Wednesday, November 25, 2009

His Excellency President of Bosnia Herzegovina Dr. Haris Silajdzic

11 NOVEMBER 2009

(Mesyuarat dimulakanpadajam 3:37 petang)

[Tuan Speaker mempengerusikan Mesyuarat]

Tuan Speaker: Bismillahirahmanirrahim, Honourable Members, today we are indeed pleased and truly privileged to have His Excellency, President Dr. Haris Silajdzic of Bosnia Herzegovina to address this august House.

The august House is humbled yet greatly honoured to be bestowed with such an accolade. It is indeed a historic event for the State of Sarawak and the State Legislature that a President of a nation delivers his address in this new majestic chamber.

His Excellency Dr. Haris Silajdzic was born on October 1, 1945 in Sarajevo. He received his Degree from the Faculty of Arabic Language and the Islamic Studies in Libya. He obtained his doctorate in International Relations.

His Career as a university professor is as follows:-

He taught Arabic language in the University of Pristina. At the University of Sarajevo he was the professor at the Faculty of Philosophy, the Department of History. At Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, Andrew D. White Professor - at Large, he was the guest lecturer at the universities Harvard and Marryland, Chatham House (the Royal Institute for International Relations, London), Carnegie Foundation, Woodrow Wilson Centre and other universities.

His Political Career is as follows:-

(1) He was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bosnia and
Herzegovina from 1991 to November 1993;
(2) In November 1993 to February 1996 he was the Prime Minister of Bosnia
and Herzegovina;
(3) In December 1996 to February 2000 he was the Co-Chairman of the
Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina; and
(4) He was the founder and the President of the Party for Bosnia and

Honourable Members, please join me in giving a very warm welcome to his Excellency, President Dr. Haris Silajdzic. (Applause)

I shall now, invite His Excellency President Dr. Haris Silajdzic to address the august House.

His Excellency Dr. Haris Silajdzic: Assalamualaikum, good afternoon Honourable Speaker of the House, Dato Sri Mohamad Asfia Awang Nasar, the Right Honourable Pehin Sri Tan Sri Haji Abdul Taib bin Mahmud, Chief Minister of Sarawak, the Honourable Minister and Members of the House, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to thank the Sarawak State Government and the Speaker of this House Dato Sri Mohamad Asfia bin Awang Nasar for allowing me to take this opportunity to address here. The people of the State of Sarawak have extended a warm welcome to both myself and my delegations and for these, I say thank you.

It is a great honour to be able to address Sarawak State Legislative Assembly, the oldest in Malaysia having been established in 1867 and achieving good governance for over 140 years. The leadership of your Chief Minister, Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud, has shown that what visionary leadership in the multi-ethnic diversity culture. This has greatly contributed to your state and enables the state to grow economically making it a major contributor to the growth of Malaysia as a nation.

Ladies and gentlemen, we all know that the friendship must be nurtured and cultivated. To stay relevant and to stay vital, friendship must involve mature. My visit to your state is not just meant for political and diplomatic ties but it is also to build on those foundation strong economic ties. Our nation has taken up to the challenge of rebuilding. Much of these we have accomplish and the rebuilding has taken us along a path where we will be joining the greater community of the European Union. But before this is finalized, we want to offer our Malaysian friends opportunities in Bosnia Herzegovina which we were also be advantage to this nation because we hold this nation in high esteem. This nation should beside us when we needed friends and that was in those time when Bosnia Herzegovina was attacked unfortunately by its neighbor from 1992 to 1995.

Let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen that today, Bosnia has signed many agreements, but let me draw your attention that perhaps most important things we are as signatory to the stabilization and association agreement to the European Union which has set us on the path of full membership in the European Union. Politically, this means that we will become a member of the European Union. Economically, this means that goods produced in Bosnia have access to the European Union without tariffs, without quotas and without custom duties. This means that we can offer to our Malaysian friends to utilized Bosnia's unique position as a gateway to the markets of greater Europe. Of course, any policy, ladies and gentlemen, that is going to be effective needs to be a win-win situation for both countries.

Malaysia is at the heart of the South East Asia and likewise Bosnia is in the heart of South East Europe. Societies in this part of the world also have mixed population compositions so these are the similarities. Let me now congratulate the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib bin Razak, for the implementation on the first sightedness' of his One Malaysia policies. This policy takes advantage of the ethnic diversity of the Malaysian population and makes it a positive force for development. This policy put people and performance at the priority of the national developments agenda. Malaysia has a tradition of development document capital and not only development of Malaysia's on human capital. It is the Malaysian's educational experience that is helping to create the future leaders of Bosnia Herzegovina. Let me quote the Prime Minister here: "Just as we depend on each other to create a strong and united Malaysia so, in this interconnected •world, every country depends on each other to create a prosperous and harmonious place" that we believe should also be the foundation of our policies in Bosnia Herzegovina too. Members of Parliament, I am pleased to note that there is economic progress generated to the recent Malaysia's Global Business Forum which finished earlier today. Malaysia's Global Business Forum have lift up to his goal so creating tangible business result between the countries, two countries and in this respect and acting as a catalyst for future trade investment. Education and the development of the human capital is an area where Bosnia Herzegovina and Malaysia need to further develop their relationship.

Malaysia has realized that investment into human capital. Malaysia has also invested into Bosnia Herzegovina human capital and its reaping the rewards now. To this date, close to 300 Bosnians have graduated from Malaysian universities. Many of them have risen to high level post in our country. Notably, out of this group I have appointed four ambassadors including the current ambassador to Malaysia and also I understand from the message that I received from His Majesty, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, Yang Di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia that this is the first foreign graduate to return to Malaysia as an appointed ambassador. So we are happy to make history here, in Malaysia at least diplomatic history. Also, I would like to see more Bosnians studying in Malaysia and Sarawak also, and alternatively Malaysians studying in Bosnia Herzegovina are welcomed. Education, especially international education opens our minds and those for future economic development. Economically, I believe that there are many areas where Bosnia Herzegovina and Sarawak can continue to move forward together. We can especially collaborate in the area of energy. Bosnia is the only country in South East Europe that export energy and it is my understanding that Sarawak's ambitions are to become next exporter of energy. There is much to be learned by both sides. In Bosnia Herzegovina, it is mainly hydro potential but there also thermal potential in Bosnia Herzegovina. We would also like to look at the Halal Food Sector; the largest Halal Park in the world will be in Sarawak. The largest Halal Park in Europe, we hope, Insya-Allah will be in Bosnia Herzegovina and we can work on this together. There is a need to develop close cooperation and I am pleased to note that the Memorandum of Understanding we signed today, at the Malaysian Global Business Forum so this affect and both Chief Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and myself were present.

You might need to know that Bosnia Herzegovina had the most stable currency in South East Europe and has a strong banking sector and we would like to see more participation from Malaysian and the Bosnian Syariah compliance financial services sector to complement the existing participation from the Middle East. We there have a bank established by the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah for some years now.

Our Transport Minister recently travelled to Kuala Lumpur to sign the air services agreement between Malaysia and Bosnia. This of course needs to be followed-up and we will be delighted to see that either your national carrier or some new local carrier would look into the feasibility of having direct flight between our countries.

Cultural exchanges should also be in the agenda. The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, has a strong music in our sector. Each year we have both a Worldly Renounce Film Festival and a Jazz Festival. I am also told that the Jazz Festival is present here and we should also look into synergies in these areas if possible. So, Tuan Speaker, Honorable Members of Parliament, and my friends we would need to develop what we have started here. This relation, the relation between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Malaysia were forge during the most difficult of time of Bosnia and Herzegovina especially between 1992 and 1995 and this relation was establish by the late President of Bosnia and Herzegovina, name Ayatollah Ali and Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. Let me tell you that the Bosnia and Herzegovina was attacked exactly because it is a multi racial country. Historically, it is a multi ethnic land, for hundreds of years, people of different religions not so much on ethnic background but of different religions live there, and that is the similarity to Malaysia. We happen to believe or if you like, I happen to believe that difference cultures can serve each other as a mirror. So can you see yourself in the different culture and I happen to believe that in the spiral of time this culture meets and reach and nobly each other. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Malaysia are models of globalization that will come tomorrow, the positive globalization because there are models of people living together. It is difficult to dealing of these ages of different cultures. It is not easy that these two countries have undertaken, this is a difficult job and that is why it should be respected and there is no globalization if countries like this, if societies like this do not succeed because this is the fore runners, the models of globalization. But that is an ongoing fight. In Bosnia Herzegovina, in global time, in global peace time there was no war in between 1992-1995, no global war. We were attacked because we have people in our neighborhood unfortunately would believe in something else. They believed in fancies, in visas, walls, they believe in ethnic purity whatever that means and that is exactly contradicts to what we believe and so what would you expect that those attack would have been stopped by wise, world leadership at that time, some of them tried but some of them also, encourage the rational unfortunately. Thinking that multi races, multi culture to them especially if it contains Muslim is as what they said, I am not sure. It is a case even today we have, we have this example today. So. when I said this we are model, of a model of globalize society tomorrow, it is not one culture but culture co-existing, I mean a global society with no domination of one over another but co-existence with another. That is what I believe in and that is the only way this globalization can succeed, if not we have a big problem. That is why this co¬existence, this model must be encouraged, must be supported in wide, and those society are actually demonstrating that yes we need development, yes we need big stores, yes we need big car, yes we need development of all kinds.

We also need to remain human and before I come here into this Chamber I had an opportunity to chat with the Chief Minister and the Mr. Speaker here about change, the phenomena of change. And I was really impressed by all they had to say about change and continuity or continuity and change and I am very much interested in the phenomena of accelerating change because I believe the change itself has changed because of its capacity to go quicker and quicker of the acceleration. So since we cannot be accelerate change because of the technological innovations and we are compelled to try to keep some values not to forget about the man, not to forget about our differences, not to forget about respect towards each other even though we are accelerating beyond recognition. And those values will keep the order in place we use cheap not the other way around. Those values are even more important as we had thoughts the future and community like Malaysia, and community like Bosnia Herzegovina are the example how to do this. How do I know that Malaysian Society is the Society of Values? It's because it was tested during difficult time for Bosnia and despite this geographic distance we found people here ready to help the refugees from the other part of the world. Those are the values. Human are humane to each other. And that is why I say my friends I am here today to thank you very much because you bestowed this honour on me to come to this chamber, beautiful building to address you and to thank you for what you did for Bosnia Herzegovina, for your sacrifices when we needed it and when we are alone. So thank you very much for receiving me. Thank you very much for listening to me and God bless you and salam from Bosnia Herzegovina, salam to Malaysia, salam to Satu Malaysia. Thank you.

Tuan Speaker: Your Excellency Mr. President, the House places on record its deep appreciation of your most gracious address. We look forward to a closer rapport and relationship between Bosnia Herzegovina and Malaysia and Sarawak as a state. We hope your close personal relationship with our leaders will further strengthen international, national-state relationship. We look forward to a close pollination and close fertilization of ideas, trade and cultures between your country and our state. Once more, thank you very much. The Dewan now is adjourned for 30 minutes. Thank you.

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