WOU launches Chancellor's Lecture Series to promote open, healthy discussion

PENANG: Wawasan Open University (WOU) is launching the Chancellor’s Lecture Series with a presentation by leading economist/development expert Prof Jomo Kwame Sundaram, on Saturday 14 May 2016, at the University at 4.00 pm. This is the first of the series presented by the university’s Centre for Dialogue [C4D].  Prof Jomo will share his thoughts on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and its implications for Malaysia and Malaysians titled ‘TPPA: Future or Fraud’.

Speaking at the Press conference today, Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye said that the lecture series will “bring intellectuals who are helping to shape the world to the doorsteps of WOU.  It will help the University engage with the local community, alumni and students to share knowledge, exchange views and opinions.”

He added, “It will draw on speakers across a range of disciplines and will examine key questions that affect our communities and the world at large. Universities are ideal platforms to actively engage the younger generation on issues affecting the country and their future.”

Prof Ho hoped that open debates on issues that are of key and strategic importance to all Malaysians will foster harmony, preserve peace and strengthen the economic growth of the country. 

Meanwhile Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan, Chairman of the Board of Advisors for C4D, said that the Centre operates under the umbrella of the Institute for Research and Innovation. The aim, he added, is to engage the public community “and through frank and civil dialogue, create awareness and better understanding of current issues that are of interest or concern to all citizens, especially those residing in Penang”.

He paid tribute to the late Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik for mooting the idea of C4D during his tenure as WOU Council Chairman. He highlighted Tun Lim’s vision for WOU, as a generator of knowledge, to initiate open, free dialogues that can provide feedback to leaders on how to address issues confronting the people.

“This aligns well with the stated mission of the C4D, which is, to generate dialogue on contemporary economic, development and socio-political issues that affect our society, and to share these thoughts and ideas with the public.

“The desired goal is to build a higher level of understanding between the Government and corporate, intellectual and academic opinion makers,” said Prof Dhanarajan.