Christmas, WOU-style!

The Christmas festive cheer was all around from the decorations, cookies and carols to the red, gold, green and white outfits worn by many staff attending the WOU Christmas Hi-Tea today.

 Every staff receives a packet of colourful marshmallows as door gift.

Every staff receives a packet of colourful marshmallows as door gift.

The event kicked off with the playing of ukulele and singing by full-time student Ooi Jie Wen, who entertained with ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’ and ‘Jingle Bells’. She was joined by School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) lecturer Kevin Tan Pooi Soo.

 Ooi (left) plays the ukulele and duets with Kevin Tan.

Ooi (left) plays the ukulele and duets with Kevin Tan.

Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Zoraini Wati Abas, in her informal address, drew everyone into the Christmas mood by asking them to imagine white snow outside and a burning fireplace inside the cafeteria. Acknowledging that Christmas in the tropics is a significant occasion for Christians, she shared her love of window-shopping during this time to admire the beautiful Christmas decorations.

She thanked event organising committee chairperson Jasmine Emmanuel for this festive celebration, adding, “Christmas is a season of joy and giving. Next year, perhaps all of us can bring a gift under RM10 and then exchange for fun.”

 Prof Zoraini conjures up image of white snow outside.

Prof Zoraini conjures up image of white snow outside.

She said unlike Western countries with their turkey and cranberry sauce, Malaysians have customised the foods served for Christmas. 

Prof Zoraini then cut the huge Christmas cake with the wordings ‘Blessed Christmas WOU’. Next was the presentation of a gift – a hanging ceramic frame inscribed with the words ‘God Bless Our Home’ – to Kevin Tan, who leaves WOU on December 21st.

 WOU staff sing carols accompanied by guest Michael Gregory (right) on guitar.

WOU staff sing carols accompanied by guest Michael Gregory (right) on guitar.

The Christmas carolling segment saw a group of WOU staff singing ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’, ‘Joy to the World’, ‘Feliz Navidad’ and ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’. They were accompanied by guest, Michael Gregory, on guitar.

Santa Claus, in the person of Nick Nichols from a local church, made a bubbly entry to the happy amazement of everyone and went around distributing sweets to the staff.

 Nichols makes a surprise appearance as Santa Claus and distributes sweets.

Nichols makes a surprise appearance as Santa Claus and distributes sweets.

The crowd feasted on spaghetti, cream cuffs, cup cakes, fried popiah, sausage rolls, and lots of cookies and a variety of cakes, along with Bru Coffee and tea.

Among those who attended were Deans Prof Santhiram Raman, Assoc Prof Dr Wendy Bong Chin Wei and Assoc Prof Dr S Nagarajan, Acting Dean Prakash Arumugam and the heads of departments.

 Feasting on sphagetti, cup cakes and other delights.

Feasting on sphagetti, cup cakes and other delights.

Universities must transform to align with Industry 4.0

Universities are called to engage industry more in preparation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) and today’s graduates are urged to practise lifelong learning.   

This was the appeal made by Chancellor Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah in his address at Wawasan Open University’s (WOU) 9th Convocation ceremony held in Hotel Equatorial Penang today.

 The graduation ceremony in progress.

The graduation ceremony in progress.

He said that Industry 4.0, with breakthroughs like artificial intelligence, robotics, 3-D printing, autonomous vehicles and smart factories, is impacting the workplace and society. “Universities must therefore transform what they teach and how students learn”, he declared, adding that 21st century knowledge and skills in data analytics, big data, cloud computing, AI and automation are critical for producing employable, future-proof graduates.

Pro-Chancellor Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon mentioned that policies are being formulated to mitigate any negative impacts from Industry 4.0, and harness the benefits of the new technologies, like the National Policy on Industry 4.0 recently launched by the government.

 Tun Dzaiddin wants universities to transform in the face on Industry 4.0

Tun Dzaiddin wants universities to transform in the face on Industry 4.0

He stated that education is also disrupted by the new technologies, and so WOU has embarked on a major transformation initiative from mid-2017 to ensure it stays relevant.   “Building on the foundation and   achievements so far, WOU should forge ahead to be the university of the future. We shall also reach out beyond our shores to other ASEAN countries.”

He also highlighted that WOU will launch the George Town Institute for Open and Advanced Studies (GIOAS) to gather advanced ideas and initiatives in January 2019.

 Prof Zoraini highlights on the achievements and developments of WOU.

Prof Zoraini highlights on the achievements and developments of WOU.

In her report, Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Zoraini Wati Abas shared that this Convocation produced 658 graduates, with 166 at the postgraduate-level and 492 at the undergraduate-level.  There were two inaugural PhD graduates in Arts & Humanities as well as the first batches of graduates from the open distance learning (ODL) programmes of mechatronics and human resource management.

Sixty four out of the 492 graduates at the undergraduate-level were from full-time study, including the first batches from the logistics & supply chain management, sales & marketing, and computer systems & networks programmes.

 Prof Zoraini and Dr Koh congratulate top students Poonam Devi (left) and Paul Goh (right).

Prof Zoraini and Dr Koh congratulate top students Poonam Devi (left) and Paul Goh (right).

Prof Zoraini also congratulated the three top students. The Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Memorial Prize for best ODL graduate at the postgraduate-level was won by Datin Poonam Devi Talissiram from the Commonwealth Executive MBA (CeMBA) programme.  The Chancellor’s Gold Medal for topping the ODL undergraduate class was presented to Paul Goh Yeng Weeh from the Bachelor of Technology (Hons) in Construction Management programme.

Poonam is a director of an employment screening agency in Petaling Jaya, while Goh juggles work as a senior manager for project and quality at a construction company in Puchong and his current studying of an MBA in Construction Management at WOU.

 Top graduate from the full-time undergraduate programmes, Lau Sheue Wen.

Top graduate from the full-time undergraduate programmes, Lau Sheue Wen.

The Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik Memorial Gold Prize for the most outstanding student from the full-time undergraduate programmes was awarded to Lau Sheue Wen, from the Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Management programme. She is a management trainee at a manufacturing company in Sungai Petani, Kedah.

Four entrepreneurs receive WOU Honorary Degrees

Four consummate experts and leaders from business and industry were conferred Honorary Degrees by WOU to salute their spirit of entrepreneurship and philanthropy.

 Honorary Graduates Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar (right) and Dato’ Gooi Hoe Soon (2nd from right).

Honorary Graduates Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar (right) and Dato’ Gooi Hoe Soon (2nd from right).

Former managing director of Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, and Group Chairman of Hong Kong-based Li & Fung Ltd, Dr William Fung Kwok Lun, received the Honorary Doctor of Letters degree.  A director of Bank Negara Malaysia, Dato’ Gooi Hoe Soon, and an avid promoter of small and medium-sized industries (SMIs), Tan Sri Soong Siew Hoong, were awarded the Honorary Doctor of Business degree.

In his acceptance speech at the 9th Convocation Ceremony in Hotel Equatorial Penang today, Tan Sri Azman lauded WOU for its lifelong learning opportunities. He shared his own journey of lifelong learning from secondary schooling at Malay College Kuala Kangsar to his Master of Philosophy in Development Studies at the prestigious Cambridge University, UK.

 Tan Sri Azman delivers his Acceptance Speech.

Tan Sri Azman delivers his Acceptance Speech.

In his convocation address, Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah lauded Tan Sri Azman for his leadership of Khazanah, for pioneering the Khazanah Megatrend Forum series that gathers experts and thought leaders to discuss current issues, and for establishing Think City. He highlighted that Dr Fung transformed a small, start-up trading company into the world’s leading supply chain solutions partner for global consumer brands and retailers.

He stated that Dato’ Gooi was involved in the corporate restructuring of institutions like Pos Malaysia and  that Tan Sri Soong has not let age – he is 93 - damper his tenacity.

 Tun Dzaiddin (centre) and Registrar Dr Andy Liew Teik Kooi enter the convocation hall.

Tun Dzaiddin (centre) and Registrar Dr Andy Liew Teik Kooi enter the convocation hall.

WOU Pro-Chancellor Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon commended the spirit of entrepreneurship and philanthropy of the four recipients.  “We believe their success stories will inspire our WOU students and graduates.  Moreover, it also signifies WOU’s commitment to further enhance the nexus between education and enterprise, so that our curriculum and research can be even more relevant to economic and social needs of Malaysia, and beyond.”

He spoke of their mindset and values that have empowered them to succeed, namely  innovative, visionary, taking calculated risks, tenacious, perseverant, and trustworthy. He also praised their magnanimity in serving and giving back to society. 

 Dr Koh highlights 5 helpful pointers for living as exemplified by the Honorary Degree recipients.

Dr Koh highlights 5 helpful pointers for living as exemplified by the Honorary Degree recipients.

Dr Koh also shared the 5 Hs that have guided him. “First, stay Healthy,” he said, pointing out that Dr Fung still runs marathons.  “Second, be Humble.  Here, my role model is Tan Sri Soong, who is so very simple and down to earth.  Being humble also enables us to learn a lot from others.” 

“Third, be Honourable.  Uphold the principles of integrity, honesty and sincerity, like Tan Sri Azman.  Entrusted with billions in public funds, he was fully committed to ‘building true value’ for the people and resisted tremendous pressures to deviate from such principles, especially in his final four years in leading Khazanah.

 Dr Koh (centre) flanked by Dr Fung (2nd from right) and Tan Sri Soong.

Dr Koh (centre) flanked by Dr Fung (2nd from right) and Tan Sri Soong.

“Fourth, foster Harmony, as practised by Dato’ Gooi, who has always endeavoured to seek and attain pragmatic ‘win-win’ solutions, even in the most complex of corporate restructuring exercises.  Fifth, stay happy, be optimistic and positive, come what may.  In fact, we can be happier if we are healthy, humble, honourable and harmonious with others.”

Learning soft skills through Public Speaking course at WOU

Twenty-year-old Nur Batrisyia Kamal Mohd from WOU’s full-time Psychology degree (BAPS) programme outshone the five other finalists to win the in-house ‘YouthQuake 2018’ public speaking competition.

 the finalists with their peers and the judges.

the finalists with their peers and the judges.

The finals held at the WOU main campus today was organised by the School of Humanities & Social Sciences (SHSS). The competition was open to the full-time students pursuing the “Public Speaking” soft skills course offered by the School.

Nur Batrisyia, formerly of Penang Free School, spoke on the topic of ‘Bullying”. She ingeniously started off her elocution with a fitting prop, a note stuck to her back with words intended to taunt and hurt.

 Nur Batrisyia eloquently highlights the problem of bullying.

Nur Batrisyia eloquently highlights the problem of bullying.

She highlighted incidences of bullying in Malaysia, including in higher learning institutions, such as sodomy, ganging up on fellow students, severe beatings leading to victims succumbing to injuries, cyber bullying, and other physical, emotional and physical forms of abuses. She defined bullying as aggressive behaviour towards another person, adding that it is an endless cycle with many victims turning to become bullies themselves later in life.

She also displayed her singing prowess with her rendition of the song, “Mean” by Taylor Swift that speaks of bullying, before finally ending with a clarion call to the audience to “Say ‘No!’ to bullying.

 ‘Beautiful’ friends will add fragrance to our lives, just like the rose, says Previnan.

‘Beautiful’ friends will add fragrance to our lives, just like the rose, says Previnan.

Previnan Ravindran, 20, from the Management degree (BBMG) programme, did a splendid job with his inspiring message, “You can do it!” He shared how we can lift up another person’s spirit and build their confidence in the journey of life with timely, motivational words. He held a red rose in his hand as he declared that like the flower, beautiful friends add fragrance to our lives with their presence and encouraging words.

The other finalists were Vishaal Manoj Kumar from Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Sales and Marketing (BBSM) who spoke on “Destiny”; Nurul Sifati Abdullah from Bachelor of Management (Hons) with Psychology (BMPS) on “Friendship”; Si Chia Yin from Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Banking & Finance on “Being an Introvert”; and Haida Baharuddin (BMPS) on “Strength”.

 Staff and students listening to Si Chia Yin’s presentation.

Staff and students listening to Si Chia Yin’s presentation.

About 20 full-time students attended the finals to listen and show their support. Also present was the Public Speaking course coordinator Dr Ooi Chia-Yi. The four judges of the competition were Senior Lecturer Yap Li Lian from the School of Business & Administration, and lecturers Rabikha Suparman, Irmadura Ramli and Kevin Tan Pooi Soo from SHSS.

 

 Dr Nagarajan congratulates Nur Batrisyia on her win.

Dr Nagarajan congratulates Nur Batrisyia on her win.

Assoc Prof Dr S Nagarajan, the Dean of SHSS, gave closing remarks and presented certificates to the finalists and to the winner, Nur Batrisyia.

Potential start-ups as students show their innovative talent

Forty aspiring young entrepreneurs from among the full-time students of WOU displayed their creativity and innovative spirit as they teamed up to develop practical consumer products, with the potential for start-ups.


 Explaining how the biometric palm reader works to a fellow student.

Explaining how the biometric palm reader works to a fellow student.

The students from the Entrepreneurship Development course - divided into 10 teams of 4 members each - participated in the half-day “Entrepreneurship Product Idea Pitching Event” organised by the School of Business & Administration (SBA) at the main campus today. The students were given the opportunity to present and pitch their innovative product ideas, together with product samples and/or prototypes to the staff and students of WOU.

Among the innovative products displayed were: smart multifunctional wardrobe; door latches for home security; beespoon made from 100% honey for consumption; Tupperware holders; Deafute, a vision-based telephone relay system; Blindeyes, a light, battery-operated walking stick; PalmInGo, a biometric palm reader; and  smart traffic lights with AI technology.


 WOU Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Zoraini admiring the smart wardrobe.

WOU Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Zoraini admiring the smart wardrobe.

The pitching event kicked off with a simple ribbon-cutting ceremony by Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Zoraini Wati Abas, after which she, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Outreach) Prof David Ngo Chek Ling and SBA Acting Dean Prakash V Arumugam visited the booths to view the products and listen to the pitching.


 Prakash (left) and Lalitha ramasamy learn more about the innovative walking stick.

Prakash (left) and Lalitha ramasamy learn more about the innovative walking stick.

Each team had set up a booth to display their products along with details of their proposal, including product description, costing, benefits, potential competitors and target market, and their marketing/promotion strategies. As the students undertook research on the costing and market competition for their products, this enabled the budding young entrepreneurs to gauge the viability of their product and the feasibility of their entrepreneurial idea in the real world.


 A model of the smart traffic lights with AI technology.

A model of the smart traffic lights with AI technology.

A panel of judges comprising individuals in the business, banking and academic sectors visited the booth for review and assessment. They were WOU’s School of Science & Technology Lecturer Azrina P Jamal Mydin, Ripples of Joy Enterprise Director Khor Chiew Chi, and Bank Negara Malaysia’s northern region liaison officer for Economics, Panimalar Kalidass.

 

 The judges hear how the door latches help with improved home security.

The judges hear how the door latches help with improved home security.

According to SBA Senior Lecturer Lalitha Ramasamy, “This assignment under the Entrepreneurship Development course is designed to harness the students’ entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and innovative product ideas, all of which are crucial for anyone embarking on start-ups.”

Focus on accelerated innovation of familiar commodities, SMEs told

Small and medium-sized industries (SMEs) should focus on accelerated innovation to sustain competition and growth, and to move up the value chain to become a high-tech industry and world player.

 Registering for the talk.

Registering for the talk.

This was expressed by Prof Tan Kim Hua, Professor of Operations and Innovation Management in the UK Nottingham University Business School, during his public lecture on “Accelerating Product Innovation in a Big Data Environment” at the WOU main campus today. About 70 people attended the talk organised by the School of Science & Technology.

He said SMEs should not just do R&D for product innovation but also have a business model to capture and sustain the market into the future, like IP protection and launching fast to prevent sabotage from big companies.

 A section of the crowd attending the lecture on product innovation.

A section of the crowd attending the lecture on product innovation.

He stated that new products have a remarkably high failure rate of 50% or more, and advised SMEs to make their innovation more structured, accelerated, efficient, low cost, low risk and less uncertainty.

Prof Tan shared two case studies of successful accelerated innovation by SMEs, i.e. the levelling tool and smart luggage lock, utilising existing technology to add value to the products.

 Prof Tan advised on two innovative products developed by an SME.

Prof Tan advised on two innovative products developed by an SME.

In the first, he transformed the age-old bubble sensor conventional levelling instrument into a waterproof digital levelling tool, Digi-Pas, to capture markets including building construction, military organisations, Boeing, Rolex, Texas Instruments and NASA. “Through real-time comments in the big data ICT environment, we can enhance and launch upgraded versions to consumers.”

The second was eGeeTouch, world’s first smart luggage lock, which offers multiple access methods via NFC smart tag, NFC-enabled smartphone, NFC-enabled smartwatch, and so forth, with patents in the US, EU, Japan and China. He is currently looking at other end-of-life products, like hammer and items in the house.

 With value creation, innovative products can command a higher price.

With value creation, innovative products can command a higher price.

He said innovation must lead to high value creation, with the Amazon retail price of Digi-Pas approximately 4-30 times that of traditional bubble sensor levelling tool, while that of smart luggage lock approximately 7 times more than conventional luggage lock.

His advice to SMEs: Choose a simple product aligned to your business direction and having well-known market size; use existing technology to radically differentiate it; assess the value creation; have IP protection by securing patent at strategic markets; and launch the new product fast.

 Prof Tan with School of Science & Technology Deputy Dean Assoc Prof Dr Lee Chee Leong (left) during the Q&A.

Prof Tan with School of Science & Technology Deputy Dean Assoc Prof Dr Lee Chee Leong (left) during the Q&A.

Prof Tan highlighted that big retailers often refuse to carry the new products, but today there is the option of e-commerce to sell online through channels like eBay and Amazon.

During Q&A, he said consumers will not mind paying more if there is added value and it can benefit them. He replied that they target high-end users for their smart luggage lock, adding that the retrieved data of smartphone numbers and the airport/resort used can be captured, and they might switch to selling these data in the future.

 WOU Board of Governors Chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon (left) presents a token of appreciation to Prof Tan.

WOU Board of Governors Chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon (left) presents a token of appreciation to Prof Tan.

As for service industry like education, he remarked that some features of accelerated innovation are still applicable like identifying what is of value to customers, and incorporating this to significantly transform the programmes or services offered to students.

Celebrating Deepavali in harmonious spirit

The WOU community came together to celebrate Deepavali at the main campus today, with chatter and laughter ringing loudly as staff interacted over a vegetarian lunch meal.


 Enjoying the food and the company.

Enjoying the food and the company.

Guests were greeted by colleagues decked in sarees and salwar kameez outfits, and gifted with bangles and stick-on ‘pottus’ for adornment. A few of the non-Hindu staff wore kurtas and Punjabi suits as well in a show of support and solidarity.

 Senior Lecturer Lalitha Ramasamy placing the ‘pottu’ on her fellow colleague, Kan Wen Huey, from the School of Business & Administration.

Senior Lecturer Lalitha Ramasamy placing the ‘pottu’ on her fellow colleague, Kan Wen Huey, from the School of Business & Administration.

As is customary for any auspicious Hindu gatherings, the event commenced with the breaking of coconuts at the front of Homestead by Chief Operating Officer Yeong Sik Kheong, Registrar Dr Andy Liew Teik Kooi, and the Deans, Prof Santhiram Raman and Assoc Prof Dr S Nagarajan, who were joined for the first time by Regional Operations & Marcom Director K H Chong.

 Accomplishing their task - (from right) Dr Andy, Dr Nagarajan (hidden), Yeong, Prof Santhiram and Chong.

Accomplishing their task - (from right) Dr Andy, Dr Nagarajan (hidden), Yeong, Prof Santhiram and Chong.

Dr Nagarajan, in his welcoming remarks as Chairman of the organising committee, reinforced the message of Deepavali being a time for cleansing ourselves of negative thoughts and embracing positive ones. He took the opportunity to bid farewell to Prof Santhiram who will be retiring as Dean of the School of Education, Languages & Communications by year end.

 Dr Nagarajan delivers his opening remarks.

Dr Nagarajan delivers his opening remarks.

In her speech, Prof Zoraini noted that Deepavali as the Festival of Lights is the triumph of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and light over darkness, adding that it makes lives richer to celebrate multiple festivals and respect each other’s values.

Prof Zoraini led her colleagues, Dr Kuldip Kaur, Dr Gurdip Saini, Rabikha Hasni Suparman, Lalitha Ramasamy and Fauziyah Md Aris in lighting the traditional oil lamps.

 Prof Zoraini lights the oil lamp as Fauziyah (left), Rabikha (2nd from left), Lalitha and Dr Gurdip (right) wait their turn.

Prof Zoraini lights the oil lamp as Fauziyah (left), Rabikha (2nd from left), Lalitha and Dr Gurdip (right) wait their turn.

Prof Santhiram was invited to explain the significance of breaking coconuts in answer to a query. He said the act symbolises the destroying of our ego and ignorance and avoiding negative tendencies in our inner self, while the early morning oil bath on Deepavali day is for external cleansing.

 Prof Santhiram explains the meaning behind the breaking of coconut.

Prof Santhiram explains the meaning behind the breaking of coconut.

Then was the segment for performances by the full-time students. Asswni Mariappan showed her versatility in the classical Bharatanatyam dance, after which the guests were entertained by a lively Bollywood dance and a Malayalam dance by the duo, Nerroshini Manoraj and Kawesshine Vivegananda.


 Nerroshini and Kawesshine (right) perform as Asswni (far left) looks on.

Nerroshini and Kawesshine (right) perform as Asswni (far left) looks on.

Staff and students feasted on briyani rice with sambar (lentil-based vegetable stew) and dishes like mango pachadi , fried plantains, tovayal and tofu sambal, complemented by Bru coffee and massala tea.

 Helping themselves to a variety of vegetarian dishes.

Helping themselves to a variety of vegetarian dishes.

Staff-student fun engagement at Indian cultural event

The fast-tempo folk music into the night soothed fears and broke inhibitions as many of the senior management staff joined the full-time students to dance carefree, letting their hair down for some energetic fun during the ‘Namaste WOU!’ event.

 What a pulsating start to the event.

What a pulsating start to the event.

The activity held at the main campus today was organised by students from the Comparative Religions course and the Full-time Student Council.

More than 130 people turned up, including Registrar Dr Andy Liew Teik Kooi, School of Humanities & Social Sciences Dean Assoc Prof Dr S Nagarajan and Deputy Dean Jasmine Emmanuel, School of Business & Administration Acting Dean Prakash V Arumugam, and Educational Technology & Publishing Director Grace Lau.

 Staff and students enjoying a performance.

Staff and students enjoying a performance.

Many of the students and staff of all races came decked in kurtas and salwar kameez with a few even donning sarees.

The night was officially declared open by Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Zoraini Wati Abas, after which she was garlanded, as per the norm in the Indian culture for bestowing respect.

 Jasmine garlands Prof Zoraini. At right is Full-Time Student Council president Muhammad Farid Arsyad Foad.

Jasmine garlands Prof Zoraini. At right is Full-Time Student Council president Muhammad Farid Arsyad Foad.

With the official part completed, the event then really picked up in decibels as the Penang Dhol Blasters kicked off the performance with the pulsating beats of the dhol drums. On hand to keep the momentum going and the crowd excited was DJ Sunny from Pdbevents.

 Vesti (far right), lengha (centre) and other Indian outfits at the fashion show.

Vesti (far right), lengha (centre) and other Indian outfits at the fashion show.

Among the thrilling items of the night was a student fashion show showcasing 12 outfits worn by the gentlemen and ladies from various parts of India. For instance, the dhoti/vesti, the men’s garment wrapped around the waist, was modelled by Yeoh Kai Yeng while the ankle-length women’s skirt, lengha, by Yeoh Nien Hin.

 Entertaining the audience with a medley of popular Tamil songs.

Entertaining the audience with a medley of popular Tamil songs.

The guests were entertained by various performances like the semi-classical contemporary dance, the rendition of a medley of popular Tamil movie songs, the kolattam stick dance, and a Bollywood dance.

 A unifying touch as non-Indian students perform the kolattam dance.

A unifying touch as non-Indian students perform the kolattam dance.

The climactic highlight of the evening was the student Bhangra dancers and the open dance floor that drew everyone from their seats and onto the floor to sway exuberantly to the rhythmic music of the Penang Dhol Blasters. The expressive bhangra dance has powerful kicks, jumps and twists, along with sharp movements of the shoulders and hips, stamping feet, and waving arms.

 Prakash (centre) and other academics join the students for the Bhangra dance.

Prakash (centre) and other academics join the students for the Bhangra dance.

Fifty lucky draw prizes were given away, with hampers and a coffee maker machine as the top three prizes. The crowd feasted on a buffet spread that featured rice with dishes, tosai, vadai, murukku and other foods and drinks.

Recognition for captains of industry and 664 graduates at Convocation ceremony

WOU is set to recognise four titans of industry and roll out 664 graduates at its 9th convocation ceremony to be held at Hotel Equatorial Penang on November 24th.

 Press conference in progress.

Press conference in progress.

Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and Dr William Fung Kuok-lung are to be awarded the Honorary Doctor of Letters degree, while Tan Sri Soong Siew Hoong and Dato’ Gooi Hoe Soon, the Honorary Doctor of Business degree.

Speaking at the press conference at the main campus today, Wawasan Education Foundation (WEF) chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said WOU will honour four corporate giants who have “exemplified strong entrepreneurial spirit, good business acumen and excellent managerial practices, coupled with social responsibility”.

 Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar.

Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar.

He described Azman as “indeed a truly remarkable and trusted leader, a role model for corporate leaders entrusted with huge funds”. He shared than during Azman’s tenure of 14 years as Managing Director of Khazanah Nasional Bhd from June 2004 to July 2018, the net worth of Khazanah had increased by RM82.3 billion or 3.5 times as of December 2017. 

Azman, 57, an accountant by profession, will be honoured for his sustained effort and outstanding contributions in promoting economic growth, heritage conservation, urban regeneration and social development in Malaysia. 

 Dr Koh describes Tan Sri Azman as a remarkable and trusted leader.

Dr Koh describes Tan Sri Azman as a remarkable and trusted leader.

Dr Koh described Soong, also a Gerakan party stalwart, as an “evergreen” who is still active in business, social, political and philanthropic work, and “is well respected for his self-discipline, honesty and frugality”. 

He said Soong, the oldest Honorary Graduand at 93, is a self-made businessman in the iron and steel industry and director/chairman of a few other corporations, and is known as the Father of SMIs (Small and Medium Industry) for helping to upgrade the SMIs in Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Uzbekistan. 

 Tan Sri Soong Siew Hoong.

Tan Sri Soong Siew Hoong.

He highlighted that Dr Fung, 69, is regarded as one of a few truly global businessmen from Asia, having won international accolades, who believes in serving and giving back to society.

Dr Fung is presently the Group Deputy Chairman of Fung Group of Companies, the Group Chairman of Li & Fung Limited, and Chairman of Global Brands Group Holding Ltd, based in Hong Kong, “He is being honoured for his great achievements in the global supply chain industry and sponsorship of higher education and research,” Dr Koh remarked.

 Dr William Fung.

Dr William Fung.

On Gooi, 61, Dr Koh pointed out his belief in finding “practical win-win” solutions to benefit all parties, while committed to honesty and humility.  He declared that Gooi, a Director of Bank Negara Malaysia, has contributed immensely to the Malaysian corporate, financial, stock broking and insurance industries.

In her speech, Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Zoraini Wati Abas informed that 600 of the graduates will be come from part-time, open distance learning (ODL) programmes and 64 from full-time studies.

 Dato’ Gooi Hoe Soon.

Dato’ Gooi Hoe Soon.

She said WOU will award a posthumous Bachelor of Software Engineering (Hons) degree to Wong Vic Tor, from Shah Alam, who died on May 1st this year from ischaemic heart disease. WOU will also have two special needs graduates, including Low Yew Loi who had lost both legs to an industrial accident 9 years ago while working as a construction site manager. He will receive his Commonwealth Executive MBA (CeMBA).

Six programmes will produce their inaugural batch of graduates. Two lecturers will be the first to be conferred a PhD in Arts and Humanities. The remaining are the full-time programmes in the fields of Logistics & Supply Chain Management, Sales & Marketing, and Computer Systems & Networks, and the ODL programmes in Human Resource Management and Mechatronics.

 Top graduate from the ODL postgraduate programmes, Pooonam Devi.

Top graduate from the ODL postgraduate programmes, Pooonam Devi.

Prof Zoraini announced that the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Memorial Prize recipient for best graduate from the ODL postgraduate programmes is Ms Poonam Devi Talissiram from CeMBA, while the Chancellor’s Gold Medal recipient for top ODL graduate from the undergraduate programmes is Paul Goh Yeng Weeh from Bachelor of Technology (Hons) in Construction Management.

 Paul Goh is top graduate from the ODL undergraduate programmes.

Paul Goh is top graduate from the ODL undergraduate programmes.

The winner of the Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik Memorial Gold Prize for top full-time graduate is Lau Sheue Wen from Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Management.

 Lau is top graduate from full-time study.

Lau is top graduate from full-time study.

WOU awards Scholarship to financially disadvantaged students

In further embracing its corporate social responsibility (CSR), WOU awarded scholarships to 5 students to pursue a three-year full-time undergraduate degree programme at the main campus

 Recipients (from left) Halimatussadia, Haida, Previnan, Hariharan and Siti Khadijah.

Recipients (from left) Halimatussadia, Haida, Previnan, Hariharan and Siti Khadijah.

WOU, through the Wawasan Education Foundation (WEF), offered the 5th Anniversary Grant for the September 2018 intake to commemorate 5 years since the University opened its doors to full-time students in September 2013. The total scholarship value is RM140, 000 to cover the RM28, 000 tuition fee per student for a three-year Bachelor’s degree programme at WOU.

The 5 scholarship award recipients were Haida Baharuddin, Halimatussadia Zaffarudin, Hariharan Daventhern, Previnan Ravindran and Siti Khadijah Azizan.

 Dr Koh presents the scholarship award certificate to Haida.

Dr Koh presents the scholarship award certificate to Haida.

They received their certificates from WEF Chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon during a simple presentation ceremony held at the main campus today. Also present to witness the event were Registrar Dr Andy Liew Teik Kooi, Regional Operations & MARCOM Director K H Chong, and Penang Regional Centre (PGRC) Director Ching Huey Ling.

Haida, 20, and Halimatussadia, 22, studied at Methodist Boy’s School.  Hariharan, 21, is a former student of SMK Sg Ara while Previnan, 20, was from Kolej Tingkatan Enam Haji Zainul Abidin, and Siti Khadijah from Bukit Mertajam High School.

 Dr Koh chats with the students following the presentation.

Dr Koh chats with the students following the presentation.

Haida and Siti Khadijah are currently taking up Bachelor of Management (Hons) with Psychology (BMPS) at WOU. Hariharan and Halimatussadia are both enrolled in Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (BBLC), and Previnan is pursuing Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Management (BBMG).

Earlier in her speech before the award presentation, Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Zoraini Wati Abas declared, “More than 12,600 part-time and full-time students of WOU have benefited from the financial awards from WEF. As at 31 August 2018, WEF has given out about RM10.7 million (RM10,700,709.69) through study grants, scholarship, bursary award, and other financial aids.”

 Prof Zoraini highlights the WEF financial assistance to WOU students.

Prof Zoraini highlights the WEF financial assistance to WOU students.

She added that the award of the anniversary grant was in line with “WOU’s corporate social responsibility to reach out to needy and deserving students”.

The grant was given to students on the recommendation of their school counsellor, with the condition that they passed their STPM with minimum 2 Principals and have a monthly family income of RM7,000 or less.