The chairman of UTAR
Tun Tan Sri Ling Leong Sik
The President of UTAR
Prof Dr Chuah Han Teik
Members of the press
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very good morning to everyone.
It gives me great pleasure to be here with UTAR’s staff, students, parents, family and friends in celebrating the conferment of degrees to the latest batch of UTAR graduates today.
For the past six years, UTAR has been consistent in producing quality graduates in spite of being a young institution of higher learning. I am sure, the graduates going up the stage today is no exception. On behalf of MCA, I would like to congratulate all the graduating students and their parents on their academic achievement, and we hope that this hallmark of excellence will continue in the years ahead in line with our country’s journey toward becoming a fully developed nation.
To all graduands, today marks a major turning point in your life. You are now embarking on a new journey and will be officially joining the group of UTAR alumni who have earned the reputation of being productive individuals in their employment. They are contributing to large extent to the economic growth of this country.
Being fresh graduates, you will begin a new phase of learning process where all you academics theories are put into practices in a real world where two plus two needs not necessary equals to four. You will discover many things are not thought in the universities and you have to fend yourself without the ready tutorship of your UTAR lecturers. In the process, some of your thinking and values may change. There will be occasions when you may encounter situations where your integrity, patience, personal values and convictions may be challenged.
Some situations may strengthen your character; some will define your nature; and some may have the capacity to knock you down. When faced with situations that test your convictions, stick to the moral values and ethics that you have been taught and inherited - the values and ethics that you have been upholding. Safeguard your integrity. Be also open to the idea that you will be required to learn something new all the time. Take tough situations positively.
Just because you have finished one phase of your formal education doesn’t mean you would not have to open another book. In fact, learning will be something you will do all your life. You can never stop learning if you want to continue to grow. There is a saying that if one stop learning today, he will be uneducated tomorrow.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Lifelong learning is an initiative undertaken by MCA and is one of the party’s main platforms. Lifelong learning is an act of active pursuit of knowledge and philosophy of life which requires constant updating. As much as it will add on to your value either as an employee, a parent, a friend or a family member, lifelong learning allows your lives to be continually improved leading to a balanced physical, mental and spiritual growth.
In addition to that, lifelong learning may assist us to be competitive at the global stage. In this age of advancement, we cannot afford to lag behind other countries. Many countries previously thought to be less competitive are emerging as economic superpowers. Take India and China for examples. The vast number of human capital they can offer is now enhanced by their increasingly superior knowledge in technology and businesses.
Even though we are just a small country, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. We need to be many times more competitive than other countries if we want to be fully developed in 2020 which is only 12 years away. The readiness to embrace continuous lifelong learning, together with the right attitude towards what we want to achieve can be a potent recipe for us to realise and make Vision 2020 a reality.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have been brought up to honour our parents and respect our elders and teachers. Through them, we have been exposed to discipline, integrity, honesty and to care and achieve success.
To the graduands again, your success and presence here is because of your family, your teachers and many others who have supported and guided you. Therefore, in return, you should play your part as a grateful son or daughter or citizen. Be appreciative and show your concern for your family and your community.
I always reckons graduands as the young swiftlets spreading your wings out of the cave that have nurture them since they are hatched. They were initially fed and care for by the parent bird in the safe heaven where food are provided regularly and cold wind is sheltered under the warm wing of their parent. As they begin the flip their wings, they are taught of the technique to dive, to search for food, to avoid danger and to share the taking with the siblings. The initial flying zone is centred around the close proximity of the mother nest where they are well guarded and supervised. When they ready to leave the mother nest, they have to choose a new hunting ground in the wild that is unpredictable, dangerous and full of other unfamiliar birds of other species and the predators. Just like them, your career ahead depends largely on the necessary skills, resilience, adaptability, and independent thinking that you have been taught at this university so that you can fly effortlessly in the hunting zone.
UTAR has indeed taken the responsibility of producing graduates who not only fulfil the needs of the industry, but also are caring and compassionate citizens - graduates who are intellectually capable, socially cooperative, civic-minded and who care for their nation. Graduands, you are the future leaders in the country.
In closing, I thank all of you for your presence here today to witness this memorable occasion.
To the graduands, once again I wish all of you a bright and fulfilling journey in achieving excellence in life. Remember too that your alma mater is always with you should you wish to revisit the mother nest that you once belong.