History and achievements of Lim Kok Wing in education, business and arts


Lim Kok Wing (Lim), founder and president of Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, has died at the age of 75.

A statement was published by the university about his transfer, but no further details were provided. Prior to that, Lim was reported to be in stable condition after being admitted to hospital due to a fall.

In light of Lim’s passing, we would like to offer our condolences to their loved ones and also celebrate their achievements throughout their lives as a creative, entrepreneur, artist and educator.

1. Educator and entrepreneur from a young age

Once his school asked him to be one substitute for his art teacher which was absent. (How many of us can say we have been asked to do this?) Having this early exposure to teaching students caused Lim to start a small business tutoring his classmates.

2. Illustrated the first comic strip in series for Malaysia and Singapore

Image Credit: Ala Lim Kok

Lim’s first foray into the world of work as an adult was as an illustrator where he designed book covers. Finally, he approached the Eastern Sun newspaper with comic strips he had worked on, hoping to publish them in series.

When the publication accepted, Lim’s comic strip, ABU became Malaysia and Singapore’s first localized serialized comic strip for 2 years, until the newspaper’s brand was closed.

3. Establish Malaysia’s first local advertising agency

Shortly after quitting his comic illustration job, Lim joined McCann-Erickson, a multinational advertising agency in 1970. He quickly became the regional creative director over the years.

In 1975, Lim, 29, started Malaysia’s first local advertising agency, Wings Creative Consultants (Wings) with a team of only 4 together. They would make their place in an industry that at the time was still controlled by multinationals and expatriates.

After 3 years of launch, Wings became one of the top ten agencies in the country.

4. He helped Mandela with South Africa’s first democratic elections

Image Credit: University of Limkokwing

In 1994, when South Africa was holding its first democratic elections, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had recommended to Mandela that he hire Lim for the mass exercise. This is because of the 20 million eligible voters, 9 million were illiterate.

Lim arrived at Mandela’s election poster surrounded by smiling children from various backgrounds, including whites, with just 5 words, “A better life for all.” This proved to be the basis of the electoral victory of the African National Congress (ANC).

After that, he received the highest national honor in South Africa, the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo in recognition of his contribution to the end of apartheid.

5. He coined some of the most memorable slogans in the country

Image Credit: Ala Lim Kok

The creative was also the one who coined and directed Putrajaya’s “Tak Nak” anti-tobacco campaign and promoted the “Rakan Muda” and “One Heart, One Nation” programs.

Lim was behind Dr. Mahathir’s Vision 2020 campaign, which also conceptualized the “Malaysia Boleh” mantra.

6. Join hands with BBDO to drive sales

13 years after the founding of Wings, BBDO, a well-known global advertising agency, approached Wings to partner in 1988. Wings / BBDO’s revenue reached $ 26 million ($ 8.6 million). USA) in 1989 and, in 1992, sales increased to nearly $ 40 million. (US $ 13.3 million).

The association ended in 1992, as Lim at that time was also shifting focus to establish his creative university.

7. Changed approach to foster young minds

Image Credit: University of Limkokwing

Look, Lim always had the vision to educate young talent in an environment full of creativity and innovation. Thus, it launched the Limkokwing Institute of Creative Technology (LUCT) in 1991, before becoming a private university in 2000.

In 2002, LUCT was the first private college in Malaysia to be recognized as a university, becoming a full-fledged university in 2007.

Today, with its main campus in Malaysia, the university has another 11 campuses in Botswana, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lesotho, Swaziland and the United Kingdom. It offers courses in both creative, technological and business fields, such as animation, architecture, entrepreneurship, fashion design, mobile computing, among others. Undoubtedly, this is also what Lim has been known for.

8. He brought his vision to Africa as well

Thanks to his links to help Mandela, he gave her the opportunity to establish universities in Africa, starting with Botswana in 2007.

When Lim wanted to open a campus in Sierra Leone, the country was affected by Ebola in 2014. Therefore, the launch of the campus was delayed while the institution helped the country government to virus eradication.

Finally, the Sierra Leone campus opened in 2017 after the country was declared free of Ebola by the World Health Organization on March 17, 2016.

9. He was an author with 4 books

Image credit: Limkokwing University

Lim has published a total of 4 books under his name, showing his range in illustration through comics, along with political and social commentaries.

They are, Guli-guli: Pearls of wisdom; Pearls of Laughter (1983), Hidden Agenda (1998), Innovation that Enables Transformation and Najib: Nation in Your Mind, People in Your Heart (2012).

10. He reached the Forbes Asia Heroes of Philanthropy list

At age 62, Lim was named as 1 of the 4 Malaysians to enter the Forbes Asia Heroes of Philanthropy list in 2009. This was a recognition of his contributions and fundraising in the fight against AIDS and apartheid in South Africa.

It also provided scholarships, provided services for students with disabilities and donated RM 80,000 to the “The Situation of the Palestinians: From Grim to Bleak” fund in 2008.

  • You can find out more about the Lim Kok wing here.
  • You can read about more Malaysian companies here.

Featured Image Credit: The Star / Wikimedia

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