Education strengthens ties between NZ, Malaysia, says Governor-General

The Governor-General of New Zealand, Dame Cindy Kiro (centre) greets students during a visit to Kolej Yayasan Saad (KYS) in Ayer Keroh, on Tuesday. - Bernama

MELAKA: Education has become one of the bridges that tie relations between New Zealand and Malaysia, says New Zealand Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro.

Kiro said the relations began in the early 1940s when the New Zealand Defence Force supported Malaysia's defence during the Emergency and then the Konfrontasi, before Malaysian students started going to New Zealand under the Colombo Plan in the early 1950s.

"These alumni returned to Malaysia, taking up positions in business, science, government and academia. They have contributed in significant ways to building personal ties between our two countries," she said in her speech during a luncheon at Kolej Yayasan Saad in Ayer Keroh here Tuesday (Oct 3).

Also present were her husband Dr Richard Davies, state Rural Development, Agriculture and Food Security Committee chairman Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh, Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh, New Zealand High Commissioner to Malaysia Pam Dunn, Malaysian High Commissioner to New Zealand Mazita Marzuki, KYS Education Group founder Tan Sri Halim Saad and KYS Business School president Datuk Kamaruddin Awang.

Kiro said Malaysia continued to be a top source of international students for New Zealand, including those on Malaysian government scholarships.

Kiro said she was not from a wealthy family and education had changed her life and opened up many opportunities.

"Education has proved to be an important stepping stone for me, opening the door for so many opportunities, and I do just want to point out that although my PhD was in social policy, my Master's was in business.

"I understand that some of you might have come from difficult situations but whatever your background, I encourage you to make the most of your time here," said Kiro, who was the first from her family to go to university.

She stressed the importance of maintaining good relations between the two governments, adding that visits by professionals would make the link much stronger.

Kiro arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday (Oct 1) for her maiden visit to Malaysia and the South-East Asian region after assuming office on Oct 21, 2021.

The state visit to Malaysia is at the invitation of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah. - Bernama

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