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ROME – Pioneer Malaysian media educationist Lawrence John Sinniah (aka Eljay) was elected on 1 Mar 2014 a vice president of Signis, the World Catholic Association for Communication.
He will serve for four years (2014-2017) in the Signis Board of Directors led by incoming president Gustavo Andújar of Cuba. The other vice president is Frank Frost of the USA.
The new Signis board was elected at the end of the Signis World Congress (SWC) held in Rome from 25 Feb to 1 March. The theme of SWC was Media for a Culture of Peace: Creating Images with the New Generation.
Eljay joins the Signis Board just as another Malaysian, Sir Augustine Loorthusamy (Knight of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St Sylvester, Pope and Martyr), retires from the Board after serving two terms as president of Signis. It is an unprecedented honour for the country for two Malaysian social communicators to have reached these positions in an international organization.
Signis is officially recognized by the Vatican as a Catholic organization for communication. It is a worldwide, non-governmental organization of professionals in radio, television, cinema, video media education, Internet, and new technologies. Signis has members from more than 130 countries.
Eljay is the outgoing president of Signis Asia, having helmed the Asian board for eight years from 2006-2013.
He was also the coordinator of two Signis initiatives: the Global Video Journalist (VJ) program and the Global Media Education project. The VJ program was initiated by Sinniah during the last SWC in Chiengmai in 2009.
Eljay has been involved with Church communications and media for more than three decades. He was one of the pioneer staff of Cahayasuara, the social communications centre of the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur. He has put in 30 years service, and was Cahayasuara’s director from 2001-2013, and concurrently headed the National Office for Social Communication Malaysia.
He holds a degree in mass communications (broadcast major) from USA.
Eljay lives in Kuala Lumpur, and has three children. – Signis