On 3 March 2015, SIM University (UniSIM) welcomed Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-Large at Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who presented a talk titled "How Can A Country Punch Above Its Weight?" to UniSIM students and staff. This was the fourth Management and Security Studies Programme's Distinguished Scholar Series talk presented by UniSIM's School of Business.
Professor Koh received a First Class Honours degree in Law from the University of Singapore. A recipient of many awards, prizes and honours, he was awarded the prestigious Darjah Utama Nila Utama (Order of Nila Utama, First Class) – Singapore's third most important national honour – in 2008, and received Harvard University's Great Negotiator Award in 2014. Professor Koh has chaired two United Nations (UN) conferences on the Law of the Sea and the Earth Summit.
During his talk, Professor Koh discussed how Singapore has succeeded in overcoming the disadvantage of its small size to punch above its weight in the world. He spoke about three important Security Studies concepts – military power, economic power and soft power – that have affected Singapore's relations with other states. In addition to sharing significant insights on his working relations with the Founding Fathers of Singapore, viz., Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Mr S. Rajaratnam and Dr Goh Keng Swee, Professor Koh also recounted life as a busy diplomat in Washington, D.C., as well as during the 13 years that he had spent at the UN Headquarters in New York City.
Following an engaging question-and-answer session, Professor Tsui Kai Chong, Provost of UniSIM, presented Professor Koh with a token of appreciation.
Professor Tommy Koh (4th from right) with UniSIM’s senior management team and staff.