University of Reading awards honorary degree to former Managing Director of KPJ Healthcare Berhad

The University of Reading has today (Saturday 21st July) awarded an honorary degree to the former Managing Director of KPJ Healthcare Berhad, one of Malaysia’s leading providers of private healthcare services.

Tan Sri Datin Paduka Siti Sa'diah Sheikh Bakir, who sits on the Board of Directors of KPJ Healthcare Berhad, received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters during the University of Reading Malaysia’s (UoRM) graduation ceremony, held at the Thistle Hotel in Johor Bahru.

The honorary degree was presented by Professor Susan Rose, Director of Teaching & Learning at Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK.

Professor Susan Rose said:

“Tan Sri Siti Sa’diah has not only distinguished herself as an outstanding leader in the private healthcare sector but she has played a significant role in championing women in leadership.

“Over the years, she has been a staunch supporter of Henley Business School and is a key member of its Alumni Association in Malaysia. She has also been a valuable advocate for the University of Reading Malaysia since its inception.

“The University is delighted to award her an honorary degree in acknowledgement of her contributions to Henley Business School and the University of Reading Malaysia.”

Tan Sri Siti Sa'diah, Independent Non-Executive Director of KPJ Healthcare Berhad said:

“I am deeply honoured to receive this Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of Reading. This recognition is hoped to be exemplary and inspirational to graduands and corporate players, especially women, to pursue their career to the highest level and always give their best in their endeavors. The sky is the limit.”

Tan Sri Siti Sa’diah joins the University’s roll of honour of noted honorary graduates, including Her Excellency Vicki Treadell, CMG, MVO, British High Commissioner to Malaysia, who received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws at the formal ceremony of inauguration of the University of Reading Malaysia in February 2016, and Y.Bhg Datuk Ismail bin Ibrahim, CEO of the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), who was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws during the inaugural graduation ceremony at UoRM in 2017.

Today’s graduation ceremony was also a celebration of the first UoRM students to graduate with either a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Real Estate delivered by Henley Business School, a BSc in Quantity Surveying delivered by the School of the Built Environment, or a BSc in Psychology delivered by the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences. Among other UoRM graduates was the second cohort of Finance and Business Management degree students from Henley Business School. Seven Malaysian citizens who completed a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Reading in the UK were also recognised for their achievements.

The ceremony was presided over by Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading. Guests included senior academics and professional services staff from the University of Reading, family and friends of graduates and the honorary graduate, and alumni of the University of Reading and Henley Business School.


Tan Sri Datin Paduka Siti Sa'diah Sheikh Bakir received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters.

Tan Sri Siti Sa'diah (R) and Professor Susan Rose (L).


Tan Sri Datin Paduka Siti Sa'diah Sheikh Bakir was born in Mersing, Johor on June 2, 1952 and received early education at Sri Mersing Primary School, Johor (1961-1963) and Sri Mersing Secondary School (1964-1968). She then pursued a Bachelor of Economics course in 1971 and went on to Henley Business School, University of Reading, United Kingdom to graduate with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA).

Tan Sri Siti Sa’diah began her career with Johor Corporation (JCorp) in 1974 and was appointed Chief Executive of the Medical Group (Johor) Sdn Bhd from 1989 until KPJ Healthcare was listed in 1994.

She was responsible for coordinating strategic, visionary and transformational leadership in KPJ which has led Medical Group (Johor) Sdn Bhd to achieve tremendous success in many areas of owning and managing private hospitals since 1981. Tan Sri Siti Sa’diah was the Managing Director of KPJ from March 1993 until retirement in December 2012. She was subsequently appointed as KPJ Corporate Adviser from January 2013 to December 2014.

In 2010, Tan Sri Siti Sa’diah became the first woman to be named Malaysia’s CEO of The Year in 2009 by the New Straits Times Press and American Express, in recognition of her achievements

Tan Sri Siti Sa’diah is the Chair of Nationwide Express Holdings Berhad and sits on various corporate boards, namely, the Chemical Company of Malaysia Berhad (CCM), CCM Duopharma Biotech Berhad, and OSK Holdings Berhad. In addition, Tan Sri Siti Sa’diah sits on the boards and Committees of several local and international universities.

From 2015, Tan Sri Siti Sa’diah has been a member of the founding Advisory Board of the University of Reading Malaysia, and has been a loyal supporter of the project. In June 2016, she was appointed as the Chair of Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), an eminent management university in Malaysia. She was also appointed as Pro-Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) from 1st November 2016. In addition, Tan Sri Siti Sa'diah was Chair and Pro-Chancellor of KPJ Healthcare University College (KPJUC) from August 2011 to December 2016.

She is also the President of the Malaysian Society for Quality in Health (MSQH), a health certification body since 1998, and a member of the Razak Government School Academic Committee (RSOG).

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