Southeast Asia possesses the critical attributes to become a global frontrunner food and land-use innovation. The region’s tropical climate and biodiversity-rich ecosystems support the cultivation of diverse, nutritious crops all year-round, and it has a surging youth population and entrepreneurial ecosystem that is enabled by top universities, accelerators, and innovation hubs.

Thought For Food is launching the first TFF Regional Hub in Southeast Asia. Given the region’s importance for food and agricultural production and demand, and TFF’s strong existing presence through its on-the-ground network, Southeast Asia was chosen as the first TFF Regional Hub. TFF is currently undertaking a significant growth strategy through the establishment of TFF Hubs in key regions of the world.

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TFF Southeast Asia

Distinguished Advisory Members

  • Tun Dr Abdul Daim Zainuddin

    Former Finance Minister of Malaysia

    Tun Daim is veteran statesman, former lawyer, businessman, property developer, banker, art collector, philanthropist, and most recently, a farmer. He twice served as Minister of Finance of Malaysia, first in 1984 through the 1980s Global Recession, and again in 1998 amidst the Asian Financial Crisis. In recent years, Tun Daim resumed in earnest his campaign for a renewed focus on the Malaysian agricultural industry, with a focus on sustainable, technologically advanced food production.

  • Emeritus Professor Tan Sri Dato Dr Syed Jalaludin Syed Salim

    Senior Fellow, Academy of Sciences Malaysia

    Emeritus Professor Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Syed Jalaludin Syed Salim is an academician and industry expert with a formidable background which spans over 5 decades in both research and higher education sectors in Malaysia. Under his leadership as Chairman, Bank Rakyat established itself as one of the most successful Islamic banks in the world.

  • Emeritus Professor Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Augustine Ong

    President, Malaysian Invention and Design Society (MINDS)

    Tan Sri Ong began his career as a lecturer with University of Malaya in 1959. He was a Fulbright-Hays Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) USA from 1966 to 1967 and prior to this he read for a PhD in Organic Chemistry at the University of London King’s College, 1961-1963. He established the Malaysian Invention and Design Society (MINDS) in 1987 and remains its President today.

  • James Beltran

    Deputy Chairman, Melewar Holdings

    James Beltran is the Deputy Chairman at Melewar Holdings. At Melawar Holdings, James Beltran provides strategic and investment oversight in Public listed entities involved in Oil & Gas, Steel, Financial Services & Communications. Prior to Melawar Holdings, Mr.Beltran was the Chairman & Group Chief Executive Officer of MAA International responsible for MAA Group's International General and Life Insurance.

  • Professor Datuk Dr Paul T. H. Chan


    He is Co-Founder, Vice Chancellor and President of HELP University (Malaysia), and is also Co-Founder of HELP International Corporation. Dr Chan started HELP University as a social business enterprise with the mission ‘To help people succeed in life and to live a life of significance through education.’ HELP University is now a designated Premier Digital Tech Status University.

TFF Southeast Asia

Industry Advisory Members

  • Dr Mahadi Mohamad

    Former Chief Executive Officer, Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI) Kedah
  • Charlie Yeo

    Chief Executive Officer Sarawak Biodiversity Centre
  • Matthijs Geert-Jan Van Leeuwen

    Chief Innovation Officer, Sunway Group
  • Mastura Ishak

    Principal Researcher, President & CEO Office, Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT)
  • Angelia Chin-Sharpe

    President, The Lost Food Project
  • Man Petchvanichsakul

    President, Silver Plus (Thailand) Co. Ltd
  • Dr Ting Ho

    Senior Specialist & Researcher, Regenerative Agriculture
  • Cyril Pereira

    Senior Publisher
  • Jane Poh

    Former Director, Jeffrey Cheah Foundation
  • Karen Chand

    Director of Strategy & Operations, Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development
  • Professor Dr. Ir. Samsul Rizal

  • Shamsul Bahar Mohd Nor

TFF Southeast Asia


  • Melissa Ong

    CEO SE Asia Region

    Melissa joins TFF after serving for almost five years as CEO of the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI), an independent, non-partisan think tank governed by the not-for-profit Jeffrey Cheah Foundation. She brings 25+ years of Asia-regional experience in International Trade, Brand Communications, Market Research, Organisational Development, Social Strategy, Corporate and Internal Communications.

Join the Southeast Asia Regional Hub

Connect with us to catalyze Southeast Asia to become a frontrunner in sustainable food and agriculture.

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