Star, P Alo felicitate Latifur Rahman | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 31, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 31, 2012

Star, P Alo felicitate Latifur Rahman

FROM LEFT…Kazi Rafiqul Islam, president of Ahsania Mission; Latifur Rahman, chairman of Transcom Group; Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus; Muhammed Aziz Khan, chairman of Summit Group; and Anis Ud Dowla, chairman of ACI Group, at the reception for Latifur Rahman at the Rupashi Bangla Hotel in the capital yesterday. Photo: STAR

Former bureaucrats, politicians, academics, civil society members, corporate executives and media personalities yesterday showered Latifur Rahman, chairman of Transcom Group, with praise for glorifying Bangladesh's name abroad by winning the Business for Peace Award.
They said the achievement of Rahman for ethical business practices would help Bangladesh roll back its image as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
Their comments came at a reception at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in the city. The Prothom Alo and The Daily Star -- the country's two top selling newspapers owned by the group Rahman leads -- organised the ceremony to honour him.
Rahman, who is currently the vice-president of International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh, won the Business for Peace Award 2012 in the Norwegian capital Oslo on May 7.
The award is the highest distinction given to a businessperson for outstanding accomplishments in the area of ethical business.
An independent committee of Nobel Prize winners in peace and economics selects the recipients. They adhere to the criteria for "being businessworthy" stipulated by the Foundation.
This recognition has included Rahman in the group of exceptional business personalities like Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Group in India, who got the award in 2010, and Jeffrey R Immelt, chief executive of General Electric in the US, who won it in 2009.
Nobel laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus said the word "corruption" pops up first when it comes to the image of Bangladesh. "Many also suspect that the business is the starting point of corruption."
"Latifur Rahman came out of the community and has won the important award. No pride can be bigger than this," said the founder of Grameen Bank.
Zillur Rahman Siddiqui, former vice chancellor of Jahangirnagar University, said Rahman had won the award as a qualified recipient. There was no doubt about it.
"It is more joyous because Bangladesh is named and shamed as a corrupt country. That image is slowly disappearing. He has set an example --- that it is possible to become a successful businessperson by maintaining honesty and ethics. We have seen such ethics in Samson H Chowdhury."
Siddiqui also said Latifur's winning of the award would show the country light amid the present circumstances of despair.
Anis Ud Dowla, chairman of ACI, said Rahman had become an example for the country's businesspeople and would encourage them to run businesses honestly.
"There are a few international recognitions for Bangladesh," he said, urging the government to pass a thanks-giving motion in parliament to congratulate him.
Former Secretary Faruq Chowdhury said Rahman had proved that one could be a winner even if he maintained honesty and ethics in his businesses.
Rupali Chowdhury, managing director of Berger Paints Bangladesh Ltd, said: "We always claim that multinational companies run businesses legally. Rahman, however, has proved that there are local companies in Bangladesh that are running businesses legally."
Mahfuz Anam, editor and publisher of The Daily Star, said it was a rare achievement and an outstanding award. "It is an award for honesty and ethics."
He said nobody had imagined that someone from Bangladesh would win such an award for doing business honestly. "It is a global recognition of rising ethical business practices in Bangladesh."
He thanked Rahman and other directors of The Daily Star board for never interfering in the day-to-day running of the newspaper and for always standing firm for press freedom.
Matiur Rahman, editor of daily Prothom Alo, said the two newspapers -- The Daily Star and the Prothom Alo -- would continue to play a major role in helping Bangladesh move forward.
A humbled Latifur Rahman said he was surprised when he was nominated for the award. "It was incredible and I was thinking whether I qualify for the award."
"I cannot ask for more in my life," he said in his very short but moving speech.
Communications and Railways Minister Obaidul Quader, lawmaker Rashed Khan Menon, columnist Syed Abul Moksud, General Secretary of Communist Party of Bangladesh Mujahidul Islam Selim, former caretaker government advisers Geetiara Shafia Chowdhury, Sultana Kamal and Rasheda K Chowdhury, senior journalist ABM Musa, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University Prof Harun-or-Rashid, Brac Executive Director Mahbub Hossain, artiste Mustafa Monowar, academics Professor Emeritus Sakhawat Ali Khan and Prof Asif Nazrul, noted folk singer Mustafa Zaman Abbasi, President of International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh Mahbubur Rahman, Bangladesh Krishi Bank Chairman Ibrahim Khaled, Managing Director of Transcom Foods Akku Chowdhury, directors of Transcom Group Shahnaz Rahman, Simeen Hossain, Saifur Rahman, Atiqur Rahman, Arshad Waliur Rahman and Shahzreh Huq, security analyst Maj Gen (retd) Amin Ahmed Chowdhury, social activist Khushi Kabir, Executive Director of Manusher Jonno Foundation Shaheen Anam, cultural personalities Hasan Imam, Aly Zaker, Tarik Anam Khan and Neema Rahman, Chairman of Summit Group Muhammed Aziz Khan, former director general of Bangladesh Post Office Ataur Rahman, managing director of Pubali Bank Helal Ahmed Chowdhury, Citibank NA country officer Rashed Maqsood were also present in the reception.

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