Chancellor of Wawasan Open University
On 9 May 2011, the Wawasan Education Foundation invited Tun Dato’ Seri Dr
Lim Keng Yaik to succeed the late Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu as the Chancellor of
Wawasan Open University.
The formal instalment of Tun Dr Lim as the second Chancellor took place
during a special ceremony held at the main campus in Penang on 19 November
Noted for his sharp wit and candid opinions, Tun Dr Lim is a dedicated
leader who never flinches from speaking out in the interest of the people
and nation. His innate wisdom, enhanced by years of public service and
political sparring, will certainly benefit the University as it anchors
itself to be a frontrunner in delivering quality higher education to adult
learners in the country.
Tun Dr Lim was born in Tapah, Perak on 8 April 1939 to a tin mining father
and homemaker mother. He received his primary and secondary education from
St Michael’s Institution, Ipoh before he proceeded to the prestigious
Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland where he graduated with a
degree in medicine in 1964.
Following a brief stint as a medical practitioner, Tun Dr Lim ventured into
politics in 1968, first as a member of the Malaysian Chinese Association
(MCA), and later joining the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia in 1973. He
meteorically rose through the party ranks, becoming the party’s State
Chairman for Perak in 1974, its National Deputy President in 1976 and
National President in 1980.
For well over 27 years, he was the President, voice and the public persona
of Gerakan. On retirement from active party politics on his birthday
in 2007, he was appointed as the party’s National Advisor.He relinquished
this post in October 2010, and was immediately appointed its Life Member
Leadership in state and federal government
Tun Lim’s political ascendency also saw him playing various important roles
in the Government for 37 years between 1971 and 2008, at both federal and
state levels. He was the Minister with Special Functions in charge of new
villages under Tun Abdul Razak (1971-73), then a member of the Perak State
Legislature and State Executive Councillor (1978-86), and subsequently an
elected Federal Parliamentarian.
He was appointed as a Perak State Executive Councillor upon winning the
Jalong state seat in the 1978 General Election. He won the Beruas
parliamentary seat in 1986, serving as MP for 22 years while being appointed
Minister of Primary Industries (1986-2004) and Minister of Energy, Water and
Recogniton for contributions
He has been conferred numerous awards and honours in recognition of his
distinguished and dedicated service to the community and the nation. The
Perak Government bestowed upon him the DPCM (which carries the title Dato’)
in 1981. He was also conferred the SPMP by the Perak Government in 1989, the
DGPN by the Penang Government in 1997, the SSAP by the Pahang Government in
2006 and PNBS from the Sarawak Government in 2009. All these awards carry
the title ‘Dato’ Seri’. He was conferred the Seri Setia Mahkota Malaysia
(SSM) award which carries the title ‘Tun’ by the DYMM Yang di-Pertuan Agong
on 7 June 2008.
His contributions have also been recognised by academia. In 1999, he was
awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by his alma mater Queen’s
University of Belfast, and an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree by the
Information and Communications University, South Korea in 2004.
Without Tun Dr Lim’s fierce representation in Government on behalf of the
Wawasan Education Foundation as well his advocacy for open education, WOU
would not have happened. He was also instrumental, as WOU's first
Chairman of the Council, in the continuing progress of the University.
Tun Dr Lim is married to Toh Puan Wong Yoon Chuan and they have three
children – son Datuk Lim Si Pin and daughters Dr Lim Poi Giok and Lim Poi
Since his retirement from active politics, he spends more time on family
business ventures and in numerous fund-raising activities, ever remaining a
respected, popular national figure.