TAR UC Convocation Ceremony 2018

February 9, 2018 at 6:18 pm

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SPEECH BY Y. B. DATO’ SRI LIOW TIONG LAI
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES, TARC EDUCATION FOUNDATION,
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS, TAR UC,
PRESIDENT OF MALAYSIAN CHINESE ASSOCIATION,
MINISTER OF TRANSPORT

TAR UC BACHELOR DEGREE AND DIPLOMA CONVOCATION CEREMONY 2018 FOR KUALA LUMPUR MAIN CAMPUS
FRIDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. It is my pleasure to greet all of you good afternoon. I am also excited to be able to join all of you, especially our graduands to celebrate this special day of accomplishing a huge milestone in your life. The journey you have endured to reach this point in your life may have been filled with obstacles and challenges. However, as what Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba.com said, “If you don’t give up, you still have a chance”. You have proven that all the hard work you have poured in to reach this point in your life only shows that you are ready for more greatness to come in your career and life. With that, I would like congratulate each one of you for becoming a TAR UC graduate.

Ladies and gentlemen,

2. The late Tun Tan Siew Sin who was the third President of Malaysian Chinese Association (‘MCA’) and the founder of this institution once said: “Tunku Abdul Rahman College will be worthy of its name only if it can provide the right type of education to produce the right type of manpower and personnel required by the nation now and in the future.” Fast forward to nearly 50 years, today, the vision of the late Tun Tan Siew Sin is what TAR UC has achieved as a reputable tertiary education institution in Malaysia. Tun Tan’s vision represents the hopes and aspirations of the country which MCA has been advocating all this while. Tun Tan’s emphasis on education was the right direction for our nation and I am pleased to see TAR UC has embraced his vision fully and benefitted so many Malaysians by providing quality and affordable education since the inception of TAR College in 1969. Because of MCA’s strong visionary leadership, TAR UC has nurtured and produced more than 180,000 high-calibre graduates where many of them have risen up to become prominent national and industry leaders, successful entrepreneurs and eminent professionals not only in Malaysia but across the world.

3. Over the past 49 years, TAR UC has also steadily made its presence known and acknowledged with many global and national recognition and accolades. We are elated that we have been recognised as the Premier Digital Tech University by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation and the Ministry of Higher Education, cementing us as one of Malaysia’s leading institutions of higher learning in producing future digital talents for the country. We were also awarded the Excellence in Education Improvement award under the ‘Socially Responsible Company in Education Improvement’ category at the Asia Pacific CSR Awards 2016 in recognition of TAR UC’s effort in widening access to quality education. The stellar reputation TAR UC has built throughout the years has drawn keen interest from tertiary education institutions across the world especially universities from China. Riding on the One Belt, One Road Initiative, TAR UC has collaborated with a number of institutes of higher learning in China and this includes world renowned universities such as Peking University as well as Tsinghua University – both of which are ranked among the top 50 in the world in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 and QS World University Rankings 2018 .

4. As far as students’ achievements are concerned, year after year, TAR UC students continue to be in the spotlight in competitions and external examinations, having won many trophies, awards and prizes. Some of our students’ notable achievements in external competitions in 2017 were amongst others:

• Medal of Excellence winner in Web Design and Development category at the 44th World Skills Competition held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, a first for a Malaysian to have won an award in this category.
• Champion and second runner-up titles at National Deloitte Tax Challenge 2017, with three students receiving Best Presenter Award.
• Champion at the 16th National Inter-Varsity Accounting Quiz Competition 2017.
• Best Overall Display award at the Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia (‘PAM’) Architecture Student Works Exhibition 2017.
• Gold C award in the Open Category at the Malaysians Choral Eisteddfod (‘MCE’) National Choir Competition.
• Recipients of the “On-Campus Capital Market Advocacy Programmes” award from the Securities Commission Malaysia.
• Best Documentary Award at the Golden Award 2017 organised by ntv7.

5. On top of this, an outstanding few out of an extensive list of achievements by TAR UC students in professional examinations include three students excelling in the ACCA March 2017 examinations, with three students taking the top spot in Malaysia in three papers namely:

• P1 Governance, Risk and Ethics
• P2 Corporate Reporting
• P3 Business Analysis

The three students were also ranked 7th, 4th and 10th in the world in the said papers respectively. In the ACCA September 2017 examinations, another TAR UC student excelled by taking the national top spot in the P3 Business Analysis paper and she was also ranked 6th in the world. With great pride, we are exceptionally pleased with the performance achieved at the ACCA June 2017 examinations when one of our students was named the third top ACCA Affiliate in the World, marking the first time a TAR UC student claimed a Top Affiliate Prize at the global level. TAR UC students also stood out during the ICSA IQS Part 2 June 2017 examinations, where three of our students bagged:

• Ambank Group Prize for best paper in Corporate Financial Management,
• Telekom Malaysia Berhad Prize for best paper in Corporate Administration, and
• Tricor Corporate Services Prize for best paper in Corporate Secretaryship.

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Ladies and gentlemen,
6. Apart from academic aspect, TAR UC does not neglect its social responsibility for the community. We always ensure that our education is accessible especially to the needy students so that they have an opportunity to obtain a higher tertiary education. Although most students would receive PTPTN loans, some are left out or may not have enough. We will offer interest-free student loans instead to them and all who need it and give them the opportunity to further their studies and enhance their future. Today, we have 32 interest-free student loan funds, set up mostly by our alumni, available to those who need whatever financial assistance to pursue their higher education. Since the fund’s inception in 1979, a grand total of more than RM 32 million in student loan funds have been disbursed to more than 12,000 TAR UC students. In 2017, we had disbursed RM1.2 million to 148 students, a testament to our ongoing pledge of providing accessible education to the needy.

7. In addition, all high-achieving students will be receiving the TAR UC Merit Scholarship which aims to provide financial support as well as a motivation for students to continue in their pursuit of excellence. Since the inception of the Merit Scholarship in 1997 until 2017, 20,486 students were awarded Merit scholarships, amounting close to RM 100 million. In 2017 alone, 1,949 students received the scholarship award for a total amount of RM 12.8 million.

8. The achievements and accolades that TAR UC has attained are the fruit of the many years of hard work, dedication and focus on providing quality education. Come 2019, TAR UC will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary which is an important milestone. While it is a joyous occasion having journeyed for half a century, this is also the time for all of us to reminisce and take a trip down the memory lane to revisit the history and struggle MCA had gone through to set up TAR College as well as to pay homage to the founding leaders of the College. A series of events will take place until 2019 to build the momentum leading to the grand celebration of TAR UC’s 50th Anniversary, the first one being the naming ceremony of 10 buildings in Kuala Lumpur Main Campus after 10 founding leaders of TAR College to be held on 13 February 2018 in this hall as well. Graduands, being alumni of TAR UC, you are most welcome to attend this event to deepen your understanding of the history of your alma mater and join us in this momentous occasion.

9. Moving forward, TAR UC will relentlessly pursue its goal of widening access to quality education as education remains an important agenda in the economic growth of Malaysia as it will drive the development through the provision of human capital. As you can see our country is still on expansionary mode guided by the National Transformation Programme (‘NTP’). The NTP was initiated in 2010 under the esteemed leadership of our Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak, with the objective of taking Malaysia’s development to the next level to elevate Malaysia to become a high-income nation. In recent years, many large-scale infrastructure developments have been carried out such as the Mass Rapid Transit (‘MRT’) project in the Klang Valley, which aims to catalyse economic activities, increase productivity as well as enhance the liveability of Malaysia’s capital city. The MRT project comprising 3 lines costs multi-billion ringgit and is touted as the single largest infrastructure project to date in Malaysia.

10. On top of the MRT project is the massive East Coast Rail Line (‘ECRL’) that traverses 668 kilometres and it will be the backbone of the economic development in the east coast region. This main transportation system will connect key economic centres including industrial areas and provide efficient connectivity along the rail line between Port Klang to Pengkalan Kubor in Kelantan.

11. Another mega development which is set to bring tremendous economic spill over effect is the High Speed Rail (‘HSR’) that connects Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Stretching over 350 kilometres, the HSR is expected to begin the construction this year and will be completed by 2026. Apart from significantly reducing the time taken to travel between the two countries from 4 – 5 hours by car or bus to merely 90 minutes, the HSR will also enhance the potentials of the towns and cities around the stations on the Malaysian side. On a bigger picture, the HSR will be the engine of growth for the southern region whereas the ECRL will be the engine of growth for the East Coast region and together, they will benefit the whole of Peninsula Malaysia.

12. With so much development on-going in Malaysia, the demand for skilled and high calibre graduates will continue to increase and this is where TAR UC’s role in developing the human capital comes into play. Moving forward, the future growth of the nation lies in the hands of tertiary education institutions such as TAR UC to continue to nurture the leaders and innovators of tomorrow to build our country. As the President of MCA, I am heartened to see that in the past 49 years since its establishment by MCA, TAR UC had served the nation well with its quality and affordable education. I am confident that TAR UC is committed to taking Malaysia’s progress to the next level with its holistic education.

13. Before I conclude, I would like to emphasise that all of you, the graduands, are the result of our commitment towards nation building as you have been equipped with the education that can transform the nation. Therefore, it is my hope that each of you will use the knowledge and skills you have gained from TAR UC for the benefit of the society and the nation.

14. With that, I once again congratulate all our graduands for your achievements and my best wishes to you in your next journey forward.

Thank you.