Methodist Boys’ Secondary School Kuala Lumpur
Filed Under (Class of '60s) by oldboys on 29-08-2020

… because a few Good Teachers Cared


Woo Nam Seng (SC, school cert / MCE 1969) was adopted by a Chinese immigrant hawker whose 7th wife was childless at the Chinese Maternity Hospital at Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur. Growing up in poverty, Nam Seng more commonly known as Davy Woo, remembered his home behind Imbi Chapel, KL as having no water and electricity supplies.


No Money No Talk

In MBS, he was quiet and timid and often felt it was a situation of “no money no talk”. He had several very good classmates who were well-off but he could not join them most of the time because he had no money. Eventually his classmates gave up inviting him. He was like the many invisible students in the school. Davy was a recipient of the daily Milo recess program for the needy. He worked on public holidays, and weekends to earn an extra dollar and left over (unsold) vegetables for the family and the squatter neighborhood. Then, in the evening, Davy would work at a hawker stall in Jalan Hicks to earn extra pocket money.


Help from Caring Teachers

Davy could not recite A – Z until late Standard 3. When he was in Standard 4, the late Mr Siew Kow gave Davy free tuition and bought Davy a transistor radio for the purpose of listening to the news. Then, Davy’s academic results improved since the third term of standard 4. The late Ms Teresa Voon and several teachers watched over Davy and were strict with enforcing discipline to ensure the students made the effort to learn their subjects well. A special mention of the late Mr C. Nadarajah (first class Maths teacher) who punished the students for not working hard enough by making them run 3 rounds in the school field under the hot sun! Davy regularly stayed back at the physics lab to complete his homework alone because it was cooler than his house. Despite his need to work after school, he managed to get into the school team and represented the Selangor state for Badminton.


Importance of Reading Good Books

Davy’s outlook on life took a dramatic turn when he was motivated after reading the book titled Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. The book gave a lot of foresight and taught him how to adopt attitudes to become a successful person. Years later, Davy’s hard work, experience and far sightedness in the automobile industry clinched him the exclusive contract for our national car (Proton) export program with a USD 100 margin per unit of vehicle exported. He credited it to Datuk Seri Adib Adam (his former boss) who saw Davy’s vision and Tun Mahathir (the then 4th Prime Minister) who gave Davy the green light to go ahead.

Datuk Seri Adib Adam with Dato’ Davy Woo


Darjah Kebesaran Mahkota Pahang Yang Amat Mulia

Davy was conferred his Datuk ship on the 24th October 2006 by the Sultan of Pahang for his contribution in successfully introducing and marketing the Proton cars worldwide.


Horley Link

Dato’ Davy Woo was the president of the MBS OBA from 2005 -2007 and he was instrumental in constructing a safe and convenient link for the students and staff to arrive at school. He went all out and without reservation to obtain permission from DBKL and Prasarana (owner of LRT system) to allow the construction of a link from the LRT station to the rear of the school. I remember going with Dato’ and a few other committee members to visit the then pengarah at DBKL to obtain permission and I was suitably impressed by his persuasive skill. There were many hurdles and it felt like a miracle when Horley Link was officially opened by Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Ong Tee Keat (MBS old boy). The plaque at the link reminds us of the many kind sponsors who helped to make it possible.


110th anniversary and Largest Chess Tournament

To celebrate our 110th anniversary I remember suggesting to Dato’ Davy about organizing the Largest Chess Tournament. The objectives were to instill the love of the game among the students as it is a game which even the financially poor students can play and it instills mental discipline. The side benefits would be to raise funds to help the chess club by buying sufficient chess boards and pieces. Our biggest challenge was the venue for the tournament. Dato’ Davy assisted by securing the sponsorship of the venue in Mid Valley Mega Mall and inviting the then Minister of Health, Datuk Liow Tiong Lai to officiate the tournament. We held the Malaysian Book of Record for the Largest Chess Tournament for 6 years.

It is heartening to see old boys coming back to help the school in whatever capacity they could. When asked if he had any painful memories in school, Dato’ recalled when he was mistakenly caned by the then principal Mr T Mori at Form 1. However, he harbors no ill feeling and the many good memories in MBS motivated him to keep coming back to school often. Dato’ is hoping to rebuild the school field so that it can cater for more events.


Advice to the Students

Be creative in thinking; always have an objective and focus. Have an attitude of kindness for the needy and unfortunate. As always, giving is better than receiving. Never ever forget that there is a true and loving God in our lives.

Written by Gan Swit Peng


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