Final race for top spots in business awards

In discussion: (from left) Datuk Koong, Raja Badrulnizam and Datuk Bahria deliberating on who takes the top awards for SOBA 2022, during the final judging session at Menara Star.

THE final push towards deciding the top winners of the Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) began yesterday at Menara Star in Petaling Jaya.

These awards are for the “Malaysian Business of the Year” and newly introduced category, the “Elite Entrepreneur of the Year”.


The Malaysian Business of the Year award represents the pinnacle of SOBA and is awarded in two sales turnover tiers – up to RM25mil and RM25mil and above.

It takes a wide range of criteria into consideration, from the clarity in the company’s vision to its track record, financial stability and achievements, management methods, differentiation, and finally, its environmental, social and governance or ESG initiatives.

Panel judges will decide which of the six finalists (three in each tier) will pick up the coveted award for each tier. The winner for the respective tiers can stand proud as the best in the market with an exemplary track record in most areas.

Judges will also confirm who out of the six finalists vying for the Elite Entrepreneur of the Year spot will win the new award, following the respective tiers, from the par excellence Young, Male and Female winners.

The panel of judges include Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) Strategic Planning Division senior director Raja Badrulnizam Raja Kamalzaman (who is also the final round’s chief judge), the International Trade and Industry Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Bahria Mohd Tamil and Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia treasurer-general Datuk Koong Lin Loong.

Shortlisted candidates from the second round judging, which was held on Jan 5, were identified based on the judges’ aggregated top scores.

No separate application is required for both categories of awards as those are selected out of the shortlisted participants by the final panel judges.

Each participant is allocated 10 minutes to represent themselves virtually before the panel judges, as well as a five-minute question-and-answer session after that.

Upcoming events will include an exclusive SOBA Prestige event, curated for the SOBA Alumni, which consist of winners since 2010.

This will be held at Skyhill International, Avante Hotel, Petaling Jaya on Feb 16, 7pm onwards. Attendance is by invitation only.

This will be followed by the grand gala event on March 9, the SOBA Gala Night, where the winners will be announced at the KLCC Grand Ballroom, Kuala Lumpur.

SOBA 2022 is organised by Star Media Group Bhd (SMG) with Credit Guarantee Corp Malaysia Bhd, Digi, PKT Logistics Group and RHB Bank Bhd as main sponsors, TalentCorp Malaysia as co-sponsor and Matrade as official trade promotion partner.

Supported by Bursa Malaysia, it is audited by BDO with 988 and Suria as official media partners.

For more information on SOBA 2022, call SMG Events at 017-231 1789 or visit

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Soba , awards , criteria , tiers , shortlist , finalists , BDO


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