I escorted some VIP Speakers to Centre Stage, the most important stage in RISE.

My highlight of Rise Conference was escorting Tony Fernandes (Group CEO, AirAsia) and handling Speaker & Guest Protocols of his 10-member entourage. Not surprisingly many attendees have not heard of Tony Fernandes even though most have heard of AirAsia.

Judging from the crowd, Tony Fernandes was one of the top three most popular Speakers besides Thuan Pham (CTO @ Uber), and Min-Liang Tan (Co-founder & CEO @ Razer).



Read about my critical article about Tony Fernandes about the Blue Plane incident which has 10,000+ views. That story is behind us now especially reading about Tony’s untold explanation about ex-PM Najib’s THREAT having “one billion dollar tax bill as a gun to his head”. I’ve let it go.

Tony Fernandes, the PR Opportunist: a Costly Lesson in Integrity

However, I still have “one last bone to pick” from Tony Fernandes. If only AirAsia’s “corporate investments” can be less controlling from HQ and not make “INTRApreneurs” out of Startups. I know ‘everyone is doing it’ and it’s legal – BUT it is UNETHICAL & DISEMPOWERING.

Can AirAsia not demand such a big majority shares that a new Startup Founder loses his/her majority share and control – hence effectively making the Founder a glorified Employee instead.

I like to hold Tony Fernandes and AirAsia to a higher standard – to give back and not be too greedy and controlling. That’s all.


Read one of the best and most insightful interviews ever written about Tony Fernandes – from a good journalist friend of mine Fionnuala McHugh we met again in Rise Conference2019:

AirAsia’s Tony Fernandes’ Juicy Life Stories, His 2 Toughest Times (QZ8501 Crash) and The Blue Plane Najib Razak Threat Incident Untold Explanation.

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Tony Fernandes (Group CEO, AirAsia) on Centre Stage (by Harry Murphy/ RISE)

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RISE 2019 - Day One

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CEO-Celebrity Whisperer Robert Chaen was the first to welcome Tony Fernandes at Speakers Registration in Day 1 (9th July 2019)

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Ishraq Kamarudin (Executive Assistant @ AirAsia), eldest son of Kamarudin Meranun (Chairman of AirAsia). Ishraq hired one of our ChangeU Intern of the Year 2015 for his own business: Michelle Chen. Michelle now works for AirAsia.

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Ben-Jie Lim (Executive Assistant @ AirAsia)

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Songher Heng (Investor Relations @ AirAsia)

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Hamdan Mohamad (Government Communications @ AirAsia)

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Helped this Malaysian RISE Volunteer to get Tony Fernandes to sign her TF Book, as I was the Speaker’s Escort for Tony Fernandes. – with Dr. Liyana Faiza (background)


Compiled by Robert Chaen, CEO-Celebrity Whisperer

Published: 27th August 2019.
Updated: 29th August 2019.




Read about (with Photo Gallery) >>


My Experience as a RISE Volunteer, an Attendee, and a VIP Speaker Escort in Asia’s Biggest Tech Conference


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My Highlights: Being a RISE Conference VIP Speakers’ Escort at the Speakers Registration Counter


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MEET Rise 2019 Speakers, Asia’s Biggest Tech Conference


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Night Summit (social networking) Photo Gallery @ Rise Conference


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Ophelia Club @ Night Summit


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RISE Investors, Startup Exhibitors, Press and Tech Influencers at Asia’s Biggest Tech Conference.


RISE 2019 - Day Three

My Favorite RISE Conference 2019 Staff


RISE 2019 - Day Three

My Rise Conference Volunteer Experience and My Favorite Rise Volunteers