(November 28-29, 2015)
WOU held its 6th convocation ceremony at the main campus over two days, with a record 493 part-time students receiving their scrolls. They were 116 from the postgraduate and 377 from the undergraduate programmes.
The University also conferred the Honorary Doctor of Letters degree on Dato’ Seri Dr T Devaraj, 91, the Vice Chairman of the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM), Penang as well as Vice Chairman of Penang Hospice Society (since 2001). The honorary conferment of Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood, founder and former President of MERCY Malaysia, is expected to take place next year.
The convocation also served as a platform for the symbolic renaming of the 384-seating capacity lecture hall as Auditorium Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik, in remembrance of the immense contributions of the late second Chancellor of WOU. Witnessed by Tun Lim’s family, son Datuk Lim Si Pin and his mother Toh Puan Wong Yoon Chuan, Chancellor Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah performed the unveiling of the commemorative plaque to mark the occasion.
Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye, in his remarks at the unveiling, stated: “Tun Lim will always be remembered as the key Founder of Wawasan Open University. It began with his vision of a virtual university. With sheer grit and determination he brought in key people and the funds and turned that vision to life.”
He said the late Chancellor often reminded that ‘No person wishing to learn at a higher level should be denied the opportunity for lack of money’. Prof Ho added, “Tun Lim’s deeds and legacy will endure and continue to reverberate for years to come.”
Meanwhile Pro-Chancellor Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon – who succeeded Tun Lim as President of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia from 2007 to 2013 – declared that Tun Lim was “highly regarded as a no-nonsense leader, and noted for his intellect and integrity, his grit and determination, his candour, his fiery speeches, and often times, his off-colour humour and remarks. Nobody could match his stamina and tenacity when it came to promoting and pursuing what was right and good for the country and the people, including bringing forth this University.”
In commending Dr Devaraj, who is active even at the ripe old age of 91, Dr Koh described him as “a towering Malaysian and a living proof that age should not deter us from volunteerism”.
The convocation also witnessed the award of the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Memorial Prize for best graduate at the postgraduate-level to Dr Chan Kar Weng, from Master of Education. The winner of the Chancellor’s Gold Medal for best undergraduate was David Chin Toh Ming of Sarawak, from Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Liberal Studies.
In extolling the virtues of accountable leadership in his convocation address, Tun Dzaiddin remarked, “Many people want to be leaders, whether in the corporate or public sector, or at national or international levels. However, only a few are prepared to accept the accountability that comes with it – taking responsibility for the outcome, whether good or bad, instead of laying blame or making excuses.”
He hoped to see more Nelson Mandelas and Mahatma Gandhis among the graduates of WOU, noting that Mandela and Gandhi are prime examples of great leaders of strong character and values who lead with humility and accountability.