Al-Ishsal could be MCMC chairman

By P PREM KUMAR / Pic By TMR

Pos Malaysia Bhd group CEO Al-Ishsal Ishak is expected to lead the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) as the regulator’s chairman, according to sources.

Al-Ishsal’s term at the regulator under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia could start as early as the middle of this month, and is pending approval from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, sources told The Malaysian Reserve.

“Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo has finalised the candidate and it is only awaiting Dr Mahathir’s consent,” said the sources who are close to the development.

Former MCMC chairman Tan Sri Dr Halim Shafie and a few others at the regulator of the country’s telecommunication and multimedia industry resigned effective July 1 this year.

MCMC COO Datuk Dr Mazlan Ismail had also resigned. The resignations at MCMC were announced by Gobind.

The agency had been plagued with questions over several data breaches — among which is one considered the largest in the country’s history, where personal details of about 46.2 million mobile users in the country were put on sale.

Various enforcement agencies have investigated the breach, but nobody has been prosecuted. It is not known the status of the various investigations.

Ministry of Communications and Multimedia secretary general Datuk Dr Mohd Ali Mohamad Nor is currently the acting chairman of MCMC.

“The new chairman is expected to take immediate action on the various data breach cases reported before and prepare a comprehensive plan to counter the issue.

“A new firewall protection plan is expected to be one of Al-Ishsal’s key performance indicators as MCMC chairman,” said the sources.

Al-Ishsal holds a Bachelor of Management honours degree from Universiti Sains Malaysia.

His appointment to MCMC would surprise many as he was only given the role to lead the country’s largest postal service and courier company on Feb 2, 2018.

The 49-year-old has vast experience in the technology and communications sectors. He started his career with Turnaround Manager Inc before embarking into entrepreneurial endeavours, mostly in the digital space, from 1994 to 2008.

On the global front, Al-Ishsal served as the chief digital officer of McCann Ericsson Worldgroup, as well as the CEO of a Kuwaiti-owned outfit, Baraka Telecom.

Apart from that, Al-Ishsal also served as Malaysia Airlines Bhd’s senior VP of marketing and products.

He was AirAsia Bhd’s group head ancillary income and served various senior positions in Tune Group, which is co-owned by Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun.

The former member of Malaysia Digital Economy Corp’s board and former council member of the National Information Technology Council of Malaysia’s last occupation prior to serving at Pos Malaysia, was the MD for South-East Asia of ECO Capacity Exchange Ltd, as well as consultant for airplane manufacturer Airbus Group.

At present, Al-Ishsal sits as a director of Pos Logistics Bhd and PNSL Bhd, both non-listed public companies which are wholly owned subsidiaries of Pos Malaysia.