Honorary Degrees to captains of industry and 664 graduates at 9th Convocation Ceremony

PENANG: Wawasan Open University (WOU) will roll out 664 graduates at the 9th convocation ceremony to be held at Hotel Equatorial Penang on November 24th.

The ceremony will also witness the conferment of Honorary Degrees on four (4) leaders of industry. 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.

Azman, 57, the former Managing Director of Khazanah Nasional Berhad who grew Khazanah’s net worth 3.5 times in 14 years and who set up Think City Sdn Bhd, will be recognised for his contribution to economic growth, social development, heritage conservation and urban regeneration. Dr Fung, 69, Group Chairman of Li & Fung Limited, Hong Kong, will be honoured for his great achievements in the global supply chain industry and sponsorship of higher education and research.

The oldest Honorary Graduand, Soong, 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. 

Gooi, 61, a Director of Bank Negara Malaysia, has contributed immensely to the growth and stability of the Malaysian corporate, financial, stock broking and insurance industries.

Speaking at a press conference at the WOU main campus today, Wawasan Education Foundation (WEF) Chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon described Azman as a “truly remarkable and trusted leader” and a role model for corporate leaders entrusted with huge funds.

He 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. 

Dr Koh highlighted that Dr Fung 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.

On Gooi, Dr Koh mentioned his belief in finding practical “win-win” solutions to benefit all parties, while committed to honesty and humility.  

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

She pointed out that 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, at age 46.

WOU will have two (2) special needs (OKU) ODL graduates. Mr Yeap Fu Aun, 33, from Penang, who has a learning disability, will receive his Bachelor of Information Technology (Hons) in Multimedia Systems.

The other OKU graduate, Mr Low Yew Loi, 41, from Kuala Lumpur, will be conferred the Commonwealth Executive MBA (CeMBA) degree. Low was working as a construction site manager when he lost both his legs to an industrial accident in 2009, and is now fitted with prosthetic legs. He still works in the construction line, but as a contract manager inside the office.

Six (6) programmes will produce their first batch of graduates. This includes two (2) PhD students, both lecturers, who will receive their PhD in Arts and Humanities.

The remaining five (5) are the full-time programmes in the fields of Logistics & Supply Chain Management, Sales & Marketing, and Computer Systems & Networks, as well as the ODL programmes in Human Resource Management and Mechatronics.

Prof Zoraini announced that the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Memorial Prize for best graduate from the ODL postgraduate programmes will go to Ms Poonam Devi Talissiram from Petaling Jaya, who is to receive her CeMBA degree. She is a director of an employment screening agency that screens potential employees for corporate clients.

The recipient of the Chancellor’s Gold Medal for top ODL graduate from the undergraduate programmes is Mr Paul Goh Yeng Weeh, who will receive his Bachelor of Technology (Hons) in Construction Management (BTCM). He works as a senior manager for project and quality at a construction company in Puchong, Selangor.

The winner of the Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik Memorial Gold Prize for top full-time graduate is Lau Sheue Wen, 24, from Kedah, who will receive her Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Management (BBMG) degree. She is a management trainee at a manufacturing company in Sungai Petani.

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