KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s brain gain initiative has received a boost with the appointment of a world authority in keyhole surgery, paediatric surgeon Prof Dr Tan Hock Lim, to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).
Prof Tan, who was born in Malaysia but has spent over 40 years overseas, is a pioneer in paediatric keyhole surgery and has developed many instruments in the field.
“I am excited about helping to develop Malaysia’s expertise in this area. I see great potential for Malaysia to become a medical hub of excellence in the region,” said Prof Tan, who will be joining UKM in September.
He said that the decision to relocate to Malaysia was “quite easy to make” and said that he regarded his appointment as a form of national service for the country.
“I chose UKM because I was assured that I would be empowered and enabled to do what I want to do. I hope to train people from all over the world in UKM and put Malaysia on the world map.”
Prof Tan, 58, was president of the South Australian chapter of the Australia Malaysia Business Council (AMBC) and is an executive committee member of the Australia Malaysia Institute (AMI).
“I came back here more often because of my position in both AMBC and AMI, which also put me in regular contact with senior government officials,” said Prof Tan who is now an Australian citizen.
He is currently the inaugural professor of paediatric surgery at the University of Adelaide in South Australia as well as director of paediatric surgery at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital there.
Prof Tan has worked at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, and was also consultant specialist at Great Ormond St Children’s Hospital in London, Britain.
Paediatric keyhole surgery is a non-invasive way of performing complex surgery on young children without needing to make large cuts in their bodies.
He has two children, a daughter who has degree in medicine and law, and a son who is a doctor.