WOU notches another milesone with the installation of Tunku Imran as Chancellor

Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar was formally installed as the fourth Chancellor of Wawasan Open University during a simple yet momentous ceremony held at the main campus today.

Tunku Imran, 71, takes over from Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah, a former Chief Justice of Malaysia who served as the University’s third Chancellor from 2013 until 2018.

Tunku Imran (right) being installed as Chancellor of WOU.

Tunku Imran (right) being installed as Chancellor of WOU.

In his installation address, WOU Board of Governors Chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon lavished praises on Tunku Imran for his extensive achievements in various fields, particularly sports administration and business. 

He said that Tunku Imran will bring “his wisdom, insight and leadership from his very rich experience to guide the university, and also to connect us with his many contacts, nationally and internationally, in the best ways possible”.

The University’s Board of Governors Chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon delivers his installation address.

The University’s Board of Governors Chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon delivers his installation address.

Tunku Imran, in accepting the honour of Chancellor, said that WOU owed a great debt of gratitude to the late Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik for turning his vision of an open distance learning university into a reality.

He also paid homage to Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan, “the chief architect of WOU”, who “has left behind a legacy of opening up tertiary education opportunities for adult learners in various parts of the world”.

Tunku Imran delivers his address accepting the honour of Chancellor of WOU.

Tunku Imran delivers his address accepting the honour of Chancellor of WOU.

Tunku Imran reiterated the vision, mission and values of the University, adding that everyone in WOU has a role to play and should not be neglected, as otherwise “the fabric of the University will begin to disintegrate”.

He called on the University to learn from its past and to move with a greater sense of purpose if it wants to achieve success.

Datuk Dr Lim Thuang Seng (left) is proclaimed as the new Pro-Chancellor of WOU.

Datuk Dr Lim Thuang Seng (left) is proclaimed as the new Pro-Chancellor of WOU.

The ceremony also saw Datuk Dr Lim Thuang Seng being proclaimed as the new Pro-Chancellor, taking over from Tan Sri Dr Koh, who held the position since 2012. Datuk Dr Lim is the Managing Director of a holdings company based in Kuala Lumpur, with investments in Malaysia and Thailand.

Tunku Imran conferred the University’s first Honorary Doctor of Education degree on Tan Sri Dhanarajan for his immense contributions to the field of higher education, particularly open distance learning.

Tan Sri Dhanarajan is conferred the Honorary Doctor of Education degree by WOU.

Tan Sri Dhanarajan is conferred the Honorary Doctor of Education degree by WOU.

He also conferred the Honorary Doctor of Business degree on Tan Sri Rashid Hussain, the former Executive Chairman of the RHB Group of Companies and currently the Executive Chairman of Arah Advisory Services Sdn Bhd.

Tan Sri Rashid receives his Honorary Doctor of Business degree as Dato’ Seri Stephen Yeap (seated, left) and Registrar Yeong Sik Kheong (background, centre) look on.

Tan Sri Rashid receives his Honorary Doctor of Business degree as Dato’ Seri Stephen Yeap (seated, left) and Registrar Yeong Sik Kheong (background, centre) look on.

In his closing address, Tunku Imran spoke about selflessness, and encouraged the true spirit of giving and sharing by individuals and corporations. “I cannot overstate how important it is for every establishment, whether it is commercial or voluntary, to do its part by providing philanthropic aid or community service to society and the environment.”

Over 250 people attended the event, including WOU Sdn Bhd Chairman Dato’ Seri Stephen Yeap, Vice Chancellor Prof Lily Chan, former Vice Chancellors Prof Emeritus Dato’ Dr Wong Tat Meng and Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye, members of WOU Board of Governors, and leaders from various higher learning institutions, industry, the consular corps, and Gerakan.

Tunku Imran (2nd from right) in conversation after the ceremony with (from left) Tan Sri Dhanarajan, Datuk Dr Lim and Tan Sri Rashid.

Tunku Imran (2nd from right) in conversation after the ceremony with (from left) Tan Sri Dhanarajan, Datuk Dr Lim and Tan Sri Rashid.

WOU supports Fight against Cancer

Hundreds of supporters turned up for the Relay for Life Penang 2019 event which was held today on the grounds of the Penang Hospice Society for the very first time.

The WOU team enthusiastically showing their support.

The WOU team enthusiastically showing their support.

Wawasan Open University once again extended its support as a silver sponsor and sent a 33-member team to participate in the customary walkabout around the field.

Part-time lecturer Foo Chuat Meng (foreground, centre) holding the WOU banner as he leads the way.

Part-time lecturer Foo Chuat Meng (foreground, centre) holding the WOU banner as he leads the way.

The annual Relay, which entered its 15th edition this year, was organised by the National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM) Penang branch and the Penang Hospice Society.

In his welcoming speech, NCSM Penang branch chairman Dato’ Seri Dr T Devaraj said that the Penang Hospice Society secured its current premises in 2000.  He thanked the sponsors for their support in the fight against cancer, urging everyone to “never lose hope” in the face of the many sadness and sufferings in the world today.

Dato’ Seri Devaraj tells the crowd to “never lose hope”.

Dato’ Seri Devaraj tells the crowd to “never lose hope”.

He said that adopting a proper lifestyle will help to reduce incidences of cancer, which is a major cause of deaths in the country. “We must, as individuals, realise our own responsibilities in preventing cancer and other diseases,” he said, adding that this event will hopefully help in a small way to raise awareness and reduce the risk of cancer.

In his speech prior to launching the event, Chairman of Think City Sdn Bhd Dato’ Dr Anwar Fazal, lauded Dato’ Seri Devaraj for devoting his life to the sick and to society over the past 60 years. He said Malaysia ranks top in ASEAN and second in Asia for obesity, declaring that obesity along with stress can lead to health issues if they are not managed “intelligently, urgently and dramatically.”

Dato’ Anwar Fazal was the guest of honour at the opening ceremony.

Dato’ Anwar Fazal was the guest of honour at the opening ceremony.

He offered seven steps to better health: to eat less; exercise regularly; to have a spirit of caring and sharing; to treat other people as you would like to be treated; smile; learn how to listen with your ears, eyes and heart; and to make your life centered around service to the community.  He summarised, “Make your life happy and healthy.”

Dato’ Dr Anwar and Dato’ Seri Dr Devaraj then joined the survivors for the first lap of the walkabout, after which they were joined by teams from the sponsors and the other participants.

The cancer survivors with the banner that reads ‘Winners’ and filled with hand-written messages that encourage and inspire.

The cancer survivors with the banner that reads ‘Winners’ and filled with hand-written messages that encourage and inspire.

The WOU team was led by Communications Manager Rasidah Mion and comprised of full-time students and staff.

Rasidah receiving a token of appreciation from Dato’ Anwar on behalf of WOU.

Rasidah receiving a token of appreciation from Dato’ Anwar on behalf of WOU.

WOU hosts launch of book on Yeap Chor Ee

It was poignantly appropriate that the Homestead building at the WOU main campus became the backdrop for the launch of the book on the late Towkay Yeap Chor Ee.

The publication titled ‘The King’s Chinese: From Barber to Banker, the story of Yeap Chor Ee and the Straits Chinese’, was written by his great-granddaughter Daryl Yeap.

Part of the crowd at the book launch held at the Wawasan Open University main campus.

Part of the crowd at the book launch held at the Wawasan Open University main campus.

The book delves into the life of the late Yeap, a poor immigrant from China, who rose from a barber to become a prominent business tycoon. His achievements included the founding of the Ban Hin Lee Bank in Penang. The book examines Yeap’s trading, banking and other business engagements and also traces the history of the Chinese immigrants in Penang.

In his welcoming remarks at the event held today, Tan Sri Andrew Sheng, the Chairman of the International Advisory Board of WOU’s George Town Institute of Open and Advanced Studies (GIOAS), offered his rousing endorsement of the publication. He said the late Yeap overcame obstacles of absolute poverty and illiteracy to emerge as a successful businessman and contribute to society.

Tan Sri Andrew Sheng commends the effort of Daryl Yeap.

Tan Sri Andrew Sheng commends the effort of Daryl Yeap.

Daryl Yeap, in her presentation, pointed out that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Homestead building, which was once the private family home of the Yeap family but is now part of the WOU main campus.

She said the event was also to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Yeap, a well-known philanthropist, commodity dealer, land owner, community leader and educationist. Towkay Yeap was born in October 1868.

The author, Daryl Yeap, highlights the personalities in her book.

The author, Daryl Yeap, highlights the personalities in her book.

She shared the history of the Yeap clan through photographs and charts and also introduced a few of the descendants and key personalities in her book to the audience. The crowd also had a glimpse of how the Homestead building looked then and now.

She explained that the book not only captures the life of her great-grandfather but also highlights the achievements of the Chinese migrants in Penang.

Brisk sales of the book.

Brisk sales of the book.

More than 120 people, many of them leaders in the industry and the community, turned up for the book launch. 

Among those in attendance were WOU Board of Governors Chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, WOU Sdn Bhd Chairman Dato’ Seri Stephen Yeap and Datin Seri Irene, the parents of Daryl, along with WOU former Vice Chancellor Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan and Dato’ Seri Goh Eng Toon, the former Chairman and CEO of Ban Hin Lee Bank Bhd.

(From left) Dato’ Seri Stephen, Daryl Yeap, Tan Sri Koh and Dato’ Seri Goh browsing through the book.

(From left) Dato’ Seri Stephen, Daryl Yeap, Tan Sri Koh and Dato’ Seri Goh browsing through the book.

Inspiring a passion for reading and poems

The crowd was enchanted and captivated by the reading of poems and short stories of celebrated Malaysian poet and author Professor Malachi Edwin Vethamani at the WOU main campus today.

A large turnout at the event.

A large turnout at the event.

Prof Malachi’s poems transported readers to life growing up in Brickfields, celebrating Christmas with family, reminisces and longings for friends and loved ones, contemporary culture, incidents of national significance, and other real-life situations.

In her welcome speech, WOU Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and Educational Technology) Prof Zoraini Wati Abas hoped that the “Reading & Conversation” session with Prof Malachi would spark a passion for poems and develop an admiration for English Literature.

Prof Zoraini recounting that she met Prof Malachi in the late 1980s at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

Prof Zoraini recounting that she met Prof Malachi in the late 1980s at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

She said, Prof Malachi, whom she has known since the late 1980s, was the first Dean of WOU’s School of Education, Languages and Communications (SELC). He is currently a Professor of Modern English Literature at the School of English, University of Nottingham Malaysia.

Prof Malachi started the evening by reading three poems. First was ‘I Will Text You’ which speaks of the current culture of texting rather than speaking, followed by ‘A New Beginning’, both taken from his second publication titled “Life Happens”. Next was the tragic poem ‘MH17’ from his first published collection of poems titled “Complicated Lives”.

Prof Edwin reads from his collection of poems.

Prof Edwin reads from his collection of poems.

His friends took turns to read poems from his collections. WOU’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) Deputy Dean Jasmine Emmanuel evoked feelings of longing as she recited ‘One Christmas Morning’ and ‘Those Grand Womenfolk’, while David Teoh Seng Aun delivered ‘It was a Wondrous Sight’ and ‘The Vows’.

Adeline Cruz spoke of ‘Farewell, Lovely Flower’ and ‘Voices’, and Yee Heng Yeh read ‘Beautiful Butterfly’ and ‘Things Come to a Head’.

David Teoh shares ‘It was a Wondrous Sight’ from the published collection of poems titled “Complicated Lives”.

David Teoh shares ‘It was a Wondrous Sight’ from the published collection of poems titled “Complicated Lives”.

Lucille Dass recited the poignant ‘Maternal Moments’, which resonated with her soul as she, while in her teens, was at the bedside as her mum passed away. She also entertained the crowd with her delivery of excerpts from Prof Malachi’s collection of short stories, in which the author explores conflicts between family and sexuality that are typical in contemporary Asian societies.

Lucille Dass charmed the audience with her reading of excerpts of short stories.

Lucille Dass charmed the audience with her reading of excerpts of short stories.

The reading session concluded with Prof Malachi reciting ‘Still Brickfields’, ‘Boyhood Street Buffet’, ‘Mr Will-Have-to Do’, ‘Words for the Lonely’, and ‘Speak of Now’, all of which captured his astute observation of people and happenings.

SELC lecturer Arathai Din Eak then engaged the poet and short story writer in conversation, getting him to open up about his love for reading and poetry from young, and his desire to share what was lost, like the ‘old’ Brickfields, with his sons and the younger generation.


Arathai of WOU (left) in a lively conversation with the celebrated poet and author.

Arathai of WOU (left) in a lively conversation with the celebrated poet and author.

Over 250 attended the event organised by the SELC, including former Dean Dato’ Dr Santhiram Raman, current Dean Prof Balakrishnan Muniandy, trainee teachers from Institute of Teacher Education (IPG) Tuanku Bainun and IPG Penang, students from SMKA (P) Al-Mashoor, and staff and students of WOU.

Several publications of Prof Malachi were on sale and people queued for the book signing and to take snapshots with the poet.

Tunku Imran to be installed as Chancellor of WOU

Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar will be installed as the fourth Chancellor of WOU during a special ceremony to be held at the main campus on 1 August.  He takes over from Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah whose tenure ended in December 2018.

The ceremony will also witness the proclamation of Dato’ Dr Lim Thuang Seng as the second Pro-Chancellor of WOU, taking over from Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.

The press conference in progress.

The press conference in progress.

Two distinguished leaders, Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan and Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Hussain, will be conferred the Honorary Doctor of Education and Honorary Doctor of Business degrees respectively.  Tan Sri Gajaraj is the founding Vice-Chancellor of WOU (2006 - 2009) and Tan Sri Rashid is the former Executive chairman of RHB Group of Companies.

Speaking at the press conference at the main campus today, the WOU Board of Governors Chairman, Tan Sri Dr Koh, said that the university is greatly privileged to have Tunku Imran as its Chancellor.  He remarked, “The University will definitely benefit tremendously from Tunku’s illustrious leadership experience as an avid promoter and administrator of sports, at the national and international levels, a passionate developer of education and a successful entrepreneur.”

Tan Sri Dr Koh (centre) flanked by WOU Sdn Bhd Chairman Dato’ Seri Stephen Yeap (right) and WOU Chief Executive and Vice Chancellor Prof Lily Chan.

Tan Sri Dr Koh (centre) flanked by WOU Sdn Bhd Chairman Dato’ Seri Stephen Yeap (right) and WOU Chief Executive and Vice Chancellor Prof Lily Chan.

Tan Sri Dr Koh remarked, “WOU is indeed honoured to have Tunku Imran as our ambassador to the outside world, linking the University with businesses and international partners in the best way possible.” 

Tunku Imran, born in 1948, is the third child of Tuanku Ja’afar, the tenth Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia and the tenth Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan.  Malaysia’s first king, Tuanku Abdul Rahman was his grandfather.

Tunku Imran’s leadership in sports has been long and most outstanding, having led the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), the Malaysian Cricket Association and the Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia for many years; elected and served as an International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member, as the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, SEA Games Federation and World Squash Federation, as well as the Vice-President of the Asian Cricket Council, amongst many others.

Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar.

Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar.

In education, he is a founder of the prestigious Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar, launched in 1989, serving on its boards of trustees and governors, and as the Chairman of its Development Committee.  In business, he founded and led the Antah Group of Companies, a large conglomerate with diverse interests, and was the former Chairman of Lafarge Malaysia Berhad. Currently, he is the Executive Chairman of Syarikat Pesaka Antah Sdn Bhd and Chairman of Yayasan Sime Darby.

WOU’s new Pro-Chancellor, Dato’ Dr Lim, studied at Chung Ling High School in Penang before pursuing his tertiary studies in the United States, where he obtained a PhD degree in immunology from the University of Oklahoma.  He served for more than 13 years as a medical researcher, and is currently the managing director of holding companies in Kuala Lumpur.

Dato’ Dr Lim Thuang Seng is the new Pro-Chancellor of the University.

Dato’ Dr Lim Thuang Seng is the new Pro-Chancellor of the University.

Dato’ Dr Lim was a former Selangor State Executive Councillor for the Health, Tourism and Consumer Affairs portfolio, and the State Assemblyman for Bukit Gasing from 1999 to 2008.  A Central Committee member of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (PGRM) since 1987, he is currently the Chairman of the party’s Immoveable Properties Committee. 

Tan Sri Dr Koh also spoke of the enormous contributions of the two Honorary Degree recipients to their respective fields of education and the financial services. 

Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan is to be conferred WOU’s first ever Honorary Doctor of Education degree .

Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan is to be conferred WOU’s first ever Honorary Doctor of Education degree .

“Tan Sri Gajaraj is a principled leader with a steely determination to fight for social justice in the field of education,” said Tan Sri Dr Koh, highlighting that he devoted 14 years of his life to help establish WOU and drive its growth, first as the planner, then as the Founding Vice Chancellor and finally as the Chairman of the Board of Governors before retiring in 2017.  He had also helped to establish and lead the Open University of Hong Kong, served as the CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning, and contributed to the development of distance education systems in 25 developing countries. 

Tan Sri Rashid Hussain will receive an Honorary Doctor of Business degree.

Tan Sri Rashid Hussain will receive an Honorary Doctor of Business degree.

Tan Sri Dr Koh commended Tan Sri Rashid for his entrepreneurship and philanthropy, adding that under his stewardship, the RHB Group “had enjoyed tremendous growth and success”.  He is currently the Executive Chairman of Arah Advisory Services Sdn Bhd, a company which he owns.  He is a member of the Board of Governors of the International Islamic University Malaysia and the Chairman of the Prime Minister of Malaysia’s Fellowship Exchange Foundation that aims to promote education and encourage learning in all fields.

Hypnotherapy can reduce stress and pain, says expert

People received insights into hypnosis and trance during a public talk and workshop on hypnotherapy held at the WOU main campus today.

The event titled “Hypnotherapy: Unleash Your True Potential” was organised by WOU’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences in collaboration with the International College of Clinical Hypnosis Practitioners (ICCHP) Asia.

The large crowd at the event in the main campus.

The large crowd at the event in the main campus.

ICCHP Malaysia Senior Lecturer Jyothi Chelamcharla, said that a trance occurs in instances of strong emotion, learning, repetitive work, deep involvement (in the zone), and sudden event.

She said everyone is naturally capable of entering a trance, which she illustrated by getting the audience to think of a pleasant memory from the past, focusing on sounds, smells and anything associated with it.

She explained about helpful and unhelpful trances, citing pleasant memory as a positive trance, while unhelpful trances can happen in strong emotions like anger, in addictions to smoking, alcohol or foods when that single thought keeps coming to mind, as well in other negative emotions like phobia/irrational fear, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder where they can be transported to a past traumatic event.

Jyothi invites the audience to close their eyes and think of a pleasant memory.

Jyothi invites the audience to close their eyes and think of a pleasant memory.

She said hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes to help with issues that have a psychological cause. She said past practices by hypnotists have given rise to a lot of current misconceptions, like you lose control over your actions and become susceptible to suggestions implanted into your thought. “With hypnosis, 80% of the people can go into light trance to medium trance. Barely 10% of the people go into deep trances, they are the ones most suggestible and gullible.”

Jyothi pointed out that you cannot give suggestions to someone who cannot understand them, hence those having psychosis, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs cannot enter into a trance.  “So if you give a suggestion, like, do not think of blue elephant, subconsciously you think about it. But if you have no memory or image of what the elephant looks like, it doesn’t mean a thing as the association is not there.”

Imagination can help unleash your potential, Jyothi tells the audience.

Imagination can help unleash your potential, Jyothi tells the audience.

She urged people to take advantage of their subconscious to reach their full potential. “Why not use your imagination to bring up positive images, like speaking confidently in front of crowd. Use that capacity to daydream and to imagine to unleash your true potential.”

She said other misconceptions of hypnosis are that only the hypnotist can bring you out of a trance, and you cannot keep your secrets safe. She said any ethical hypnotherapist always includes the suggestion that you tell only whatever you feel comfortable sharing.

There are helpful and unhelpful trances, says the speaker.

There are helpful and unhelpful trances, says the speaker.

Joythi declared that people low on emotion, calm and relaxed can process what’s going on, as opposed to those on high emotion, like anger, fear, disgust, past traumatic exposure. “Hypnotherapy can make you relax so that you can face whatever it is.”

She shared that pain is heightened in instances of physical injury, stress, anxiety, depression, and a focus on the pain. “If you are playing a game, you won’t feel the pain so much because you were distracted and not focused on your pain. Hypnosis helps through relaxation and distraction to lower pain.”  

Several questions were posed during the Q&A.

Several questions were posed during the Q&A.

During Q&A, she replied that hypnotherapy can lower anxiety by changing the emotions associated with that thought or fear.

She stressed that it is a myth that memory can be completely erased as hypnotherapy only helps transform and lower the impact of a memory, like childhood trauma, by changing the emotions, perception, image and reaction when exposed to people or things associated with the trauma.

ICCHP Asia regional director Synthia Surin informs about the University’s new hypnotherapy course.

ICCHP Asia regional director Synthia Surin informs about the University’s new hypnotherapy course.

Over 200 people attended the event including ICCHP Asia regional director Synthia Surin, certified ICCHP trainers Assoc Prof Dr Mohammad Abdul Rahman (UniKL) and Sandhi Nagalingam, and other participants from the medical and legal professions.

SHSS is collaborating with ICCHP to offer a 72-hour ‘Introduction to Clinical Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy Certificate Course’ in August. 

Local IT community gathers at WOU

More than 200 people congregated at the WOU main campus for a one-day Google I/O Extended workshop today that was organised by Google Developer Group (GDG) and hosted by the University.

The speakers and participants at the Google workshop hosted by the University.

The speakers and participants at the Google workshop hosted by the University.

The purpose of the workshop was to sharpen the knowledge and skills of the local developer community, which includes IT professionals, web developers, mobile developers, designers, students, startup entrepreneurs, digital marketing manager, and copy writer.

When opening the workshop, WOU School of Science and Technology Dean Assoc Prof Dr Wendy Bong Chin Wei spoke about Digital Skills Gap and the Future of Jobs 2020. She highlighted the advent of smart devices, smart network, smart data and smart integration in global business trade and services, with innovative products and technologies like AIs, robotics, drones, 3D printing and self-driving cars.

WOU School of Science & Technology Dean Assoc Prof Dr Wendy Bong Chin Wei speaking at the opening of the workshop..

WOU School of Science & Technology Dean Assoc Prof Dr Wendy Bong Chin Wei speaking at the opening of the workshop..

The workshop kicked off with a presentation on Building Fast, Searchable Web with App-Like Experience by Vin Lim, Google Developer Expert (GDE) web director and the co-founder and CEO of Green Room, a leading mobile and web application development company.

Other topics included Building iOS with Flutter by Jason Seah, GDG organiser cum manager and software engineer in Green Room; What's new in Firebase by Lim Shang Yi, software developer at IdealHub; Need for Speed: Actionable Web Performance Optimisation by Jecelyn Yeen, GDE for angular and web technologies; and Being Data Scientist: The Facts & Myths by Dr Poo Kuan Hong, Principle machine learning engineer at ADA.

WOU’s Student Relations and Publishing Director Grace Lau (4th from right) with Dr Bong (3rd from left), Learning & Library Services Head Chew Bee Leng (2nd from left), Jason Seah (4th from left), Vin Lim (right) and others from the GDG.

WOU’s Student Relations and Publishing Director Grace Lau (4th from right) with Dr Bong (3rd from left), Learning & Library Services Head Chew Bee Leng (2nd from left), Jason Seah (4th from left), Vin Lim (right) and others from the GDG.

Google Developer Group (GDG) is a non-profit community of like-minded developers that host events every quarter annually to share experiences in developing applications with open-sourced technologies.

WOU hosts legal seminar by leading law firm

Wawasan Open University (WOU) played host to a half-day seminar by a leading law firm to discuss a wide range of legal issues of pertinence in Malaysia.

The event themed “New Malaysia’s 1st Anniversary: How 9 May 2018 Changed Our Legal Landscape” was organised by Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill (LHAG) at the WOU main campus today. Prof Lily Chan, the Chief Executive and Vice Chancellor of WOU, delivered the opening speech as the guest of honour.

Prof Lily Chan of WOU (2nd from right) with (from left) Tan Gek Im, Chia Loong Thye and Eunice Chan from the law firm.

Prof Lily Chan of WOU (2nd from right) with (from left) Tan Gek Im, Chia Loong Thye and Eunice Chan from the law firm.

The seminar looked into such issues as corporate law, competition law, real estate law, and taxation law. The audience received insights into the fraud and corporate disputes in the New Malaysia, the perils of ignorance in competition law, recent developments in real estate, and the next steps for taxpayers following the Tax Amnesty Programme.

The moderator for the various sessions was LHAG Corporate and Conveyancing expert Chia Loong Thye, who is also a member of the WOU Board of Governors.  

Event moderator Chia (left) with the speakers, Andrew Chiew (centre) and Ang Hean Leng (right).

Event moderator Chia (left) with the speakers, Andrew Chiew (centre) and Ang Hean Leng (right).

Among the topics was ‘Fraud and Corporate Disputes in New Malaysia: What's New, What's Hot’ that was presented by LHAG Dispute Resolution partner Andrew Chiew Ean Vooi and Corporate and Commercial Disputes specialist Ang Hean Leng.

The other panel speakers from LHAG were Intellectual Property and Technology, Media and Telecommunications expert Eunice Chan Wei Lynn, Corporate and Conveyancing professional Tan Gek Im, and Tax, SST and Customs specialist S Saravana Kumar.

Chia (2nd from left) with a few of the speakers.

Chia (2nd from left) with a few of the speakers.

About 100 people from the legal fraternity comprising the firm’s clients, high ranking executives, and directors of corporate entities nationwide attended the event, including WOU Board of Governors Chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.

The seminar on the legal developments in the New Malaysia following a change in the federal government after the 14th General Election in 2018 was part of LHAG’s annual Corporate Counsel Day series that is held in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and Penang for the corporate counsel community.

Tan Sri Dr Koh (foreground, front row) and the other attendees at the seminar.

Tan Sri Dr Koh (foreground, front row) and the other attendees at the seminar.

Businesses must have profit and purpose, says ex-Khazanah chief

Businesses should serve the interests of shareholders, stakeholders and society, and must be for both profit and purpose.

The large crowd at the lecture.

The large crowd at the lecture.

This was pointed out by former Managing Director of Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, during his special lecture on “Profit with Purpose: Building Sustainable and Inclusive Businesses in an Age of Turbulence” held at the WOU main campus today.

He shared that the past conventional thinking was that businesses must make money for shareholders, with little focus on the social obligation to stakeholders, including staff, suppliers, customers, society at large and the environment.

Tan Sri Azman, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Centre of Development Studies, Cambridge University.

Tan Sri Azman, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Centre of Development Studies, Cambridge University.

Tan Sri Azman highlighted, “The role of business is just not profit, but to do no harm and some good. Hence, profit with purpose.” He cited providing inclusive higher education, affordable housing, sustainable businesses and impact investing as examples of doing good, and doing no harm through responsible business and responsible investing,

He explained that the 2008 global financial crisis, poverty, inequality, climate crisis, and the issue of fairness and justice have led to a demand for greater responsibility and sustainability in business and finance.  “The world has become very turbulent due to overconsumption, irresponsible businesses, irresponsible citizens, and the increased frequency and amplitude of financial crises.”

Businesses are called to do no harm and to do some good.

Businesses are called to do no harm and to do some good.

In his call for action, he shared the experiences of Khazanah during his 14 years there. He said that they not only created profit but also undertook economic regeneration by creating jobs, new economic corridors, new capabilities, new networks, new knowledge, and building regional businesses like Axiata and CIMB. “We did it in a balanced manner so as not to crowd out the private sector or prevent them from operating well.”

As for societal value, he said Khazanah undertook CSR initiatives like establishing Foundations, scholarships, and think tanks to confront public issues. “The right mandate is to ‘Profit with Purpose’ and to build true value in terms of financial, economic and societal returns.  In real economy, there must be capital regeneration, job creation, venture capital.”

Tan Sri Andrew Sheng (left), Chairman of the International Advisory Board, GIOAS, moderates the lecture.

Tan Sri Andrew Sheng (left), Chairman of the International Advisory Board, GIOAS, moderates the lecture.

Tan Sri Azman also spoke about the need for tri-sector leadership and collective action to address the colossal problems in the turbulent world today, clarifying, “You need to understand not just the private sector but also how the government works and to have empathy for the public sector and social sector. Those in the public sector must in turn understand how business works, and how civil society, NGOs, think and work.”

He declared, “Finance must serve the real economy, and the real economy should serve society,” explaining that real economy includes production, jobs, raising a family, and retirement. He said the link between real economy and society has been fractured by factors like corruption, adding, “There is a need to reclaim finance to serve the real economy, and the real economy to serve society as a whole.”

During Q&A, Tan Sri Azman stressed that universities should focus on social returns.

During Q&A, Tan Sri Azman stressed that universities should focus on social returns.

The lecture, organised by the George Town Institute of Open and Advanced Studies (GIOAS), was attended by over 200 people, including WOU Board of Governors Chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, Vice Chancellor Prof Lily Chan, representatives from institutions of higher learning and industry, and the staff and students of WOU.

Tan Sri Dr Koh (centre) browses through the book presented to Tan Sri Azman (left) by WOU.

Tan Sri Dr Koh (centre) browses through the book presented to Tan Sri Azman (left) by WOU.

During Q&A, Tan Sri Azman emphasised that education should be more of a social business for WOU, with profits recycled back into the business and surplus used to help students as the focus must be on social return.

Fun traditional games at mini festival

About 100 students and staff of WOU were transported to the good old pastimes of playing engaging traditional games, unlike the current obsession to online games applications, during the recent Traditional Games Mini Festival held at the main campus.

Valerie Ooi (left) and Audrey Lisa Yeong of Publishing attempt the 7 stones challenge.

Valerie Ooi (left) and Audrey Lisa Yeong of Publishing attempt the 7 stones challenge.

They clearly enjoyed themselves with congkak, rolling coconut into a square box drawn on the floor, knocking stack of cans down with a rubber band, and playing seven stones.

The staff and students were tasked to complete the four station games, after which they were eligible to redeem prizes of mini hampers, note pads, beverage cans, board games and seven stones through lucky draws.

A full-student focused on bringing down the cans at the mini festival.

A full-student focused on bringing down the cans at the mini festival.

The fun event today was organised by the full-time Students Council, under the supervision of advisor, Lecturer Christine Khoo Geok Ling from the School of Business & Administration (SBA).

The objective of the festival was to get the young students, particularly from the Gen X and Gen Y generations, to know and appreciate Malay traditional games, to help staff relive nostalgic memories, and to encourage interaction and bonding.

Competing in congkak.

Competing in congkak.

Among those spotted having fun at the games festival were SBA Acting Dean Prakash Arumugam and a few other academics

Easy does it… WOU staff Saw Jong Khai (foreground) and Ooi Chin Hong.

Easy does it… WOU staff Saw Jong Khai (foreground) and Ooi Chin Hong.