“The future will always be defined by people who have the tenacity to succeed no matter what the odds may be and reach beyond the ordinary. They achieve extraordinary success, and in doing so they transform countries.”Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Paduka Lim Kok Wing
In remembrance of Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Paduka Limkokwing, Father of Innovation in Creative Education
A Legend Driving Transformation to Bridge the Innovation Gap Between Nations
Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Paduka Limkokwing was a Malaysian artist, designer, author, entrepreneur, educationist and philanthropist officially recognised by the Malaysian government as the Father of Innovation in Creative Education. He was the Founder and President of Limkokwing University of Creative Technology – The World’s Most Global University.
Tan Sri Limkokwing was best known for bringing about much-needed change to Malaysia’s antiquated, post-colonial education system – and in the process, revolutionising the very concept of tertiary education on a global scale.
Through his Foundation and University campuses across Asia, Africa and Europe, tens of thousands of individuals from over 165 countries and territories were privileged to a unique form of industry-driven education that emphasised creativity and innovation.
As one of Asia’s most renowned creative maestros, he had also been sought after over the past five decades to contribute to nation-building in his native Malaysia and overseas.
Asia’s renowned Creative maestro & Communication Guru
Tan Sri Limkokwing followed his passion despite the lack of
support from his parents, to the point where he was requested
to conduct classes at his school when the art teacher was
absent. Soon, he had a small business going on the side as he
tutored his classmates.
Tan Sri Limkokwing’s first job was as an illustrator, designing book covers. Eventually, he approached the Eastern Sun newspaper with comic strips he had been working on, hoping to serialise it.
The newspaper agreed, and Tan Sri Limkokwing achieved his first major milestone when his comic strip – ABU – became Malaysia’s and Singapore’s first local serialised comic strip.
He continued to work with Eastern Sun for two years until the paper folded, pushing Tan Sri Limkokwing towards bigger things.
In 1970, Tan Sri Limkokwing joined McCann-Erickson. He quickly rose among the ranks to become the regional creative director at this global advertising agency.
The CEO & Champion of Business Innovation
By 1975, after learning everything he could about agency
operations, Tan Sri Limkokwing started the first professional
Malaysian advertising agency – Wings Creative Consultants.
He was 29 years old at the time. Starting with only four employees; it was a bold move as he was muscling into an industry controlled by expatriates and multinationals. His perseverance, talent and skills, within a short time catapulted his business into the top rung. Wings became one of the top 10 leading agencies in the country within three years of inception.
In 1988, BBDO, one of the world’s largest multinational advertising agencies, approached Wings Creative Consultants to forge an alliance. Billings of Wings/BBDO reached RM26 million (USD 8.6 million) in 1989; by 1992, billings rose to nearly RM40 million (USD 13.3 million).
Early on, Tan Sri Limkokwing had the vision to shape a better future for the world, by moulding young individuals more effectively in an environment of creativity and innovation.
And while his success in the field of advertising is well-known and documented, the Limkokwing brand today is better known around the globe as an internationally-recognised, award- winning tertiary education services provider.
The partnership with BBDO ended in 1992 when Tan Sri Limkokwing turned his full attention to communications services and branding with the inception of Limkokwing Integrated.
It was also around this time that he set up what later became Malaysia’s first global university.
21st Century Educationist
Tan Sri Limkokwing played an instrumental part in bringing
forward new legislation to improve and broaden tertiary
education in Malaysia, culminating in the Private Higher
Educational Institutions Act 1996.
In 2002, Limkokwing was the first private college in Malaysia to be recognised as a University College, then becoming a full- fledged University by 2007, opening up the doors to others and changing the private tertiary education landscape into the vibrant industry it is today.
It is in this chapter of the Limkokwing story that he embarked on a new mission, providing a uniquely practical, industry-relevant education format that spearheaded nation-building and progress in many countries abroad.
In Africa, for the past decade, he took on the task of bridging the gap between the developed and developing world. He empowered young citizens, preparing them to play a major role in building the future of their countries. Through the Universities he established in Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini and Sierra Leone, he imbued the next generation of young Africans with the right skills and knowledge that were the key to making them a force in shaping the future of nations.
The Universities he established were recognised as Universities of Transformation in Africa and accorded Global TVET Leadership for Economic Transformation by ASIC and IVET, UK AND Tan Sri Limkokwing was appointed TVET International President.
In 2020 three more Universities were operational in Africa: Namibia, Uganda and Rwanda, hence the recognition of Transformational Leadership in Internationalising Education.
The Visionary & Hero of Philanthropy
As one of Asia’s most respected communications and creative maestros, Tan Sri Limkokwing worked with leaders of Malaysia to empower Malaysians, building human capability, rebranding the country, and promoting peace and harmony.
He was behind memorable slogans such as “Malaysia Boleh” and helped align his countrymen in understanding and working towards a unified national goal – Vision 2020.
In 2009, he was named among Forbes Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy for contributing and organising fundraising for, among other things, the fight against AIDS and apartheid. He provided numerous scholarships, offered disabled student services, and advocated philanthropy as part of his company’s corporate philosophy.
Tan Sri Limkokwing works closely with the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS), starting as a member of the organising committee for the World Red Cross Day in the 1960s to eventually becoming Vice-Chairman of the society.
He established the Society for the Severely Mentally Handicapped in 1984, providing care for those denied treatment by other charities. Through the Limkokwing Foundation, scholarships worth millions were granted to deserving students across the globe, including those from war-stricken countries.
Among the highlights of his legacy were the thousands of beneficiaries of Limkokwing Foundation Scholarships who succeeded in driving transformation and innovation while contributing to industries in their native countries.
Providing a vehicle for concerned individuals and organizations to participate in strategic educational collaborations.
Limkokwing: The Man who designed the future
Special Features, 14 July 2010 - The book in itself has been a journey of sorts for its author, Ms Ambi Mathe, who…