Tan Sri Dato’ Ajit Singh was born and educated in Malaysia and joined the Malaysian Foreign Service in 1963. In a career spanning over 30 years, he served in various positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at Malaysian Missions abroad in Canberra, Addis Ababa, and New York. He was Malaysia’s Ambassador to Vietnam, Austria, Brazil, (with concurrent accreditation to Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela) and Germany. He was elected as the first Secretary-General of ASEAN in 1993. In recognition of his services, both Laos and Vietnam awarded him their prestigious Friendship Medals in December 1997. He was also awarded the Panglima Setia Mahkota award, which carries the title of “Tan Sri” by His Majesty the King of Malaysia. The Indonesian Government awarded him the “Bintang Jasa Utama” in February 1999 in recognition of his work in ASEAN and in helping to improve Malaysia – Indonesia relations. Since then, he has worked worked as Director, International Business Ventures of the National Petroleum Oil Company, PETRONAS; the first Secretary General of the Boao Forum of Asia, a non-governmental, non-profit organization set up to promote greater interdependence and economic integration of the Asian region; Distinguished Research Fellow at the Asia-Europe Institute (AEI) of the University of Malaysia; Chairman of the Nam Fatt Corporation, a publicly listed development and construction company; Principal Adviser for ASEAN to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI); Advisor to the Malaysia-India Business Council; Member of the government established Malaysia-India CEO Forum; and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of MERCY Malaysia. He was also selected as one of the 4 icons who have rendered distinguished service to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Wisma Putra) and the nation.