Mrs Soong’s Message to MBS Alumni PDF Print E-mail


 As Mrs Soong was not able to attend the MBSalumni Annual Dinner 2010 and receive the Honorary Member of the Year 2011 award herself, Wan Heng Yuen, a student and old boy of MBSKL, and who is somehow related to her, received the award on her behalf.


The following is the letter from Mrs Soong to MBSalumni members, which was read out during the dinner.


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Dear members of MBalumni,


            First of all I wish to thank you wonderful people for wanting to present me a plaque for being the oldest surviving teacher of MBSKL. It’s a nice feeling to be remembered and appreciated by my former students. I wish I could attend your dinner on 26th June 2010 but my health does not permit me to do so. I have limited mobility due to osteoarthritis and bad stability. I can’t walk steadily and tend to sway from side to side. Further more, I need to go for an operation on 17th July. I have to control my diet in order to get my blood glucose down to 7, 8 or 9 as I am a diabetic.


            However I wish to share something with you. It is about promoting and practising universal values and good work ethics. They were compiled by my husband, Tan Sri Soong Siew Hoong in year 2009 for ACCCIM. I guess many of you have been practicing these unconsciously and involuntarily. Anyway, Tan Sri would like more people to know about these universal values and good work ethics.   


            Sometimes I feel very sad that geography is no longer a popular school subject. Geography is a science subject. It is about man (includes woman and child) and their response to their environment. Today a lot of activities are going on to save our planet and Geography will help us to green our environment more effectively. I have never regretted taking Geography for my honours degree. Nowadays, I spend most of my time taking care of my lawn, my fruit trees, orchids and herbs.


Before I sign off, please convey my thanks to Mr Tan Hee Heng for his guidance, Mr Yong Chee Seng, my colleague who shared the responsibility with me in the Geographical Society. Mr Yong, do you still remember our excursion to Cameron Highlands with the Form Six students to see the hydro-electricity powerstation there? Please send my regards to all my other colleagues as well.


Last but not least, I wish to thank all the Upper Secondary Students. I taught during my second 15 years in the teaching service due to their respect, co-operation and positive response. I wish you all success in your endeavours. Keep in touch!


Yours sincerely,

Soong Chan Sui Thin



Universal Values and Good Work Ethics

1. Awareness

To have awareness is be alive. 

Many people look but do not see. Many people hear but do not listen.

Often we are not aware of our shortcomings or weaknesses or the opportunities around us!

If we adopt the mindset to be more aware of things around us, potential problems can be     avoided, or existing problems can be easily solved.

2. Compassion 

In the modern competitive world, many people do not find time to show love and compassion to those less fortunate than themselves. Self interest seems to prevail. Even in Malaysia’s Vision 2020, our challenge is to have a caring society and share love as in a family, even when we have achieved economically developed status. Love and compassion are the ingredients that will bring peace and harmony in any society

3. Continuous Improvement

This is similar to the saying, “Learning is a life long process.” The difference is that we apply the things we have learnt to improve a product or process that we are doing; i.e. how to do the job quicker, how to do it cheaper, or how to make it better in design or function.

4. Courage

Sometime we face situations with people who may be our own relatives or friends, when they talk or act in a manner against our concept of universal values and good work ethics, we must then have the courage to point out those acts which are not right.

If we just mind our own business and dare not speak out against blatant lies, acts of stealing, breaking of laws, and regulations, we would be condoning such acts and indirectly contribute to disorder and corruption in our society. There are occasions when we realise we made a mistake in what we said or did. When we publicly admit we were wrong instead of blaming others, that too is courage.

5. Courtesy

It does not cost anything to be courteous, and yet it can be so rewarding. When we are polite, the rest of the negative reactions like anger, impatience and so forth would be eliminated.

Some people have the tendency to speak with no manners even with their body language. These people would normally be judged as unfriendly and thus do not expect a good response from others.

In fact, such people are odious and avoided even by acquaintances.

6. Creativity

Creativity in management, in product manufacturing or services in marketing, in fact, creativity in everything we do or can do, makes the difference between the successful person and the ordinary person. And such success will be reflected in a company’s balance sheet.

Creativity is in everyone of us. Nurture it and let it bloom.

7. Encouragement

We should be free with our praises and encouragement and be miserly with critical comments.

Quite often we need to encourage ourselves too.

We will be surprised with what encouragement can do to children, young or new employees.

8. Enthusiasm

People are generally resistant to change and refuse to learn new things in their business or in their jobs, especially the old ones.

But there are some who are keen to improve. These are the ones who will be initially kindled with interest and later graduate to enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the hidden power that will propel people to excellence.

Some are enthusiastic in doing things they like, e.g. sports or hobbies. It is okay if they are not bad things.

9. Trust 

It takes a long time to win someone’s trust as we are judged constantly by what we say and do, as well as what we do not say and do not do.

We must be consistent and keep to our words to earn and retain the trust of others. This is very important in doing business.

10. Wisdom  

The Prayer of Serenity: “God, Grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

This wisdom can only be acquired over a long time, learning from others, learning from our own blunders. Hopefully, when we grow older, we would also be wiser.

11. Self-Discipline 

Practising self-discipline is the greatest challenge to all of us; the self-discipline to learn a skill, to keep a promise, to achieve a target or even to give up smoking, gambling, drinking and other bad habits. Even in reducing excess weight.

If we have the desire to be a better person, the chances are that we will be a better person and succeed in life with self-discipline.

In today’s world, we are exposed to a lot of temptations, to be greedy, easy gains, abuse of power. All the universal values and good work ethics we talk about can only be realized through self-discipline.

Trying to enforce discipline without the individuals themselves practising self-discipline would be futile.

12. Tolerance

This is the universal value that differentiates the leader from the others.

There is a saying, “A moment’s intolerance can result in a lifetime of regret.”

In our society, there have been numerous cases of misunderstanding and unnecessary strife due to intolerance and injured pride.

13. Respect

Respect, like courtesy, does not cost anything but showing respect to all those around us makes the environment more cordial.

However, respect must be earned and not expected or demanded.

It is better to be respected than feared. Yet being respected seems to be a diminishing trait.

We must be respectful to our elders, to our seniors, to our colleagues and friends. We should also respect other people’s feelings, opinions and decisions although we may not entirely agree with them. More importantly, we must respect other people’s religions, customs, cultures etc which is imperative for a peaceful society and a united nation.

14. Righteousness

Righteousness is to be true to ourselves.

Do not succumb to temptation and make exceptions to our principles.

These days, it is not easy to be righteous in our society.

There are many attractions and distractions that test our willpower to be righteous.

15. Punctuality

In Malaysia, the top management in government and business practice punctuality. It is the minority individual who may be habitually late (to appointments, dinners or meetings).

It is just good manners and good work ethics to be punctual for meetings and for all functions. We should discipline ourselves to be punctual for all occasions and earn respect in the process.

16. Recognition

A job well done should be publicly recognized.

Recognition is a reward for one’s efforts and will have the effect of encouraging a person to perform positively.

17. Perseverance

Perseverance is a virtue.

Success never comes easy. So we must persevere, i.e. try and try again.

Amend our tactics, change our approach if we need to.

18. Principles

We all should have our principles and our beliefs, otherwise we are nobody.

We should not waive from our principles.

This is the true test of an upright leader.

19. Passion

Passion for a vacation or a career should be nurtured since childhood as children are likely to excel in doing the things they like!

Passion or taking pride in one’s work appears to be a diminishing factor among many of today’s employees. Many just look for more benefits, less working hours rather than show passion in what they do.

To be passionate in one’s work can only be beneficial to the individual and to the company.

20. Patience

Some people are impatient in what they do and in what they say.

They say and do things rather quickly and quite often unintentionally hurt the feelings of others.

This will cause resentment and even invite confrontation from those who feel belittled or scorned.

Successful people have the ability to overcome the negative, the force of stress and impatience. They can then later make rational decision in a calm and unhurried atmosphere.

21. Integrity

Our word should be our bond. This is similar to trust in which we do what we promise.

Integrity is essential for an individual to be in a position of trust.

The same goes for the manager in a company.

If there is no integrity, the company will never progress.

In fact, it might even collapse.

22. Leadership by Good Example

This is slightly amended from the slogan, “Leadership by Example”, with the word “Good” added.

This saying is true in a company or a group. It is equally true in a family.

A good start will be promoting universal values and good work ethics by setting a good example ourselves.

23. Harmony

In today’s society, those who think of themselves above everyone else will create discord and disunity, and this will become an obstacle to progress.

There are many who only know how to criticize but seldom offer praise. This will never create harmony. Harmony in the home will lead to achievements in life.

Harmony in the company will bring team spirit, enthusiasm, creavity, and the company is bound to progress.

The same goes for harmony in a trade association or any organization.

24. Honesty

It is universally recognized that all religions advocate honesty among their believers. Some people have a habit to lie or speak half truths. Such people will have to tell two lies to cover the first lie. Eventually such people will be exposed as dishonest, liars and lose credibility in society.

Dishonest people cause doubt and discord with whoever they come in contact with. Ultimately, they will indulge in dishonest practices, break laws and go to jail.

Such people are in the minority. Honesty is the best policy.


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