Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has advised undergraduates to look beyond geographical boundaries.
“Malaysia cannot afford to be divorced from the affairs of the world because our country’s economy depends heavily on international trade,” he said at the Rise and Aspire with Khairy event at UCSI University.
In his Youth Beyond Boundaries talk, Khairy cited the Malacca Sultanate which was renowned as an international trading place which attracted merchants from distant countries.
A more contemporary example would be the Asean summit in Kuala Lumpur.
“You will have heard of the Asean Community (AC) which will potentially connect 600 million people throughout South-East Asia.
“With the AC, we are looking at the creation of a huge market, one with a free flow of skills and goods throughout the region,” he said at the talk organised by student club U-Schos.
Also present were UCSI Group founder and chairman Datuk Peter Ng, UCSI University Trust Chairman Datuk Dr Mohd Karim Abdullah Omar, UCSI vice-chancellor and president Prof Datuk Dr Khalid Yusoff as well as U-Schos president Bernard Chin.
The audience also comprised students and faculty members from 30 institutions of higher education.
Khairy also cited some examples of the challenges he faced as a minister including the need to set clear targets in life.
In line with this, he has set a goal for the national team to qualify for the U-17 World Cup in 2019.
Khairy also brought up the fact that only 40% of Malaysians exercise regularly or a minimum of three times a week.
“It is no wonder then that we have a difficult time looking for the next Nicol David, Lee Chong Wei or Pandelela Rinong.”
He also engaged in a Q&A session with students and moderators.
UCSI Engineering, Technology and Built Environment Faculty dean Ir Assoc Prof Dr Jimmy Mok said the talk had inspired him.
“Being a leader myself, I constantly seek ways to improve my skills,” he said.
U-Schos programme team director Chee An Yong said it was a coup getting Khairy to speak and added the club had also taken part in several environmental initiatives such as the Earthship programme by Build for Tomorrow.
The Rise and Aspire talk was part of the Rise Up with Leaders Series aimed at inculcating strong leadership values among young leaders in UCSI University and Malaysia.
Previous speakers included AirAsia Bhd chief executive officer Aireen Omar, Chatime Malaysia chief executive officer Bryan Loo and Nicol David.