Our congratulations to Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon on being proclaimed the first Pro-Chancellor of Wawasan Open University during the third convocation ceremony held at the main campus on November 24, 2012.
In his remarks, Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan, Chairman of WOU’s Board of Governors, described Dr Koh “as a perfectionist who subscribes to very high standards of moral and ethical behaviour in both his personal and political lives. He inspires and demands the best of himself and his comrades.”
Dr Koh, President of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, is a Princeton graduate in physics. He earned his MA and his doctoral degree in economics and sociology of education from the University of Chicago, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Stanford University.
“His excellent academic credentials and vast experience will undeniably add to his already substantial contribution towards the development of the University,” added Tan Sri Raj, before Dr Koh’s proclamation by Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik, Chancellor of WOU.
The ceremony also witnessed the conferment of Honorary Doctor of Letters on Dato’ Seri Chet Singh, 76, the founding general manager of the Penang Development Corporation (PDC). He helped to transform Penang into an export-production hub with the establishment of free trade zones.
In his acceptance speech, Dato’ Seri Chet attributed the success to the conducive business environment since Penang was “showcased as a place with political stability, good infrastructure, readily available workers and a government that was pro-business and having an administration that was effective and efficient, and to crown it all, proactive”.
Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye, described Dr Koh as “an outstanding academician” and “a dedicated and experienced statesman".
In his address, Tun Dr Lim called on WOU to stay relevant by offering programmes that meet the changing educational needs of the current generation of job-seekers, many of whom are moving away from traditional fields.
Meanwhile Dr Koh used his convocation address at the second session to reiterate ‘the commitment of the party to the future growth of WOU so that it can continue to reach out to every segment of our Malaysian society” with the offer of quality higher education.
He hoped “WOU will drive more research projects that are relevant to our present and future needs,” adding “one area of research that needs attention is that of entrepreneurial development for the technology-based sector and the high-end services sector” in Malaysia.
Dr Koh urged graduates to continue “learning without limits”, adding that besides the acquired knowledge and skills, they would have also learnt “how to think critically, to communicate effectively and above all, to be passionate about work, to be compassionate about people, to care and share, and to live a fuller and more meaningful life, to bring meaning into other people’s lives, to contribute to the society and the country, and to take part in building a better tomorrow for all”.