LONDON: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pix) is probably the only world leader given the honour to speak at both the Oxford Union and Cambridge Union forums, said Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman.
Mahathir who had addressed Oxford Union in January this year will deliver a talk entitled “Democracy in Malaysia and Southeast Asia” at the Cambridge Union forum at Cambridge University this evening.
“It will be a historic day, Tun will speak at the Cambridge Union representing the Malaysian leadership and Asean. There is nothing stopping Tun Dr Mahathir from speaking his mind but he is still invited to speak at the Cambridge Union,” he said.
Both unions are debating societies with the members coming from the respective prestigious universities – Oxford and Cambridge.
Syed Saddiq said this to the Malaysian media while awaiting Mahathir’s arrival at the British Museum to visit the Al Bukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World at the museum in Bloomsbury, here Saturday.
Meanwhile, when asked on the meeting with Malaysian students’ representatives from the United Kingdom and Eire (Ireland) Council (UKEC) earlier on Saturday, Syed Saddiq praised them for their boldness in taking up issues affecting them and Malaysia with the prime minister.
Syed Saddiq, who was present at the closed-door meeting, said UKEC representatives had voiced out their concerns over stagnant wages, limited employment opportunities and the deep divide between the T20 (top 20%) and B40 (bottom 40%) group within the Bumiputera community.
Syafiq Akmal Mohd Hussein, a member of UKEC’s executive council, told the Malaysian media that Mahathir was attentive to their concerns during the meeting.
He said the prime minister wanted them to study hard and bring back the knowledge and good values that they had acquired as they were useful for nation building.
“He provided the Japanese people as an example where hard work and good values are needed in developing a nation,” said the second year Electrical and Electronics engineering student at Imperial College London. — Bernama