To mark Malaysian Independence Day, Hari Merdeka, we’ve got a Glasgow First post.
The University of Glasgow welcomed its first Malaysia student in 1911. Lee Hoe Thye was from Penang, the Straits Settlement, present day Malaysia, son of Yewcheong Thye, a mining engineer.
Lee Hoe Thye, Engineering and Naval Architecture Class 1913–1914 (ACCN173/11/7/1a)
He enrolled at the University in 1911, aged 23, to study Engineering for two years.
Educated at the Penang Free School and at Aberdeen Grammar School, Thye undertook a five-year apprenticeship in 1906 with William McKinnon and Company Ltd, Aberdeen while also attending Robert Gordon’s Technical College.
Thye continued his studies for a further year at the University of Edinburgh, and in 1914 he was employed as a draughtsman with Messrs. Glenfield and Kennedy Ltd, Kilmarnock.
In October 1915, Thye returned to the Federated Malay States, where he was a supervising engineer to Chan Sow Lin and Co, Kuala Lumpur.
He was a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1910, and an Associate Member in 1916, but died in December 1920.
Brunei Darussalam will receive the Queen’s Baton today (28.10.2013) The University welcomed its first students from Brunei in the 1960s, who both graduated with Medical degrees. The earliest connection identified by the International Heritage project is through this 1710 map of Borneo – Brunei, since 1984, being the only sovereign state completely on that island, which it shares with Malaysia and Indonesia:
Sp Coll Bl1-i.1
The map can be found in Daniel Beeckman’s A Voyage to and from the Island of Borneo, in the East-Indies…, (London, 1718), and Brunei can be found with the map’s designation of ‘Borneo’.
As explained in the online entry, Beeckman was captain of an English merchant ship which traded with the British East India Company, and his book is a record of his observations and experiences in 1713–14. A most exciting claim is that Beeckman’s account of Borneo may have been the the first European reference to and illustration of the Orangutan (of Malaysia, not Brunei though). Intrigued? To see that illustration of the “ORAN-OOTAN” just ask for Sp Coll Bl1-i.1 on your next visit to Special Collections.
Sir Malcolm Watson (Image courtesy of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Archives)
Today (26.10.2013) the Queen’s Baton is passed on to Malaysia – and the International Story passes its ‘baton’ to Sir Malcolm Watson. An early anti-malarial pioneer, Watson was the pioneer of malarial control in Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia), making Malaysia’s anti-malaria programme one of the world’s oldest.
Watson graduated MB CM in 1895 and joined the Malayan Medical Service in 1900, submitting his MD thesis on The effect of drainage on malaria in 1903.
He went on to publish The Prevention of Malaria in the Federated Malay States; a record of twenty years’ progress (1921), and was the Principal of the Department of Malaria Control at the Ross Institute and Hospital for Tropical Diseases in London. Watson was knighted in 1924 for his services in Malaya.
Watson formed part of a World Malaria Day exhibition by the University of Glasgow Library – see the online exhibition at their flickr site.