CHIEF MINISTER Y.A.B. DATUK SERI PANGLIMA MUSA HAJI AMANíS SPEECH AT THE SHELL EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2012 CEREMONY AT GRAND BALLROOM 1, MAGELLAN SUTERA, SUTERA HARBOUR RESORT ON 21ST JUNE 2012
I am honoured to join you here today and to present the Shell Educational Excellence Awards 2012. To all recipients, their families and teachers, I congratulate you on a job well done. Indeed, education is key to the growth of the nation and an educated work force will propel Malaysia to new heights and allow us to remain competitive in the highly globalised world that we live in today.
Shellís efforts in providing scholarships and bursary awards is commendable, and serves as a good example of how the private sector can effectively support Malaysiaís human capital requirements. This commitment, along with Shellís role in economic development, contributes to Malaysiaís progress. The positive impacts of your role is also felt in Sabah, and on behalf of the people, I thank Shell for strengthening human capital development in the state.
By 2020, Malaysia aims to become a high income nation, and the path towards this is driven by timely initiatives including the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and the National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs). Due to its impact on productivity and human capital development, education is one of the most critical drivers for the nationís transformation from middle to high income. In achieving this goal, the public and private sectors can no longer afford to work apart, as stated in the Education component of the NKEA. Instead, both must come together through innovative public-private partnership models to jointly meet the nationís growth targets.
Today, we have a growing number of young graduates, a fact made possible through scholarships, loans and other forms of aid provided by government and the private sector. We must continue to nurture and support school leavers who are keen to pursue their tertiary education, and who will through knowledge and qualifications drive the nationís further transformation in future.
We also must provide support and encourage students from poor families to stay in school, and break the cycle of poverty that their families are in. Education opportunities for all citizens will help ensure the gap between rural and urban areas is narrowed. We look forward to see more players in the private sector generously contribute funds to enable more students to achieve their full academic potentials.
I take note of the continuation of scholarships for disabled students, and I applaud you for this commitment as no one deserves to be left out of gaining an education due to disadvantages that they face. Education is an important leverage, and the scholarships and bursaries given out today will change the lives of recipients for the better.
Apart from funding and education opportunities, collaboration between industry and the academia is essential in ensuring what is taught at schools and higher institutes of education is dynamic and relevant to the needs of the country. This will enable us to create skilled graduates who are well sought after in the labour market.
I wish to take this opportunity to encourage award recipients to work hard in your studies, and to strive for excellence in all that you do. Education is the best tool to set you off on the rest of your journey, and will enable you to compete effectively with the rest of the world, as education will empower you. To all scholarship and bursary award recipients, I congratulate you and I wish you well in your studies.
I also wish to once again commend Shell for its commitment, and I hope more large corporations will emulate what you do for the development of education in Sabah. On this note, I am pleased to officiate the Shell Educational Excellence Awards 2012 and to shortly present bursaries and scholarships.