“We’re going to Singapore in October”, Mr Saravanan Muthiah told me when I was still new in IMU. Why go all the way to Singapore to visit just a few alumni? That was my initial thought. To be honest, I didn’t really see the importance of it. But boy, my point of view immediately changed after the first gathering that I was involved in. The feedback we got from Alumni Gathering: Penang and Ipoh was so good, it changed my mind. At every event, the alumni thanked us for providing them an avenue to reconnect with IMU. The Singapore Alumni Gathering marked the end of alumni gatherings for this year. Believing that we had a strong number of alumni in Singapore, we embarked on the last journey of alumni gathering series for the year of 2018. Our team, the Alumni Relations Office (ARO) worked hard to promote the Singapore gathering. IMU Alumni Facebook page played an important role in spreading the news. IMU lecturers and deans helped to promote the event to the alumni they were in the touch with. We travelled to Singapore on the day of the event, 27 October 2018, Saturday. We arrived that morning 11 am and immediately checked in at York Hotel, the venue of our gathering. After a delicious banana leaf meal with Prof Vishna Devi Nadarajah, Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor and her family, the ARO team rushed back to the hotel for the event set-up.
By 6pm, our alumni started trickling in and we were ready with huge smiles. They registered themselves and were given the alumni merchandise. Although this was our first meet with most of them, they didn’t seem like strangers to us. We witnessed memorable reunions between former students and their lecturers at the registration counter, Ms Lim Swee Geok hugged her former students tightly and we could hear a lot of catching-up happening. Happy faces and huge smiles, this feeling would never get old. And at that point, I was confident this gathering will be a huge success.
Pn Noraidah Yusoff, IMU Registrar, kicked off the event by welcoming the alumni. She also gave some inputs and background on the total number of alumni working and residing in Singapore. She ended her welcome address by thanking all the alumni who came and hoped to see more alumni in future gatherings.
We then had a representative from IMU Healthcare to update the alumni on the IMU Hospitals. Dr Chong Su-Lin, CEO of IMU Healthcare gave a thorough presentation on the new IMU Hospital.
Many alumni who attended that night came from various programmes and batches. One of the alumni who attended the gathering on that day was Dr Goh Hsien Ming from the first batch ME1/93. He was the man behind the Alumni Association Committee and he created the Alumni Association logo that we still use until today. And to assist us, he promoted the event in his Facebook, and that made Dr Loh Ping from his batch to join us, with two of her beautiful daughters.
Knowing that Dr Goh was here, I knew that we could not wrap up the evening without having him to give a few words. After all, Alumni Committee would not be here if it were not for him. His sharing session was amazing despite being very spontaneous.
It was amazing to see him interact with his junior alumni. He was the IMU alumni big brother and it felt like he has come home. Being the first president of IMU Alumni Association Committee, Dr Goh gave a lot of inputs, advices and thoughts.
The Alumni Speaker of the night, Dr Raymond Choy Wai Mun, alumnus from the Batch ME1/03, expressed his excitement and gratitude, “Thank you to the Alumni Relations Office (ARO) for organising this gathering.” Dr Raymond was also the founder of Doc2Us, along with a startup entrepreneur Jack Lee, a Malaysian-based mobile application which provides access to a doctor at your fingertips.
I asked Dr Raymond Choy, what inspired him to come and joined us for the evening and his reply was “Inspiration”. He then proceeded by telling me that Alumni Gathering is a good platform to know and understand his fellow alumni. “It also allowed me to get to know new colleagues and meet up with old friends. I get to know their ideas of innovations – that inspires me the most”.
“I want to share my journey, which I believe can encourage more alumni to dream big, to innovate and to start-up a company for bigger impacts, especially to our community”.
Dr Raymond has inspired many juniors and one of them is Leonard Goh. Graduated in June 2018, Leonard travelled all the way from Johor to attend the event.
“I gained a lot from this event. I had the opportunity to meet Dr Goh Hsien Ming and Dr Raymond Choy, among other seniors. Their journeys reinforced the belief I had that there was so much more to medicine than serving the public as a practicing doctor”.
Leonard’s enthusiasm and the way he carried himself was very impressive. He had goals and purpose and he seized the opportunity. “Dr Raymond’s Doc2Us has made healthcare even more accessible to the public”. While Leonard scored a chance of meeting his idols, he also scored a big time recruitment by Dr Raymond himself! “It is a privilege to have been recruited by Dr Raymond. I was already impressed at how Doc2Us was developed to harness the value of telemedicine” and the feelings were mutual. “Just recruited a top talent from IMU. Such an honour!”, said Dr Raymond. “Thank you Alumni Relations Office (ARO) for organising this gathering which brings healthcare talents from different specialties and domains together”, said Dr Raymond, concluding our conversation. Prof Nafeeza Hj Ismail, Dean, School of Medicine, praised the event as something that is ‘well-planned’ and should be held annually. “A lot of interaction and engagement! Such a lovely evening”, claimed Dr Chong Su-Lin. Goodbyes were exchanged and promises were made. Though the event has ended, our alumni story has not. Written by Asyraf Zulkipli, Alumni Relations Office (ARO)