NTU honours outstanding alumni
For Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs, Mr Masagos Zulkifli bin Masagos Mohamad, his university days at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) were tumultuous. The death of his father proved to be a difficult episode for his family financially. Yet it was also a journey of discovery for him.
He says: “I discovered the world of engineering which NTU dispensed in a unique approach focused on producing engineers who can hit the ground running. It was also in NTU that I learnt to build a social organisation from scratch and the effort needed to gel people with diverse interests even if they’re sympathetic to your cause.”
Fast forward to today and Mr Masagos (Class of 1988, Engineering), an outstanding alumnus of NTU, has been serving as Singapore’s Senior Minister of State at the Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry of Foreign Affairs since August 2012. Prior to this appointment, he had performed with distinction in various key government positions since 2006, where he was first made Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education.
For his outstanding and versatile contributions to Singapore in education, home affairs and foreign affairs, and for his service as a voice of the people in Parliament, NTU is honouring Mr Masagos with the Nanyang Distinguished Alumni Award.
NTU honours 23 alumni with Nanyang Alumni Awards
Mr Masagos is among 23 notable alumni honoured by NTU today in an annual homecoming held at the the university’s lush Yunnan Garden campus. Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information graced the event as its Guest-of-Honour.
Amongst those conferred the prestigious Nanyang Alumni Awards this year are Dr Wong Meng Voon @ Wong Men Won (Class of 1961, Arts), a renowned Chinese-language writer and Cultural Medallion recipient; Mr Zaqy Bin Mohamad (Class of 1999, Engineering and Class of 2003, MSc in Financial Engineering), Member of Parliament for Chua Chu Kang GRC and Mr Lim Chow Kiat (Class of 1993, Accountancy), GIC’s Group Chief Investment Officer.
Also receiving the accolade are celebrated television personality Mr Lee Teng (Class of 2006, Accountancy), and one of Indonesia’s most decorated young military leaders, Major Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (Class of 2006, Masters of Science in Strategic Studies), the elder son of the President of Indonesia, Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
“Recipients of Nanyang Alumni Awards have all done NTU and the NTU alumni family of 180,000 proud. These remarkable alumni are our best ambassadors and are a testament to what NTU has to offer the world. They are excellent achievers in their respective fields and have also shown that they can also make a positive impact in the lives of others,” said NTU President, Professor Bertil Andersson.
NTU’s top alumni accolade – the Distinguished Alumni Award
This year, the highest NTU alumni accolade – the Distinguished Alumni Award – is presented to Mr Masagos Zulkifli bin Masagos Mohamad and Dr Wong Meng Voon @ Wong Men Won, a renowned master of mini-fiction and an eminent champion of Singapore Chinese literature.
“I’m honoured to be conferred the Nanyang Distinguished Alumni Award,” said Mr Masagos. “My years in NTU launched me well into my career and life in the real world. It put me well into a meaningful career in SingTel and also in the non-career world where I rallied successful people to work together to help those in need. I hope NTU continues to produce the best in its class and produce students who do not only excel in their field of study but will be developed to contribute to society with their time and wealth they will have built in future.”
Before elected as a Member of Parliament in 2006, Mr Masagos was Chief Executive Officer / Vice-President of SingTel, Global Offices. Over the years, Mr Masagos has been actively involved in Muslim community affairs. He was President of PERDAUS from 1999 to 2006, and was a board member of The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS).
The other recipient of the the Distinguished Alumni Award is renowned Chinese scholar and a Cultural Medallion winner for Literature in 1981, Dr Wong Meng Voon @ Wong Men Won.
“I’m deeply honoured to be conferred the Nanyang Distinguished Alumni Award. I still reminisce about my experience studying at NTU. Though we had a busy schedule attending lessons during school days, I remember how we enjoyed the evening walks around the campus and chatting with classmates after dinner.
“NTU has played a commendable role in bridging the cultures between the east and west, as well as producing graduates who are generally bilingual. In addition, NTU has done a remarkable job in connecting with its alumni and I hope that it will continue its good work,” said Dr Wong.
An international authority on the genre of mini-fiction or micro-novel, Dr Wong is one of Singapore’s most prominent and prolific Chinese-language writers. Writing under the pen name of Meng Yi, his collections of short stories and mini-fiction – including When I Meet Huilan Again, I Want to Live, Happy Nest, and Mini-Stories of Wong Meng Voon – have garnered not just local critical acclaim, but in the region as well.
In 1970, Dr Wong founded the Singapore Association of Writers with fellow writer friends, and subsequently also served as its President for 20 years. The Association has since grown to become one of Singapore’s largest registered Chinese literary associations.
Nanyang Alumni Achievement Award
In recognition of their professional and career achievements, five alumni were presented with the Nanyang Alumni Achievement Award this year. Mr Lim Chow Kiat is the Group Chief Investment Officer at GIC while Mr Zaqy Bin Mohamad is a Member of Parliament for Chua Chu Kang GRC.
The other three award winners in this category are Senior Director and Advisor at the Ministry of Manpower, Mr Ong Yen Her (Class of 1970, Arts and Class of 1971, Arts with Honours); President of Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Chua Kee Seng, Thomas (Class of 1979, Arts) and Vice-Chairman of the People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China, Mr Lan Tianli (Class of 2007, Masters in Public Administration).
Nanyang Outstanding Young Alumni Award
Four NTU alumni under the age of 40 are awarded the Nanyang Outstanding Young Alumni Award.
Mr Lee Teng is today a well-known television host of variety and infotainment programmes while Major Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, who after completing his Master of Science in Strategic Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, returned to Indonesia to assist in the setting up of the Indonesian Defense University (IDU).
Multiple-award winning teacher, Mr Yap Boon Chien (Class of 2000, Postgrad Diploma in Education and Class of 2009, Master of Education) is honoured for his innovative and impactful contributions to the teaching of Physics, together with Mr Wai Chun Yip, Thomas (Class of 2004, Engineering and Class of 2009, Masters in Business Administration), Director of Talent Plus Inc, a global human resources consulting firm.
Nanyang Alumni Service Award
Also, 12 alumni are honoured with the Nanyang Alumni Service Award for their dedication and commitment to the University’s causes and initiatives. Amongst them are five who have served or are currently serving in NTU’s overseas alumni chapters.
More than 200 top alumni honoured since 2005
Since its inception in 2005, more than 200 Nanyang Alumni Awards have been presented to outstanding alumni who have attained exemplary achievements in their fields of specialisation or have contributed significantly to the betterment of NTU, the community or the society.
Previous illustrious award recipients include Mr Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Mayor, North East District; Mr Low Thia Khiang, Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC; Ms Stefanie Sun, one of Asia’s top Asia Mandopop idols; and Mr Leslie Kwok, former national swimmer.
Nominations are accepted in four categories – the Nanyang Distinguished Alumni Award; the Nanyang Alumni Achievement Award; the Nanyang Outstanding Young Alumni Award; and the Nanyang Alumni Service Award.
Prior to the Nanyang Alumni Awards presentation ceremony, a campus tour and two alumni forums – one each in English and Chinese – were also held. Some 1,600 attendees including alumni, faculty and management staff, awards recipients and their family as well as invited guests attended this year’s NTU Alumni Homecoming 2013, a key event in NTU’s annual calendar.
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About Nanyang Technological University
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).
A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.
Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north, and a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.
For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg.