Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar was formally installed as the fourth Chancellor of Wawasan Open University during a simple yet momentous ceremony held at the main campus today.
Tunku Imran, 71, takes over from Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah, a former Chief Justice of Malaysia who served as the University’s third Chancellor from 2013 until 2018.
In his installation address, WOU Board of Governors Chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon lavished praises on Tunku Imran for his extensive achievements in various fields, particularly sports administration and business.
He said that Tunku Imran will bring “his wisdom, insight and leadership from his very rich experience to guide the university, and also to connect us with his many contacts, nationally and internationally, in the best ways possible”.
Tunku Imran, in accepting the honour of Chancellor, said that WOU owed a great debt of gratitude to the late Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik for turning his vision of an open distance learning university into a reality.
He also paid homage to Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan, “the chief architect of WOU”, who “has left behind a legacy of opening up tertiary education opportunities for adult learners in various parts of the world”.
Tunku Imran reiterated the vision, mission and values of the University, adding that everyone in WOU has a role to play and should not be neglected, as otherwise “the fabric of the University will begin to disintegrate”.
He called on the University to learn from its past and to move with a greater sense of purpose if it wants to achieve success.
The ceremony also saw Datuk Dr Lim Thuang Seng being proclaimed as the new Pro-Chancellor, taking over from Tan Sri Dr Koh, who held the position since 2012. Datuk Dr Lim is the Managing Director of a holdings company based in Kuala Lumpur, with investments in Malaysia and Thailand.
Tunku Imran conferred the University’s first Honorary Doctor of Education degree on Tan Sri Dhanarajan for his immense contributions to the field of higher education, particularly open distance learning.
He also conferred the Honorary Doctor of Business degree on Tan Sri Rashid Hussain, the former Executive Chairman of the RHB Group of Companies and currently the Executive Chairman of Arah Advisory Services Sdn Bhd.
In his closing address, Tunku Imran spoke about selflessness, and encouraged the true spirit of giving and sharing by individuals and corporations. “I cannot overstate how important it is for every establishment, whether it is commercial or voluntary, to do its part by providing philanthropic aid or community service to society and the environment.”
Over 250 people attended the event, including WOU Sdn Bhd Chairman Dato’ Seri Stephen Yeap, Vice Chancellor Prof Lily Chan, former Vice Chancellors Prof Emeritus Dato’ Dr Wong Tat Meng and Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye, members of WOU Board of Governors, and leaders from various higher learning institutions, industry, the consular corps, and Gerakan.