May your soul rest in peace.

omar shaari tribute to james selva may your soul rest in peace 1
“May your soul rest in peace.” a tribute to James Selva by Omar Shaari, was first published in MARKETING WEEKENDER Issue 337

I first met James Selva when I joined Spencer Azizul back in its heydays in 1992. James was the Media Director and head of the media department then. I joined as an Account Director, straight out after a good 7 year run at The Ball Partnership/Euro RSCG.

Those were the good old days, working for Azizul Kallahan and Spencer Wing, alongside Bruce Bendry, Veno Chornalingam (founder of Wizard’s Room), Chun Wan, Mohammed Iqbal, Prabha Nayar (founder of EpicWorks) and Azman Zainal (cofounder of DNAComms), to name a few. Yes, you can say we all went on to make our own mark in the rough and tough world of advertising.

James was no exception. He went on to establish Perception Media where he published a series of magazines and directories related to our industry. One of his notable achievements was to publish the Media Planning Guide annually, the only one of its kind in Malaysia.

omar shaari tribute to james selva may your soul rest in peace 2

James also held various positions in other non-profit organizations and NGOs, including as Secretary, Asian Federation of Advertising Associations (AFAA).

The James Selva as I know was knowledgeable with a strong business acumen, a religious man, a family man and a good friend.

I still recall when I first started OT Advertising in 1997, a two-man show with another ex-colleague from the Ball Partnership days, Thomas Low. James was among the first to jump in to help me gain my footing in the dog-eat-dog business world. And he did all these without even me asking for it. As it was said, you will know who your real friends are, when you start out on your own. For that alone, I am indebted to this man.

May your soul rest in peace.

Omar Shaari


IAA Malaysia

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