Brief report on the 3rd Convocation on the conferment of Doctor of Letters to Tan Sri Datuk Dr. K.Ampikaipakan and the visit of Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Hj. Mohd. Ismail Bin Merican, Director General of Health Malaysia to AIMST University.
Prof. Dr. Harcharan Singh Sidhu,
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs).
It was indeed an honour to write and present the citation for the degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) for Tan Sri Datuk Dr. K. Ampikaipakan on behalf of the university. The idea of a university in the northern region of Malaysia was first mooted to the then Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad at the Alor Star airport while the Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri S. Samy Vellu and Tan Sri Datuk Dr. K. Ampikaipakan were waiting to catch a flight .
To accomplish this Dr. Ampi needed to draw on all his abilities, for this new venture which was to begin in 2001. It would make the highest demands on him, (for a short period he even had to be the first Vice Chancellor of the University), but now, some ten years later, the success of his efforts are here for all to see.
Tan Sri Dr. Ampi was active in making high quality respiratory medical training available, in this country. For example, he rendered voluntary service to the Malaysian Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis, and in 1980 started the first comprehensive respiratory function laboratory in Malaysia, at the National Tuberculosis Centre. Additionally, he was a Founder Secretary of the Malaysian Thoracic Society in 1986, and President of the same Society from 1989 to 1992.
Today Tan Sri Dr. Ampi is in the foremost ranks of the medical profession, and all you need to do is to spend a few hours with him and you will realize why this is so. He is constantly at work; in the consulting room, the hospital ward and intensive care unit or on-call at all hours. He puts the interests of his patients above everything and works tirelessly for their well-being.
In fact Tan Sri Dr. Ampi made available the hospitality of his home in order for us to write the curricula for medicine, dentistry and pharmacy. At that time it was extremely challenging to kick start this university from ground zero. As a result of his unwavering passion for academic excellence, the branding of AIMST University academic programmes are extremely strong. The university has no doubt, that Tan Sri Datuk Dr. K. Ampikaipakan is a most worthy recipient for one of the major honours a university can bestow.
Another milestone last year was the much anticipated visit of Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Hj. Mohd. Ismail Bin Merican, Director General of Health Malaysia. After two aborted attempts Tan Sri finally was able to visit AIMST on the 18 December 2010. This visit was important so much so that Dato’ Seri S. Samy Vellu (Chancellor of AIMST) and Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. T. Marimuthu (Chairman of AIMST) took time off from their busy schedules to personally welcome the Director General. AIMST rolled out the red carpet and put up a grand show. Even more stimulating and motivational was the speech by the Director General which was so elegantly delivered punctuated with humour. The Director General also reminded medical students the ten golden rules of medical practice. Some of the facilities he saw were our clinical skills laboratory and the dental hospital both of which impressed him very much. The Director General had to leave early as he had a lunch appointment with the Prime Minister of Malaysia. We were truly honoured by his visit.
Prof.Harcharan Singh Sidhu