The prevalence of adults in Malaysia who are obese was at 13.3 per cent, while the prevalence of those who are overweight is at 38.5 per cent making it Asia’s fattest country with approximately half of the population overweight or obese. 

The F&B industry has been investing in R&D to reduce sugar in its products but sugar reduction is far more challenging than ‘just taking the sugar out’ as they contribute to other functional roles apart from influencing taste. Low/Non-Calorie Sweeteners (LNCS) has thus become a growing alternative to sugar. However, the reputation of LNCS has constantly been challenged and become the subject of intense public debate. Among other claims, LNCS have been accused of causing weight gain and associated with some cancers, despite current scientific findings suggesting otherwise.

Through a variety of presentations and panel discussions, FIA and key opinion leaders of Malaysia will address the negative narrative on LNCS and explore the barriers and opportunities tied to accelerating product innovation and reformulation efforts to nudge healthier eating behaviours among consumers.

Below is the draft programme for the session. 






Welcome and Introductions

Steven Bartholomeusz, Policy Director, FIA


Understanding Low/Non- Calorie Sweeteners- An Insight to the Development of LNCS

Sabeerali Kunnath Naduthodi, Technical Leader (SEA, ANZ), Food Business, Cargill


Evaluating the Safety of Low/Non- Calorie Sweeteners
Ahmad Faizal Abdull Razis, Associate Professor
Universiti Putra Malaysia


Reformulating with Low/Non- Calorie Sweeteners
– Debunking the Bad Science
Steven Bartholomeusz, Policy Director, FIA


Coffee Break


Regulatory Status of Low/Non- Calorie Sweeteners in Thailand
Norrani Eksan, Food Safety Quality Division, Ministry of Health



Panel Discussion
Challenges and Opportunities in Driving Healthy Eating Behaviours in Malaysia


Zalma Bt Abdul Razak, Director, Nutrition Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia
Paul Selva Raj, Secretary General & CEO, Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (FOMCA)
Ahmed Razman Abdul Latiff, Senior Lecturer, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Putra Business School
Ch’ng Oon Teong, Executive Committee Director and Chair of ASEAN Harmonisation Committee, FMM MAFMAG

Moderator: Dr Tee E Siong, President, Nutrition Society of Malaysia


Closing Remarks and Next Steps
Steven Bartholomeusz, Policy Director, FIA


Networking Lunch

For any further queries, please feel free to email


Closing Remarks and Next Steps
Steven Bartholomeusz, Policy Director
Food Indu


Closing Remarks and Next Steps
Steven Bartholomeusz, Policy Director
Food Industry Asia



Tee E Siong
Nutrition consultant, TES NutriHealth Strategic Consultancy

President, Nutrition Society of Malaysia


Dr Tee was Head of the Cardiovascular, Diabetes and Nutrition Research Centre of the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) in Kuala Lumpur until his retirement in February 2002, after serving for 30 years.
He was Nutrition Advisor to the Food Safety and Quality Division of the Ministry of Health Malaysia from 2002-2011. In that capacity, Dr Tee was Chairperson or member of several technical committees related to food regulations and Codex Alimentarius. He is still a member of the National Advisory Committee on Food Regulations and several Codex subcommittees.
He is also a member of the Board of Scientific Directors of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) (Southeast Asia Region) since 1996.
Dr Tee is also President of the Nutrition Society of Malaysia since 1996. In this capacity, he has led the implementation of various community nutrition promotion programmes which included the publication of various education booklets and press articles. He is also Chair of the National Steering Committee for Nutrition Month Malaysia since 2002. He represents NSM in several Technical Working Groups in the Ministry of Health Malaysia , including the National Coordinating Committee for Food and Nutrition (NCCFN) and the Technical Working Group for Nutritional Guidelines.



Dato’ Dr. Paul Selva Raj
Secretary General & Chief Executive Officer 
Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (FOMCA) 


Dato’ Dr. Paul Selva Raj is currently the Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (FOMCA), and the Chief Executive Officer for the National Consumer Complaints Centre (NCCC) as well as the Consumer Research and Resource Centre (CRRC).

Dato’ Paul overseas programs on consumer advocacy, consumer education, consumer complaints and consumer research to strengthen consumer protection and enhance consumer welfare. He has been involved with the consumer movement for more than 30 years. 

He was previously a Senior Lecturer in Psychology with a private University College.  He was also previously the Executive Director of Yayasan SALAM Malaysia, an NGO promoting voluntarism and civil society involvement amongst Malaysian citizens.  Further, he had served as the Head of Research for the Institute for Policy Research (IKD), a think-tank focusing on social policies and consumer related issues.  

Dato’ Paul is currently the Chief Editor of the Ringgit, a monthly Bulletin focusing of financial education. He is also the chief editor for the CRRC Review, a journal related to enhancing research on consumer issues. He was also the second editor for the book, “Consumer Issues in Malaysia”. 

He possesses a PhD in Business Administration from Open University Malaysia, Masters in Psychology from Universiti Malaya and B.Sc. (Agribusiness) from Universiti Pertanian Malaysia.


Ahmed Razman Abdul Latiff 
Senior Lecturer and
Manager, Business Development
Putra Business School (PBS)


Dr. AHMED RAZMAN Abdul Latiff is the Senior Lecturer and Manager of Business Development at Putra Business School (PBS). He holds a Master Degree of Accounting from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and a Master Research Degree in Accounting and Financial Management from Lancaster University, United Kingdom. He also holds a PhD in Corporate Governance from Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom. He is an Associate Member of Malaysian Institute of Accountants. He has presented and published numerous papers at various conferences and journals as well as been awarded various research grants.

He has successfully supervised more than 90 students of PhD, MSc and MBA. Since 2012, he has been appointed as one of the Intellectual Properties Evaluation Panel for Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), which involves in identifying the potential commercialization of UPM inventions. He is the Nominating Committee Member representing Malaysia for the Asian Entrepreneurship Award based in Japan. He is the Vice President (Finance) of Case Writers Association of Malaysia as well as the Editorial Board member of Asian Journal of Case Research.

He is also the Chief Examiner for Corporate Governance paper under The Malaysian Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators. As a regular commentator in radio programs and TV talk shows, he has been passionate about a very wide range of interests including accounting, economics, finance, entrepreneurship, human governance, corporate governance and ethics. He has provided various trainings and consultations on risk management, institutional governance, internal control system and corporate governance to both private and public agencies such as Jabatan Audit Negara, Razak School of Government, Ministry of Higher Education and Yayasan Bank Rakyat.

Sabeerali Kunnath Naduthodi 
Technical Leader, SEA, ANZ
Food Business


Sabeerali Kunnath Naduthodi is a native of India and has lived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia since 2013. Since 2013, Sabeer has been with Cargill, part of the regional technical team  and responsible for leading the team in SEA to support the food ingredients business of Cargill. Prior to Cargill, Sabeer worked for many MNC in leading role in product developments and technical support role.

Sabeer holds a dual master degree; Master of science in Food Science and Technology from European Universities and Master of Science in Food Processing Technology from Periyar University.


Zalma Abdul Razak 
Director, Nutrition Division,
Ministry of Health, Malaysia

Zalma Abdul Razak is a Director of Nutrition Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia since April 2016. She holds a bachelor degree in Food Science and Nutrition from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and a master degree from Universiti Teknologi MARA. She has experience working in the state health departments but most of her career life spent at the headquarters. She has been involved very actively in nutrition programmes and activities including the development and implementation of Breastfeeding Promotion Program, Healthy Eating Promotion, Nutrition Rehabilitation Programme for Malnourished Children, Programme for the Prevention and Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders and the implementation of WHO Growth Standards for Children. She leads the development of smartphone application to promote healthy eating, MyNutriDiari and a positive front-of-pack labelling initiative.

She was also involved in the revision of the National Plan of Action for Nutrition Malaysia (NPANM) 2006-2015 and the development of NPANM 2016-2025. She chairs various committees and meetings under the Ministry of Health Malaysia, including the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Recognition Committee, the Vetting Committee of the Code of Ethics for the Marketing of Foods and Related Products, and meetings with the food producers and service industries.

Norrani Eksan
Deputy Director 
Food Safety & Quality Division Ministry of Health, Malaysia


Norrani Eksan is currently the Deputy Director in the Food Safety and Quality Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia. She joined the Ministry of Health in 1990 and has been working extensively in the area of food safety for the past 28 years. She has contributed significantly to the development and advancement of food safety programmes and food standards nationally, regionally and internationally. She is also the Chair for the National Codex Committee on Food labelling and Chair for the national Codex committee of Food for Specified Health Uses. She has contributed significantly in developing and reviewing the national food standard including harmonizing the national Food Regulation with Codex standard. She has led Malaysia’s delegation in numerous Codex meetings including the Codex Alimentarius Commission, Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses and Codex Committee on Food Labelling.

Ch'ng Oon Teong
Executive Committee Director
and Chair of ASEAN
Harmonisation Committee,

Oon Teong  is an experienced professional with more than 20 years of experience in the field of food scientific and regulatory affairs and has good working relations with the relevant food regulatory authorities, Industry and scientific group in the region. Oon Teong represents FMM MAFMAG in AFBA Board. He is an EXCO member of FMM MAFMAG. He chairs the ASEAN Harmonization Committee in FMM MAFMAG and co-chairs the Nutrition & Nutrition Labelling Working Group in FIA. He is also part of the Board of Directors in ILSE SEA and a life member of the Malaysian Institute of Food Technology (MIFT).