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.”