Friday, 2 October 2015

Europe can accept large numbers of immigrants – a lesson learnt in yesterday's Malaya!

Recently, television screens are filled with pictures of a stream of mostly Arab refugees wandering into Europe. Many Europeans are disturbed at the images of sheer desperation but are also worried about the future impact of accepting these refugees.

One may argue these refugees are simply 'collateral damage' from the various invasions and wars (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria) waged by Western powers in the name of freedom and democracy. One may also pontificate about the moral obligation Europe, particularly NATO member states, have towards refugees from war torn regions of the Middle East.

Note the countries accepting the largest refugee populations in the world, based on UN data, are not wealthy, e.g. Lebanon, Pakistan, Turkey.
Let us not do either and, instead, take a look at a few numbers.

According to the CIA, Iraq has an estimated population of 37 million people and Syria 17 million. Simple mathematics suggests that if Europe hypothetically accepts and relocates the entire living populations of both Syria and Iraq, i.e. 54 million souls, they will Europeans will still account for just about ten percent of Europe's current population of over 500 million people. In other words, 'existing' European residents will comprise 90 percent of the population even after such a large (and unrealistic) dislocation of populations.

Undoubtedly, there are issues of geographic concentrations, etc. but then these refugees are 'Yuppie Migrants.' They are better educated than the average economic migrant of the last few centuries.

Refugees march through Hungary in August 2015
Now take a look at some historic numbers from Southeast Asia.

Singapore and the broader Malaya region (today's Malaysia) was virtually exclusively inhabited by various Malay speaking peoples from the region in 1819. Then in 1819 the British East India Company established its presence and colonized the island for king and country. Subsequently, British colonial authorities opened up the floodgates to new arrivals (this is not the place to analyze the reasons for such a policy).

Immigration from China and India was so intense that Malays are a minority in Singapore. Malays now account for less than fifteen percent of Singapore's population. In Malaysia, non-Malays constitute approximately forty percent of the country's population. The demographics of Singapore and Malaya have changed indescribably since the advent of colonialism.

Here is an account of events from Singapore published in 1846. It reads much like events pertaining to the European Refugee Crisis of today.

Incessant Chinese migrant arrivals stretch colony's infrastructure

Singapore's authorities are overwhelmed by the daily arrival of thousands of economic migrants from China and India. The wave of immigrants, primarily from China's southern Fujian province, arrive at a make-shift jetty on Telok Ayer Street. Thence, the fortunate souls who survive the perilous weeks long sea journey immediately proceed to the nearby Thian Hock Keng Temple to give thanks to the Goddess of the Seas – Ma Zhu. Most Chinese immigrants believe their safe arrival is due in large part to Ma Zhu's helping hand.

While speaking to this correspondent about the difficulties of accommodating such a large number of immigrants, social worker John Doe said, "To add to our problems, a steady stream of migrants from the Tamil speaking Coromandel coast of India are also arriving in large numbers. Both groups are fleeing instability and poverty in their homelands and believe Singapore to be the new Promised Land."

Authorities are concerned at the impact the newcomers will have on the ethnic mix of the predominantly Malay-Muslim population of Singapore. Already, some Malays have expressed discomfort at the changing racial and ethnic mix on the island. The disgruntlement about the changing character of the island is compounded by the religious and cultural traditions of most new migrants. These Malays suggest the large influx of idol worshipping foreigners will create tensions among an otherwise harmonious complex of diverse Malay communities.

Authorities have established cells to register the migrants, though most simply make their way to the nearest Chinese clan association for assistance. The lucky ones knock on the doors of a distant relative or friend who is already residing in Singapore.

Medical practitioners are alarmed at the crowded conditions in streets surrounding South Bridge Road and are urging authorities to designate special buildings as refugee camps for the wary, hungry and often sick refugees.

Excerpt from "Incessant Chinese migrant arrivals stretch colony's infrastructure." The Straights Times, August 14, 1846.*

First port of call for many Chinese refugees arriving in Singapore was the Thian Hock Keng Temple, now a popular tourist attraction
Singapore not only survived the onslaught of migrants from foreign lands but perhaps the island thrived as a result of the new migrants!

Europe, too, has an opportunity to reinvent itself and emerge a stronger and more dynamic continent. European nations may either do this willingly by helping integrate the current wave of refugees or, alternately, these nations may swim against the tide of history by erecting physical and psychological barriers against the new entrants.

Let us see whether European values extend beyond the continent's own borders.

* Please note this article is a fictional account of events written by the blogger in 2015. It is not a genuine excerpt from any newspaper of other publication.


Imran is a business and management consultant. Through his work at Deodar Advisors and the Deodar Diagnostic, Imran improves profits of businesses operating in Singapore and the region. He can be reached at

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Singapore General Elections 2015: ten key takeaways

With the 2015 General Election results now confirmed, here are ten 'quick and dirty' takeaways.


1.   GE 2015 was a genuine general election. Every constituency was contested and every Singaporean cast a ballot. There were no walkovers.

2.   Singaporeans made politicians work hard to earn their votes. No vote was taken for granted. Even the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) made an effort.

3.   The Workers Party (WP) consolidated its role as the only credible opposition party in Singapore. The new talent brought in by the WP is ostensibly of well qualified and of high quality.

4.   A natural narrowing of the political arena is occurring with other opposition parties beginning to fade away thus, ultimately, leaving the field clear for the possible evolution of two party system.

5.   Singaporeans are developing a taste for accountability from its leaders. This may translate into unpredictability of voting patterns, something that should keep the PAP leadership on constant alert and sensitive to voter concerns.


1.   The PAP's margin of victory may influence its leadership to revert to the party's past leadership style, often perceived as arrogant and condescending.

2.   Singapore has no worthwhile opposition to speak of, at least not presently. If the WP can survive and 'professionalize and corporatize' itself over the next few general elections then it has a chance.

3.   All the other (not WP) opposition parties are perceived by the electorate as amateurish with no genuine leadership capability or platform. None was able to make a significant mark among voters in any constituency.

4.   Given the strength of the PAP's mandate, it may now attempt to 'strangle' and discredit other political parties through 'political-administrative' measures to 'cleanse' the political arena.

5.   Singaporeans must wait five more years if they want to make a change!

Imran is a business and management consultant. Through his work at Deodar Advisors and the Deodar Diagnostic, Imran improves profits of businesses operating in Singapore and the region. He can be reached at

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Hat Yai: Southern Thailand's frontier market town

Hat Yai is the capital of Thailand's Songkhla province. The city is perhaps best known for being the last major Thai settlement on the route to Malaysia's Georgetown / Penang. However, Hat Yai deserves to be much more than just a dot on a map or a passing sign on an express train journey from Bangkok to Malaysia.

The Hat Yai train station which connects the city with other parts of Thailand, including Bangkok as well as the Malaysian city of Butterworth
Hat Yai is a travel destination in its own right. If the number of Malaysian voices one hears around Hat Yai is any indication, Malaysians seem to agree.

The city is a combination of street markets and many cultural attractions. The reclining Buddha, the Guan Im Temple and the Four Faced Buddha are just a few of the monuments sprinkled around the city.

A view of the 'small' reclining Buddha
The Reclining Buddha Temple, said to be the second largest in Thailand

A lazy visitor relaxes at the steps of the Guan Im Temple, dutifully guarded by a golden royal dragon
Note there are no mosques in the above list. Odd, given Hat Yai's population is approximately 40 percent Muslim (it's hard to find accurate statistics online). Nonetheless, for Pakistani (or Pakistani origin!) visitors, there is a particular place of worship in Hat Yai not to be missed: the aptly named Masjid Pakistan or Pakistani Mosque!

The notable Masjid Pakistan or Pakistani Mosque located near Hat Yai's main train station
According to a local inside the mosque, the Masjid Pakistan was originally constructed about 50 years ago by three wealthy Pakistani merchant residents of Hat Yai. The philanthropists bought the land and funded the mosque's construction. Subsequently, in the early 1990s, a major expansion of the mosque was carried out, also spearheaded by the descendants of the Pakistani families but with the larger community's involvement.

Perhaps the greatest part of Hat Yai's charm lies in its small town feel coupled with a unique demographic mix. The city's population is less than 200,000 and includes sizeable Chinese and Muslim populations. In fact, Hat Yai is unique among Thai cities in that the combined Muslim and Chinese populations outnumber the 'traditional' Thai population.

Colorful examples of Peranakan architecture on a Hat Yai street
The mixed population results in a unique cuisine blending Malay dishes with the Thai penchant for chilli. As with the rest of Thailand, the food alone is enough to entice a traveller into Hat Yai.

A wall mural of a dragon painted on the walls of a Chinese temple
Since the start of a low level Islamist insurgency in 2001, many travellers have stayed away from Thailand's southern provinces for security reasons. Certainly, there have been scattered incidents of violence in the past. But Hat Yai is much too enchanting to avoid simply because of the activities of a few misguided souls!
Imran is a Singapore based Tour Guide with a special interest in arts and history. Imran has lived and worked in several countries in his career as an international banker. He enjoys traveling, especially by train, to feed his curiosity about the world and nurture his interest in photography. Imran can be contacted at

Monday, 17 August 2015

Singapore’s strategic challenge: SG50 to SG100

SG50 celebrations are quickly fading from Singapore's collective memory. The mutual self-congratulations and laudatory speeches are a thing of the past. Indeed, the political focus has shifted decisively towards the future with the official announcement of general elections expected imminently.

While Singapore's 'usual suspects' (e.g. immigration, public transport, cost of living, etc.) will command most attention during the forthcoming election campaign, it is Singapore's welfare over the next 50 years which demand more focus.

Arguably, the 50 years nation building period since 1965 may prove easier to navigate than the coming 50 years. Why? Several reasons come to mind.

Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) is the most obvious answer.

Singapore was fortunate to have firm, visionary leadership for several post-independence decades – a luxury denied most newly decolonized nations. Leadership best symbolized by LKY, but also includes other cabinet members (e.g. Goh Keng Swee, Rajaretnam et. al.) influential in their own right in shaping critical national policy frameworks.

Singapore circa 1965 was a typical third world city: undeveloped, unclean and riddled with crime. Arguably, things could not get much worse – only better. Certainly, development is easier when started from a low base - improvements are more visible and impactful.

Singapore took a free market, export led approach to generating economic growth in an era when many decolonized countries practiced and preached economic self-reliance. China was well and truly a People's Republic. Deng Xiao Ping had not yet worked his magic. India was a socialist country firmly implanted on the Soviet Union's side during the Cold War. Both China and India were off limits to international investors.

For ASEAN's Asian Tigers it was a sunny period as they received large doses of direct foreign investment from wealthy industrialized nations. There was far less competition for the international investment dollar. Fast forward to 2015 and things are different.

Singapore no longer starts from a low economic base.

On the contrary, Singapore is now one of the wealthiest nations in the world. It is hard, if not impossible, to generate and sustain (say) seven percent annual GDP growth with GDP per capita at USD 56,000 versus the 1965 per capita income of USD 516. Put simply, seven percent growth equals an annual increment of USD 36 in 1965 versus a yearly increase in income of almost USD 4,000 today (a monthly wage increase of approximately SGD 450).

Suddenly one pillar of Singapore's historical social contract looks a bit wobbly?

Like other Asian Tiger economies, a key factor in Singapore's early economic success was its low cost structure. Contemporary Singapore is no longer cost competitive for traditional businesses. Quite the reverse, recent surveys suggest Singapore is now a frightfully expensive place for international companies.

That's not all. Singapore's economic success brings with it other concerns.

A wealthy, literate population has different expectations from the country's political leadership.

Having achieved success, some Singaporeans believe they are entitled to a 'cradle to the grave' social welfare structure, often citing various European countries as appropriate models. The increased demands by citizens coupled with the power of the social media – think Arab Spring – has on occasion forced the government's hand towards populist polices.

Undoubtedly, Singapore can afford higher social expenditure but if the 'entitlement' trend continues then Singapore becomes closer to Europe in other ways too: high taxes, poor delivery of government services and a rigid labor market. Or Singapore heads towards unsustainable social expenditure (think Greece)?

Unfortunately (or fortunately) ASEAN is not the European Union and no one owes Singapore a living!

Politically, no single leader has the gravitas and respect accorded to LKY and his team.

The political contract was simpler in 1965: the government improves economic conditions and the citizenry don't ask too many difficult questions. In contrast, today's electorate is keen to question the leadership and flex its muscles at the ballot box. The upshot: despite the ruling People's Action Party's achievements for Singapore over the last 50 years, the city's long standing rulers cannot take the popular vote for granted.

Consequently, the government cannot enact unpopular policies with the same bluster as before. A literate, connected and wealthy (entitled?!) electorate is not as easy to boss around as the less well-off, kampong dwelling Singaporean of the past.  

History is for historians and the future is for the next generation (or, PAP, what have you done for me lately)?!

Despite all the challenges face in an uncertain world, there are many reasons to argue for Singapore's continued success in the next 50 years.

Governmence structures are solidly in place.

Public service and the bureaucracy continue to attract talent due to competitive compensation structures. In an often unstable region, Singapore's educated and English speaking society provides a haven of stability which allows the country to charge a 'Singapore Premium.'

Currency reserves – effectively savings squirreled away for a rainy day - are sizeable.

Between GIC and Temasek, Singapore's two sovereign wealth funds, GIC and Temasek, contain a massive USD 538 billion in assets. A sum equivalent to approx. USD 161,000 for each of Singapore's 3.4 million citizens! These savings provide a limited insurance policy for increased social welfare expenditures.

Singapore's new found wealth also makes the country ideally placed in a capitalist world.

The Republic is a global investor in its own right with large investments, particularly in developing ASEAN and China. In time these investments will generate significant positive income for the country.

But let's forget logic for a moment. After all, human society is a collection of human emotional endeavours?

Singapore's future is about survival for its resourceful and creative population. So if necessity is the mother of invention (or re-invention is this case) then the odds suggest that this small (non-secular!) island republic will succeed in for the next fifty years!

Imran is a business and management consultant. Through his work at Deodar Advisors and the Deodar Diagnostic, Imran improves profits of businesses operating in Singapore and the region. He can be reached at

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Are there any Malays in the audience?

Undoubtedly, many Singaporeans have seen the above message. It is doing the rounds on social media.

Am I alone in believing the message is offensive? And I am not even Malay.

"Do not provoke the Malays people."

I guess it is fine to provoke Malays in normal times but not these days. However, if one feels aggressive then go ahead and provoke the Chinese. It seems they will not react to unnecessary provocations!

"Be friendly and keep a distance from them [Malays]."

If one happens to be a Malay Singaporean (odds are about one in seven) planning to visit family in Malaysia to celebrate Hari Raya, cancel your visit immediately. There is no telling what these fanatics might do – best to just stay at home and spread rumours instead!

"Malays are string [stirring] members and are planning a rampage to slaughter the Chinese becos of the LowYat incident."

So if you happen to be a 'normal' [aka non-Malay] Singaporean don't visit JB or any other part of Malaysia during the coming long weekend. It's not violent crime that should worry us; it's the possibility of being slaughtered for being Chinese.

I am normally not one to give credence to conspiracy theories. However, even if the message is well intentioned - which I suspect is not the case - it is alarmist, racist and certainly falls prey to negative stereotyping. It may create ill-will among Singaporeans.

Perhaps I have yet to come to terms with being a minority living in a Chinese majority (multi-racial) Republic? Or perhaps I am simply overreacting to an otherwise innocent message?
Imran is a business and management consultant. Through his work at Deodar Advisors and the Deodar Diagnostic, Imran improves profits of businesses operating in Singapore and the region. He can be reached at

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Sarajevo: Bosnia’s microcosm of humanity

If Serbia was an eye-opener then Bosnia was no less an amazing experience!

As the crow flies, the distance between Belgrade and Sarajevo is less than 200 kilometres – a couple of hours on a German autobahn or an intercity train! However, train services between Belgrade and Sarajevo were suspended in 2012 making bus travel the best option.

Given the mountainous (and beautiful!) terrain traversed during the road journey, the actual distance traveled on a bus is approximately 300 kilometres. Including a few rest stops, immigration formalities to exit Serbia and enter Bosnia (two independent nations), the entire journey takes almost eight hours. A long but manageable ride.

The Sebilj or Ottoman style wooden fountain located in Bascarsija Square, an old city district
The highway from Belgrade takes one through fairly typical (yet beautiful!) European countryside. It is only closer to the Bosnian frontier that the land becomes mountainous. Sarajevo proper is situated 500 meters above sea level in a valley of the Dinaric Alps.

Although the Bosnian countryside is spectacular especially when seen from such high vantage points, it is the pervasiveness of graveyards, large and small, dotted across Bosnia which one finds striking. The cemeteries are a reminder of the horrors – and massacres – of the Yugoslav civil war of the 1990s. As recently as October 2013, a mass grave believed to contain over 1,000 bodies was found near a village in Northwest Bosnia.

(View a vivid pictorial essay of the Bosnian War by the Atlantic magazine here.)

The bus curves its way up mountains on narrow roads until at some point it begins its descent again. (Travelers prone to motion sickness or suffering from fear of heights may wish to carry ginger and / or sleeping pills!)

There is a sense of excitement about entering Sarajevo after hours of driving in sparsely populated rural areas; entering civilization after wandering about in 'no man's land!'

The Latin Bridge across the Miljacka River. The bridge was the site of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand's assassination in 1914, an event which precipitated World War One 
From first glance, one realizes Sarajevo is an old and unique city. Europe but still not quite Europe: more Europe than Istanbul but as Ottoman as any Turkish city, especially in architectural terms.

Moreover, Sarajevo is a city of hills with narrow streets and lanes. A great city for keeping fit as walking – even a short distance of a few hundred meters to the nearest tram station – requires negotiating steep inclines. There is also a medieval, 'stone houses and cobbled streets' atmosphere within Sarajevo, nowhere more so than in the Baščaršija Square located in the old town.

Sarajevo is a must see city for any traveler: a city of functioning synagogues, cathedrals and mosques; a city which recently hosted Pope Francis. Sarajevo is also a city which was only recently (at least for historians!) plunged into despair, despondency and an orgy of bloodletting along religious and ethnic lines.  

A dog drinks water at the Sebilj water fountain
In so many ways, Sarajevo personifies the best and worst of human nature: a city of tolerance, peace and harmony and yet also a city of war and unspeakable atrocities.
Imran is a business and management consultant. Through his work at Deodar Advisors and the Deodar Diagnostic, Imran improves profits of businesses operating in Singapore and the region. He can be reached at

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Europe Extravaganza 2015 in bullet points!

Not exactly the original Orient Express but one of my own personal versions of Europe by train!  
Istanbul, Turkey: Can't go wrong with one of my favorite cities. However, Istanbul has become increasingly commercialized recently and is losing some of its charm. Ottoman architecture and friendly (animated!) Turks compensate for the loss.

Istanbul to Sofia (Bulgaria) by train: Cheap. Normally a decent journey but messy this round due to rail system upgrades in both Turkey and Bulgaria. In normal circumstances, one can't go wrong with the Turkish Railways (TCDD) sleeper compartment on the nightly Balkans Express train from Istanbul to Sofia.

Sofia, Bulgaria: Day trips such as to Rila Monastery make a stay in an otherwise somewhat grey city more enjoyable. The upside? Until today Sofia remains one of the cheapest cities in Europe. Pamper yourself by enjoying local food at some of the city's most popular premium restaurants – it won't break your budget!

Sofia to Belgrade (Serbia) by train: Very comfortable journey in a sleeper compartment which arrives in Belgrade early morning. Immigration formalities are conducted on the train by both Bulgarian and Serbian officials.

Belgrade, Serbia: Don't be thrown by the 'War Criminals' label associated with Serbia – all nations have demons to exorcize. Belgrade was friendly and cheap with lots to see. On a sunny day, budget at least half a day walking around the fortress area; you will not be disappointed.

Belgrade to Sarajevo (Bosnia) by coach: There is no railway in operation between these two formerly warring Yugoslav republics. The coach takes you through some incredible mountainous scenery. (The whole trip reminds me of a road journey in Northern Pakistan, e.g. from Islamabad to the Swat Valley.) Note the mass graveyards which dot Bosnia's landscape – a grim reminder of recent hostilities. If you are prone to motion sickness be prepared to carry your tablets for parts of the winding journey.

Sarajevo, Bosnia: Wonderful - a little bit of the 'Orient' in the middle of Europe! Not a Muslim city by an means, one sees many churches (Orthodox and Catholic) and the odd (functional) synagogue. My first synagogue visit was here in Sarajevo (Singapore's synagogue doesn't permit non-Jewish visitors). Be prepared for exercise while walking up and down hills if you stay in the old city. Food is good, people friendly and the city oozes history (which I love). A must visit.

Sarajevo to Mostar (Bosnia) or by road: Beautiful journey, often adjacent to a river and through mountains. The short two and a half hour journey can also be done by train (on my next visit to Bosnia!). The train journey seems like it should be on some 'Top Ten Train Journeys of the World' list. If you are 3-4 persons hiring a car for a 'door to door' journey is cheaper than traveling by train.

Mostar, Bosnia: The natural scenery surrounding Mostar makes the city an ideal candidate for a 'retreat' from civilization! From our apartment by the river we could hear the soothing sounds of a waterfall and flowing water. The old Ottoman bridge and bazaar are nice. For me, hearing the Islamic call to prayer (Azan) at the same time as a nearby church was ringing its bells was a highlight of my visit. (No, they weren't trying to drown each other out either!) For Catholics, the nearby pilgrimage town of Medjugorje is a pleasant day trip.

Sarajevo to Zagreb, Croatia by train: Another long train journey on carriages being pulled by a 1970s style diesel electric locomotive – I love it! The journey cuts through some amazing scenery and is a comfortable way to travel between the two cities. Be prepared for delays as both the Bosnian nor the Croatian railways staff operate the service in a relaxed manner without obsessing about on time arrivals.

Zagreb, Croatia: 'New Europe' retains a degree of religiosity which has been lost in 'Old Europe.' Catholic Croatia is as good an example as any – visit the cathedrals and churches! Zagreb also has a surprising number of decent museums and art galleries, take the time to visit a few. Not many cities count cemeteries in their 'must see' lists but the Mirogoj Cemetery is on Zagreb's list. One can easily spend a few hours getting lost in the graveyard while admiring the diversely handcrafted tombstones in Mirogoj.

Zagreb to Budapest, Hungary by train: Surprisingly, the train had free (and functioning!) internet wifi as soon as we entered Hungary. Otherwise an uneventful train journey through European countryside.

Budapest, Hungary: A graceful historic city with much to see. Although most traces of over 150 years of Ottoman rule have been wiped clean, more recent influences from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and post war communist rule are widely visible. Keep your eyes open for the interesting architecture visible all across the city. If you like meat, the beef goulash is a must.

Budapest to Bratislava, Slovakia by train: A regular rail traveler once told me all trains to and from Budapest are late by about 30 minutes. My experience certainly bears this out! Nonetheless, the journey was comfortable and routine; no excitement.

Bratislava, Slovakia: I really did not know what to expect in Bratislava. While it was expensive – perhaps because Slovakia is in the Euro currency zone - the city was a welcome addition to the itinerary. Highlights included Devin Castle – a short bus ride from the city center and the amazingly cute St. Elizabeth's Church (Blue Little Church or Modry kostolik).

Bratislava to Prague, Czech Republic by train: Another uneventful rail journey. Perhaps 'railway fatigue' has set in after the several earlier train rides. Alternately, I believe as one heads farther into more 'developed' Europe and the trains become more advanced the beauty of nostalgic, traditional rail journeys is replaced by the sterility of (theoretically!) 'efficient and comfortable' modern railways – where every inch of leg space is fully utilized!

Prague, Czech Republic: Beware of the extortionate commissions (21-27%!!) charged by most money changers in central Prague! Other than the money changers (with taxi drivers a close second!), Prague is a wonderful city for travelers. Once you get the Old Town and Charles Bridge out of the way, make sure you visit St. Vitus Cathedral in the city's castle area.

Onwards from Prague: International flights from Prague are available to most parts of the world, through connecting flights in other European or Asian (Dubai) hubs. For those who wish to carry on with the journey, direct trains are available from Prague to several European cities, e.g. Munich. From Munich travelers can travel farther west and ultimately connect with the Eurostar from either Belgium or France and end their journey in London. Alternately, travelers can take a direct train from Prague to Warsaw and travel East or Northeast from Warsaw.
Imran is a Singapore based Tour Guide with a special interest in arts and history. Imran has lived and worked in several countries during his past career as an international banker. He enjoys traveling, especially by train, as a way to feed his curiosity about the world and nurture his interest in photography. Imran can be contacted at