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Daw Aung San Suu Kyi receives the NCTU Honorary Doctorate and the UST Sayling Wen Lectureship of Academic Excellence Chair



The spirit symbol of Myanmar democratic movements, and also the Laureate of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, received the Honorary Doctorate in Law of the National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) in Kaw-Hmu, Myanmar today (Dec. 12th), and was invited to be the University System of  Taiwan (UST) Sayling Wen Lectureship of Academic Excellence Chair Professor.

This is the first honorary doctorate which Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has received since 2012. The NCTU Honorary Doctorate review committee approved the case in late September. Because of the general election in Myanmar, the conferral ceremony was determined to be held after the election. The Taiwan Delegation was led by the UST Chancellor Ovid J. L. Tzeng and the NCTU ex-President Yan-Hwa Wu Lee. The conferral ceremony was determined to be held in the Hospitality and Catering Training Academy (HCTA) established by Daw Khih Kyi Foundation. The foundation is a non-profit organization in the name of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s mother, which is devoted to promote the medical health, education, and life standard.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who just led the National League for Democracy to win the Myanmar general election, attended the Doctorate Conferral Ceremony at this extremely busy moment right after the election. The ceremony was held in the HCTA, a site which is deeply meaningful to her. After receiving the Honorary Doctorate, she expressed that she is very delighted that the National Chiao Tung University conferred her the Doctorate in Law because she has been always concerned about issues in rule of law. She believes that only the rule of law can bring national peace. Through several general elections, the Myanmar people have shown their faith in her belief by the outcome of votes: Myanmar has to change, and only change can meet various challenges in the future. She and the Myanmar people are facing the issue of how to meet the challenges. She also echoed the pains during the pursuit of democracy and with the 2014 Tang Prize laureate, Albie Sachs, for Rule of Law, as mentioned by Chancellor Ovid Tzeng in his congratulation speech. She emphasized that law does not mean “rule by law”. In the contrary, it is the defense for fairness and justice, and also guarantees the realization of social justice. She also emphasized that rule of law and democracy should stand in parallel so that true peace can be ensured. She believes that Myanmar can have a unique path of democratization which is distinct from other countries.

The 70-year old Daw Aung San Suu Kyi dedicated the prime time of her life in pushing forward the Myanmar democratic movements and national reform. On the one hand, she has insisted the non-violent approach in leading the opposing party to fight for democratic reform; on the other hand, she thinks that to succeed in the democratic movements, thoughts should lead actions to reform people’s attitudes and value system. She has never given up the pursuit after democracy and human rights.

The ex-President Yan-Hwa Wu Lee, who represented NCTU to confer the Honorary Doctorate, praised highly of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, “For a long time she showed no fear to pressure, and she pursues liberty, democracy, and human rights, which is the role model of all students and faculties of the Chiao Tung University ”. NCTU President, Dr. Mau-Chung Frank Chang, who is currently visiting the US, also commented, “It is a great honor for the Chiao Tung University to confer the Honorary Doctorate to one of the greatest international politicians. I hope all members of the NCTU can follow Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s spirit of insisting ideals, pursuing truth, untiringly fighting, to make efforts for human well beings.”

The two key persons who make  this  event possible are Chancellor of University System of Taiwan, Dr. Ovid J. L. Tzeng, and the Chairman of MAA Group Consulting Engineers, Dr. Za-Chieh Moh.

Chancellor Ovid Tzeng is a current member of the Committee on Human Rights of the NAS, NAE, and NAM. He highly regards Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as a fighter for human rights. In the speech before the ceremony of Honorary Doctorate conferral, he first congratulated the Myanmar people for their new decision on the nation’s future directions through the democratic election, which opens up a new page of Myanmar’s development of democracy. He also shared the story about Mr. Bo Yang and a group of friends building the Human Rights Monument on the Green Island many years ago. He said that every country has history full of blood and tears in the processes of pursuing a social system and a life style of democracy and liberty. But there is always a group of people who give in their own sentiments, feelings, wisdoms, and dignities in exchange for the freedom from fear, which allows the people to regain the freedom that everyone should be born with.

On behalf of the University System of Taiwan (Central-, Chiao Tung-, Tsing  Hua- and Yang-Ming University.), Chancellor Tzeng also invited the new alumni, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, to visit Taiwan as a UST Sayling Wen Lectureship of Academic Excellence Chair Professor for four member universities of the UST, and to share her thoughts along the path of insisting humanistic concerns and pursuing democracy and liberty, as well as how to endow people with happy living in the future world. He believes Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s speech will bring the students immense inspirations and profound influence on their lives.

Dr. Za-Chieh Moh, the Ceremony Observant, commented in his speech of congratulations that he feels deeply moved by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s courage of dedicating herself to her country and people. He also mentioned his family’s special and strong connections to Myanmar across three generations and to NCTU. His father was the Head of the Transportation Bureau of the Chinese Resources Commission of the Chinese government during the Sino-Japanese War.  He set up two offices in Myanmar for shipping stannum, wolfram, antimony and mercury to its war allies, and shipping back all kinds of equipment and petroleum products. The two offices were closed in 1942 because of Japanese invasion of Burma.
One of Dr. Moh’s daughters-in-law is from Myanmar. In addition, his father graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and his two brothers were from Beijing Jiaotong University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, respectively. The MAA Group Consulting Engineers has offered a scholarship at National Chiao Tung University for 35 years.

In the reception of the ceremony, the pastry and beverages were prepared by the students and faculties of HCTA. HCTA was founded last year in Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s electoral district Kaw-Hmu, where the inhabitants are generally economically disadvantaged. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi hopes to equip the local young people with marketable skills through the training courses of managing hotel business and culinary industry to create job opportunities for the young, and to meet the demand of the rapid growing Myanmar tourism industry. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi shared the refreshments with the guests attending the ceremony, and had pleasant chats with the Taiwan Delegation. She said that Myanmar needs the Taiwan experiences, and hoped that there will be more substantive interactions with Taiwan in culture, economics, and science education.

The UST Chancellor Tzeng promised to facilitate the cooperation between HCTA and National Kaoshiung University of Hospitality and Tourism and Kai Ping Culinary School of Taiwan, and the donation of a brain science laboratory to a university designated by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to develop researchers in related disciplines. He will also proactively promote Taiwan and Myanmar’s mutual development in the realms of higher, professional, and engineering education.

The Taiwan Delegation includes the Vice Chancellor Cheng-Chen Chen from the UST, and the Vice President Yi Chang, the Vice President & Office of International Affairs Shyh-Jye Jou, the Dean of the School of Law Shang-Jyh Liu, the Secretary General Hsin-Tien Chiu and the CEO of Alumni Association Chiun-Hsiou Chen from the NCTU. In addition to confer the Honorary Doctorate of NCTU to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Delegation was also engaged in the exchange of possibilities in cooperation in Inter-Asia cultural studies, EMBA, ICT R&D and creative designs, semiconductors, and electrical engineering.


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