Sunday, 22 April 2012


In his school days at the V.I. from 1952 to 1958, Dato' M. Shanmughalingam was hyperactive in the debating, literary and drama fields. He was a member of the very successful school debating team and chairman of the Senior Literary and Debating Society. He topped the country in the 1956 Sixth Form Entrance Exam with 96% marks. He was the secretary and, later, joint editor of the Seladang, steering the V.I. newspaper through one of its most vibrant periods. He was in the first group of Victorians in 1958 to be awarded the coveted "Club 21" badge for meritorious service to the school.
Shan holds an Honours degree from the University of Malaya, a Masters from Harvard and a Doctorate from Oxford University. At Harvard he graduated first in class with Grade A in all eight subjects and was admitted to the Ph.D. programme directly without formal application. At Oxford he won the Getrude Hartley Memorial prize for Poetry and a graduate scholarship from Balliol College and the second prize in the Short Story competition judged by the novelist, Iris Murdoch and John Bayley, Prof. of Literature, and sponsored by ISIS, Oxford University and The Observer.
Shan is presently the Managing Director of Trilogic Sdn Bhd, an investment holding and consultancy company. He is also a Director of Mahkota Technologies, of Delloyd Ventures Bhd, of Malaysian International Merchant Bankers, of MIMB Aberdeen Asset Management Sdn Bhd, of Asli-Jardine insurance brokers, IT Partners (Mal) Sdn Bhd and GIS Group Sdn Bhd (Brunei). He sits on various panels, including the Board of Selectors, Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University; the international/ national advisory panels to the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI) and to the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER); the Executive Committee of MIMB; the Committee of the Malaysia Administrative and Diplomatic Service Alumni Association; and the Board of the VIOBA Foundation. He is also chairman of the Scholarship Committee of the latter. He served at the Treasury, Ministry of Finance from 1962 to 1978, his last post being Deputy Secretary (Economic), and at Petronas from 1979 to 1991, rising to the position of General Manager. He is also a Fellow of the Economic Development Institute, World Bank, Washington DC.
Shan's literary publications include poems and short stories in Commonwealth Anthologies (London) international anthologies (Singapore), in universities (Harvard, Malaya, Oxford and Singapore) and in national literary journals. He is co-editor of an anthology of Malaysian poetry.
He was an interviewer/commentator on international and current affairs, and film critic on Malaysian television, and radio and a member of the advisory panels to the leading national literary and cultural journals and the informal advisory panel to TV3. He was invited to be Session Chairman, Commonwealth Writers Seminar for Papers on literature from Jamaica to New Zealand in Sept 1998. He has been invited to read his poems and short stories at several national and international readings. The latest was at the Maybank series led by the national poet, Dato Dr Usman Awang with the Deputy Prime Minister in April 1999.
Shan's works have been the subject of theses in universities in Malaysia and Germany and of a movie to be made in New Zealand. A video recording of his performance poetry with thirteen of his own poems has just been made for an Autralian website on international poets. He is also an avid bird watcher (the feathered kind ).

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