Home Talking Point Having the heart and passion to serve

Having the heart and passion to serve

Mr Lee Hay Keong’s experience with NUSS includes more than 12 years of Sub-Committee work. Following his term in the Management Committee (MC) as Honorary Treasurer in 2012/2013, he is back in the MC as Deputy Chairperson for the Finance and Alumni Development Sub-Committees for 2021/2022. We speak to Mr Lee to find out what motivates him to continue serving the Society.

His recent appointment feels like a homecoming

I am delighted to be appointed to the NUSS MC. I’ve been working with the Sub-Committees even before my first tenure in the MC back in 2012/2013. After leaving the MC in 2013, I continued to serve in the Finance and Alumni Development and University Relations (now known as Alumni Development) Sub-Committees. I guess some of the current MC members sort of missed me and encouraged me to run for an MC position again this year. Because of my short stint with the MC back then, this feels like homecoming for me now. But on a more serious note, I think that we are all contributing equally to the Society whether we are in the MC or Sub-Committee level. The platforms may be different, but the heart and passion to serve remain a common denominator.

He has his fellow members and MC colleagues to thank

I would not deny the fact that the campaign journey has not been entirely easy. As in last year’s election, the prevailing pandemic situation posed some challenges to the campaigning process. We were not allowed to campaign physically, so we had to depend on online election messaging on the Society’s e-campaign platform as well as garnering support through online appeals and phone calls to friends and fellow members. I am especially grateful to many of my fellow members and MC colleagues who have provided tremendous help and guidance to me throughout the process, and for physically turning up at the Guild Houses to support and vote for me when the ballot boxes opened.

He is committed to the gravity of his role in the MC

The Finance Sub-Committee plays an important role as a watchdog over the financial health and performance of the Society, maintaining budgetary oversight of the major aspects of the Society’s operations such as F&B, membership, sports and recreation, etc. I look towards working with the Chairperson and fellow team members to strengthen the Sub-Committee’s role in safeguarding the financial assets of the Society and ensuring that every dollar of our members’ contribution is well spent.
The NUSS-NUS Mentorship Programme is an iconic feature of the Alumni Development Sub-Committee. I plan to work with the Chairperson of the Alumni Development and team to expand and bring this successful programme to greater heights. We will capitalise on the many valuable lessons and experience accumulated over the years to fine-tune the matching process as well as ensure par excellence in the professional and relational aspects of the mentor-mentee journey.

He also aims to bring NUSS across borders

Another area of focus that I intend to work on is to broaden our outreach to more alumni of established foreign universities, with a view to enhance reciprocal arrangements and meaningful exchanges between our members and other international graduate bodies.

The redevelopment of the Suntec City Guild House remains an unforgettable experience for him

My involvement with the task force for the redevelopment of the Suntec City Guild House back in 2014 was quite a memorable experience. Under the able leadership of Mr Lai Kim Seng, we had to work closely with the interior designer and consultants to put together a comprehensive interior design renovation plan and budget for members’ approval at an EGM.

It was followed by a race against time to get the contractor to complete the renovation within budget, schedule and quality expectations. No less demanding were the subsequent negotiations with the contractor to bring the overall cost into budgetary alignment at the final accounts. Having said that, the sight of members marveling at the completed new Guild House was a reward to all the sweat and effort the task force members had selflessly put in.

He does not see his achievements as ‘rewards’

I try not to look at anything as a reward, tangible or intangible. If I had, I would not have continued to serve after I was awarded the Public Service Medal (PBM) in 2012. The day you perceive anything as a reward will be the day you stop being motivated to work further.

Instead, gratitude is what keeps him motivated to serve

It boils down to a desire to give back — whether it is giving back to the school and alma mater which has moulded you into who you are, or the society which has given you the opportunities to achieve what you have now. Gratitude gives one a sense of direction in life. Besides serving NUSS and being a grassroots leader serving the community at large, I also serve in the alumni committees of my secondary school and junior college. I suspect I would have also served in my primary school alumni committee if my school was still around.

Lee Hay Keong

• Newly elected Management Committee 2021/2022 member
• Deputy Chairperson for Alumni Development and Finance Sub-Committees

Bachelor of Engineering; Master of Business Administration (National University of Singapore); Bachelor of Laws (Hons)

Served on the Management Committee as Honorary Treasurer from 2012 to 2013; Finance Sub-Committee from 2009 to present; and Alumni Development and University Relations Sub-Committee (currently known as Alumni Development) from 2015 to 2020. Also part of the Finance Sub-Committee’s Tender Compliance Panel from 2014 to present and the Task Force for Suntec City Guild House development in 2014 and Kent Ridge Guild House’s Della & Seng Gee Guild Hall upgrading in 2021.

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