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SUSS | Irene Tan Liang Kheng Scholarship & Sponsorship Endowment Fund Establishment Ceremony

Updated: Nov 17, 2018

Speech by Mr Tan Hsuan Heng

Prof Cheong Hee Kiat

President, Singapore University of Social Sciences

Prof Tsui Kai Chong

Provost, Singapore University of Social Sciences

Prof Leslie Chew

Dean, School of Law

Distinguished guests

Good morning.


1. It is my joy and privilege to be here today to execute the will of my late Aunty, Madam Irene Tan Liang Kheng in the formal establishment of the Irene Tan Liang Kheng Endowment Fund for Law Scholarships and Sponsorship at Singapore University of Social Sciences.


2. In view of the rising need of Community lawyers in the society, the Endowment Fund will support the education of law students who desire to contribute back to society.

3. We often tend to underestimate the single act of kindness’s impact on a community and it is my desire today to start the ripple of kindness in the law fraternity with the substantial undisclosed seed donation of a few million dollars. The Singapore University of Social Sciences - School of Law, will administer the endowment fund to support competent, ethical and compassionate law students in their pursuit as legal practitioners especially in area of Criminal and Family Law.

4. I hope the beneficiaries of the endowment fund would uphold the spirit of Madam Tan’s giving and provide the olive branch to those in need, every chance they have. What do you get in return? Would you get richer and more famous? That I cannot promise, but I testify that being involved in the process of giving had made me a wealthy man, and I have received many things than money cannot buy.


5. It is Auntie’s deep desire to continue the Legacy of Giving of her late husband, Mr Ong Tiong Tat, and their trusted friend, Mr Koh Choon Joo.


6.The late Mr Koh Choon Joo, fondly known as Mr C J Koh, was born in Indonesia in 1901. His father sent him to England at the tender age of six for his early education.

7. Mr C J Koh was called to the Bar at the Middle Temple on 26 January 1928. Upon being called, Mr Koh joined Sir Song Ong Siang in his law firm and practiced law till he set up his own practice.

8. As a lawyer, he garnered loyalty among his clients, so much so they always insisted that he was their lawyer when they needed legal advice. He also served as a magistrate in the Juvenile Court in Singapore in an honorary capacity at the age of 50.

9. In 1988, Mr Koh suffered a stroke and became bedridden. This remarkable and unassuming gentleman passed away peacefully on 6 September 1997, at the ripe old age of 96.


10. Despite their 38 years age difference, the late Mr CJ Koh and the late Ongs believed in elevating the poor through access to Education. Their generous nature can be seen in the many donations to the various educational institutions.

11. To quote them:

“Nurturing young people by increasing their access to Education is the best Investment we can make to shape our collective future, and this is the best Legacy we can leave behind for the next generations.”

12. Among many of their generous donations are the:

a.NUS CJ Koh Law Library and Gallery,

b.NUS CJ Koh Professorship in Law

c.NUS CJ Koh Bursary for Law

d.NIE CJ Koh Visiting Professorship in Education

e.NIE Pradap Kow M Sc in Education


13. I am privileged to be grafted onto their legacy of giving.

14. The Irene Tan Liang Kheng Endowment Fund for Law Scholarships and Sponsorship Awards are provided to any deserving candidate with no strings attached.

15. It is my desire that when they graduate, they pay forward the kindness they received so that they can in turn create a culture of gratefulness, kindness and charity, to cultivate a society that cares for others. I hope that he or she can be the change they hope to see in this world.

16. Thank you.

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