ACS Speech Day 2019
YB Dato Dr Gurdeep Singh Man, Guest of Honour,
Mr Visvanathan, Chairman PIBG,
Mr Avtar Singh, Representative ACS Alumni Association,
Mr John Seeni, Principal of ACS Secondary School and members of the ACS Teaching Fraternity
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Good afternoon and welcome to the ACS Speech Day 2019.
ACS was founded by Rev Horley in 1895, some 124 years ago. He was a good man with a heart to teach and to serve the local community. He realised education was the way to obtain knowledge, the way out of poverty, the means to develop leadership skills and to equip oneself in nation building.
Rev Horley’s vision of a great teaching institution can only be realised if we have dedicated teachers, a supportive local community and when we have good government education policies.
For a student to obtain academic excellence we need to reflect on the ACS badge motto. The motto is Benne Orasse, Benne Studuisse which means pray well and study well.
Students need to put in many hours daily to study intelligently, to obtain the A’s required to get themselves into tertiary education and to graduate. They also need to pray about their future careers.
Today being Speech Day, we are about to recognise the outstanding students in the various fields of studies. Congratulations on your achievements. Your parents and teachers are very proud of your achievements.
Your achievements came with a cost. There were long hours of studies and much sacrifice. Do remember your teachers, your parents and the numerous friends that had supported you all the way to success. When you leave ACS remember to join the ACS alumni association so to keep in close contact with each other.
I wish to encourage you to recollect how the school and teachers have made a difference in your well-being. Remember to contribute time, expertise or money, whenever you can, to your Alma Mater so the students can achieve even greater success.
My family’s link with ACS has gone on for 3 generations. I am always mindful on how the family had and will continue to contribute. You can also do likewise.
My grandfather the late Mr Leong Sin Nam, an immigrant from China, had donated the Science Block above the toilet. He did not study in this school, but he vehemently supported both English and Chinese education. In the years following the Great Depression of 1929 he helped sustained the ailing Yuk Choy Public Chinese School, Perak Public Girls School and the Min Tet Chinese School.
My father the late Mr Leong Yeow Nyean, studied in ACS. He studied and played well. He was a champion athlete and he obtained the necessary grades to further his studies in the University of Melbourne. He had fond memories of his Alma Mater and donated the new wing of the ACS Canteen.
I studied in this school, starting from Wesley’s Kindergarten until Upper Six. I certainly have good memories of this school, the teachers that taught me and the friends that I have come to know. I always make it a point to attend our ACS alumni dinners and contribute at Board level.
At this point in time I have one advice for our young students. The advice is to remain focused on your studies and not to participate in too many extracurricular activities which would take too much time off from your studies. Consider only 1 or 2 other extracurricular activities which you are passionate about, those which you believe can help make you a better person. I remember while I was in Lower Six I was immersed in too many extracurricular activities. When the Lower Six trial exam results were out there was this one concerned science teacher who looked visibly heart broken. I am sure there are dedicated teachers among you who care just as much about your school performance. I took it from Mr Woon, that I needed to do better in exams, not only to impress him but also for my own academic success. Came Upper Six I dropped unimportant school activities and concentrated on my studies. And thank God I am what I am today.
The current slogan of the school is “ACS leads the way”. ACS has indeed led the way for many of you. During your course of study, I hope you have built up a character of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
As you leave this school one day, you will be counted on to lead the way. You will be expected to lead your family, your children, your workers and perhaps even your country.
And how are you going to become a good leader?
First build up your character and trust God.
Then, define your purpose in life. Your purpose in life should not only be for self, which is instinctive, but also to be caring enough for humanity. You can be part of something good or you can be trying to put something together, something which is bigger and greater than yourself. Go and create a world where everyone has a greater sense of purpose for humanity.
Once you have defined your purpose in life, identify your burden. Your burden is characterised by the feeling of unease or guilt for not acting on something that you care about.
The response to your burden will be your call to action. The call to action will depend on your:
- Talents which you were born with. Your school can help sharpen your talents.
- Spiritual Gifts which you need to seek and discover from God, and
- Passion. This is where your enthusiasm or excitement for something lies. Your passion will depend on your personality, background and life situations.
The call to action may mean starting a meaningful project, redefining equality and or establishing community. Be brave enough to take the first step, work on it and persevere despite the odds. You may never grasp what good will come out from your effort. When your action bears fruit, you will have the sense of inner peace and joy.
Once again, I wish to congratulate you on your Speech Day 2019.
In conclusion, ACS leads the way, in making leaders of the future. Remember to join the ACS Alumni Association and contribute to your Alma Mater to make it an even greater institution in future.
Thank you and God bless you all.
Sign: Dr Leong Oon Keong