New Straits Times
PERAK YOUTH THE EMBODIMENT OF HOLISTIC GRAD
COMING from a family of professionals, Tham Kuen Wei had a strict upbringing.
During his primary school years, the Ipoh lad would start revising the day’s lessons after his return home from school, following a short rest.
“Consistent revision is the most effective way of studying,” he said.
“I don’t believe in resorting to last-minute cramming.”
With this firm foundation in place, Tham was allowed greater independence by his parents when he entered secondary school.
Now 23, Tham recently received the Royal Education Award from the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Dr Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah.
This yearly award from the Kings Council of Malaysia which goes to the top student from the University of Malaya (UM) was the latest accolade earned by the high achiever.
Tham was selected based on his illustrious academic and intellectual accomplishments on both the national and international fronts.
The youngest of three children from a family of accountants, Tham’s parents and two sisters are all in that profession; additionally, his father, Stanley, is a feng shui consultant as well.
Tham, however, chose to study Estate Management in UM.
From the start, Tham’s road to success had been smooth. He received his early schooling from St Michael’s Institution and the Pahang Matriculation College.
During that time, he achieved straight As for his UPSR, PMR, SPM and Matriculation exams.
In 2011, Tham was a recipient of the Kings’ Scout Award conferred by then-Perak Crown Prince.
In UM, Tham represented his varsity in many international events.
He was a member of the first team from a Malaysian university to win the Pacific Rim Real Estate Society’s (PRRES) 2015 International Case Competition in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Previously, he was named Best Presenter at the 4th Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) & Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (RISM) International Conference for Undergraduates, and also represented Malaysia in such international English debating tournaments as the United Asian Debating Championships in Manila and the Australasian Debating Competition.
Being well-versed in global issues, Tham was chosen to represent Malaysia in the Biennial ASEAN Youth Leaders’ Summit in 2014.
Then last year, he triumphed at the Deloitte National Risk Intelligence Challenge Trophy.
Not only was Tham an excellent academic performer, he was also heavily involved in cocurricular activities.
While an undergraduate, he was on the Dean’s List for four terms.
Said Tham: “All undergraduates should fully utilise their time on campus by taking part in activities that help their academic as well as character development, mix with people from all backgrounds so as to learn from each other, and engage more in social and welfare-based activities.”
This he demonstrated in his involvement in organising the first UM-FAB Post Disaster Reconstruction Mission to rebuild homes for flood victims in Kelantan, volunteered by rallying students to read for the visually-challenged community in UM, set up a carpooling system to reduce car congestion on campus, was involved in projects to improve faculty amenities for students, and emceed various events.
He was also the student representative in the UM Student’s Council for the 2014/2015 session, was president of the National Union of Real Estate Students in 2013, president of the Real Estate Student Society of UM in 2015, and vice-director of the UM-Assumption University Real Estate Integrated Project to Thailand in 2015.
In recognition of his active participation and leadership excellence, the University awarded Tham its Anugerah Kecemerlangan Akademik Tuanku Bahiyah and Anugerah Pemimpin Gemilang Siswa in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
To cap it off, he received the 2016 Royal Education Award for his excellent leadership skills, co-curricular participation and academic prowess.
Currently, Tham is engaged in valuation work and real estate auctions, as well as pursuing his PhD studies at UM.