Alex Ooi FCPA has been involved with the Lions Club for 15 years, and is helping to develop its next generation of community leaders.
It was while he was on a secondment in the US that Alex Ooi FCPA realised he didn’t want to just work, he wanted to do more to help others.
“I feel that after a while you just work and you earn your living. I think we need to give something back to the society,” says the director of the Audit Oversight Board for the Securities Commission Malaysia.
It was back in 2002 that a partner at Deloitte, his then employer, introduced Ooi to Lions Club of Kuala Lumpur (Host). Fifteen years later, Ooi is deeply involved as Lions Clubs International Foundation District 308B1 coordinator in Malaysia, covering 120 Lions Clubs.
Ooi has held many positions during his time with Lions, including a stint as president of Malaysia’s oldest Lions club, Lions Club of Kuala Lumpur (Host) during its 50th anniversary of community service in Malaysia.
“My club is one of the prime clubs that set up the Kuala Lumpur Lions Renal Centre,” says Ooi. The centre provides subsidised care to those who cannot afford to attend private hospitals for dialysis treatment.
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Lions Club develops the next generation of leaders
Ooi likes that the contribution his Lions Club makes is always changing, with a mix of community service and humanitarian efforts.
“We have projects every month,” he says. Those projects can range from supporting residents in aged-care facilities, visiting an orphanage or supporting the production of prosthetic limbs.
There are also initiatives to help impoverished rural students in Malaysia with the cost of uniforms and school bags. Overseas projects include assisting in the wake of natural disasters such as the 2015 Nepal earthquake in which 9000 people were killed.
Ooi has many years of senior management experience. He was a partner with Deloitte in Malaysia, where he worked for 18 years before joining BDO Malaysia as a partner in 2010. In 2017, he moved to his current role at the Securities Commission Malaysia. He is also a former president of the Malaysian division of CPA Australia and been involved in several committees of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants.
"Leos are our future generations of leaders."
It’s probably no surprise then, that one of his passions in Lions is developing the next generation of community champions and leaders.
Ooi has been instrumental in setting up a college-based Leo club in Malaysia, the Omega Leo Club of Brickfields Asia College, which is a Lions offshoot for members aged from 18 to 30 years.
“Leos are our future generations of leaders,” says Ooi, who has shared his expertise by equipping Leos and older Lions in the community group with skills in treasury and financial accountability. It’s the area of which he is perhaps most proud.
“I can give the knowledge that I have gained from my studies, my work, my professional life, back to society,” he says.
“Lions Clubs have to be accountable because we get our donations from the public and we have to make sure that it all goes back to be used for the public. I think that is where I’m able to contribute a lot.”
About Lions Club International Foundation
Established in 1968, the foundation supports the efforts of Lions Clubs and their partners to serve communities, locally and globally. It allows Lions Clubs International to tackle global problems and large-scale humanitarian projects.
To date, it has awarded more than 13,000 grants, totalling over US$1 billion, in its four key areas of sight, youth, disaster relief and other humanitarian efforts. In 2017, it received its sixth consecutive 4-star rating from independent evaluator Charity Navigator for its effective fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.
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