UTAR opens Tun Tan Cheng Lock Cen­tre for So­cial and Pol­icy Stud­ies

New Straits Times - - Higher Ed -

AS a tribute to one of the coun­try’s found­ing fa­thers and the first pres­i­dent of the Malaysian Chi­nese As­so­ci­a­tion (MCA), Univer­siti Tunku Ab­dul Rah­man (UTAR) re­cently launched the Tun Tan Cheng Lock Cen­tre for So­cial and Pol­icy Stud­ies (TCLC) in its Sun­gai Long Cam­pus.

The cen­tre that aims to be a cen­tre of ex­cel­lence to spear­head re­search has 80 mem­bers from var­i­ous fac­ul­ties of the univer­sity.

Speak­ing at the launch, UTAR Pres­i­dent Pro­fes­sor Datuk Dr Chuah Hean Teik thanked MCA for their do­na­tion of RM1 mil­lion to the TCLC in sup­port of fur­ther re­search and to meet the cen­tre’s goals and ob­jec­tives.

“It is im­por­tant to re­dis­cover the miss­ing parts of our his­tory and cul­ture, as well as the legacy of Tun Tan Cheng Lock and our found­ing fa­thers.

“TCLC will con­duct re­search on Tun Tan Cheng Lock’s life, val­ues and po­lit­i­cal con­tri­bu­tions, and on Tun Tan Siew Sin’s con­tri­bu­tions dur­ing his ten­ure as the Fi­nance Min­is­ter of Malaysia.

“The cen­tre will also ex­pand its role to re­search on past Malaysian lead­ers, na­tion build­ing and con­tem­po­rary so­cio-po­lit­i­cal is­sues. It will ben­e­fit a great num­ber and a wide va­ri­ety of peo­ple and con­trib­ute to the de­vel­op­ment of our com­mu­ni­ties and na­tion.”

Also present at the launch were Trans­port Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, UTAR Chan­cel­lor Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik and Tun Tan Cheng Lock’s grand­daugh­ter Datin Paduka Tan Siok Choo, as well as TCLC Steer­ing Com­mit­tee Chair­man-cum-UTAR Coun­cil Mem­ber Sen­a­tor Datuk Hou Kok Chung, Deputy Min­is­ter of Women, Fam­ily and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Sen­a­tor Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun.

Tan said: “Due to the lack of fi­nan­cial re­sources to study law at a univer­sity, Tun Tan highly val­ued a univer­sity ed­u­ca­tion, re­flected in the fact that he sent his chil­dren to the US and UK for their ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion.

“While much has been writ­ten about Tun Tan’s in­volve­ment in pol­i­tics, lit­tle is known about his en­tre­pre­neur­ial for­ays, first in rub­ber plant­ing and later bank­ing.”

Liow said: “MCA is proud to do­nate RM1 mil­lion in recog­ni­tion of Tun Tan’s im­mense ef­forts and to con­tinue his in­cred­i­ble legacy.

“The do­na­tion will fund var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties and re­search in ar­eas such as the thoughts and ideas of Tun Tan and our found­ing fa­thers, the his­tory and con­tri­bu­tions of Malaysian Chi­nese, na­tion build­ing, eth­nic re­la­tions, so­cial poli­cies and much more.”

“By un­der­stand­ing the past, we can plan and act in the present in an­tic­i­pa­tion of fu­ture chal­lenges and growth. If we want to know how and why our so­ci­ety is the way it is to­day, we have to look into our his­tory for an­swers and that is why we need to prop­erly doc­u­ment our past and seek so­lu­tions for the fu­ture.

“It is with great hope that the TCLC will in-

The cen­tre will also ex­pand its role to re­search on past Malaysian lead­ers, na­tion build­ing and con­tem­po­rary so­cio-po­lit­i­cal is­sues.” PRO­FES­SOR DATUK DR CHUAH HEAN TEIK UTAR Pres­i­dent

spire the younger gen­er­a­tion to con­trib­ute to build­ing a bet­ter Malaysia through Tun Tan’s vi­sion - unit­ing our mul­ti­eth­nic so­ci­ety to build a greater na­tion,” Liow said.

Chuah added: “We also wel­come re­searchers from all fields to be part of the cen­tre’s ex­cit­ing ini­tia­tives and we look for­ward to pos­si­ble col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­forts with our part­ners in­clud­ing MCA.

“All the re­search out­comes and knowl­edge will be dis­sem­i­nated to the gen­eral pub­lic, with hopes that they will in­spire the younger gen­er­a­tion to take up lead­er­ship roles and en­cour­age them to con­trib­ute in na­tion build­ing,” said the pres­i­dent.

(From left) Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, Datin Paduka Tan Siok Choo, Pro­fes­sor Datuk Dr Chuah Hean Teik, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik and Datuk Hou Kok Chung with the mock cheque.

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