SWANSEA, UNITED KINGDOM, 21 JULY 2016: Swansea University, a leading research-based university in the United Kingdom, has awarded an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Laws (LLD) award to the Chief Executive Officer of the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC), YBhg. Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John.
The Honorary Award, the highest honour bestowed by Swansea University, is presented to distinguished individuals from all over the world who have excelled in their chosen field including arts, literature, science and public life.
Datuk Seri Issace, an alumnus of the university, received the award today from Professor Richard B. Davies, Vice Chancellor of the University during the ceremony for the College of Engineering held at Swansea University’s Great Hall, located within its Bay Campus.
“It is rare for someone to show dedication to a field at such an early stage in their career. His career trajectory suggests that Datuk Seri Issace had incredible vision and passion even as an undergraduate, and then as a Master’s student at this University, in wanting to help develop and improve the world around us; and throughout his career.
“He has played a driving role in effecting policies that have expanded and improved the infrastructure and in turn, enhanced the economy of Malaysia, most recently in his current role as CEO of the East Coast Economic Region Development Council.
“He is one of Swansea University’s most esteemed alumni and we have him to thank for the collaboration between University Malaysia Pahang and Swansea University, a collaboration which will help the University further develop its strong connections with industry, and with Malaysia, a region with which we have a successful and longstanding relationship,” said Professor Iwan Davies, Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University when he presented Datuk Seri Issace for the award.
On receiving the award, Datuk Seri Issace said the recognition from Swansea University was an acknowledgment of the good work done by his colleagues throughout his public service career, particularly the team at ECERDC.
“I am proud to have been given the opportunity by the Government of Malaysia to contribute to the country’s national transformation programmes. The experience and knowledge I gained throughout my education at Swansea University have influenced the way I steer and manage ECERDC, an organisation responsible for the socio-economic transformation of the East Coast Economic Region (ECER),” said Datuk Seri Issace who graduated from what was then the University of Wales, Swansea with a Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Development Economics in 1984.
“Importantly, I look forward to further strengthen and facilitate the working partnership and research collaboration between Swansea University and the industries located in the ECER. Swansea University’s strength in research and development as well as expertise in the fields of Engineering and Science will help reinforce our efforts to draw new investments and accelerate economic growth in the region,” he added.
Datuk Seri Issace has played a key role in facilitating the collaboration between UMP and Swansea University, paving the way for industry-academia collaborations in ECER, while promoting working partnerships between both universities in the areas of academic and research.
Last year, the two universities signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which was witnessed by YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, to collaborate in research and academia activities including knowledge transfer and product development for commercial purposes, facilitating entry into the respective university’s courses and programmes as well as exchange of staff and students.
Since its inception in 2007, ECERDC under the leadership of Datuk Seri Issace, has accelerated the transformation of ECER into a preferred investment destination, attracting RM89.7 billion worth of international and domestic investments, which in turn has generated over 133,000 jobs and created 14,240 entrepreneurs across urban and rural areas in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Mersing in Johor. Datuk Seri Issace is also instrumental in the successful implementation of ECER’s human capital development projects, as well as entrepreneurship development initiatives that have helped transform the lives of more than 60,0000 people and prepared local talents to meet the needs and requirements of emerging industries.
Prior to ECERDC, Datuk Seri Issace’s illustrious public service career spanned over 38 years at both Federal and State levels. Among others, he was involved in key high-level projects such as the Klang Valley Development Plan, the Langkawi Development Plan and Kulim High Technology Park in Kedah. Datuk Seri Issace was also one of the key personnel involved in the planning and development of Putrajaya, Malaysia’s new administrative capital, where he spent 12 years in the Prime Minister’s Department and Putrajaya Corporation. Subsequently, Datuk Seri Issace was the General Manager of Special Projects within the Corporate Planning and Development Division of PETRONAS, leading the project team that undertook the preparation of the ECER Master Plan and the ensuing launch of ECER.