Dr Koh stressed that there are “really no short-cuts” to building a nation. “Similarly in Malaysia, we go through a process. If we look at 1Malaysia, the emphasis is on people first. These lofty ideals should continue to guide us, but our feet must be on the ground. We can have lofty ideals, but if our feet are not on the ground, then we re-live history without really learning from it.”
Dr Koh was speaking at the opening of the one-day international symposium on “Dr Sun Yat Sen, Soong Ching Ling: Their Life and Legacy’ with special focus on the 1910 Penang Conference, at the main campus on Nov 21st, organised by WOU, Penang Heritage Trust and Sun Yat Sen Penang Base. He then signed the huge welcoming board to officially open the event.
Earlier WOU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Wong Tat Meng in his welcoming speech said that Dr Sun’s staunch followers were responsible for the founding of a number of very successful schools in Penang, such as the Chung Ling High School, of which Dr Koh is one of the more illustrious alumni, and the Penang Chinese Girls High School.
Some 14 renowned scholars and specialists shared their findings at the symposium to evaluate the lives and impact of Dr Sun and Soong not only from the Chinese perspective but in a wider and international angle.
The symposium was attended by about 150 delegates, mostly from China and Taiwan, Wawasan Education Foundation chairman Dato’ Seri Stephen Yeap and Hong Kong actress Fung Bo Bo.