Dinner Speech in honour of UniMAP Delegation headed by HRH, Raja Muda of Perlis.
Your Highness Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra,
Your Highness Tuanku Lailatul Shahreen Alkashah Khalil,
My Lord the Chief Justice and Madam Sik Yuen,
Hon Minister Gokhool and Mrs. Gokhool,
Hon. Dep. Speaker,
My Lord Justice Angoh,
Former Vice President and Mrs. Bundhun,
H. E. the French Ambassador and Mrs. Maillard,
H. E the Ambassador of Egypt,
Dep. VC UoM,
VC University Perlis,
Alif would like to welcome you all to this banquet which it is hosting with the support of the Bhunjuns, one of the owners of this hotel and a great supporter of Alif.
It gives me immense pleasure also to welcome the royal family of Perlis and their suite to our island. Tuanku, I hope you are not too tired as I have learnt that you have left Perlis, especially the markets, immaculate with the help of your army of 1500 students from University of Perlis. Even if you are, we’ll see to it that you get a rejuvenating relaxation here. Your Highness, despite trying very hard, we had failed to host you earlier because of your heavy schedule. To-night you relieve me of the debt of gratitude I owe Malaysia, to your royal family and to Dato’ Kamaruddin; it also gives you an opportunity to take stock of and identify ways to further enhance our co-operation.
I only have fond memories of my visits to Malaysia: I was among the 29 proud guests to the birthday celebrations of H.M your father, 3 times on top tables by his side for the convocation banquets of USM, Univesriti Perlis and UiTM and once for the Hari Raya open house of Bank Rakyat.
This function allows me to thank your country for training over 100 of Alif students in Medicine, Pharmacy, Engineering, Economy, Food Studies, Architecture and Accounting. It is significant that you have, as Chancellor of U Perlis, signed MoUs with UoM and UTM. There is no doubt that the intensification of educational contacts between Malaysia and Mauritius will foster a mutually rewarding cooperation. What UP has done is not a choice, but a duty to reinforce South-South co-operation, to create a new multi-polar world and to win the battle of development.
At the heart of this unprecedented world crisis you have vowed to privilege R & D at UP to avoid damage. Inaction anywhere would be a sin. My PM in a speech here last week reminded the nation that unlike many countries Mauritians have no mines to drill but only minds to tap to create wealth. Our Government is committed to provide a world class education to the citizens.
I sense that there is consensus among deciders that the creative destruction wrought by the economic meltdown will hopefully rid us of the lame ducks and accelerate our modernization process. Let us turn this adversity into our respective national advantage, let us launch innovations of lasting value to our countries, let your University, already endowed with state of the art logistics open its doors to the highly motivated Mauritian youths. Successful Malaysia has more responsibilities than rights. You won’t be deceived as our crop of HSC students are normally welcome with open arms in Al Azhar, Cambridge, Paris, Sorbonne, LSE, Imperial College, Oxford and Harvard.
We know that times are difficult; but like Churchill, we need to be incurable optimists. We need to be the masters of our destinies than to be a victim of the economic meltdown. We have to act decisively and we have to act well.
May your visit here lead to yet more signing of MoUs by VCs of other Malaysian Universities and an invitation to your countrymen to fly to this dream destination.
We wish you and your delegation Tuanku, a very happy stay. Thank you.
Alif attended the Graduation ceremony of UniMAP in Perlis. The pictures give an idea of the mood prevailing at the forum and the Red Carpet treatment extended to Alif Society by the Hosts.