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MDA appoints seven new board members

Dated: 9 January 2009

Seven new members have been appointed to the board of the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA).

The new members –hailing from the academia, media and the business industries –have been appointed on a two-year term by Dr Lee Boon Yang, the Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts. This takes effect from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2010.

The new board members are:
1. Ms Zaihirat Banu, Chief Executive Officer, Oak3 Films Pte Ltd
2. Brigadier-General Tan Meng Dui, Director, Military Intelligence, Singapore Armed Forces
3. Mr Khiatani Manohar Ramesh, Assistant Managing Director, Economic Development Board
4. Associate Professor Adrian David Cheok, Deputy Director (Research), Interactive &Digital Media Network Institute, National University of Singapore
5. Mr Wayne Chou, Director (Non-executive), Popular Holdings Ltd
6. Mr Douglas Abrams, Managing Director, Expara Pte Ltd
7. Mr Billy Koh, Founder &Managing Director, Ocean Butterflies Music Pte Ltd

The seven above join nine other reappointed members from the public and private sectors on the MDA board. They are:
1. Dr Tan Chin Nam, Chairman, MDA
2. Dr Christopher Chia, Chief Executive Officer, MDA
3. Dr Suzaina Abdul Kadir, Assistant Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore
4. Rear Admiral (NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
5. Professor Chong Tow Chong, Executive Director, Science and Engineering Research Council, A*STAR
6. Mr Hri Kumar Nair, Director, Drew &Napier LLC
7. Mr Christopher Thompson, Vice President &General Manager, Electronic Arts Asia Pacific
8. Mr Thomas Martin Keaveny, Executive Vice President &Managing Director, Discovery Networks Asia Pacific
9. Mr Ian Anthony MacDonald, President, Hong Leong Finance

Dr Tan Chin Nam extends his warm welcome to the new board, saying “The new members bring with them a wealth of experience and expertise from different parts of the media ecosystem. I am certain that the new board will be able to guide and set the right strategic directions for MDA and turn Singapore into a Trusted Global Media Capital.”

Dr Tan also pays tribute to the outgoing board members, stating “The former board members had contributed much to MDA. Their foresight, counsel and advice helped shaped our media industry to become an attractive destination for major media companies to locate to and collaborate with. I thank them for their drive and passion.”

Dr Tan views the Singapore media industry as being on the right track and ready to take on the challenges that are ahead. “Despite the current global economic slowdown, we are geared up to exploit the opportunities in the media industry,” he adds. “We remain optimistic about the future as our efforts in the rollout of the media industry blueprint, Media 21, and promotion of Made-by-Singapore content under the collective branding of Singapore Media Fusion, have yielded considerable results locally and internationally.”

Under the guidance of the former board, MDA made substantial strides in building a vibrant media ecosystem for foreign media companies to locate to and local enterprises and talents to thrive in, boosted by the availability of more than S$1 billion in funds based in Singapore for investments in media projects.

Over the years, Singapore’s international profile has risen with signature media events hosted in the country. The inaugural “3DX: 3D Film &Entertainment Technology Festival” in November 2008 attracted prominent personalities from the film industry such as Mr Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, and the Chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox Filmed Entertainment, Mr Jim Gianopulos, and underlines Singapore’s commitment to advance innovation in digital media.

Efforts to seed a culture of innovation through support for research and development in interactive digital media are reaping early results with academic institutions, young start-ups and industry benefiting from targeted funding and other support initiatives to help them innovate, develop and deploy cutting-edge digital media services and solutions for the global market.

Alongside this growth, Made-by-Singapore content and services continue to travel the world, fuelled by MDA’s support for local producers to create quality and compelling content that is increasingly being made for multiple platforms. Due to a concerted strategy that encourages co-productions with leading international players, Singapore films and TV programmes are now entertaining viewers in more than 50 countries including Argentina, the United States, Germany, New Zealand, India and China. In 2008, 16 local films were commercially released in Singapore –three times the average number produced annually in the past five years.

Closer to home, media consumers benefitted from the mushrooming of Internet Protocol TV and video-on-demand services, spurred by the introduction of a two-tiered licence framework that gave operators the flexibility to provide various services.

MDA will continue to pave the way for the Singapore media industry to flourish and expand. As the Republic moves towards an all-digital environment, MDA will encourage collaboration with established media players to improve our own home-grown talents. MDA will also experiment with new formats of video and audio broadcasting through digital technologies to remain relevant and updated.

On this note, MDA wishes to express its deepest appreciation to the outgoing board members for their significant contributions between 2007 and 2008. They are:
1. Ms Kelly Chew, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, Asia Pacific Region, Sony BMG Singapore
2. Dr Finian Tan, Chairman, Vickers Financial Group (S) Pte Ltd
3. Mr Eric Khoo, Film Director, Zhao Wei Films Pte Ltd
4. Mr Goh Eck Kheng, Publisher &Managing Director, Landmark Books Pte Ltd
5. Professor Isaac Kerlow, School of Art, Design &Media, Nanyang Technological University
6. Brigadier-General Lim U Yang Hugh-Reginald, former Commander, Army Training and Doctrine Command, Ministry of Defence

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About Media Development Authority
Formed in 2003, the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) plays a vital role in transforming Singapore into a Global Media City and positioning it at the forefront of the digital media age. MDA spearheads initiatives that promote developments in film, video, television, radio, publishing, music, games, animation, media services and Interactive Digital Media. At the same time, in ensuring clear and consistent regulatory policies and guidelines, MDA helps to foster a pro-business environment for industry players and increase media choices for consumers. For more information, please visit

About Singapore Media Fusion
The Singapore Media Fusion’s (SMF) strategic positioning encapsulates the attributes of the media industry in showcasing Singapore as a Global Media City. It is a mark of the quality of our products and services, and the collective richness and diversity of the media industry. The positioning not only lends consistency in the manner to which the Singapore media industry is represented and promoted;it is also intended to enhance the image of Singapore media at the international level in a compelling and coherent manner. For more information on SMF, please visit