Malaysia: The Diplomacy of Knowledge
November 15, 2011
Governor General joining the blogosphere
In this era of high-speed communication, I want to keep in touch with Canada, regardless of any distance. And so it is with this blog—the first of more to come—that I am joining the ‘blogosphere’. You are invited to follow me on these State visits as I share with you my observations, experiences and memorable moments on this trip.
Our Canadian delegation has set its sights on witnessing Canada’s involvement in Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore. We also have the privilege of meeting with skilled Canadians living and working in these countries. Finally, we are establishing connections with our counterparts and discussing our shared interests in a variety of sectors.
I’m now on my way to Universiti Sains Malaysia to meet with students and staff for a discussion on how universities and the private sector can work in tandem towards a more prosperous future. This is the last stop on the first leg of my State visits to Southeast Asia; the experience to date has been truly extraordinary. I have now been to Asia more than two dozen times in the past 30 years. I am constantly amazed by the dynamism and energy we see here.
I quoted the author George Fallis in one of my speeches to point out how ours is a world driven by the “borderless exchange of ideas.” Education provides us with the unique opportunity to explore beyond the perimeters of our comfort zone, both literally and figuratively. For years, students from Canada and Malaysia have been trading places to see how the other lives, works and studies, creating a steady flow of learning between nations. I am inspired by their enthusiasm and thrilled with the good that comes from this practice.
Over the last few days, the delegates and I have engaged in dynamic conversations with Malaysians from all walks of life: royalty; business leaders; scientists and engineers; and politicians. Their views run the full spectrum, but one common ideal emerged from these discussions: when we achieve the right mixture of expertise, creativity, collaboration and communication, remarkable things can happen.
My visit to Malaysia may be drawing to a close, but there is so much more to come. Vietnam and Singapore are beckoning with promise; I hope you will follow us as we continue the journey.