Limkokwing University Graduation 2013

Address by Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Paduka Dr Limkokwing at Graduation Ceremony Kuala Lumpur, December 19th 2013
19 December 2013

Her Royal Highness Sultanah of Pahang, Sultanah Hajjah Dr Kalsom, our Chancellor

The Right Honourable Datuk Seri Haji Idris bin Haji Haron, the Chief Minister of Melaka and the Honourable Datin Seri Fadhilah Binti Abdullah, wife of the Chief Minister

Honourable Dr Yahya Al-Shaibi, the Minister of Education, Yemen

Honourable Dr Minkailu Bah, the Minister of Education, Science & Technology, Sierra Leone

Honourable Dato’ Farah Khan, President of Melium Group

Your Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners, Distinguished guests

Graduating Class of 2013, parents of our graduands

Ladies and Gentlemen,

With the permission of Her Royal Highness Sultanah Pahang, the Chancellor, I will now begin my address.

First of all, may I warmly welcome and thank each and every one for being here to share in this occasion. We feel deeply privileged that you have set aside time to be with us.

Many of the parents seated in this hall have come from far across the world to be here to celebrate the graduation of your loved ones. I wish you a most pleasant stay in the country and a safe journey when you return home.

Her Royal Highness,

Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

This University has a well-established tradition of conferring Honorary Doctorates upon leaders of great stature from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds.

This is evidenced by the fact that our list of enrolled Honorary Doctorate holders include Dr Nelson Mandela, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Dato’ Sri Dr Mohamed Najib Tun Abdul Razak, His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Pahang and His Majesty, the King of Swaziland.

Today we recognize the outstanding accomplishments of two outstanding Malaysians. The Chief Minister of Melaka, Yang Amat Berhormat Datuk Seri Haji Idris bin Haji Haron and the Founder President of Melium Group, Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Farah Khan.

The Chief Minister is a young man of immense promise and endless energy. He brings new thinking to old style politics. To me he is a most accomplished acrobat because he is able to balance the demands of the rural constituents with an urban flair. And he cuts across gender barriers with great ease. That’s to put it mildly.

Completely new media-savvy and open to new ideas. But he still holds tight to traditions and age-old customs of his people.

At home, Datuk Seri Idris Haron is building bridges to strengthen cohesion between the various communities.

Across the world, he is building bridges of friendship for his country.

Today, for his game-changing leadership and visionary dedication to youth empowerment, we take pride in bestowing upon him the Honorary Doctorate Degree in Youth Development.

This year, for the first time we have singled out an outstanding entrepreneur to recognize and to pay tribute to. This is a woman who leads in a man’s world. She tells them what they should wear as well as what sells in the stock market.

Dato’ Farah Khan is a good friend, someone I admire for her business intelligence that goes hand in hand with her unbeatable courage. She is a petite woman, about half my size but her footprints are so huge on the global arena that I am sure you can see them from the moon.

Today we recognize this immensely talented and inspiring person with the Honorary Doctorate Degree in Global Entrepreneurship.

With the permission of Her Royal Highness I will now address our students who are graduating today.

Class of 2013,

You’re the reason for my getting up very early this morning. Congratulations to everyone of you! We have made it!

You now join the many Limkokwing alumni who are making an impact in more than a hundred and fifty countries across the world. You know you are among the best trained and most talented in the world today.

I know many of you will soon be leaving this campus, which has been your home for the past few years, to return to your home countries.

I take comfort in knowing that you will bring with you happy memories of the time you have spent here, the many friends you have made, the languages you have learnt, the classmates who have become your closest friends.

Class of 2013,

On behalf of everyone, I thank you for the pounding energy you have brought to this campus, the incredible vibrancy you have brought to this university.

In your time with us, you have won awards and broken records. Online, on-stage, on-screen and on the pitch, you have won the hearts of many. You have become role models to many in and out of this country.

The fund-raising and cultural events, the full-house fashion and lifestyle events that only you could have organized.

You are not only the brightest, you are known to be the hottest in the country.

You have no idea how proud we are of you and what you have achieved. And how much we will miss the enormous creative energy you have brought to us.

With your departure, this place will never be the same again. You will be so badly missed.

Her Royal Highness,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

But there can be no doubt the proudest people here must be the parents. I congratulate and thank you for being here. If not for you, we will not be celebrating today.

I know you will recall clearly the day when your children left home to begin school on their own.

That may seem like just yesterday, but it would have been some fifteen years or more. On their own, away from home, your babies have come a long way to graduate today.

I want to thank you for allowing us to share in that journey. I also want to tell you that your children have worked hard to be here today. Because we have not made it easy for them, you should be so proud of them.

Class of 2013,

You are coming of age at a time when the world is going through its most dramatic transformation.

Things that have always been considered science fictions are becoming normal day-to-day part of our lives.

The future is always where the impossible becomes possible.

Soon, with the help of brain implants, you can surf the web with just the power of your thoughts.

Soon, online passwords will be obsolete, replaced by bio-metrics as part of our bodies become keys to getting online.

Soon, damaged body parts can be simply replaced to enable you to live for as long as you like.

Soon, those who decide to completely change their appearance may go for a head transplant.

Soon, cars will be designed to enable the blind to drive (Those extremely bad in parking will be able to park without even looking.)

And soon enough, classrooms will be largely replaced by smartphones. (That doesn’t mean you can get up late everyday.)

Class of 2013,

You are part of this dramatic transformation. Whatever you do will have an impact on the change that is seen across the world.

Young people have been at the forefront of all recent ground-breaking innovations.

The people who created Facebook, Google and Twitter were no older than you when they started to create those phenomenal online engines.

In creating those giant footprints, they reduced the world to the size of a smartphone. Who would have imagined that the number of text messages sent each day could be larger than the entire population of the world?

In making your own footprints, you too can bring about transformational changes to the future of your countries.

The ability to shape and design the future is now in your hands. In creating new footprints, you are no less capable than anyone else.

Class of 2013,

As you move on, you will remember the people who have lifted you up along the way, those have walked alongside you whenever you needed someone by your side.

These are your classmates and close friends, your brothers and sisters, your lecturers and tutors.

To them you will always show kindness and gratitude.

Most of all, you will forever remember the unwavering love and unquestioning support of your parents. You know how much they will sacrifice just so you may succeed. You know how far they will go just to keep you close.

Upon your irreplaceable parents, you will forever shower love and affection.

Class of 2013,

May this journey that you have started with us take you to the tops of your worlds, and to the most exciting places in the world.

Just you remember, no matter how far away you may be from us, we will be right here applauding your every achievement. You will always be a part of us – this will always be your home.

On that note, and on behalf of all of us, I bid you farewell. You go knowing you have only our best wishes.

Now it’s your time to roar!