This article was written and featured in TheStar.

KUALA LUMPUR: Social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye has been awarded an honorary doctorate from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) in recognition of his efforts to promote national unity.

Lee, a 1Malaysia Foundation trustee, received the honorary Doctorate of Philosophy (Community and Unity) from UKM pro chancellor Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid at the university’s 44th convocation yesterday.

Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, Lee said he was honoured to be presented with the doctorate as it was not only an acknowledgement of his work, but an inspiration to continue serving the nation.

“I also consider this award as an appreciation to all social activists who contribute so much to the society and nation without expecting anything in return.

“I would like to share this award with the people who have worked with me in the organisations and communities I am involved in,” he said.

Among the various positions Lee currently holds are chairman of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and vice-chairman of the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation.

He has also been a member of the National Unity Advisory Panel from 2000 to 2008, and has consistently been vocal on issues of national unity and multiracial harmony in Malaysia.

Although current efforts may be impactful, Lee observed that more needs to be done to inculcate and preserve national unity, especially through education and academic training.

Lee had previously been awarded three other honorary doctorates – from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in 2000, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) in 2002, and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) in 2012.

At the UKM convocation yesterday, two other academics who were also awarded the university’s highest degree were Prof Dr Ibrahim Ahmad Bajunid for honorary Doctorate of Philosophy (Education) and Prof Dr Sharbaz Khan for honorary Doctorate of Philosophy (Environment and Development).

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