Mohd Iswandi bin Maaruf retained the Brunei Association of Hotels (BAH) presidency after receiving 95 per cent of the votes, with 100 per cent of the new executive committee also voting for his re-election in the 2022-2023 session.
The election of the new committee members took place during the association’s annual general meeting at Mulia Hotel in Berakas last Friday.
Mohd Iswandi said it was an honour to be re-elected and serve again as BAH President.
“I am grateful that our members have entrusted me with another term in this role. BAH will continue to be the voice of the industry in striving toward tourism growth,” he said.
BAH will work closely with Manpower Industry Steering Committee, JobCentre Brunei, Tourism Development Department, institutions in the Sultanate, as well as private tourism bodies to build a highly skilled, innovative and disciplined workforce in the hospitality industry, he added. “We welcome all hotels in Brunei Darussalam. The association is a platform for key players in the industry to contribute to the nation’s growth. It is a place for us to help improve our economy.”
Mohd Iswandi said when Brunei was first struck by the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the hotel industry was faced with the biggest challenge filled with uncertainty and obstacles.
BAH Vice President Nuriyah Safawati binti Salim said Mohd Iswandi had been helpful and worked closely with the government to ensure that hotels were supported by government agencies.
She added that during the pandemic, most hotels were only open for quarantine and he ensured that hotel employees were well-trained and well-informed on the COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs).
“In February 2020, he created the BAH COVID-19 Basic Guidelines and Checklist, then Cleaning and Operational Policy (New Normal) and in August 2021 the Hotel Pandemic Response (Business Continuity Plan).”
BAH Honorary Secretary Paula Munoz noted that Mohd Iswandi has been BAH President since 2019. After the pandemic he has been actively bringing BAH and other associations together, collaborating for events, and providing training to the service industry, especially for hotels and restaurants.
“With his 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry in 2020 he trained 120 hotel industry employees. BAH also promotes careers and encourages youth to take up opportunities in the hospitality industry.”
The president has been making an outstanding effort to keep the hospitality industry in the country successful, she added.
Executive members elected included Nuriyah Safawati of Parkview Hotel as Vice President, Paula Munoz of Radisson Hotel as Honorary Secretary and Conrad Boyd Mosidin of Abdul Razak Hotel Apartment as Honorary Treasurer.
Other appointed executive committee members are Kee Taufek Kee Harrith of Mulia Hotel, Andy Goh of The Brunei Hotel, Wendy Foo Yu We of Swiss Hotel Apartment and Jasmine Sim of The Lanes Hotel.