Further to the 12th Annual General Meeting (21 Apr. 2018), the 2018-2020 SHS COMMITTEE is composed as follows :

President:         Dato Sri Robert Jacob Ridu

Vice President: James S L Yong

Secretary:        Sharifah Nur Hannah

Treasurer:        Anna Wee Chiaw Sek

Committee members:

          Arif Arabi

          Francis Frey

                          Dr Nicholas Gani

                          Sonia Luhong Wan

                          Prof. Dr Tarmiji Masron

Past Presidents:

(VI) 2016 – 2018 : Dato Sri Robert Jacob Ridu (20/03/2016 – 21/04/2018)
2014 – 2016
: Karen Shepherd (07/03/2014 – 20/03/2016)
(IV) 2012 – 2014 : Hong Boon Kheng (16/03/2012 – 07/03/2014)
(III) 2010 – 2012 : Joseph Ingai Gasing (05/03/2010 – 16/03/2012)
(II)  2008 – 2010 : Mike Boon Chee Khian (28/03/2008 – 05/03/2010)
(I)   2006 – 2008 : Datu Abang Janalak @Aloysius b. Abg Dris (12/08/2006 – 28/03/2008)


Dato Sri Robert Jacob Ridu (President)
Former Speaker of State Legislative Assembly, Sarawak. Served a full term as Commissioner of Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission Malaysia. Earlier career as Principal and Management Consultant with Touche Ross and HRM, (Chartered Accountants & Management Consultants.). Has MSc in Admin Science & Development Problems from University of York, UK. Passionately interested in safeguarding and promoting Sarawak’s unique heritage, both tangible and intangible. DS Robert joined the SHS committee, as president, in 2016.

James S L Yong (Vice President)
James Yong has a BSc(Hons) in Computer Science and MSc in Business Systems Analysis & Design, both from the City University, London, UK. He spent more than 30 years working on ICT, finance & eGovernment consulting in HP, Shell, Cap Gemini, SingTel and Cisco Systems. Based out of Singapore, his territory of focus was ASEAN. He was the author of “E-Government in Asia” (Marshall Cavendish, 2005) and three genealogical monographs. After leaving corporate life, James started JYGlobal Associates (www.jyglobal.biz) through which he still consults for select clients. Since returning to Kuching, he spends more time on his interests in history, heritage, genealogy and writing. He is the creator of FB group “Kuching – Then and Now”. James joined the SHS committee in 2017.

Sharifah Nur Hannah (Secretary)
BA in International Relations (2012) from Queen Mary College, University of London. Spent the start of career in the Business Events industry where she worked closely with the Sarawak Convention Bureau, after which she took on the role of Business Development and Quality Assurance Coordinator for NorPower Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Norconsult. Throughout her employment, she has consistently been involved in freelance copywriting projects, including several publications. Her involvement with the Society was spurred by her curiosity to learn more about her State and to contribute even in the smallest of ways. Hannah joined the SHS committee, as Secretary, in 2016.

Anna Wee Chiaw Sek (Treasurer )
Anna Wee graduated in Hotel Management (MHCIMA) from Bournemouth Polytechnic of Science and Technology, since known as Bournemouth University. She read law with University of London distance learning programme. She founded the non-profit Barefoot Mercy in 2011 to uplift lives in isolated villages in Sarawak, which recently won both the Star Foundation Golden Hearts Award and Star-Gamuda Inspiration Award 2017. Anna juggles between being a full-time social advocate at heart, a part-time entrepreneur with a paralegal day job, managing an arbitration practice which specialises in construction law and construction dispute resolution. She believes that the tribal weaving skills, their ancient knowledge of medicinal plants and jungle survival skills should not only be preserved but proudly promoted and ensured of posterity. Anna joined the SHS committee in 2016.

Committee members:

Arif Arabi
Studied Public Administration in Mara Institute of Technology. Worked with foreign multinationals almost his entire adult life. After enjoying retirement for almost a year, he was invited to join a Japanese multinational start-up in Samalaju Industrial Park as a Public Affairs Advisor. Other involvements include: Past President of Rotary Club of Kuching; a founding, life and exco member of Dyslexia Association of Sarawak, Life member of Sarawak Association for Mentally Challenged Children; Secretary of Samalaju Investors Industrial Association; Secretary of Sarawak Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Bintulu Chapter. An amateur photographer who is passionate in taking photographs of buildings, old and new, and of birds. Arif joined the SHS committee in 2016.

Francis Frey
An agronomy engineer (AgroParisTech) by training, Francis Frey has over 30 years’ experience working in international development finance with a focus on rural development, infrastructure, environment and financial sector projects and public policies in developing and emerging countries. He has served AFD, the French government’s international development agency for 27 years with postings in a number of African and Asian countries. He has been involved in the funding of Asian projects related to cultural heritage conservation. He is now retired and lives in Kuching. Francis joined the SHS committee in 2016.

Nicholas Gani

Nicholas Gani is a lecturer at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS). He has a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Master’s degree in Archaeology from Universiti Sains Malaysia. Currently, he is pursuing his Ph.D in Archaeology at the University of Oxford. Nicholas has over twelve years of experience in conducting archaeological research. Most recently, he was part of the Early Central Borneo Project, which investigated a number of megalithic sites in the Kelabit Highlands in 2013 and 2014. Nichola s joined the SHS committee in April 2018.

Sonia Luhong Wan

A graphic designer by profession, Sonia Luhong Wan also specialises in the art of pyrography, whereby designs are burnt onto wood using the common soldering iron. Her subjects touch heavily on themes of natural conservation and cultural identity – a reflection of her strong belief that art is not merely a form of creative self-expression but also a powerful medium of education ans social awareness. Sonia joined the SHS committee in April 2018.

Prof Dr Tarmiji Masron

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