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Tang hopes someone hears her plea for job

Sign language interpreter Rose Ng (left) showing Datuk Maznah Hamid how to sign while hearing-impaired Tang Woan Koon looks on.
(by Eileen Ng)
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Maznah Hamid and Tang Woan Koon are as different as chalk and cheese. But what ties them together is their unfailing determination to succeed against all odds.
Yesterday, both were conferred degrees at HELP University College's 20th convocation ceremony.

Among those present were Australian High Commissioner Penny Williams, HELP chancellor Tan Sri Dr Saleha Mohd Ali and HELP president Dr Paul Chan Tuck Hoong.

Maznah, popularly known as the Iron Lady for heading the country's largest security company, Securiforce Group of Companies, was awarded an Honorary Master's of Entrepreneurship.

Hearing-impaired Tang, 25, received her Bachelor of Information Technology from Australia's Charles Sturt University.
Before receiving her degree, the HELP CEO scholarship award recipient spoke using sign language.

"While sheer determination and hard work helped me to succeed, it would not have been possible without the support of my lecturers and course mates.

"You've made all the difference. Thank you," she hand-signed to thunderous applause.

Maznah described the award as one of her best birthday presents ever. She celebrated her birthday on Saturday.

"I graduated from the university of hard knocks. You all have your BSc and MSc, but I have MCS -- Master of Common Sense, BSS -- Bachelor of Street Smarts and PS -- People's Skills," she said.

She also shared tips on being a successful entrepreneur.

"Business is a form of war. You must have a strategy to win and fight to survive. You must possess a never-say-die attitude. Your degree will not guarantee success... it is a bonus," she said.

Maznah's entrepreneurial spirit and success earned the praise of Dr Chan, who noted that she was a role model and inspiration to many.

Later, at a photo session with the New Straits Times, Maznah was enchanted by Tang's sweet face and demeanour.

"You got boyfriend or not? I got three sons if you're interested," Maznah jokingly said while a shocked Tang just shook her head.

Through her interpreter, Rose Ng, Tang told Maznah that she was volunteering at the Community Service Centre for the Deaf, where she received her secondary education.

She said she had yet to secure a job as some employers were prejudiced.

Asked whether there was any opening in her companies, Maznah said she needed to talk to Tang first.

"I love her face and her personality. But, I must sit down with her to gauge her potential. I need someone who's confident, brave and with a fighting spirit," she said.

Tang also said while her course mates and lecturers treated her normally, there were times she encountered difficulties in following her lessons.

"I'd meet with the lecturers after classes to clarify things I did not understand. My friends also tried to help me as much as possible," she said.

Besides Maznah and Tang, nine other students received special awards for their outstanding academic achievements.

Loh Jun-Yi, who graduated with first-class honours from University of London, was the recipient of the Tan Sri Datuk Paduka Dr Hajjah Saleha Outstanding Award.

The HELP Pyramid Award was given to Wong Xiao Qing, who graduated magna cum laude in psychology from the Bemidji State University.

The President's Commendation awards were presented to Chong Zhe Wei, Chong Zhuo Chen, Loo Huay Yien, Isaac Mah Ming Zhi, Lilian Yong Swee Lin, Ng Zheng Bin and Tan Ai Rene.

Source 'The New Strait TImes' :


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