Recipient of JCI TOYM Award 2013

UTAR Faculty of Engineering and Science Professor Dr Chong Kok Keong was the proud recipient of the 2013 Junior Chamber International Ten Outstanding Young Malaysian (JCI TOYM) Awards under the Scientific and Technological Development category at the award presentation ceremony held in Marriott Hotel, Putrajaya on 23 November 2013.

The prestigious event was hosted by Junior Chamber International (JCI) Kuala Lumpur Mandarin with the theme 'Grow with Excellence: The Hands of the Youth The Hope of the Nation". This event accorded recognition to ten young Malaysians between the ages of 18 to 40 who exemplify exceptional achievement with significant contributions to the advancement of their respective fields of endeavour and to the progress of the community at large. The award categories were cultural achievement, scientific & technological development, academic leadership & accomplishments, humanitarian & voluntary service, personal improvement & accomplishments, and business, economic or entrepreneur accomplishments.

JCI Malaysia Senator and National President Kim Tan applauded all the winners and acknowledged their achievements in their respective fields. "As youths of distinction, you have great responsibilities on your shoulder and will be the leaders and symbols of hope for generations to come," said Tan as he urged for continuous efforts to encourage the youth to create an impact in society.

Prof Chong was shortlisted among the 30 finalists following his nomination and was awarded top recognition for his research work on harnessing the sun's energy with environmental sustainability. This was after stringent evaluation by a panel of distinguished judges led its chief judge YBhg Tan Sri Dato' A.K. Nathan, the Executive Chairman and Group Managing Director of Eversendai Corporation Berhad. Prof Chong and the other honourees of JCI TOYM 2013 would represent Malaysia to vie for The JCI TOYP Program together with other honourees from up to 100 countries around the world.

Prof Chong, who also heads UTAR Engineering Science postgraduate programmes, holds significant positions such as the Young Affiliate Fellow for The World Academy of Science, Associate Fellow of the ASEAN Academy of Engineering & Technology (AAET) and the project leader of six external research grants totalling RM 3.059 million.

In his acceptance message, Prof Chong said, "Our country is blessed with diversified flora and fauna as well as lovely sunshine. Sustainable development is very important to keep our country flourishing with natural beauty as it will be inherited by the next generation. I believe that scientific and technological developments should harmonise with the environment without causing any contradiction or destruction. Therefore, as a physicist, I choose to engage in harnessing energy from the sun via the marriage between photon and electron. The photon is the source of energy gifted to us from the sun. The electron is the source of energy that we need to sustain our daily life. According to my philosophy, creativity and innovation must involve the utilisation of our professional knowledge and availability of our natural resources in bringing sustainable development. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude for the opportunity given to be one of the thirty."

The JCI Ten Outstanding Young Malaysian (TOYM) Program originated from The Outstanding Young Person of the World Program, which was developed by Durwood Howes, the President of United States of Jaycees from 1930 to 1931. Junior Chamber International adopted the Program in year 1982.The TOYM program was launched by Junior Chamber International Malaysia (JCIM) in year 1985 to commemorate the International Year of the Youth. JCM then decided to adopt this program as part of JCM Annual Project. (Cited from the 2013 TOYM Commemorative Book)

Prof Chong (fourth from left) with Tan Sri Dato' A.K. Nathan (fifth from left) and JCI TOYM officials at the Award Presentation night


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