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YB DATO’ SAIFUDDIN ABDULLAH
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF MALAYSIA
AT THE 16TH ASIA COOPERATION DIALOGUE
1 MAY 2019
"Partners for Progress"
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.
His Excellency Mr. Chairman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me first express my sincere congratulations and gratitude to His Highness the Emir of Qatar, Your Excellency Mr. Chairman, the Government and the people of Qatar for hosting this meeting and the warm hospitality extended to me and my delegation.
2. I would also like to express our deepest condolences to the people of Sri Lanka, the victims and the families of the tragic terrorist attacks that have taken place over the last few weeks. While we condemn in the strongest term all acts of terrorism, let us also be reminded that we need to strengthen our cooperation in undertaking holistic and comprehensive action and approaches in fighting terrorism.
3. I would also like to welcome the joint communique in welcoming the request from the State of Palestine to be a member of the ACD.
4. After 17 years of our establishment. I think we have done quite a bit, but there are as mentioned by earlier speakers, many more that we can do together.
5. The challenges that Asia and ACD Members are facing are tremendous. On the one hand, we are supposed to be celebrating democracy, but several western democracies are back sliding, while at the same time we see emerging new democracies coming from Asia.
6. On the other hand, globalisation promises equal playing field, but today we are also looking at many discontents within the idea of globalisation and some of our Member States are facing the challenges of protectionism from others and unilateral sanction from other people. It is therefore of utmost importance that we strengthen our solidarity and work together among the ACD Member States.
7. Malaysia is committed to the idea and the philosophy of the ACD and we are committed to strengthening our cooperation especially in the area of economic, trade and business. The partnership should go beyond government-to-government. We should also focus on the partnership and cooperation between business-to-business in the real sense of the word.
8. Cooperation in economic, trade and business must be rules-based. We must avoid lopsided agreements, corruption and any elements of negativity. Cooperation must be based on universal values, for example, integrity and transparency and inclusivity and equality.
9. I agree with my brother from Thailand – Asia has a lot to offer. There are lot of potentials around this table. We must work together to ensure that we can unleash our true talents and our true potentials.
10. As a co-prime mover of the Education and Human Resource Development pillar, we are proud to have pioneered the Asia e University (AeU).
11. The AeU, which is located in Malaysia, is an international university that collaborates with global educational institutions in offering quality, affordable and marketable programmes through e-learning.
12. The AeU is also the main facilitator of the Asian Credit Transfer System (ACTS), which is a mutual accreditation among Asian educational institutions, that encourages greater movement of students among ACD nations, and facilitates greater cooperation in higher education.
13. We have also established an e-Platform for the ACD-University Network (ACD-UN) to promote awareness, sharing of information and best practices on education and research collaboration, to be launched this November at the next ACD-University Network Forum in Japan.
14. And today, the AeU is launching the AeU-ACD Scholar Awards for undergraduate and postgraduate students in ACD Member Countries offering full-time study in the fields of business administration, management, and information and communication technology.
15. We are hopeful that ACD Member Countries will encourage your students to study at the AeU.
16. It is also our hope that beyond admitting and recruiting and producing good graduates from the university, that this is also used as a platform for intellectual discourse and intellectual development among scholars and academia in the ACD Member States.
17. As I mentioned earlier Mr Chairman, we are faced with all kind of challenges. We have a lot of potential but that potential are not automatic. We have to polish it. And one of the ways to polish our potential is by greater exchanges among our intellectuals, among our scholars, among our academia, to show the world that there are better ways to do things, that we can celebrate democracy in the real sense of the word and that we can reap the best of benefit from what that has been promised through globalisation.
18. One truth that people cannot deny is the fact that the centre of gravity of economic growth has moved from the West to the East. From the Atlantic to the Pacific. And from the weaknesses of Europe to the promises of Asia. The time now is for Asia, and the time now is for us in the ACD to work together stronger.