“On August 10, 1985, an inaugural meeting of Toastmasters was held at the Raintree Club, Kuala Lumpur to form a protem Council of Toastmasters Clubs in Malaysia, Toastmaster Jimmy Khoo of Taiping Toastmasters Club was elected as President. In 1988, official approval was given by the Registrar of Societies, but allowing membership only to clubs registered directly with the Registrar of Societies.
On October 25, 1989, Toastmaster Gerald Green DTM met Executive Director Terrence J. Mc Cann and other Toastmasters International Officers at World Headquarters in Santa Ana, California. Consulting the world map, Terrence suggested merging clubs from four nations, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, under one umbrella and gave Gerald the mandate to form the Pan South East Asia (PanSEA) Territorial Council, the largest in the world.
With the help of Toastmaster Mohammad Abdullah DTM the first Pan SEA Speakers Convention was hosted by Perdana Toastmasters Club and held at Hyatt Saujana Subang in Kuala Lumpur on 29th November – 2nd December 1990. Under the able guidance if the then Director at Large Len Jury DTM of New Zealand, assisted by Dina Santos, DTM of Philippines and Tom McKerli DTM of the Founders Club Santa Ana, California, the concept of the Territorial Council was explained and formalized. Gerald Green DTM of Penang, Malaysia was elected as Chairman, Dr Foo Say Wei DTM of Singapore as Education Lt. Governor and Dr.A Priohandojo DTM of Indonesia as Administration Lt. Governor.
The first PanSEA Territorial Council was five official status on February 15,1991, Gerald Green visited Thailand and obtained their consent to join the PanSEA Territorial Council and thus, the largest potential distirct in the world was born.
In 1993, following the growth and development of the Territorial Council, we were granted the District Provisional Status by Toastmasters International and subsequently in august 1996, we achieved full District Status as the largest district in the world.
Growth and Development
In 1998, World Headquarters of Toastmasters consented to Hong Kong joining the District. This was followed by Brunei Darussalam and Macau in year 2000, thus making complete the seven member countries in District 51. In 1999, the Mandarin Division was formed to cater for the growing Mandarin Clubs through out Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Macau.
From a humble beginning of 20 clubs in 1995, the District grew steadily and had almost 100 clubs by the time we attained full District Status in 1996. Since then, District 51 experienced exhilarating growth under the energizing leadership of successive District Governors.
Top of the World
In the year 1996, when we attained full District Status under the leadership of District Governor Dunstan Chan DTM, we won second position in the World Top District Award for the Year and subsequently, in the year 1999, during the term of District Governor, Datuk Dayang Adeline Leong DTM we became the top District in the World.
We have never looked back since then and successfully retained the world Top District Award for five years; a feat which has become a record that will be very challenging to match by any other District in the world in the foreseeable future. We have come a long way since the early days of 1985.
The Reformations of District 51
Being the largest district in the world then, with the tremendous pace of growth in membership and clubs, more than 300 clubs by mid-2002, it was proposed that District 51 be reformed into two districts for greater efficiency in administration and management.
In February 2003, the application for the reformation of District 51 was approved by World Headquarters. Henceforth, District 51 was reformed into District 51 and District 80. District 51 covered clubs in Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia, while District 80 covered clubs in Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore.
The application to reform District 51 was submitted to World Headquarters in 2008. The process of reforming District 51 took place in 2009. By July 2010, District 51 was reformed into District 51 and District 87, with District 51 covering clubs in West Malaysia and District 87 covering clubs In Indonesia, East Malaysia and Brunei. As at 1 July 2012, there are 141 clubs in District 87.
The District Governor for the Inaugural term was Mohd Ariff Azahari, DTM, with Mien Soenari, DTM and Richard A. Gontusan, DTM serving as Lieutenant Governor, Education and Training, and Lieutenant Governor, Marketing respectively. The newly formed District 87 achieved Distinguished District during its Inaugural term 2011- 2012. The District achieved its 1st President Distinguished District under the leadership of Immediate Past District Governor Datin Grace Chiu for the term 2013 – 2014.”
Toastmasters International Mission
“We empower individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders.”
“We build new clubs and support all clubs in achieving excellence.”
“We provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.”
Toastmasters International Core Values
Toastmasters International Envisioned Future
To be the first-choice provider of dynamic, high-value, experiential communication and leadership skills development.