Plague Fighter Dr Wu Lien-teh

A Penang Hero who modernized medicine in China

Almost one hundred years ago, when Manchuria, North Eastern part of China was invaded by a pneumonic plague, a valiant fighter against the disease emerged in the form of Dr. Wu Lien- teh. Leading a group of inspired medical personnel, Dr. Wu researched countless scientific methods in an attempt to contain the plague. His efforts eventually resulted in a breakthrough in the medical world.

Dr. Wu Lien- teh

Besides being recognized in China as the founding father of modern medicine, Dr Wu (1879-1960), was also known in Singapore and Malaya as one of the three editors of the “Straits Chinese Magazine”, he was a Public Health Expert, Medical Science historian and pioneer of the Plague Quarantine and Prevention. Born in Penang, Dr Wu was awarded the Queen’s Scholarship of the Straits Settlement at the age of 17 (1896), making him the first Chinese Medical Science student in Cambridge, England. In 1902, he obtained his Medical Science and Surgical degrees (B.A) from Cambridge University. Dr Wu was later separately awarded the Cambridge University Medical Science doctorate degree, the John Hopkins University Public Health Degree and an honorary doctorate degree by the Japanese Imperial University of Tokyo respectively in 1905, 1924 and 1926


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 Presented by Ong Lay Hong
Ong Lay Hong
was born in Singapore and has spent more than 30 years working in Television Industry. She received her Bachelors in Telecommunications (Radio and TV Production) with a Certificate in Film Studies from Indiana University, USA. She started off as a camera woman in an America TV Station then joined Hong Kong Rediffusion Television as a News producer. She joined Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (now MediaCorp) in 1982 and rose from the rank and file to become Chief Editor of Chinese News and Current Affairs on 2000 onwards. Since June 2007, she has been designated to lead the China team in developing the China market for Channel NewsAsia. In 2009, Lay Hong became the Managing Director for the channels of Suria and Vasantham and their supporting units.

Moderated by Dr Ooi Koon Hean, Alex
Dr Alex Ooi’s seven formative years at the Penang Free School were enriching: in studies, sea-scouts, sports and serving as a Prefect. He went on to study medicine at the University of Singapore and then obtained his Masters and Royal College degrees in Obstetrics & Gynaecology. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medicine (Singapore), International College of Surgeons (USA) and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (London). He was a visiting professor to demonstrate surgery at Shanghai’s Fudan University (and other regional hospitals) and, now 30 plus years on, continues in active work and teaching. At the completion of his medical studies, he was awarded the Kesatuan Akademis Medal as an all-rounder and made Honorary Life Member of the International Federation of Medical Student Associations (working also with UN agencies). His passion for management and community service led him to obtain a Masters in Business Administration (USA). Besides personal pursuits and involvement in academia, he has also served as Deputy Director of Tan Tock Seng Hospital, President of Warren Golf and The Tanglin Clubs and leadership in Rotary and other service avenues, such as the Singapore Red Cross.