2,399 UTAR graduates receive scrolls during 23rd Convocation

Graduands marching their way to Dewan Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik 

UTAR Registrar Yim Lin Heng leading the Guest of Honour procession

Loh Hong Khai, an Electronic and Communications Engineering graduate, says UTAR has certainly nurtured him well. “UTAR’s education gave me a strong foundation. I am very much grateful to UTAR for giving me the opportunity to pursue my dreams and interests in Engineering. The Engineering programmes in UTAR are really reputable and certified,” said Loh. 

Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) Electronic and Communications Engineering graduate Loh (right) receiving the scroll from Hew

“Throughout my four years of study at UTAR, I have learnt many new skills not only through my academic achievements but also through other invaluable experiences. The most memorable one was the once-in-a-lifetime chance to become one of the six youth Explorers in the Bosch World Experience 2014,” he added.

Loh was one of the 2,399 graduates who received their scrolls at the 23rd UTAR Convocation held at the Dewan Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik in UTAR Kampar Campus from 19 to 21 August 2016. The graduates received their convocation scrolls in four sessions and graduated from 86 programmes comprising 61 Bachelor Honours degrees, 20 Master’s degrees and five PhDs. 

UTAR 23rd Convocation in progress

The Convocation also celebrated the academic accomplishments of the pioneer batches of graduates from the following five programmes: Doctor of Philosophy (Social Science) from Faculty of Arts and Social Science, Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Sciences) and Bachelor of Chinese Medicine (Hons) from Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Master of Business Administration (Building Management) from Faculty of Accountancy and Management, and Master of Mathematics from Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science.

Of the 2,399 graduands, six received their PhDs, 54 received their Master’s degrees, and 64 received their Honours Degree with Distinction, while the rest received their Bachelor of Honours with Merit and Bachelor Honours Degree.

The Convocation was declared open by UTAR Council Chairman Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik. UTAR President Ir Prof Academician Dato’ Dr Chuah Hean Teik and other UTAR Council and Board of Trustees members, university partners and guests were also present at the ceremony.

Tun Ling (left) and Prof Chuah delivering their convocation speeches

The Guests of Honour for the four sessions of the Convocation were Chairman of TropBio Research Sdn Bhd Academician Tan Sri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor for Session One, Senior Partner of Kadir, Andri & Partners Abdul Kadir Kassim for Session Two, Board Chairman of Mont’ Kiara International School Tan Sri Dato’ (Dr) M.S. Tan for Session Three, and President & CEO of Zeta Advisory Prof Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Lin See Yan for Session Four.

Guests of Honour, clockwise from top left: Tan Sri Salleh, Abdul Kadir, Tan Sri Lin and Tan Sri M.S. Tan

The scroll presenters were Member of UTAR Council-cum-Minister of International Trade and Industry II Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Chuan for Session One, Member of the Board of Trustees of UTAR Education Foundation-cum-Member of UTAR Council Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Ting Chew Peh and Member of the Board of Trustees of UTAR Education Foundation Tan Sri Lee Oi Hian for Session Two, Member of the Board of Trustees of UTAR Education Foundation Datuk (Dr) Oh Chong Peng and Member of UTAR Council Hew Fen Yee for Session Three, and again Member of UTAR Council Hew Fen Yee for Session Four. 

Dato’ Seri Ong presenting the scroll to Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering graduate Lo Chin Kim

Tan Sri Ting presenting the scroll to Accounting graduate Tan Wee Ling 

Datuk Oh presenting the scroll to Financial Economics graduate Lo Sheng Xian

Hew presenting the scroll to Business Information Systems graduate Wahithatul Bashariah binti M Mohideen

Tun Ling introduced the Guest of Honour for each convocation session. He congratulated the graduates on their outstanding achievements and advised the graduates to always respect and appreciate diversity, while upholding good ethics and values that display perseverance and courage in the face of adversity. He added, “The reality of following your passion is not an easy task. It takes time to develop a direction. Thus, my advice to young graduands is not to ‘follow your passion’, but rather to ‘foster your passion’. If you view each stop as an opportunity to learn something, there is always something you will take away from that experience.”

In his speech, Prof Chuah enthused, “In real life, there is no substitute for focused hard work. Guided by a moral compass which dictates the righteous path that should be taken, hard work is the only real key to long-term success. Cutting corners will bring you temporary respite but in the long run, your reputation will suffer, leading to significant losses.” Apart from hard work, he also emphasised the aspects of creativity and innovation. He said, “With a creative and innovative mind set, one can look at problems in a different perspective where most solutions can be found. Never give up when you make mistakes because you learn from them and become better. Remember that every adversity, every failure, and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater potential benefit.”

He added, “Acquiring knowledge is important in life, but exercising what we have learned is equally important because by doing so, we are able to share our knowledge with others. As you receive your academic degrees today, do stay humble. Be mindful that though you have acquired the knowledge, it is practising the knowledge well that marks you as someone learned and useful to society. Think deeply about your values in life; values such as integrity, compassion, kindness, humility and perseverance so you will not be easily distracted. Knowledge coupled with analysis and thinking will add value to your life, your community, society and the nation.”

Tan Sri Salleh gave an inspiring speech to the graduating students, saying, “The world and life is beautiful and full of challenges and opportunities. Be willing to take chances and grab opportunities as they come; be curious but exercise good judgment to chart your own course and destiny. Every day is an opportunity for you to grow beyond your present circumstances. Take a step at a time and remember to take a break if you must but do not ever give up. Do not let obstacles, frustration, fear and uncertainties hinder you as they are mere ladders for you to step up to reach your ultimate goal of success.”

Abdul Kadir motivated the graduates and said, “Your future is in your hands — no one else’s. Seize this opportunity and prepare for the challenges that meet each of you as you venture through life. Do not be afraid to take on challenges and make mistakes. You will learn and thus become better than before.  There will be no progress if you do not venture to seek improvements and learn new things. You will experience the ups and downs of life, the difficult and the easy. Your true success will be defined by how you handle both of these times. Stay focused and be resourceful, creative and innovative in order to stay on the path towards success.”

Tan Sri M.S. Tan reminded the graduating students, “Always remember, education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” He further advised the graduating students about the important aspects that one need to venture to build a successful career and future, saying, “A successful career and future very much depends on what you do today. Success lies in the hands of people who have information, knowledge and ideas. To receive these, you must socialise. When you socialise, you will definitely gain social intelligence. From social intelligence, you will build effective interpersonal skills, interaction skills, and these qualities will help you to achieve a bright future.”

Tan Sri Lin inspired the graduates by telling his life story which touched on aspects such as tradition, living your life and sanctification. He recounted a quote of Confucius, as told by his father. “‘First, there is kindness, but that alone without love of learning, degenerates into silliness. Second, there is knowledge, but that alone without love of learning, tends toward amateurism. Third, there is honesty, but that alone without love of learning, produces heartlessness. Fourth, there is uprightness, but that alone without love of learning, leads to tyranny. Fifth, there is boldness, but that alone without love of learning, produces recklessness. Sixth, there is strength of character, but that alone without love of learning, produces wildness.’ Therefore, these are the worthwhile virtues to live by. Use that love of learning, to avoid this sensation of purposeless living.”

The convocation also witnessed the conferment of Honorary Doctorate Degree (Doctor of Architecture) to Member of UTAR Council Jay Yeunh Wee Tiong and Honorary Doctorate Degree (Doctor of Food Science) to the founder of Kam Lun Tai, Datuk Lum Tuck Loy, for their exceptional contributions and leadership in the fields of architecture and the food industry respectively. 

Jay Yeunh (right) receiving his Honorary Doctorate Degree from Tun Ling

Datuk Lum (right) receiving his Honorary Doctorate Degree from Tun Ling 

Chia Yi Jing, a graduate of Bachelor of Communication (Hons) Public Relations, said, “After four years of learning how to live by myself and being independent from my parents, time has continued to surprise me by flying by at a rapid rate. Currently I’m working as a PR Executive for Orchan Consulting Asia Sdn Bhd. It’s a Public Relations agency, in an industry that I am passionate about, and I truly enjoy what I learn and do every day. To my surprise, even though I am assigned to complete a couple of tasks each day, the ability to learn about anything and everything from an extensive clientele has motivated me to further explore on my journey. The life lessons from people of all walks of life are those that I learned without textbooks. I want to take on the challenge of stepping out of my comfort zone, and explore what the industry has to offer me.” 

Public Relations graduate Chia with her family members 

Prof Chuah with some graduates 

Graduates of Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences smiling with their professors

With the addition of 2,399 graduates from this 23rd Convocation, the number of the University’s alumni now stands at 45,427 since its inaugural convocation in 2005. 

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery students (from left) Thong Ching Fung, Janice Teh Yin and Lee Yong Hong singing Jalur Gemilang and  The Shining Light

English Education graduate Alison Yoon singing You Raise Me Up

Marketing student Foo Ching Lin, Evelyn performing a Chinese song titled Zhu Fu祝福

Faculty of Arts and Social Science Lecturer Mohd Yusof Zulkefli (left) and Public Relations student Ch’ng Jing Yan singing Sejahtera Malaysia and The Shining Light

Mohd Yusof (left) and Psychology student Rebecca Pang Sing Vun singing Because of You   

Ch’ng performing a Chinese song titled Peng You(朋友

Chinese Studies student Lam Phui Yee (left) and Pang singing Sejahtera Malaysia

Pang performing The Climb

Chinese Studies student Sim Wen Qin performing a saxophone jazz piece

From left: Biochemistry graduate Aaron Justine Ng-Hao, Finance student Grace Anne Mak Zhi Hui and Chemistry student Tan Boon Han singing Sejahtera Malaysia

Aaron Justine (left) and Grace Anne performing You Raise Me Up

From left: Microbiology alumna Yang Shun Kai, Chemistry student Tan Boon Han, Aaron Justine and Grace Anne singing The Shining Light

Chinese Orchestra performance

Graduates throwing their mortarboards in the air

English Education graduate Nurelysa binti Shahdan with her family members 

Accounting graduate S. Divenesh with his family members, relatives and friends 

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