Speech of Graduate Representative
Anas Alam Faizli
Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
Dewan Merdeka, PWTC, Kuala Lumpur
12 September 2015 (Saturday) at 8.30 am
Honourable Pro Chancellor Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Azman Hashim
President/Vice-Chancellor Yang Berbahagia Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Anuwar Ali and wife, Yang Berbahagia Puan Sri Eveline Anuwar
Members of the University Board of Directors and Senate
Members of the OUM Community, Beloved Academics
Distinguished Guests, Graduates, Ladies and Gentlemen
Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabakaratuh.
Good morning, and the highest salutations and congratulations to fellow graduates.
1. I would like to begin my speech by thanking Allah SWT as it is through His grace and mercy that we are present here today. Thank you to the OUM family for making this convocation possible.
2. Today marks my second time graduating in the first batch of a postgraduate programme at OUM. The first was the Master of Project Management and the second is the Doctor of Business Administration. Being a part of two different pioneering batches, I have had first-hand experience of how OUM develops and executes programmes tailored to the needs of professionals, academics and the industry. So rewarding was my experience the first time that upon deciding to pursue my doctorate, the choice of institution was obvious. I stand here today, alongside all of you, as testimony to the academic excellence of OUM.
3. When I began my doctorate here, I had very basic and limited exposure to business and economics. I was hungry for business-related knowledge and experience. Over the years, I have grown with the University and have been blessed with many interesting opportunities. I have authored a book, spoken at talks and seminars held by various universities and forums, and even set up an economic think tank.
4. I would say that it is my academic experience which fuelled my desire to pay it forward. It led me to volunteer with Teach for the Needs, a group which provides free tuition for the underprivileged. Looking back, I feel it has been a transformative and fulfilling journey.
5. I believe education is the single most important solution to many of the world’s current economic and social woes. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was reported to have said that seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim. I am sure such wisdom is shared by people of other faiths as well.
6. Higher education is an impetus for establishing a civic-minded society. As a nation, we are currently at a crossroads. Our tertiary education penetration levels are still lacking compared to that of developed nations. Moving forward, the only way to achieve developed nation status is by becoming a knowledge-based society and economy. It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of this condition.
7. Prof Dr Haji Abdul Malik Karim Amrullah, also known as HAMKA, repeatedly wrote in his literary works that life is a struggle. Life is a fight. We cannot choose the challenges and obstacles that we will face in life. However, we can choose what to equip ourselves with, to help us in facing life’s challenges and struggles. Fellow graduates here, including me, have chosen to equip ourselves with an education from OUM and we are proud of our choice.
8. OUM as a university plays a very critical role in promoting continuous learning. Now, everyone can learn regardless of their background and socio-economic status. Its concept of open education is a significant breakthrough in education and must be supported by each one of us who has tasted its success.
9. On the personal side, I am blessed to have the support of my family, and my daughter – my one true inspiration. Allow me to share with you the three guiding principles that my grandfather left me with before he passed away. Firstly, seeking knowledge through education is paramount; secondly, evade hostility with one another and; thirdly, be beneficial to those around you. I believe these three principles inspire you too.
10. We have now earned ourselves a scroll, a piece of paper which will amount to nothing if the experiences garnered along the way are not used for the benefit of society. Embrace and own our achievements. Every one of us here is an intellectual and an agent of change. We are duty bound to provide light and guidance to others where possible. Every one of us needs to rise to the occasion and shoulder this responsibility.
11. If there was one message I would like you to take away from today’s speech, it is – Be the candles that light the way for society. Be a leader for your family, your community, in the workplace and outside. Make your voice heard.
12. Before I end my speech, I wish to thank the University’s Management and particularly, Prof Dr Wardah Mohamad, the Dean of OUM Business School. Special thanks to Yang Berbahagia Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Anuwar, who in my first semester personally penned an appeal note to the Ministry of Higher Education and assisted me in securing my Industrial PhD scholarship. We are fortunate to have such a caring Vice- Chancellor. I thank you, Sir.
13. Finally, on behalf of my fellow graduates, I would like to thank OUM from the bottom of our hearts.
Wabillahhi taufik walhidayah, wassalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
*Speech was delivered as a graduate representative representing 7,506 graduates at the 17th OUM Convocation