Alex and his wife, Sherry after receiving an honorary award on behalf of the late Yunus Raiss.

The posthumous honorary doctorate accorded to late educationist Dr Yunus Raiss Mohd Isa was a great and fine achievement, said his son, Alex Swan, 34.

He said the honorary doctorate was very significant, given the fact that his father was not formally educated until he was 15, but was able to achieve many successes and received recognition in life.

Alex recalled that his father realised the importance of education in life and often gave him valuable advice.

“He used to say that he lacked everything when he was young, but that did not prevent him from achieving success.

“Therefore, he said, there was no excuse for me not to achieve whatever I wanted in life.”

Alex added that although his father had lived in the United Kingdom for nearly 60 years, Malaysia remained close to his heart.

He never forgot his origins and often reminded him to keep the Malay tradition and culture alive, he said.

“Dad also always promoted his homeland and helped Malaysian students in the UK, in the hope that they would gain the knowledge and skills to develop the country back home,” he added.

For Alex, the setting up of the English school, Sels College in Covent Garden in 1975 which was accredited by the British Council, was a great achievement of his father, and was responsible for the English language proficiency of a generation of foreign students in London.

He received the honorary doctorate on behalf of his father from UPSI’s chancellor Raja Permaisuri of Perak Tuanku Zara Salim during the first session of the ceremony. Alex was accompanied by wife Sheerina.