Coffee with an Ambassador

The bloggers of Kuching were given a virtually unheard-of opportunity to sit down with His Excellency Ensar Eminovic, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Ambassador to Malaysia, the night before he was due to hold a press conference with the local media. Yes, I was there, although I was nearly late due to an article that proved hard to write. Still, I was one of the early ones.

His Excellency Ensar Eminovic aka Mr Ambassador aka Normal Guy

The Ambassador is in Kuching to drum up publicity for the Malaysian Global Business Forum, a major business event that will bring in key industries and sectors and hook them up to relevant industries in the highlighted country. It’s from Nov 9 to 11 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK).

The forum is organised by Glenreagh Sdn Bhd. As you can already guess, this year’s forum focuses developing business ties with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Glenreagh’s Managing Director Nordin Abdullah thought it’ll be cool to let bloggers in on the forum because bloggers play a vital role in disseminating information and influencing their readership. Why yes, that was my first question to Nordin. Because for the life of me, I can’t make the connection between what most Kuching bloggers normally blog about and an international business event.

We got the scoop the night before the local media. We’ve all decided to ignore the fact that I’m local media. Anyway, I know I’m not going for their press conference tomorrow, hence it’s nice to have a foot in. This post is still 24 hours ahead of local media.

It’s also nice to be able to call the Ambassador by his first name. If I met him under work context, I’ll have to address him as Mr Ambassador. And I won’t be saying very much to him.

Ensar assured us several times that he is a normal guy.At 35, Ensar is the youngest ambassador to South East Asia. As I’m only 3 years younger than him, you can guess I’m feeling very under-accomplished and inadequate now.

Norman & Ensar
Norman & Ensar

Bosnia is very eager to forge business relations with Malaysia for several reasons. Malaysia was a great help to the people of Bosnia during the Bosnian war, providing support and taking in refugees. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is even going to be the Keynote Speaker at the gala  dinner of the Forum.

The relations between the two countries is what Ensar described as “Jalan Sehala”, a one way street. Help have been pouring into Bosnia since the war, and now the people of Bosnia want to give back to Malaysia by working out something that will benefit both countries.

I asked him what the top industry in Bosnia is right now. He said it is tourism, given their long, rich history that virtually gave them no time to invent folk tales.

“We make more history than we can consume,” he said.

With things like the Bosnian pyramids, castles and nature, tourism is booming so fast that there are not enough hotels to hold all the incoming visitors. If you have a billion bucks or so lying around, you might wanna consider building a hotel there.

The other two things the Bosnians are very good at, due to their unfortunate history of a terrible war, is medicine and forensics. Medicine because they had to deal with a great deal of serious trauma. Forensics because there are a lot of unidentified bodies out there. In fact, a forensic team from Bosnian was dispatched to Thailand to help identify bodies after the tsunami.

There were plenty of interesting insights of Bosnia, but it’s 3.30am and my head is exploding. This is the best I can give you off the top of my head (my folder with the press release and my notes went AWOL at Starbucks). Hopefully I’ll locate them tomorrow and have time to transcribe a few more things in detail.

Author: Georgette Tan

writer . poet . introvert . NSFW hand letterer . equatorial eclectic

5 Comments on “Coffee with an Ambassador

  1. I would like to thank all the Bloggers that came to the event, I did not expect such a good turn out and I was more than impressed by the questions and the level of interest shown by all, thats probably why we finished so late, I will make sure there is special access for all bloggers to the Malaysia Global Business Forum, I am very happy that some of the mainstream media people that lead a double life, reporter by day and blogger by night could make it, it is the kind of cross pollination I was looking for, Nordin

  2. Hi Gette: Good insights though I had the same questions as you. Now why would bloggers be keen to blog on business as opposed to entertainment or food as they normally do? Maybe it is time for business bloggers to come out of the woodwork! I thought Mr Ambassador looked a tad too mature (35? really?). I still can’t get the tourism bit though it does sound quite interesting. And medicine and forensics? Hmmm… industry specialisation borne out of circumstances. But good that bloggers are becoming important and that bloggers are now courted left, right and centre. Good stuff my dear even if it was churned out at 3.30am!

  3. Cyril: Hey, you did pretty good yourself!

    Nordin: Thanks for including us. I RSVP for bloggers access at the forum. Probably can only attend a couple of sessions, as DUN will also be in session!

    Krista: I really didn’t say much about the tourism bit! But I will in the next post.

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