Adjunct Professor Lee Kwok Cheong (KC)
Hall Of Fame, 2011
The first decade was momentous. KC left Hong Kong to answer Singapore's call for IT talents. Working at the former National Computer Board, KC fiddled with the bolts and nuts of IT implementation. Within a short span of six years, at a relatively young age of 35, KC was given the coveted role of heading the computerisation programme of the Civil Service of Singapore, a massive effort that led to the birth of the nation-wide IT2000 masterplan. These were the building blocks for Singapore's pole position in IT today. "We leaped from Third World to First World in IT within one decade," KC noted.
The second decade was a gamble. With his legs firmly planted in Singapore, KC stepped into the unforgiving realm of the commercial world, exported Singapore's IT expertise beyond our shores and faced the onslaught of the dot.com era. "How are we going to survive in a world already dominated by global giants?" he recalled. "And how do I answer to my 700 colleagues taking the plunge together with me?" These were the huge responsibilities KC carried as he took up the challenge of leading National Computer Systems as a commercial entity. He nurtured a promising but naive infant into a regional IT and communications engineering powerhouse, more than quadrupling revenue between 1995 and 2005. KC was the unofficial IT ambassador for Singapore, promoting Singapore's IT capabilities and resources to the rest of the world, including assisting the Mauritius and the Sarawak State governments in their IT plans. Today, the original 700 staff members are proud pioneers of a staggering 7000-strong workforce with footprints in the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions.
The current decade is all about service. KC moved from the IT industry to the education sector in 2005. His Midas touch continues: he doubled the student enrolment at SIM Global Education to the 20,000-strong it is today. While busy shaping and raising the standard of the private education industry in Singapore, KC continues to be active in Singapore's IT development. He served three terms as the president of the Singapore Computer Society, was Chairman of the InfoComm Manpower Council, and is a member of both the National Internet Advisory Committee and the iN2015 Steering Committee. For efforts such as these, KC was conferred the IT Leader of the Year, SCS Honorary Fellow, and Special Recognition Award by the Ministry of Information, Communications & the Arts.
KC still serves on numerous boards and professional bodies. For his expertise in IT and his passion for education, he wears his most recent medal with pride - the Public Service Medal under the 2010 National Day Awards.
From his first landing steps onto Singapore in the early 1980s, to his recent handshake with the President of Singapore for his National Day Award, KC's role in shaping the IT landscape in Singapore has been nothing short of remarkable. It is with great honour that we welcome Adjunct Professor Lee Kwok Cheong into the Singapore Computer Society Hall of Fame.