Wednesday, December 12, 2007

talismans of high intellectual standards....

I was updating my CV and came across some old conference papers, keynote addresses that I had contributed (in crafting...heheh) for quite a few important people over the last 20 years, at least. This particular one was interesting and unique. Two people drafted it and the challenge was in converging the ideas and the messages behind it...heehee. It was a citation, acceptance speech sort of, like a public lecture of sorts, in conjunction with the Conferment of the Degree of Laws (honoris causa) by the University of Wales, at Lampeter on Thursday, 6th April, 1995 at 7.00 PM, in the Seddon Room, Old College, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.... here's the part that I contributed...heheh (the last 2 pages):

....Like Professor (now Lord) Morgan, I felt then as soon as I got here, as I certainly feel now, that this mood of pessimism, some of it deliberate, was absurd, that Aberystwyth had a very strong future, a very strong future indeed, stronger even than its past. The university has been audited and assessed to death, but not once have been found wanting; their administration, financial and other management has always been found to be impeccable in spite of the vagaries of government policy and an uncertain funding context. Well, universities, have had their problems too, problems of funding, problems about graduate employment. I should know pretty well, especially in our own country, as I sit in the University of Malaya Council and Chairman of the Finance Committee as well.
I note in the Principal's address that one or two new universities in the UK have not always been models in their academic or financial or managerial activities and yet on the whole, british universities have gone against the trend, so it seems. I cannot help but agree with Professor Morgan that the University of Wales, Aberystwyth has maintained public esteem, maintained her presence and has remained honoured across the world as talismans of high quality and of high intellectual and cultural standards. it is, above all a tribute to the quality of the people within them, to the way in which they operate the cannons of civilisation in which they believe.
Universities are special, universities are the unacknowledged legislators of humankind. They have the potential and the energy to be change agents. The University of Wales at Aberystwyth is a precious jewel in this crown and her contributions to the development of Malaysia thoughout its recent history will line the pages of our history books.....

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