Welcome Address

GOOD evening ladies and gentlemen! I'm Tuck Choy. Sorry for the delay. We are all too excited to meet another, and were too engrossed in our small talks.

I'm so glad to see all of you here. It has been 10 years.

This must be a very special and meaningful evening for all of us. I know, because many who cannot make it today, have sent in their well wishes. Among us who are here, we have classmates, like Edwin [Edwin turns and waves at me and others], who flew back all the way from Hong Kong. We also have classmates like Chai Ling and Siaw Ming, who traveled across the causeway. This shows that even in a time of bad economy, even in a time when our relations with our neighbors are in rough patch, our friendship comes before everything. (I think Professor Yuen must be really irritated by this kind of logic.) 8P

My classmate Wee Chung gave me a card some 10 or 11 years ago (right at this moment he is at the NCB function receiving his 10-years long-service award), with a little children poem on it, that goes:

    "There are big ships, 
     There are small ships; 
     But there is no ship 
     like friendship."

Welcome to the ISCS Class '88 10 years reunion!

Time flies. So much have changed. Our looks, our receding hairlines, our waist-lines, our addresses. It was a tough job trying to locate all our classmates, I think those who helped out can testify to that. In fact, you can see that not everyone of our class is here. It would indeed be a great pity if somebody missed this wonderful occasion just because the news did not get to him or her, and I'm afraid that we might have missed out quite a number of our classmates. This underlines the importance of keeping in contact. So, I hope that after this, one or two of us, would volunteer to take up this role of a so-called 'class representatives', whose job is to collect the contacts of our class -- we have already got the contacts of the people here tonight -- and to expand and maintain the list, for future correspondences, for future gatherings.

Ensuring and facilitating the continual bonding of our alumni is also one of the main objectives of the CISA Association. In case you are not aware, I'm also representing the CISA Association, an alumni body that takes care of the interests of the graduates, the alumni from DISCS, and now, the School of Computing. For your information, the School of Computing was formed on the 1st of July, signifying a new era in the history of our department. I have taken the liberty to distribute some write-ups about the association, knowing that not everyone of you is aware of the association. It was set up in 1989 -- yes, incidentally, it is going into its 10th year -- initiated by Professor Yuen, and spearheaded by Professor Wei Kwok Kee. When I took over the association, and some time in 1994, we made an attempt to reach out to all our alumni, but unfortunately by then, many of the addresses were already out-dated. So, tonight is a very good opportunity for you to go through the leaflets to find out more about the association, what it can do for you, and what you can do for the community.

We have with us tonight, some very special guests. They are our teachers. You might not remember what lectures they taught us, but I think these are not the things we remember. We remember the people we met, the interesting things they did, and things we did together. I remember that 10 years ago, we had a camp-fire. Some of my classmates cannot remember that, and what we did on that night. But it's only 10 years! I remember it quite vividly. Dr Yeo was there. Leow Wee Kheng, who is not here, was there too, playing the flute. [At this point, Dr Yeo points frantically at Dr Loe sitting opposite her. Relax, relax, I will get to him, I've my script all memorised. 8)] And of course, yes, Dr Loe was there, and he sang us a Japanese song! Dr Tan Kok Phuang showed us his tai-ji jian skills -- and now he is into qi-gong -- and while executing his strokes, he smashed his sword right into his face. Fortunately that was not a real sword. [But in the end I didn't get my script quite memorized. I missed out the part about Tiow Seng.]

I still remember many things about our lecturers. In one of Prof Chua's tutorials, I was made to present the answer to a tutorial question. At the end of it, Prof Chua praised me (I always remember praises) for explaining it better than he could. Of course I knew he was just giving a word of encouragement. In my honours year, at a time when I was very depressed due to some family problems, I didn't do too well in my first semester's exam. Prof Yuen said to me then, "try harder, there's still hope." Prof Yuen didn't know I was having problem at that time, and most probably he didn't even realize what a big impact his words could have on me. I remember all these encounters, and many others. These are my personal stories, and I believe that each and everyone of you has your own stories to tell.

Would you kindly allow me to make a bold proposal? Since this is a rare occasion, shall we, as a tribute to our teachers, give all of them a round of applause? Thank you!

We are also very glad to have some staff members from the School with us tonight. The School takes an interest in maintaining close ties with her alumni. We have Professor Joxan Jaffar, the head of the Computer Science Department. Dr Teo Yong Meng, the sub-dean of the school, is also here. Actually he taught us before, for a short while, taking the labs for Intro to Microcomputers. Dr Leong Hon Wai, also a sub-dean of the school, taught some of us who were in the algorithm class in our third year. Professor Ivan Png, one of the vice-deans of the school, would very much like to join us but he has something on tonight. We also have with us tonight two representatives from the School's administration, Ms Geetha, the School's Administrative Manager, and Ms Cheryl Lee, one of the Administrative Officers dealing with external affairs. Let us welcome all of them! Thank you all for joining us!

Without further ado, let me invite Professor Chua Tat Seng, Acting Dean of the School of Computing, to give us his address. Professor Chua please.

	(Professor Chua's address)

Thank you Professor Chua. Professor Chua, we would like to present you a little souvenir.

I know you are all hungry, but I still have a few more words to say. Hmmm... a few words? Maybe not so. But I really have to say it. I must mention and thank a number of people who made this occasion possible. Two years ago, Sau Meng met me and mooted the idea of a 10-years reunion. A year later we met and he brought the subject up again. Soon, we got hold of a couple of friends, and we gathered for lunches -- so we actually had our little reunion lunches before this one, and Sau Meng paid for most of the meals. The people are Arun, Yu Ling, Arthur, Clarence, Bernard, Weng Fai, Mong Li, and Choon Ling. To these people, and the many of you who have helped us out in one way or another, such as helping us to contact your friends, I'm sorry if I've left out your names, I would like to thank you all!

I would also like to thank the main sponsor, KPMG. Tan Chee Wee has kindly sponsored the beer for the night. So as you gulp down the beer, please think of Tan Chee Wee. HP has sponsored a couple of gifts which we will give out later in the evening. Of course, the most important sponsors are you, who paid $60 to support this event.

Seeing HP reminds me of a person, someone that deserves special mention. He is none other than Sau Meng (Oliver). I say this not because he paid for most of our lunches, or because he is the driving force behind this event -- thanks to you Sau Meng, because of you, we have to work so hard. I say this because he is basically a model alumnus, one who is supportive of all the events and activities related to DISCS. You will always find HP's name in the sponsors list at events such as ISCS Graduation balls, Computron Quiz, and others, and the person behind it is Sau Meng. Talking about the Computron Quiz, do you all still remember the CSS -- Computer Science Society? Well, it is now superseded by the Computing Club, the official student body for the School of Computing. It was formed earlier this month, and the CSS will soon be dissolved during its last AGM on the 11th of next month.

I think we should all give Sau Meng a big round of applause for all his dedication, commitment and efforts in organizing this reunion!

With this, may I now invite Sau Meng to come to the stage to say something and to introduce our next very special guest-of-honour.

	(Oliver's address)

	(Professor Yuen's address)