Al-Ishsal named new MCMC chairman


POS Malaysia Bhd’s group CEO Al-Ishsal Ishak (picture)has been named as the new chairman of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), effective next month.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo announced Al-Ishsal’s appointment yesterday.

Al-Ishsal is expected to hold the post for a period of two years, effective Oct 1.

“Al-Ishsal holds a Bachelor of Management (Honours) degree from Universiti Sains Malaysia and was a Japan Airlines scholar at Sophia University, Tokyo.

“After graduation, he embarked on entrepreneurial endeavours in the digital arena from 1994 to 2008,” Gobind said in a statement.

The Malaysian Reserve first reported Al-Ishsal’s candidacy for MCMC’s top job earlier this month, to replace Tan Sri Dr Halim Shafie who, together with a few other high-ranking officers, resigned in June.

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

Pos Malaysia — a listed entity on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia — announced Al-Ishsal’s resignation yesterday, effective Sept 30, 2018. Al-Ishsal, 49, was appointed as Pos Malaysia group CEO on Feb 2, 2018.

“The board of directors of Pos Malaysia will find a suitable replacement for Al-Ishsal and will make the appropriate announcement soon,” it said.

Al-Ishsal has vast experience in the technology and communications sectors, starting his career with Turnaround Manager Inc before being named
as the chief digital officer of McCann Ericsson Worldgroup and CEO of Baraka Telecom (a Kuwaiti-owned outfit).

Al-Ishsal also served as Malaysia Airlines Bhd’s senior VP (marketing and products), followed by a stint as group head ancillary income at Air-Asia Bhd and various senior positions in Tune Group Sdn Bhd, co-owned by Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun.

Al-Ishsal was on the board of Malaysia Digital Economy Corp or MDEC and a former council member of the National Information Technology Council.

His last occupation before Pos Malaysia was as MD for South-East Asia of ECO Capacity Exchange Ltd, as well as consultant for airplane manufacturer Airbus SE.

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

In his new capacity, Al-Ishsal is expected to oversee and address issues related to previous inefficiencies in handling a series of private data breach cases reported in the country since 2017.

In May 2018 alone, there were breaches reported involving customer data of Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, students data from the Ministry of Education’s portal and government-related portals under MyNIC — an agency under the Communications and Multimedia Ministry.

Mobile phones of many politicians were also hacked by BOTS attack on May 9, with no proper findings by MCMC on the incidents to date.