MELAKA: A nonagenarian was over the moon when he was conferred Datukship in recognition for his contributions to the Chinese community in the state.
Feisty-looking Lim Guan Swee, 90, was accompanied by his son, Lim Chor Pin, 57, to receive his title from Melaka Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob here today.
He received the award in conjunction with the Yang di-Pertua Negeri’s 79th birthday this year.
“The last time I received an award from the state government was the Jaksa Pendamai (Justice of Peace) in 1980.
“I am happy that after 37 years, the state had recognised me again by awarding me this title,” he said.
Guan Swee, who turns 90 this Nov 18, said this would be a meaningful birthday gift for him and his family. He has a wife, five children and 10 grandchildren.
“I was surprised when my name was nominated by State MCA chairman Datuk Lim Ban Hong for the award as I was not seeking any recognition for my efforts I sincerely made for the Chinese community.
“I am very grateful with the award given by the state government. It shows that my efforts for the Chinese community did not go unnoticed and are very much appreciated.
“I vow to continue to serve the Chinese community as long as I am able to,” said Guan Swee.
Guan Swee, is also actively involved in many Chinese associations in Melaka including those linked to the Chinese education such as Malacca Chinese Education Progressive Association and Say Ho Tong (Lim Kongsi) Ancestral Temple.
Retired as a Bank manager, in 1983, he is also an avid historian, has written several books on Melaka’s Chinese community and is also labelled as a walking encyclopaedia on local Chinese affairs.
“I am planning to write another book on the history of Chinese community next year,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ban Hong said that MCA will continue to seek out and give due recognition to local Chinese personalities who have contributed to society here.
Another recipient of the Datukship was Wan Nazri Wan Aria, 37, who was conferred Darjah Pangkuan Seri Melaka (DPSM) award which carries the title “Datuk”.
He was conferred the Datukship title in recognition of his effort as a Malaysian who has helped with the designing of the iconic Mecca Royal Hotel Clock Tower, or the Abraj Al-Bait.
“I am grateful to the state government for recognising the contributions I made in my career as the project member. I was surprised when informed that I was nominated by the state to receive this award last August,” he said.
The Melaka-born from Kelemak, Alor Gajah who studied engineering at Stuttgart University in Germany, urged young graduates who further their studies abroad to never forget where they came from and return to serve their home-country.
“I urge those who are studying in foreign countries to gain as much knowledge and technologies to bring these expertise back so that they can be shared with Malaysians to develop the country further,” he said.
Wan Nazri, an engineer with a German company, SL Rasch, was responsible for the designing of the giant Mecca clock tower, allowing Malaysians to take pride because of its Malaysian touch.
The 601-metre high clock tower is the tallest and largest in the world, beating other clock towers like the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, Poland, the Big Ben in London and the Ann-Bradley Clock Tower in Milwaukee, United States.