Society of the Golden Keys Malaysia
- A Brief History
Our Lil’ known profession, the Concierge, in Malaysia can be traced back to early 1990’s in the former Regent Hotel Kuala Lumpur, where, Mr Timothy Gan, who was the Regent’s Chef Concierge at that time became the first Malaysian to be accepted as a Les Clefs d’Or member, and under the guidance and affiliation to Les Clefs d’Or Singapore, a small group of Malaysian Concierges formed a Malaysian chapter.
In 1997, during the 45th UICH International Congress held in Budapest, Hungary, Malaysia, together with Japan, was accepted as independent member country of UICH, and from here, Les Clefs d’Or Malaysia was officially formed, with Timothy Gan being elected as its Founder President.
From here on, there was no turning back. After Timothy Gan, the 2nd President to be elected was MrRoslan Mat Taba, the Chief Concierge of Istana Hotel Kuala Lumpur, who ran the Society till 2006. He was then replaced by Mr Ragu Kumarasamy, Concierge Manager of the Prince Hotel and Residence Kuala Lumpur (now the Pullman KLCC Hotel and Residences). At this current moment, Mr Ragu holds the record for the longest serving President for our Society.
Les Clefs d’Or Malaysia held its first Junior Concierge Training in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan with the aim of developing young Concierges within the industry with the assistance of both professional speakers/trainers and invited individuals from within the Hospitality Industry, including Malaysia Airports Berhad.
In 2009, Les Clefs d’Or Malaysia was renamed Society of the Golden Keys Malaysia, and in this year too, it organized an Asian Congress, “Showcase Asia Product Update Exhibition & Asian Solidarity the Les Clefs d’Or Way” which was attended by 150 concierges from the Asian region.
In 2011, during the 58th UICH Congress in Toronto, Canada, a small delegation from the Society of the Golden Keys Malaysia led by President, Mr Ragu Kumarasamy of Prince Hotel and Residences Kuala Lumpur, bid for a place to host the coveted UICH Congress, and was awarded the rights to host the 61st Congress in 2014! During the UICH Congress in Toronto, the Society also marked another milestone where for the very first time, Malaysia was represented in the Andy Pongco Award challenge and the candidate was MrDinorizzam Zainal Abidin, then Chef Concierge of the Crowne Plaza Mutiara Kuala Lumpur
In the meantime, the Society continued to grow and build its network with both government and non-government organizations within the Hospitality Industry. Members were also invited by Hospitality Colleges and Universities such as Taylors University College and KDU University College to share their valuable experiences on the profession as a Les Clefs d’Or Concierge.
January 10th to 15th, 2014 – history was made. For the first time, Malaysia hosted over 500 Les Clefs d’Or Concierges from all over the world to the 61st UICH Congress in Kuala Lumpur, joint hosted by Prince Hotel and Residences Kuala Lumpur and the Royale Chulan Hotel Kuala Lumpur. This was made possible with the collaboration with Tourism Malaysia, Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur City Hall), MyCEB (Malaysian Convention and Exhibition Bureau) and many other from commercial and non-commercial establishments. During these historic 5-days, the Kuala Lumpur and neighboring state of Malacca was showcased through its history, culture and also food. This congress became the turning point for the Society in elevating its presence within the industry on both national and international level.
It was in this year of 2014 too, for the first time we had our first Bi-Monthly outside of Kuala Lumpur, in the Historical city of Malacca at Hatten Hotel, Malaccain June, followed by another Bi-Monthly in November in Penang held at the Sunway Hotel, Georgetown.
In October 2016, another Bi-Monthly was organized out of Kuala Lumpur at the Lexus Hibiscus Port Dickson and subsequently led up to the very first Annual General Meeting held out of Kuala Lumpur, in the luxurious St Regis Langkawi in May 2017.
These ventures out of the capital city brought in more exposure towards the Society and the Concierge profession, resulting of an acceptance of new members from Malacca, Penang, Langkawi and Port Dickson.
On October 26th, 2017, the National Membership to the Society, aptly named the Malaysian Hotel Concierge (MHC) was officially launched through a grand Launching Event held at the Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara. The newly designed MHC Logo or the Malaysian Key was officiated by the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism and Culture’s Deputy Minister, YB DatoWiraErmieyatiSamsuddin., witnessed by hotel General Managers, and the President of Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), Mr Sam Cheah. The Malaysian Key, which was designed by member, SharezalAbd Wahid, is in the form of the Malaysian national flower, the hibiscus and is made of pewter, exclusively crafted by Royal Selangor International. During the event, 8 National members were ‘pinned’ by the Deputy Minister, thus being the first 8 to don the newly launched Malaysian Key.
The Society continues to make its presence felt both internationally and on a National Level by regularly participating in International and Asian Congresses, professional collaborations with local and international organizations such as Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH); Hospitality Asia Platinum Awards; FHM Culinary Awards and the Kuala Lumpur Tourism Bureau.