WILMAR PROFESSORSHIP IN ASIAN STUDIES (2013)
Wilmar International Limited (‘Wilmar’) is Asia’s leading agribusiness group with interests in oil palm, sugar, fertilizer and grain. From oil palm plantations in Indonesia, Malaysia and Africa, to oil seeds crushing and edible oil refining plants across Asia, to sugar operations in Mumbai, Myanmar, Africa, and Australia, Wilmar’s businesses span the breadth of Asia and beyond, with over 450 manufacturing plants and an extensive distribution network over some 50 countries. Headquartered in Singapore, the Group’s integrated business model encompasses the entire value chain of the agricultural commodity processing business, from origination and processing to branding, merchandising and distribution of a wide range of agricultural products. The Group employs a multinational workforce of about 90,000 people.
Wilmar is committed to environmental and social stewardship. The Group pledges to a strict ‘No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation’ policy that strives to delink its entire supply chain from environmental degradation and human rights abuse. Furthermore, the Group also benchmarks its own practices against international sustainability standards such as the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) standards framework. These commitments ensure responsible business practices ranging from no burning to clear land for development, climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation to obtaining free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) from local communities for land development and community empowerment in areas where it operates.
On the social front, Wilmar adopts a three-prong approach that aims to empower, nurture, and advance society, providing education, healthcare, and disaster relief support to local communities around and beyond its areas of operations.
In recognition of a generous gift from Wilmar International Limited, NUS established the Wilmar Professorship on Asian Studies at the NUS Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. The Professorship underlines the School’s commitment to the study of Asia and serves as a platform for research on Asia’s international politics, China-India relations, and India’s foreign policy.
WONG HOCK BOON PROFESSORSHIP IN PAEDIATRICS (2000)
The late Emeritus Professor Wong Hock Boon, one of Singapore’s most prominent paediatricians, trained a whole generation of Singapore’s paediatricians.
Professor Wong, who was Singapore’s first Professor of Paediatrics and founded the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Singapore, a predecessor of NUS, taught his students by example.
His ward rounds, which started at 7:30 am every day, 365 days a year, were as legendary as his zest for solving his patients’ problems. He would record challenging cases and research the latest medical advances to determine the best treatments. This led to the publication of 52 volumes of Paediatric Clinical Conference Notes, which became an invaluable resource for medical students. He headed the department for 26 years, from 1962 to 1988.
Today, Singapore’s excellent child health record owes much to Prof Wong. Among his many contributions were his tireless promotion of breastfeeding to prevent childhood malnutrition and diarrhoeal diseases. His pioneering research includes identifying enzyme deficiencies to reduce the occurrence of severe jaundice in new-born; his characterisation of inherited anemia in Singaporeans, and his introduction of rice water as an oral rehydration agent in cases of serious childhood digestive tract infections.
Prof Wong was also the first Director of the School of Postgraduate Medical Studies, NUS, and helped to establish organisations such as the Spastic Children’s Association in Singapore and the Singapore Children’s Society.
After his retirement, he continued to support paediatrics by making a generous gift to NUS to establish a professorship in paediatrics. This professorship enables the University to engage eminent professors to share their expertise, and collaborate in research and education. In recognition of his generous gift, the University named the professorship the Wong Hock Boon Professorship in Paediatrics.
In celebration of Professor Wong’s 80th birthday, a group of his students made additional contributions to the Wong Hock Boon Professorship in Pediatrics to honor their teacher and recognize his contributions to the field of pediatrics in Singapore.