KAJANG: The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) will remain an excellent organisation if its management team and staff continue to uphold the core values of integrity, professionalism and innovation, says Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
In his last speech as Niosh chairman, Lee said more parties, especially those from various industries, have now treated Niosh as their preferred partner for training and other services related to occupational safety and health (OSH).
"It's not an easy task but we could achieve this because all Niosh staff have worked very hard to give the best services and help expand Niosh operations all over the country," he said at a farewell dinner organised by Niosh at Bangi Avenue Convention Centre here Friday night (Sept 20).
Also present were Niosh deputy chairman K. Gunasegaran, Niosh executive director Ayop Salleh and Niosh executive secretary Maj (Rtd) Hanif Maidin.
Lee, 73, joined NIOSH as its director after it was established in 1992. He was later appointed the chairman under the Human Resources Ministry in 1994.
In the past 27 years, Lee said he had given his "heart and soul" to Niosh and even treated it as his second home.
"I was invited to join Niosh after I retired from politics in 1990 and became a full-time social activist. Then Human Resources Minister (Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek) said I had helped fightfor the rights of workers when I was a Member of Parliament and therefore would be able to assist Niosh," he said.
According to Lee, efforts to develop Niosh were not easy as at the time, not many people knew about the importance of OSH in reducing accidents at workplaces.
Starting its operation in a small office at the Shell office in Damansara, he said Niosh now has its own headquarters at Bandar Baru Bangi with five regional offices and nine branches all over the country.
"What makes us proud is the fact that Niosh is financially self-reliant as it could generate income to cover its operation including paying the salary and bonuses to its staff every year," he said.
Meanwhile, Ayop said Lee's contributions are immeasurable as he had also helped promote Niosh all over the country and overseas.
Ayop had also announced that the Dewan Cempaka at Niosh headquarters would be renamed Dewan Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye while a gallery would be built to showcase the contributions made by the former chairman.