K. Kumarasivam Endowment Fund
Background on KKEF
Ir. K. Kumarasivam (1932 – 2003)
A true Malaysian. Ir. K. Kumarasivam, is a man with a strong commitment and passion for the protection of the environment and promotion of sustainable development. He is also an illustrious entrepreneur, starting his own consulting engineering firm in 1965, which over the years grew to become one of the leading consulting engineering companies in Malaysia. He was also a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia and of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia.
Ir. K. Kumarasivam is one of the pioneers in the environmental NGO movement in Malaysia. He has a practical “get it done” and innovative approach towards environmental management. Recognising the importance and need for greater environmental professionalism, research, creativity and innovative approaches to solving environmental problems in Malaysia he initiated the formation of two organizations and a number of environmental initiatives in Malaysia.
The organizations he helped found and nurtured through their formative and early years are the Environmental Management and Research Association of Malaysia (ENSEARCH) and the Centre for Environmental Technologies (CETEC), a non-profit company limited by guarantee. He initiated the formation of the Environmental Professionals Register of Malaysia (EPRM) to promote greater environmental professionalism in the country. He also initiated the set-up of the “Better Environment Award”, which subsequently became the “Prime Minister’s Hibiscus Award” to give recognition to good environmental performances in businesses and industries. His passion and support for the improvement of the environment in Malaysia also included substantial financial contributions to promote environmental management excellence in Malaysia, through ENSEARCH and CETEC.
In recognition of his pioneering and significant contributions to the promotion of better environmental management in the country he was awarded the 1997 Langkawi Award, Malaysia’s highest national tribute to its leading citizens in the field of environment. Mr. Sivam’s work was also recognized at the International level and in 2001 he was accorded the “ Fok Ying Tung Prize” from China, for his continuous and steadfast efforts in contributing towards environmental management, without seeking public recognition of any kind.
Ir. K. Kumarasivam loved life and lived life to the fullest. Even though he is no more with us his spirit for innovation and creativity in tackling environmental problems and passion for environmental management excellence should continue to be encouraged and promoted among all Malaysians. Thus, the most fitting tribute to this distinguished man is to continue with his work of introducing creative and innovative solutions to environmental problems in the country and, to nurture and encourage young environmentalist to emulate his philosophy and commitment to environmental care and management.
The K. Kumarasivam Memorial Public Lecture and Young Environmentalist Awards were created:
- to honour the memory of K.Kumarasivam and, his innovative and active contributions to the advancement of environmental management practices in Malaysia
- to provide a platform for Malaysians to be introduced to the innovative environmental management ideas and practices abroad, so that they may be inspired to find creative solutions to similar environmental problems in Malaysia.
- to provide opportunities for young Malaysian scholars and professionals with a passion for the environment to be exposed to the innovative environmental management ideas and practices abroad, so that they may be inspired to exercise creativity and leadership in environmental management.
The K.Kumarasivam Memorial Public Lecture
This free public lecture shall be given each year by a distinguished foreign speaker, in conjuction with a national or international environmental management seminar or a conference. The objectives and concepts for this award are as follows:
- to remember Ir. K. Kumarasivam’s significant contributions to the improvement of the environment in our society. An annual citation of the award will ensure that his contributions are remembered.
- to provide a platform for Malaysians to be introduced to innovative environmental management ideas and practices abroad, so that they may be inspired to find creative solutions to similar environmental problems in Malaysia. The invited lecturer shall be one who has been associated with an innovative approach or solutions on an environmental management issue that is of serious concern to the Malaysian government and public.
Ir. K. Kumarasivam believes in taking the lead in introducing innovative approaches to Environmental Management (EM). He does not believe in merely criticising but in doing something positive to address any identified environmental issues in the country. Since a lot of the innovative EM approaches and practices are found abroadit is fitting that the award should be used as an annual “seed event” by the KKEF Board to bring a lecturer from abroad to introduce Malaysians to the innovative thinking and successful approaches abroad on a current “environmental management issue” of serious concern to the Malaysian government and public.
In order to ensure that the objectives of the above Memorial Public Lecture are achieved the KKEF Board shall expect ENSEARCH and CETEC to set-up a joint KKEF Awards Standing Committee to carry out all the planning and implementation details of the awards given by the KKEF.
As an Association created to promote excellence in EM among organizations, professionals and interested persons ENSEARCH shall be responsible to ensure that the Public Lecture event shall be used to create and enhance awareness among the pertinent government bodies, businesses and the public on the issues and innovative approaches that can be used to address the EM issue for the public lecture. For this ENSEARCH shall prepare a series of stakeholder meetings and publicity programs in conjunction with the visit by the Public Lecturer to Malaysia.
CETEC, as the non-profit company created with a vision to be a leader in introducing and adopting new EM technologies and approaches to local conditions shall take the opportunity of the Public Lecture to work with selected stakeholders to adapt new EM approaches/technologies to Malaysia.
Thus, the implementation of the Memorial Public Lecture will involve the following:
- Publicity of the lecture in the local press
- Conduct of the Public Lecture together with a forum
- Small group meetings between the invited lecturer and pertinent government and industry stakeholders
- Discussion with pertinent stakeholders on the implementation of pilot schemes to adapt the EM approaches or technologies in Malaysia.
The K. Kumarasivam Young Environmentalist Awards
This award/s shall be presented each year to young scholars or professionals (less than 35 years old) who have a passion for the environment and the potential to transform this passion into effective action. The recipients should demonstrate leadership ability, creativity and integrity. The objectives and concepts for this award are as follows:
- to provide opportunities for promising young Malaysian scholars with a passion for environmental management to spend a few months internship at a reputable centre or centres of environmental management excellence abroad.
- to provide opportunities for promising young Malaysian professionals with a passion for environmental management to spend 1-2 weeks on an educational tour of reputable centres of environmental management excellence abroad.
There is a need to inculcate in young environmentalists the spirit of innovation, creativity and leadership in addressing environmental problems practised by Ir. K. Kumarasivam. Thus, it is fitting that the KKEF provide opportunities for young Malaysian environmentalist to be introduced to the innovative EM thinking and technologies abroad.
Stringent selection criteria (through essay writing and interviews) for the awards will be made to screen the best applicants. The desired scholars shall be those with good academic, track records, proven environmental passion and EM extracurricular activities.
The selected scholars and professionals will be required to write a report on what they have learned during their internships and tours, respectively. They shall also be required to present a paper in one of ENSEARCH’s seminars or conferences, share what they have learned on their return in a special event, and present a proposal on how the innovative EM practices they have seen can be implemented in Malaysia.
Objectives of Setting-up the K. Kumarasivam Endowment Fund (KKEF)
There are two primary objectives in setting-up the K. Kumarasivam Endowment Fund (KKEF). They are:
- to remember Ir. K. Kumarasivam’s selfless and significant contributions to the improvement in Malaysia
- to perpetuate his spirit of innovation, creativity and leadership in addressing environmental problems in Malaysia.
To achieve the above objectives the promoters of the Endowment Fund, ENSEARCH and CETEC, are proposing that two types of awards be given annually, from the investment proceeds from the Fund. They are:
- A Memorial Public Lecture Award
- Young Environmentalist Award
In drafting the concepts and implementation procedures for the awards the promoters recognized the importance of ensuring that the awards have unique characteristics, will gain respect and support from both Malaysian environment, and is sustainable.