Dato' Paul Leong


Dato’ Paul Leong has had an interesting and diverse career spanning engineering, tin mining, plantation, public service, aviation, media, and banking.

After having studied in a Chinese school for nine years, he pursued his education in the English medium. He graduated with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from the University of New South Wales, Australia in 1963.

Hailing from a distinguished family in Ipoh, Dato’ Paul Leong’s grandfather and father had significant tin mining and plantation interests in the Kinta Valley. It is no surprise that after having worked for only one year in the chemical engineering field, he joined his father’s company and gained extensive experience in these two sectors.

Dato’ Paul Leong became engaged in active politics after the turbulent May riots in 1969. Over two decades from 1971 to 1990, he charted an illustrious career in politics and in Government. His rose swiftly in party ranks to Divisional Chairman, Acting Perak State Liaison Committee Chairman, Treasurer General, Secretary General, and Deputy National Chairman of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia.

Dato’ Paul Leong was a Member of Parliament for four terms, from 1974 to 1990. He was the Deputy Minister for Primary Industries from 1974 to 1978. He was promoted to Minister of Primary Industries from 1978 to 1986, overseeing tin, natural rubber, tropical timber, palm oil, canned pineapples, pepper, cocoa, and tobacco industries. Those were years when Malaysia emerged strongly in the global scene in the commodities sector, especially tin, natural rubber, and tropical timber, with the Primary Industries Ministry providing the crucial leadership and guidance.

It is testimony to Dato’ Leong’s important standing in the primary commodities sector that he was appointed Chairman of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), a United Nations organization in Geneva, now known as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Negotiating Committee in Tropical Products from 1986 to 1987.

Following his retirement from politics, Leong has been active in the corporate sector. Among the many offices he has held includes serving as the Executive Chairman of Nanyang Press Holdings Berhad (2007–2009) and Deputy Chairman of Sin Chew Media Corporation (2004–2007), Independent non-executive director of AirAsia (2004–2013) and TSH Resources Limited (2005–2014).

Since 2010, he has been an Independent non-executive director of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (Malaysia). In 2012, he was appointed as the first Chancellor of HELP University following the university’s accordance of university status.

Professor Datuk Paul Chan

Vice Chancellor

Dr Chan has an interesting career as an academic, economic advisor, and entrepreneur. He is Co-Founder, Vice Chancellor and President of HELP University (Malaysia), and is also Co-Founder of HELP International Corporation, which is listed in the Malaysian Stock Exchange.

He read economics at the University of Malaya, McMaster University, Canada and completed his PhD at the Australian National University. Dr Chan has a distinguished academic career. He was Chairman, Division of Applied Economics, University of Malaya.

Dr Chan was also trained in advanced leadership in the renowned Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado Springs, USA.

Dr Chan is a member of Australia TEQSA (Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency). He is also a member of the Malaysian National Higher Education Council. In addition Dr Chan is also appointed by CSCSE (Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange, MOE China) to be a member of Study Abroad Training Centers (SATC) Quality Assurance Counselling Panel.

He is also advisor to several educational institutions in China, US and Australia.

For his contributions to education he received honorary doctoral degrees from British and Australian universities. He is also a member of the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame of the prestigious Australian National University in recognition of his achievements in entrepreneurship. Dr Chan is President of the Malaysian ANU Alumni and Chairs the ANU Alumni Scholarship Committee.

Dr Chan has consulted to many international organizations. He has contributed to various Malaysian Government projects, including the first Industrial Master Plan and other national plans. Dr Chan assisted in constructing the KLSE Composite Index and was Chairman of the Committee during 1991-2001. He has also consulted to many MNCs in leadership and strategy studies.

As an entrepreneur, he has been involved in different roles in the corporate sector. He has been director of public companies and has founded and managed several private enterprises.

He is a regular speaker in international forums. Dr Chan writes a column in Nanyang Siang Pau.

For his contribution to education, Dr Chan was awarded the Panglima Jasa Negara (P.J.N) by the King of Malaysia. This grants him the title of Datuk.

In December 2011 he represented HELP to receive the 2011 Forbes Award for the top 200 Asia Pacific companies below US$ 1 billion. He is also a recipient of the Education Innovation Award given by the World Education Congress (2012).

Dr Khong Kim Hoong

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic)

Dr Khong Kim Hoong has served as Academic Director of HELP University College since 1991 and is responsible for academic and administrative matters. He is now the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) of HELP University. He graduated from the University of Malaya in 1969, where he was the President of the Students Union and also the Protem Chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian University Students. He won the Gold Medal as the university’s Best All Round Student for his excellent academic performance and leadership.

Dr Khong was awarded the prestigious Ford Foundation Fellowship, and completed his PhD in Political Science in 1975 at the University of Pittsburgh, USA.

He taught at the University of Malaya, and was the Chairman of Public Administration Division. His other professional activities include being Secretary of the Academic Staff Association (1976-77) and Secretary of the Malaysian Economic Association (1979-82).

Dr. Khong’s various international appointments include Visiting Fellowships at Ohio University (USA), University of Sydney (Australia), East-West Center (Hawaii), the Japan Institute of International Affairs (Tokyo) and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Singapore). He was also a Visiting Professor at the Helsinki School of Economics in Finland (2001-2009).

Dr. Khong has many publications in academic journals. His books and monographs include: “MERDEKA: British Rule and the Struggle for Independence in Malaya”, “The 1990 Malaysian Elections: Continuity, Change and Ethnic Politics” and “The Politics of Japan-Vietnam Relations”. He has presented many papers on higher education at many forums.

Dato' Dr Zakaria Bin Ahmad

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research)

Dato’ Dr Zakaria Bin Ahmad is the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) of HELP University. He started his career at the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1970, upon graduating from the University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) He was a teaching fellow at McMaster University, Canada from 1970-1971, where he completed his Master’s degree.

Dr Zakaria joined Universiti Malaya after completing his Master’s degree. He later taught at the University of Malaya from 1972-1973. Subsequently he entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to pursue his PhD.

Upon completion of his PhD, Dr. Zakaria was appointed Head and Associate Professor of the Department of Political Science at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia between 1978-1983. From 1983-1985 Dr. Zakaria was Deputy Director-General (Studies) at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) in Malaysia. In 1987 he returned to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Dr Zakaria was the incumbent of the Tun Abdul Razak Chair in Southeast Asian Studies at Ohio University from 2001 to 2003.

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