Graduation of the Felda Class of 2008

Addressed by Tan Sri Lim at Limkokwing University, Cyberjaya
19 August 2008

May I begin by thanking each and everyone for coming to share with us this occasion.

We are deeply honoured by the presence of our Deputy Prime Minister, YAB Dato′ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak and YABhg Datin Paduka Sri Rosmah Mansor.

Two and a half–years ago, Dato′ Sri was here to inaugurate the Generasi Baru programme, when he spoke to encourage the pioneer group of FELDA students to work hard, to do well, to complete their studies.

Today, he is back to witness the graduation of these students.

This is a poignant occasion, a historic day for us all on this campus, especially our FELDA graduands and their parents.

On behalf of all, I express my deepest gratitude to the Deputy Prime Minister for this moment that he has given us.

Dato′ Sri will be very pleased to know that all 416 graduands taking part in today′s ceremony have qualified to move on to the next level, to complete their degree studies. It is my hope that they will be given the opportunity to do just that.

May I now extend my heartiest congratulations to all who are graduating today. You have worked hard, you have done well, you ought to be proud of yourselves.

You now join the many Limkokwing graduates who are making important contributions in this and many other countries around the world.

I must also extend my warmest congratulations to all parents who have joined us today. You are the true heroes of this occasion. If not for you, we will not have this occasion to celebrate.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today we pay tribute to an honoured citizen of this country.

I feel deeply privileged to be here when this university confers upon Yang Amat Berhormat Dato′ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak the Honorary Doctorate of Social Transformation.

It was the visionary leadership of our 2nd Prime Minister, the late Tun Abdul Razak who created the FELDA programme some 50 years ago.

That FELDA has grown into a world renowned conglomerate can be easily attributed to the unwavering leadership and enormous efforts that Dato′ Sri Najib has made.

While the late Tun Razak′s effort had succeeded in eradicating poverty faced by the first generation of FELDA settlers.

Dato′ Sri Najib is moving FELDA′s second and third generations into the 21st century, setting new goals and mapping out new directions in response to opportunities and challenges brought on by globalization as well as the social and economic development of this nation.

He has introduced strategies to develop the rural heartland into economic growth centres. He is affecting social trans–formation by creating a new middle class. He is empowering those in villages to venture into business and enterprise instead of being dependent on commodities.

During his term as Education Minister, Dato′ Sri made ground–breaking changes that have resulted in Malaysia becoming a major destination for transnational education.

Dato′ Sri Najib is passionate about cultivating a new generation of thinkers and doers who are well equipped with new skills and new knowledge, and well–armed with new technology and creative capabilities that are essential for transformation of the rural landscape.

We are thankful for the trust he has placed in us, and the committed support he has extended to us in the implementation of the Generasi Baru programme.

We are pleased to have created a new vision capacity building programme which is firmly anchored on the transformational objectives of Vision 2020 and the inspirational goal of creating new career opportunities that will eradicate economic disparities.

We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the building of human capital that is pivotal to bringing about innovation in rural economy and essential for societal transformation throughout the country.

Dato′ Sri will be happy to note that we have taken steps to ensure Generasi Baru graduates are further empowered through the several accelerator units we have established on campus. These units are connected with a wide range of creative services – from music design to internet content, from film and television to broadcasting and web–hosting, from packaging to brand–building, and from animation to high–street fashion – to ensure that they have the skills to not only meet industry expectations but surpass industry standards.

Today, a number of our industry partners are present to demonstrate their support for FELDA and our Generasi Baru graduates. I am most grateful to them.

Class of 2007, for some of us, this may be the last time that we are gathered together in this hall.

So before you move on, let me use this occasion to share with you some thoughts I have about the future.

As we know it, future refers to the period of time that will come after the present, and the things that will happen during that time.

In other words, it refers to the years of time that you now have ownership of. What you do with it now will determine what you will get out of it later.

That simply means what you will be tomorrow depends on what you do today. If you wish to build a great future, you should have it planned, have it designed and have it built. If you don′t do it, it just won′t get done.

The future has always been and will always be defined by the power of creativity and drive for innovation.

In this fast changing world, nothing stays the same for more than a year; many things do not stay the same for more than a month.

What used to take years to complete can now be done in a matter of hours.

The computer that used to take up the entire floor space of this hall is now simply referred to as a notebook – so light you can lift it with two fingers, so small you can drop it into your handbag. Soon it will be so tiny you can fold it into your wallet, but so powerful, it will be a hundred times faster and with memories a thousand times larger.

In the near future, computers will replace human on complex assignments and the internet will be home to a completely new virtual business world.

Blogging that used to be just a means to stay in touch with friends is now a means to influence millions across the country and around the world.

Incidentally, our university website receives 4 million hits from 190 countries every month, making this Malaysian university one of the most popular education sites in the world.

In the near future, doctors will be able to extend human life to 150 years and beyond simply by replacing organs that are not working too well.

What seems impossible today will always be made possible tomorrow.

The future will always be defined by people with the passion and the drive to push beyond borders and beyond boundaries; by people who will move mountains if the mountains are getting in the way.

These are people who will not simply take things as they are; who will never take the easy way out. In not doing ordinary things, they achieve extra–ordinary success. In doing what they do, they transform nations and influence the way of life of millions across the world.

The future is always about change. What does not change is the fact that it will always be about making changes that seem impossible today.

The future is now in your hands. Use it well and you will soon be doing things that seem simply impossible now.

Class of 2007, as you move forward, you will look back and remember the many who have shown you support over the years – people who were always there to build you up whenever you were feeling down, to push you forward whenever you were falling behind – these are your instructors, your classmates, your friends, your brothers and sisters. You will remember them well and to them you will always show gratitude.

Most of all, you will never forget the unwavering love and support, the never–ending patience and caring of your parents. You know what enormous sacrifices they must have made just so you may have the secured opportunity to plan and build your own future.

To them you will forever show love and affection.

Class of 2007, as graduates of this university, you are expected to stand out and above the rest. You have a reputation to live up to and that I know you will. You must uphold at all times the good name of this university. You will be exemplary citizens and you will contribute selflessly to society and the well being of your country.

On that note and on behalf of all of us, I bid you farewell.

May this journey that you have started with us take you to the top of your world, may your future be one of endless success stories.

Just you remember, it does not matter how far away you will be from us, this will always be your home. We will always be with you. You will always be a part of us. And I hope we will always be a part of you.