Memory and intelligence may be thought to be two separate inherited skills but Ming Koh says both can be learned together. And he aims to prove his point in Hong Kong by holding an international championship in a city which he says places too much emphasis on memory training alone. Dr Koh is president of the World Memory and Intelligence Body, which recently moved its headquarters from Hawaii to Hong Kong and will hold the first World Memory and Intelligence Championship in the city this month. 'Hong Kong is more academic based and fast paced,' Dr Koh said. 'I believe Asians and Chinese are more interested in memory studies; a lot of training is based on memory but not much on intelligence. If the two are done together, students will benefit in their memory and in their analytic skills as well.' The contest will be held from April 14 and is open to anyone of any age from anywhere in the world. Contestants will take part in an audition to demonstrate their memory and intelligence and eight contestants will be selected for the final rounds. Dr Koh says additional training will be provided for those who are short-listed. A Malaysian, Dr Koh says he was not a bright student, failing five of nine subjects at high school, and was not academically qualified to enter universities in Malaysia. 'I didn't do very well on my exams; then I came up with a method to memorise things better, and I did it.' After he developed his own learning and memory methods he impressed education authorities enough to gain special admission to the faculty of arts and social sciences at the University of Malaya, where he did a bachelor's degree in two years. He later received scholarships for a master's and doctorate by distance learning, and finished all three degrees in three years. Dr Koh continued his research on memory and trained with Mensa, the organisation for people with a high IQ. It was then he discovered that memory skills can be improved. The World Memory and Intelligence Body was established in Melbourne in 2001 and was based for a time in Malaysia, before moving to Hawaii last year. It now has offices in Jordan. 'Memory is the foundation and training in memory is based on five elements, which include imagination, association, emotion, animation and cartoon characters,' he said. His research suggests that with training and practise, a 'mental notebook' can be developed, which will allow students to take notes mentally and create a 'memory museum' in their minds. 'I want to encourage more people from anywhere in the world to learn and to be aware that memory and intelligence can be developed through the right techniques.'