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Tan Sri Limkokwing – celebrated award-winning global emissary

As Limkokwing received The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo from South Africa’s President, HE Jacob Zuma, he stood as the only Asian among eminent global citizens from Africa, Europe and North America who played key role in assisting a nation make that transition from apartheid to democracy.

Limkokwing’s passion and unflinching dedication as a global philanthropist and transformational educationist have been the main cornerstones upon which he has built his reputation as an outstanding and pioneering leader in many fields. 

He has gained more recognitions for transforming education, nation-building, creativity and innovation, peace advocacy and philanthropy than anyone else in Malaysia’s history. He has been decorated and celebrated for his national and global initiatives in building human capability, building international humanitarian relationships, promoting peace and the eradication of poverty while enhancing cross-cultural understanding.

Today the world has stood up and taken note of this extraordinary global emissary who has brought honours to his country and recognised around the world for his distinguished, enduring and continuing contributions both nationally and on the global stage. 

Prolific leadership and nation-building awards

For the past four decades, Limkokwing has been sought out by the Malaysian Government for his help to find solutions to national issues securing his position in Malaysia as a man who is concerned about the development and harmony of his nation. He has driven the creative and innovation agenda of the country for global competitiveness. He has designed numerous campaigns to support national agenda which changes mindsets and ways of doing business.

The Government of Malaysia’s recognises the University named after him as Malaysia’s University of Innovation and University of Transformation and also acknowledges Limkokwing as Father of Innovation in Creative Education.

He is Malaysia’s Royal Ambassador for Creativity and Innovation, Royal Ambassador for Malaysian Education as well as Malaysia’s Royal Designer conferred upon him by the Sultan of Pahang.

In August 2013, former South African President Dr Nelson Mandela was awarded the Inaugural Lifetime Peace Campaigner Award by the Global Peace Foundation. It was received on Dr Mandela’s behalf by South African President HE Jacob Zuma. The Foundation was conceptualised and initiated by Limkokwing. Front row from left: Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, HE Jacob Zuma, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Limkokwing. They are flanked by Limkokwing University’s International Ambassadors.

For his international contributions to business and enterprise, he was accorded Legendary Icon for Creativity and Innovation at the 2016 Global Leadership Awards and in Malaysia; he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Kumpulan Utusan.

Recognised worldwide as  Icon for global leadership   

Worldwide, his initiatives in building human capability and introducing transformational education have been recognised by the global community and world leaders.

At the 7th Middle East Business Leaders Awards held in London recently, Limkokwing was awarded Global Icon for Innovation and Global Leadership for Peace and Equality for his slew of contributions towards creativity and innovation, peace, poverty eradication and transformational global education.

He is acknowledged as Father of Innovation in Africa by the World Confederation of Business and Leadership in Education for Africa’s Transformation

For connecting the world to Asia, South Korea recognised him as Asia’s Most Accomplish Educationist and China in 2010 awarded him World Creative Master, while India in 2017 honoured him as a Global Living Legend.

In a fitting tribute, in March 2016, Limkokwing was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award convened by Kumpulan Utusan, which was presented by DYMM Sultan of Perak Darul Ridzuan, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghful-Lah. The inaugural Utusan Business Awards by Malaysia’s premier newspaper publisher, recognises outstanding individuals for their contributions to the Malaysian economy and society.

Earlier this year, Limkokwing was appointed TVET UK’s International President and the University was declared ‘Global TVET Model University’ by a leading UK accreditation body, ASIC.

Recognising the value of creativity and innovation in a Limkokwing education, Qualifications House UK, a body working with international institutions to implement UK qualifications, honoured Limkokwing with an award – Global Leadership for Creativity and Innovation. The Award also recognises Limkokwing’s endeavours for the past four decades in promoting entrepreneurship and spurring economic growth of nations worldwide.

The Oxford Centre for Leadership in UK awarded him for Worldwide Leadership in Innovative Education while the London Graduate School of Management recognised him as Asia’s Most Creative Thinker and Personality

Leading Malaysia in peace efforts

Limkokwing has dedicated his life’s work towards building peace and harmony and denouncing violence and war. He is not a political figure but this does not prevent him from raising his voice against the evils of intolerance and war. Over the years, he initiated and implemented numerous campaigns towards the quest for global peace. His tireless efforts have been acknowledged in his own country and certainly celebrated worldwide with the recognition of Malaysia’s Goodwill Ambassador.

While he has received recognition and appreciation for advocating peace in the past, his recent recognition in 2017, as International Peace Ambassador is certainly significant. This accolade was conferred by YB Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Kurup, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department at the United Nation’s International Tolerance Day celebrations organised by the Department of National Unity and Integration, Prime Minister’s Department.

The recognitions and accolades complement his work with Prime Minister of Malaysia Dato’ Sri Dr Mohd NajibTun Razak as his Special Programme Coordinator as well as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to the Southern African Development Community, SADC.

Among his past memorable campaigns was the global appeal for the reconstruction of the badly war-torn Bosnia Herzegovina in the mid 1990s. It was an integrated media campaign that included a book- Bosnia Herzegovina Beyond Words Beyond Tears, a website for the channeling of funds to Bosnia and an exhibition.

The Ramadhan Foundation of the UK and the Perdana Peace Foundation recognised him with an award for International Contribution to Humanity and Philanthropy.

His Excellency Abdelaziz Abughoush, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Embassy of the State of Palestine recognised him with the award of Distinguished World Citizen of Peace & Humanity.

South Africa’s highest award for campaign to end apartheid

In 1994 Limkokwing played a pivotal role in shaping the voter education campaign of Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa for the country’s first democratic elections. In recognition of this, he was conferred South Africa’s highest award, The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo by South Africa’s President, H.E. Jacob Zuma for the key role he played in assisting South Africa make the transition from apartheid to democracy.

In 2013, he created The Global Peace Foundation to recognise individuals and organisations for their peace efforts. The inaugural recipient of the Lifetime Campaigner for Peace & Freedom Award was conferred upon Nelson Mandela who was represented by South African President Dr Jacob Zuma.

Malaysia’s global innovator

Limkokwing has succeeded in transforming governments and societies through innovative global education, creativity and empowering youth with the skills needed to be globally competitive. In parts of Asia and Africa he has effectively empowered thousands of youth with the requisite digital skills and entrepreneurial knowledge so vital for growing economies. His universities in Africa are today 21st century empowerment centres, enabling thousands of African youths to gain the skills and training they need to enhance their country’s human capital.

The university that bears his name is synonymous with world-beating standards of creative and innovative excellence and was declared Malaysia’s University of Innovation  and University of Transformation. Limkokwing Swaziland has been declared Swaziland’s University of Transformation by His Majesty King Mswati III of the Kingdom of Swaziland.

He is the only Malaysian to be recognised with the title Commander of the Most Meritorious Order of Mohlomi by His Royal Highness King Letsie III of Lesotho for his “outstanding contribution in instilling in the younger generation worldwide a culture of strategic creativity that maximises technology and innovation to create content.”

His contributions towards innovative and creative education have earned him the accolade of Father of Innovation in Creative Education by Malaysia’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation in August, 2009. Today he continues to play a pivotal role in transforming the education landscape and working with governments of many nations.

Profound impact on  poverty eradication

More than anything else, Limkokwing is driven by an indelible spirit to work towards eradicating the circle of poverty in the countries he works in – in Africa and Asia. Here, poverty eradication and youth employment are urgent issues and tertiary education is out of reach for most families. There is also a large population of youth who do not have the requisite qualifications to enter main tertiary institutions.

For many of these students, they are often the first to attain a university education. The kind of education they receive has instilled hope and assisted in the breaking of cycles of poverty. The University fees are heavily subsidised by Limkokwing and generous scholarships are provided for the deserving.

Here, he placed innovation, creativity and ‘smart technology’ at the heart of the academic agenda, by designing innovative TVET programmes. This empowers students with the skills they need to be job creators rather than just job seekers.

In Africa, he introduced the Limkokwing Entrepreneurship Acceleration Platform (LEAP). The programmes are aligned with the countries growth agendas such as poverty eradication and to instill practical skills for changing mindsets and elevating their entrepreneurship and innovative capital.

United Nations recognition

The extensive work and his collaborations with various international organisations such as the UNITED NATIONS, UNESCO, UNDP, UNHCR, the Red cross has built the necessary bridges needed to improve international humanitarian relations amongst youth and citizens of the world.

He works with UNHCR in Malaysia and provides full scholarships to assist young refugees to pursue professional qualifications and skills which will benefit them when they are resettled. 

Limkokwing University is a member of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) which is a global initiative that unite higher education institutions around the world working towards 10 grounding principles for a more peaceful and tolerant world.   

In 2017, the World Federation of Friends of the United Nations awarded Limkokwing the Salver of Honour in recognition of the “outstanding work in providing global leadership in promoting peace and alleviation of poverty through the delivery of high quality education programmes throughout the world”.

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