Princess (Dr.) Dato’ Seri Romona Murad is Malaysia’s Ambassador of International Peace
Her Highness Princess (Dr) Dato’ Seri Romona Murad comes from an illustrious lineage that includes Alexander the Great and continues back to Isaac, the son of Abraham. Her royal bloodline, she says, is on her father’s side (through his father’s side) and is documented and archived at the HERALDIQUE & GENEALOGIE Institute, Paris, France. Though her royal status is important, her title as “Dato’” denotes high honor and immense respect for her humanitarian work. The Sultan of Inderagiri, Indonesia conferred the title “Dato’ Seri” in 2014 which is comparable to being “knighted” in the United Kingdom. You can find more on Her Highness’s lineage, titles, and honors here: https://datoromona.wixsite.com/romonainternational
Her Highness received much of her higher education in the United States. She attended the University of Texas, Arlington, TX, US earning her BA in Political Science, Business Administration, and Public Administration on a full scholarship from the Government of Malaysia. While a student there, she received honors as “Outstanding International Student Leader” and a nomination for “Outstanding Student Leader.” She continued her education in the US by acquiring an MBA in Business Administration with a focus on Media and Communications from Berkeley International University. Not long after that, she received the Honorary Ph.D. from The International Royal Academy of the United Nations in the area of Fine Arts and Management. She returned to Malaysia to take up roles with major corporations managing events and performing public relations and marketing duties. She launched her own business in 2007 under the company name Romona International Sdn Bhd, representing and consulting with clients in oil and gas, environmental solutions, media, raw diamonds, gold trading, and hotel properties.
Her Highness is involved with many charities and humanitarian organizations. She is a member of the board for the International Royal Academy of the United Nations which confers Honorary Ph. Ds in education, arts, and business to extraordinary humanitarians around the globe. The organization, which is connected to the UN, yet a separate entity, was started by a Russian Prince in 2006 and continues to support the good works of those public figures whose work is paramount to a legacy.
The awards and titles held by Her Highness are too numerous to list here, but, of particular note is her appointment in 2010 as the first person from Asia as a Board Member for the International Royal Academy of the United Nations, New York, USA. In 2014, she was nominated as the “Most Contributing Person in the World ” in the area of Peace and Humanity, along with Melinda Gates and Michelle Obama by the International Council of Human Rights, Arbitration and Political Studies based in Egypt. She serves on the International Council of Human Rights in Egypt and is a spokesperson for refugees, which she reveals is a serious challenge in Malaysia, as they are brought in from areas like Bosnia, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Syria. She meets them often in Kuala Lumpur where she lives and knows that her country is doing its best to take care of the ones they can help. As President for Malaysia of the MARINE Foundation, Her Highness works toward peace on an international scale and promotes the respect of all life, cultures, and faiths. She is a sought-after speaker, and, as a consultant, works to facilitate international business opportunities with her country.
Princess (Dr) Dato’ Seri Romona Murad married Prince Datu Abdul Hafiz Mohamad Aziz on December 22, 2018, and lives in Kuala Lumpur with her family.
I asked Princess Murad some questions so that she could share in her own words a bit more about her business, her humanitarian works, and her personal legacy.
Q & A with Princess Murad:
Q: How have you grown into humanitarian work? As a member of a royal family, was it taught? Were you expected to adapt to a life that included leadership in promoting world peace?
A: I learned about the humanitarian work from my family, especially my Mom and Dad. They were involved in many charitable organizations such as old folks homes, orphanages, and the poor and homeless. My Dad was brought up like a normal person even though his mother was a Tengku, a Princess related to the royal family of Kedah in Malaysia. I have been exposed to humanitarian works and charities since I was a little girl. But as I grew up, I was brought up in a boarding school north of Malaysia, and from there, I learned my leadership skills. After I left boarding school, I was sent to the United States of America to further my studies in Political Science. At the University of Texas (UTA) in Arlington, I was very involved with humanitarian activities on behalf of the university, as well as learning leadership skills. In 1990, I was a recipient of the Outstanding International Student Leader at UTA. I was a Charter Member for the UTA Student Foundation as well as appointed as one of the Student Leaders for the university.
When I came back to Malaysia in 1991, I was involved with many Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) projects, because I joined many corporations in Malaysia which required me to be involved with corporate communications, events management, and public relations. From there onward, my involvement with charitable organizations and humanitarian works became a part of my life. I was also involved with Parent-Teachers Associations in many schools and we did a lot of humanitarian activities for the communities. I learned and adapted with the way I was brought up to become what I am today.
Q: As a global peace-keeper with many roles to support that title, is there one primary task you feel is most important for you to accomplish that will impact the mission of human harmony?
A: A harmonious civilization is the most important aspect to accomplish as it will bring the society of the conscious harmonious sphere classes of the population on our planet. Their main dignity is the scientific knowledge of the fundamental elements and laws of social and individual harmony. This knowledge transforms the spontaneous harmonious classes in conscious actors of social harmony. Universal use and cultivation of this knowledge provide harmonious production and distribution of all resources: human, information, organizational (power and capital), and material. Harmonious consciousness, together with harmonious production and distribution of resources are the base for eternal peace, national prosperity, human happiness, and nature preservation.
Q: What do you feel will be critical to economic sustainability in Malaysia? Are there other areas of the world that you hold most in your heart that need attention in sustainable economic development? What work are you doing that impact this need?
A: The price of goods sold, the unemployment rate, and the difference ratio between the rich and poor in Malaysia that is widening. The current debt faced by the Government of Malaysia is very high – that is critical to the economic sustainability in Malaysia. SUSTAINABLE development is an approach to economic planning that attempts to foster economic growth while preserving the environment for future generations. Sustainability, which encompasses environmental preservation, social equity, education reform, and economic development, has gained widespread acceptance since the 1980s. It is being pursued so that a country can have a better future. Malaysia has aggressively undertaken a sustainable development agenda as the country moves towards becoming a high-income nation. Fiscal consolidation measures implemented by the government, including the Goods and Services Tax and subsidy rationalisation, were necessary to strengthen the country’s finances. Although the actions were seen as hard on consumers, it was necessary to finance social and welfare initiatives and reduce the country’s deficit. The macroeconomic fundamentals in Malaysia were stronger than ever and as Bank Negara Malaysia had stated in its recent annual report, the government should take the initiative to carry out more economic reforms for future prosperity. Reforms could involve a labour market that was closely linked to raising the earnings of the bottom 40 percent group. In addition, reforms for institutions, such as Parliament, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, and civil service, are to improve or give people the opportunity to speak, participate, and give an opinion on the country’s affairs. Subsidized goods often become items for smuggling because the prices are cheaper. For example, sugar and petrol are smuggled into neighbouring countries so that those items can be sold at higher prices. Reducing subsidies allows people to appreciate the real value of oil, education, and healthcare, among others. It is important that people must also bear the burden of finance by paying a little bit more so that the government does not have to subsidize it entirely. The government’s decision to reduce subsidies were timely, in line with sound public financial management, and it assisted economic growth to achieve the country’s long-term goals. Institutional solidarity and confidence from the people are absolute key if we want to have a sustainable economy. The younger generation’s understanding of development had changed, and their expectations as young Malaysians were different from what their parents and grandparents had. Sustainable development was indeed an important topic as it involved people from all walks of life, such as government servants, academicians, and students, who will lead the country in the future. There are many countries in the world that need attention, especially the Rohinyas, The Syrians, The Palestinians, Yemenis, and some of the African countries. All need our help and assistance to grow and have a good life. I am planning to bring to these communities electricity, water supply, and homes for them. I am now an Ambassador for Triton Solar, a company from New Jersey, US that involves in solar panels and is an electricity provider. I am also a part of the MARINE Foundation where we will get involved in building smart homes all over the world. I also will be bringing the issues of poverty, education, and homelessness to the United Nations so that we can discuss on how to make the world a better place to live.
Q: As a businesswoman, how do you see your companies interacting with your social responsibility roles? What direction right now is important for your business growth?
A: Yes, in a lot of ways. I am doing consultancy and management. I do travel for business and at the same time, when I travel, I will also meet with the relevant people to talk about the charities, humanitarian projects, and also human empowerment. As I belong to many organizations, most of them are business entities but are also involved in humanitarian activities. So I can say that I am doing business and charities at the same time. Not only do I travel for business, but I also meet the relevant people to discuss the future of the world and I try my best to make the world a better place to live.
Q: What is the legacy you wish to leave?
A: I wish to leave this world where everybody lives in harmony. As I mentioned earlier, harmonious environment will lead to a peaceful life. I would like to be known as a Peaceful Princess from Malaysia who makes the world a better place to live.
Princess Murad’s Networking Interests:
- Secretary-General of the United Nations
- Her Majesty, the Queen of Britain, Queen Elizabeth, II
- President of The World Bank