarBiz report published last October which said that the state-owned investment arm could see some foreign appointments, including that of a Chinese national who is the founder of one of China’s largest artificial intelligence (AI) firms.
Khazanah yesterday in a statement named SenseTime founder and Chinese national Prof Tang Xiao’ou as one of its three new directors.
He is a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Department of Information Engineering, and the associate director of the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology of the Chinese Academy of Science.
Founded in 2014 by Tang, SenseTime is a leading AI company focused on computer vision and deep learning.
Tang, who is considered an influential AI scientist, holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is also a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Malaysian Lau Seng Yee (pic), who is the senior executive vice-president and group marketing and global branding chairman of China’s tech giant Tencent Holding, was also appointed to the board.
He was recognised as the Global Media Person of the Year in 2015 by Cannes Lions, being the first person from Asia to receive the award. Former recipients include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, former Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer and former Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt.
Khazanah also appointed the Attorney General’s Chambers advisory division head Toh Puan Azian Mohd Aziz to the board.
In StarBiz’s Oct 8 edition, it was reported that Khazanah could see some foreign appointments to its board of directors as part of its strategy to tap on diverse expertise.
A source had told StarBiz then that the appointments would also be largely in line with Khazanah’s emphasis on Chinese investments.
The appointment of the three new directors effective June 26 brings the strength of Khazanah’s board to nine members.
“Khazanah welcomed the new members at its board meeting today and looks forward to continue working closely with the board led by our chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in delivering on our mandate as the sovereign wealth fund of Malaysia,” Khazanah said in the statement.
The entire board of Khazanah resigned in July last year, around two months after Barisan Nasional was defeated in the general election on May 9.
Former EPF CEO Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan was appointed as the managing director to replace Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar.
Other new directors appointed post the en bloc resignation were Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, former Petroliam Nasional Bhd president and chief executive Tan Sri Hassan Marican, former Bank Negara deputy governor Sukhdave Singh and former Securities Commission executive director Goh Ching Yin.