Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Radar Expert Wins Science Achievement Award - A Michaelian

World class innovation to shield Defence ships and aircraft from radar surveillance has earned a DSTO scientist a prestigious Australian award for achievement in defence science.

L to R: Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon, Minister's Award for Achievement in Defence Science 2011 awardee Cheng Anderson, Secretary of the Department of Defence Duncan Lewis.
L to R: Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon, Minister's Award for Achievement in Defence Science 2011 awardee Cheng Anderson, Secretary of the Department of Defence Duncan Lewis.
Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon has presented the 2011 Minister's Award for Achievement in Defence Science to Cheng Anderson for her pioneering role in reducing the vulnerability of Australia’s Defence platforms over three decades.
Mr Snowdon said Dr Anderson is the principal architect of a world leading capability that allows the Australian Defence Force to predict, measure and reduce the visibility of its ships and aicraft to radar systems.
“Before Dr Anderson began her work thirty years ago Defence only had a limited capability to protect its assets adequately.
“Dr Anderson’s work has been vital in improving the stealth capabilities and ensuring the survivability of our military aircraft, ships and land vehicles,” Mr Snowdon said.
The work has involved the development of computer models to predict a platform’s visibility to radar, known as the radar cross section. The cross section can also be measured experimentally validating the computer model predictions.
Mobile radar cross section analysis equipment used by Cheng and her team.
The resulting information makes it possible to know where treatment should be applied to reduce a platform’s cross section.
“These are significant developments in self-protection for Defence assets and I congratulate Dr Anderson for her foresight and technical achievements,” Mr Snowdon said.
“I would also like to thank Dr Anderson on behalf of all Defence personnel for her hard work, which will save lives, while improving the capability and efficiency of our defence forces.”
“This award recognises the rare distinction of an individual scientist being solely responsible for establishing a critical defence capability,” he said.
“Dr Anderson has been extremely focussed and successful in applying this capability in the maritime, air and land environments as well as in key areas such as support to operations, through-life support of existing platforms, and acquisition projects.”
Dr Anderson is the second female scientist to have won the Minister’s Achievement Award since Dr Jackie Craig in 2001.
The Minister’s achievement award has been presented annually since 1988 to a DSTO scientist who has made an outstanding scientific contribution to enhance Defence effectiveness and efficiency. The award includes a $15,000 cash prize.

Source: Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO)

Note from the Editorial: 
The article is published following an e-mail which came from a fellow Michaelian, Sam Han, who currently resides in New Zealand. Thanks Sam.

Dr Cheng Anderson was studying at Ipoh Main Convent before joining us at SMI in her A-level (1964 & 1965). She is a brilliant student, especially good in her Mathematics and Physics. She went to Perth for her varsity study and post graduate in Adelaide before joining The Australian Defense Centre for her research. Since she was from SMI, is it possible for you to acknowledge her great achievement in SMI website? I'm sure we are very proud of her achievement and hopefully, it will be some inspiration to those younger Michaelians. From Sam Han, QueenstownNew Zealand.

We take our hats off to Dr Cheng, a fellow Michaelian, for this outstanding accolade. Our heartiest congratulations. This achievement will definitely inspire our students to work even harder. St Michael's is proud of your hardwork and determination. By Peter Khiew

Monday, November 28, 2011

Asia-Pacific Lasallians Educators' Congress (APLEC8) in Manila

APLEC 8 will be held in Manila, the Philippines on December 4 to 9, 2011. I will be attending the congress, together with 18 other delegates from Malaysia, who include Brother Ambrose Loke, Brother Andrew Loke, Brother Michael Kum and Brother Anthony Rogers. The Congress, which will be held in Microtel Mall of Asia in Manila, is themed "Living the Lasallian Values in the Asia-Pacific Region".
It builds on the experience in the last APLEC 2008 in Hong Kong and aims to emphasize on actual methodologies in promoting and integrating the Lasallian values in the educational process, even in the context of non-formal/non-school-based apostolates.
Among the areas of discussion are:
a. To have a working knowledge of the life and values of St. John Baptist De La Salle
as a person of faith, zeal and communion;
b.To understand the various modes of values promotion/integration for the students, faculty, alumni and staff present in the Asia-Pacific Region via different sessions;
c.To have an experience of planning and preparation of values integration/promotion   activities or material in the participants’ ministerial areas of responsibility across various sectors (students, alumni, faculty and staff);
d. To create opportunities for collaboration and sharing among Asia-Pacific Lasallian educators in the area of promoting Lasallian values; and
e. To continue and sustain what was shared in the last APLEC 2008 in Hong Kong.

Note: I acknowledge the support and generosity of the Board of Governors and the Brothers for making this trip possible. There will be delegates from countries within the Asia Pacific region. Among the items making representation at the venue will be our school magazines, "The Michaelian", our little handbook, "The Michaelian Spirit", our iron-on school badges, neckties and souvenirs. Display counters are normally set-up at the hall, showcasing memorabilia of respective schools and colleges. Be keeping all of you updated.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Letter From An Old Boy

Letters and little notes do arrive regularly in my mailbox. These are normally written by old boys who really want to know how St Michael's is doing. Some left school decades ago while others might be just last year but their thoughts and attachments are still strongly linked to the alma mater. I am pleased they find this blog useful in linking them to the happenings and developments in the school. Below is a letter from a former student who currently doing his Masters in United States.

Dear Mr. Khiew,
How are you? I've been following your updates at your blog about SMI, and though I have not commented much (my postgraduate studies are taking quite a lot of time - I could only afford to read, and then get on with my work again), I really appreciate your efforts to let us Michaelians keep in touch with the latest news in school. Your blog is, as of now, the only tie I have left with the school whom I can count on the latest goings-on.
I have been in the United States (at Texas Tech University) for about four months already, with a one-week break in mid-October when I went back to Ipoh to attend my graduation ceremony (for my Bachelor's degree) at UTP. Though I intended to visit SMI during my short one-week stay, unfortunately that intention never materialised due to my hectic schedule. Alas, the next time I will be able to visit SMI is most likely in the summer of 2012.
I am very happy to read that 200 tables have been sold out for the Centennial Celebrations Dinner on September next year. I think this is a rather remarkable feat, and a sign of how Michaelians cherish their schooling moments. I am actually quite surprised that William Liew, a fellow 2005 Form 5 graduate, actually booked three tables, so I believe there will be at least 30 of my batch-mates attending this dinner. It is also quite remarkable to me because friends at my age now are mostly living out of Ipoh in search of a stable career, or preparing themselves for their final examinations in university. It is indeed heartening that there are friends who are willing to take the time to go all the way back to Ipoh (if they were elsewhere) to participate in this joyous event.
Well, Mr. Khiew, thank you so much for your updates in your blog. And the very best!

Note: Thanks Guo Zheng for the letter.  

Saturday, November 19, 2011


The Trishaw of SMI Ice-Cream Man -A Piece of Fond Memory
We ran a story about Mohd Ali, the St Michael's ice-cream man on October 18, 2007.
"....At the foodcourt, SMI ice-cream man always cuts a lonely figure. He is also a man of few words and because of that, not many people know that his name is Mohd Ali. That lonely man of 82 is not lonely anymore. He is now back in India, a country where he came from when he was a very young man. His wife and two daughters are still there."
All the years of selling ice-cream, Mohd Ali had not used any motorised vehicles to transport his weighty metal container to and from school to his Kinta Height flat - a distance of at least a km. For five days a week, Mohd Ali (imagine his age) would cycle on his trishaw(beca), struggling on his pedal power when he encountered the slopes and patiently enduring the blaring horns from vehicles when he moved too slow. He had to cycle from the school to the French Bakery every two days to get fresh stock of bread as "he knew pupils and teachers alike like it".

Those Were The Years ...The Ice-Cream Man (right) and Pakcik Din, Bus Man
All the years of hardship had somehow weakened him and that contributed to his frequent bouts of asthmatic attacks. "It was getting very serious early this year, rendering him very fragile and weak. Still he wanted to come to school to sell. The noodle man, Ah Fatt, helped him greatly by carrying his goods to school," Solaiappan said, adding that Mohd Ali would just sit at his stall and attending to his young and eager customers.
Solaiappan is SMI Kacang Putih Man.
His health deteriorated further in June 2007. Mohd Ali decided to vacate his humble abode at the flat and to return to India. He was also advised by his sons-in-law who are working in Johor and KL to stop working for good. At last, he relented.
SMI ice cream man left behind only two items in St Michael's. One is his faithful trishaw, the other is our sweet memory of this faithful old man, one who has spent virtually his entire life in St Michael's.
 Mohd Ali had to go without saying goodbye to all Michaelians. Deep down, Mohd Ali considers himself a son of St Michael's and he left with a very heavy heart.
 "He spoke highly of the school, the Brothers and the old boys. He remembers Brother Paul and Brother Vincent vividly and always spoke on the ways they managed the school. His greatest joy was being able to serve here in St Michael's," Solaiappan said.
Note: Ice-Cream Man passed away not long after this article was written.

A gift from Mr Yeap to the Michaelian Heritage Gallery
As we have mentioned, he left behind a trishaw. I have been tracing Mohd Ali's trishaw for years. It was last year that Brother Matthew informed me that Mr Yeap Mok Chin, currently running a fruit stall at the SMI foodcourt was in possession of the trishaw.
"Mohd Ali asked me whether I want to buy the "beca". He was willing to part with it as he was going back to India. He said he has no intention to return to Malaysia," Mr Yeap recalled.
Mr Yeap offered the Ice-Cream man RM50 and he readily accepted. My Yeap has been taking care of the trishaw for the past 5 years. We are grateful that Mr Yeap is willing to donate the trishaw to the Michaelian Heritage Gallery for posterity.
We are going to send the trishaw for restoration because the metal frame is heavily rusted. Further deterioration may cause the frame and other parts to break off.
Our efforts to preserve all things Michaelian are worth-while. We will keep all of you posted soon on this story.

"Cherishing Our Past, Embracing The Future"
Thank you and Happy Holidays!
Signing off,
Peter Khiew

November 27, 2011- After being refurbished, we plan to display the trishaw in the Heritage Gallery. Visitors can then pose for pictures with this masterpiece.


The spirit of industriousness was clearly demonstrated among senior members of the Prefectorial Board when they pooled their time and resources to raise fund for their annual activities. Armed with buckets, water and car shampoo, the boys diligently washed cars and motorcycles belonging to teachers and their fellow friends - RM6 for a car and RM3 for a motorcycle. At the end of the day, the boys were soaked with water and sweat but it was a worthwhile effort. It was not how much money you collected at the end of the day but the teamwork, job satisfaction and spirit of service that count!
Spirit of Service Among Michaelians
Keep the Michaelian spirit soar...

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Birthday Bash For Three Illustrious Michaelians

Happy Birthday
Mr Adrian Tsen, OMA president hosted a birthday dinner for Brother Vincent Corkery at the Wong Kok Restaurant in Pasir Pinji. The seven-course dinner was attended by the entire committee members, together with SMI former principal Mr Louis Rozario Doss. Brother Vincent, who has stamped his legacy within the Lasallian fraternity, is 83 years old.
From left Mr Adrian Tsen, Mr Louis and Brother Vincent cut their birthday cakes!
The occasion, as it turned out, was actually a dinner to honour two other Michaelians as well - Mr Adrian Tsen and Mr Louis, whose birthday fall on November 5 and November 3 respectively. Our best wishes and warmest regards to these three pillars of SMI.   

Characteristics Of A La Sallian School

St Michael’s is a Lasallian school. The characteristics of a Lasallian School are:

  1. A School of Quality
  2. A School that is imbued with the Michaelian spirit.
  3. Respect for each student as a unique person.
  4. Lasallian Schools are Committed to the Poor. We pay attention to the poor, the neglected and the overlooked. Lasallian teachers give greater attention to the  marginalised and to the less appealing students. Lasallian schools have programs that address the educational needs of the last, the lost and the least.
  5. Educators and administrators are men and women of faith and zeal.
  6. Lasallian Schools Have Teachers Who Are United and share a common vision and a shared mission. Lasallian teachers come together as brothers and sisters associated with bonds of mutual respect, cooperation, generosity, patience, humor, and humility.
  7. Lasallian schools are not autonomous schools but operate in collaboration with others: The Brothers, Alumni, Board of Governors, PIBG and the community.
  8. It is a School organized around the story of John Baptist De La Salle.

Friday, November 04, 2011


Dato' Brother Vincent Corkery with his award. With him are Rotary Club Ipoh
president N. Jawahar (left) and Dr S. Raveendra Kumar 
The Pride of Workmanship award, first initiated by the Rotary Club of Pennant Hills, Australia in 1975, recognizes the qualities and achievements of individuals, their attitudes, commitment and dedication, in their respective fields of work or vocation. Awardees are selected for their sense of responsibilities, initiative and passion in their chosen vocation.
Awards are based on the fields of Community Service, Medicine, Peforming Arts and Animal Care. Brother Vincent receives the award under the field of Education.
The Michaelian community congratulates Brother Vincent for this very special award.  
Below is the citation for Brother Vincent, read out by fellow Rotarian Mr Wu Chee Tatt, a Michaelian, whose life was immensely touched by Brother Vincent and fellow Brothers during his school days at St Michael's.
President Jawahar, honored Guests, and fellow Rotarians,
I am privileged to read out the citation for a very special man.
Dato’ Brother Vincent Corkery is a member of the La Salle Brothers and their mission is to meet the educational and welfare needs of young people worldwide, especially the poor.  The Brothers live their Catholic faith through the values of love, compassion, justice and belief in the human dignity of each person.
Brother Vincent received his first degree in history and political thought at the National University of Ireland.  He later received the certificate in education from Cambridge University. He was the Brother Director of St. Michael’s Institution from 1971 to 1976, and from 1986 to 1988.
On his retirement, he took up the post of Director of the La Salle Centre, which entails maintaining an overview of the administration and the courses run at the Centre.  He also maintains contact with St Michael's, especially as regards policy decisions, and the property. He is now 83 years … young.

In Malaysia, La Salle Schools like St John’s and St Xavier’s have shown that they have withstood the test of time. After all, St John’s has produced Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the present Prime Minister; Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Home Minister; Datuk Sri Nazir Tun Razak, the banker and younger brother of Najib and Raja Nazrin Shah, the Raja Muda of Perak.

St Xavier’s produced Karpal Singh, the opposition leader; Tun Hamid Omar, the former Lord President and Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. (This is not to say that other Schools do not have illustrious sons.  I understand that Botak Chin came from ACS.)    
Ladies & gentlemen, no words can adequately describe a lifetime of contribution, and I will not make the attempt.
Brother Vincent, your presence here tonight can only serve to inspire us to redouble Rotary’s commitment to Service Above Self.
Brother Vincent, I know that the La Salle Brothers live on in the hearts of every Michaelian. And on behalf of all Michaelians worldwide, may I say, we love you.
Thank you.  
Note: This article is specially posted in conjunction with Brother Vincent's birthday today! Happy Birthday, Brother!  
P/s: Birthday wishes and messages can be e-mailed to
All these will be compiled and sent to Brother Vincent. 

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

No Hungry Michaelians!

Kwong Hou Mun (holding his coupons proudly), joyously surrounded by his classmates. Look at his smile!
Kwong Hou Mun, a Form One boy just received his coupons to buy food at the foodcourt.  In St Michael's, boys are well-taken care of as we believe no Michaelians are to go hungry. Allocations for food coupons for deserving students are set aside by the Parent-Teacher Association and these boys are identified by teachers who then put up a request to the school. Just look at the boys who share the joy of Kwong when he finally has some money to buy food at the foodcourt just like other boys. Yes, his favourite food is curry noodle and he used his first coupons to buy that!