Board of Directors

Click below to learn more:

Strategic Planning Committee ToR

The Board is responsible for the overall corporate governance of the Group and its strategic direction. The Board has delegated specific responsibilities to four (4) main committees namely the Audit and Risk Management Committee (“ARMC”), Remuneration Committee, Nomination Committee and the Strategic Planning & Oversight Committee which are guided by the Terms of Reference approved by the Board. The ultimate responsibility for the final decisions on all matters lies with the Board.


Board of Directors

Tan Sri Dato’

Dr R. Palan



Executive Director

Tan Sri Dato’ Dr R. Palan is the Founder of SMRT Holdings.

Tan Sri, a lifelong learner, pursued his studies at the Federation University, Ballarat, Harvard Business School, Leicester University, California Coast University and Madras University. The British Institute of Learning  & Development conferred on him their highest level of membership: a Fellowship. He has also earned the Certified Speaking Professional award -  the highest award in the speaking profession from the National Association of Speakers, USA.

Tan Sri - the author of 16 books - started his career as a lecturer, trainer and HR specialist before taking on senior management roles in marketing and general management with a variety of industries in different countries for several progressive large organisations before embarking upon his entrepreneurial journey. His core focus on education related ventures has been the theme of his entrepreneurial achievements.

Tan Sri founded the Palan Foundation ("Yayasan Palan") to support his Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. 

Mr Leow

Nan Chye


Non-Executive Director

Leow Nan Chye is an Accountant by profession and graduated from Tunku Abdul Rahman College and obtained the professional qualification from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, United Kingdom. He is a member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (“MIA”) and has over twenty (20) years’ experience in various companies involved in property development, resorts and golf, manufacturing and investment holding.

He held various management positions during his employment with Malaysian General Investment Corporation Bhd., KAB Group, Tanming Group, Negara Properties Sdn Bhd and Formosa Prosonic Industries Sdn Bhd.

Mr Leow is the Chairman of the Audit and Risk Management Committee and a member of the Nomination Committee and Remuneration Committee of the Company.

Dato’ Dr Asariah Binti Mior Shaharuddin


Non-Executive Director

Dato’ Dr Asariah holds a Diploma in Education & a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Degree in Geography from the University of Malaya and a Masters Degree (M.Sc.) in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Wisconsin. In honouring her contribution to scholarship and academic partnership between Malaysia and the Queensland University of Technology, Dato’ Asariah was conferred with the Degree of Doctor of the University in 2008.

Known for her work and contribution to teacher education in the country, she was the Deputy Director General of Education, Ministry of Education Malaysia,  she was primarily responsible for policy, planning, finance and human resource development before her retirement in 2011.

A passionate teacher educator, she is known for her work in continuous professional development of teachers and was the key figure in the upgrading of Malaysian Teacher Training Colleges to become degree awarding Institutes of Teacher Education.

Dato’ Asariah is the Chairman of the Nomination Committee and Remuneration Committee as well as a member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Company.

Ms Soh

Eng Hooi


Non-Executive Director

Soh Eng Hooi is an accountant by profession and graduated from Universiti Malaya. She is a member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (“MIA”) and the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA). She started her career with one of the then Big 5 international accounting firms and was a partner in one of the top 10 international accounting firms before she founded E H Soh & Partners in 2015. As a qualified accountant by profession, she carries with her more than 20 years of experience in providing assurance, corporate and financial advisory services to public and private companies.

She is a regular trainer/speaker for trainings and seminars organized by accounting bodies such as MICPA and MIA. 

Ms Soh is a member of Audit and Risk Management Committee, Nomination Committee and Remuneration Committee.

Mr Malayandi

@ Kalaiarasu


Non-Executive Director

Malayandi @ Kalaiarasu holds a Bachelors of Engineering (Honours) degree majoring in electronics from University of Nottingham Trent, UK and Masters of Business Administration from Victoria University, Australia.

Over the last ten (10) years, he has had extensive experience working in this region for reputed customers on education and technology consulting projects. He contributes the entrepreneurial and technology expertise at the board level. He has worked with Accenture, Jabil and Mahindra Satyam. Throughout his employment, Kalaiarasu managed several key research and development projects within the South East Asian region. 

Kalaiarasu is the bursar of Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences - an entity of Minda Global, an SMRT subsidiary. 

Mr Maha Palan


Non-Executive Director

Maha Palan has a Bachelors (Hons) in Chemical Engineering from the University of Manchester and a Masters in Financial Engineering from Imperial College London.

Maha Palan has served in investment-focused roles in firms such as British Petroleum Plc, Piton Capital LLP and Creador Sdn Bhd. During his tenure with these firms, he has invested in and helped grow companies that improved the UK National Health Service, provided valuable analytics to rural farmers and facilitated the growth of emerging economies by reliably supplying them with affordable energy.

Maha Palan has also worked on a wide variety of deals ranging from Europe’s largest venture deal of 2018 with a valuation in excess of €2.5 billion to a direct sale and purchase agreement for crude & oil products with a gross exposure in excess of $4 billion.

Prior to his appointment, Maha Palan had been working with SMRT Holdings and Minda Global since January of 2018 with a focus on driving growth, implementing operational restructures and aligning strategy.

Maha Palan is also a founder of The Palan Foundation, a registered non - profit organisation committed to improving the educational attainment of young disadvantaged individuals.