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Tan Sri Datuk Dr Lim Kok Wing’s nation-building efforts were again acknowledged by the Institute of Public Relations Malaysia. At the institute’s Crystal Award 2004 recently, Tan Sri Lim was bestowed a Special Acknowledgement Award in recognition of his role in last year’s Kuala Lumpur World Peace Conference and the Plight of the Palestinians project.

Limkokwing University College of Creative Technology itself picked up two awards: the Kuala Lumpur World Peace Conference winning in the Image Building category, and the Plight of the Palestinians project, in the category of Voluntary Programmes.

The winning campaigns are activities that deal with global issues and highlight the need for unity among different races and nationalities to promote a better, more peaceful world.

Expertise in creativity and innovation

The first of its kind to be convened by a Muslim-majority country, the Kuala Lumpur World Peace Conference held in August 2003, saw Limkokwing students roped in to organise the event that brought together distinguished world leaders such as Deputy President of South Africa Jacob G. Zuma and Special Adviser to the UN secretary general Adolf Ogi.

The students made their presence count in many ways, notably through an anti-war exhibition they put up in conjunction with the conference. They were also involved in the production of Peacevolution, a New Age album that was launched at the closing of the conference by Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The Plight of the Palestinians project was planned with the Palestinian Embassy and was meant to educate Malaysians about the Palestinian cause and the reasons behind the underlying tension within the Middle East.

The exhibition was Limkokwing’s contribution to the endeavour undertaken by the Malaysians for Peace movement. Aimed at touching hearts and minds, Limkokwing also benefited from the presence of Arabic and Persian students on campus who provided insights that helped in the formulation of the exhibition components.

The victory at the Crystal Award has further confirmed Limkokwing’s expertise in handling projects that are focused on helping produce Malaysians who are creative, innovative, competitive, but also peace-loving and aware of global issues.

Limkokwing, in fact, has become known for undertaking various projects in support of national aspirations. Malaysians would recall Limkokwing’s contributions in such projects as the Commonwealth Games Kuala Lumpur 1998, the Rakan Muda youth development campaign and Inflasi Sifar (zero inflation).

Culture of excellence prevails

That winning awards has become a norm at Limkokwing cannot be doubted. Tan Sri Lim himself has garnered more than 100 awards since he started making a name for himself in the fields of advertising, communications and education; the more recent ones including inaugural winner of the Adrenaline Lifetime Achievement Award for Commitment to Educational Excellence last year. And at IPRM’s Crystal Award 2001, no eyebrows were raised when he was named the Most PR Savvy CEO.

The university college itself is a regular winner of awards: the most notable ones in recent times being the Excellence in Private Education Award 2003 from the National Association of Private Educational Institutions (NAPEI), and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry’s Export Excellence Award (Services) for 2002. The latter was in recognition of its efforts in the recruitment of international students - Limkokwing is among the private institutions with the highest number of international students (40% of its 4,000 students are from 60 countries).

Limkokwing students too have become known for their ability to win awards. Recent achievements include multimedia students Tan Kok Huat and Dennis Wong Chee De scoring big at the MSC-Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA), winning the first prize and merit award in the Best of Tertiary-level Student Projects (Creative Multimedia) category respectively.

Then there was the team of six students led by Yunika from Indonesia, helping the university college stamp its mark at the Adoi Adrenaline Student Creative Awards. In a repeat of the previous year’s victory (where 12 Limkokwing students made a clean sweep of the awards with a medal haul of two gold, three silver and four bronze), Yunika and her friends also won the Best of the Best Award, meant for the biggest winner of the event.

Trained to break the norm

The Limkokwing emphasis on creativity and innovation makes it a winner. Tan Sri Lim often describes the Limkokwing campus in Cyberjaya as a driving force where creativity is nurtured and where students are inspired to aim for the highest.

“Nothing is left to chance,” he says, adding that the Limkokwing campus has been carefully designed and coordinated to bring out the best in its students. “We train our students to break the norm. We imbue them with a strong sense of passion, inspire them with big idea, and motivate them to succeed.

“We are about inculcating leadership and promoting excellence. Our students stand out because of the way they think, the way they carry themselves and the results they produce. They are exuberant and confident people.

“And that’s why they win awards. We motivate them well and promote in them a culture of excellence. We have a lot of pride in our students,” he says.

It can also be said that Limkokwing’s success lies in its emphasis on producing all-round students: the Limkokwing model of success is one who is creative, versatile, IT-savvy and industry-ready.

Learning from industry professionals

The university college’s “industry within university” concept made possible by the combination of Limkokwing and Malaysia Design Innovation Centre (that plays professional arm to the university college), allows students to learn to create and manage products and services.

By bringing major brand names on to campus and introducing business units that act as incubators where students get to interact with industry professionals, Limkokwing exposes its students to real work environments.

The Innovation Centre, a regional creative hub, is where partnerships with international design centres in Europe are in place to promote brand building and innovation. Already in place are such links as the Istituo Europeo di Design (IED) in Milan and the Korea Institute of Design Promotion.

Students also benefit from such industrial activities as the Best of Malaysia Showcase 2004 and the British Design: Innovation and Application Exhibition, both currently running on campus. The former showcases top Malaysian brand names including winners of the National Creativity & Innovation Award 2004 and 2005, while the latter features 15 British brands that are best known for design and innovation.

Such activities are in line with Limkokwing and MDI’s plan to help place Malaysia on the world map of innovation.