Management and Science University (MSU) welcomed the Canadian High Commissioner in Malaysia on campus recently to the MSU President Lecture Series. Her Excellency Julia Bentley lectured on ‘Canada-Malaysia partnership’.
With its landmass stretching from the continent of the United States to the Arctic Circle, the second-largest country in the world boasts incredible geography; which includes national parks that are bigger than many countries, and wildlife such as polar bears, moose, whales, beavers, and seals. Its coastline touches three oceans – the Atlantic, the Pacific, as well as the Arctic. Its five great lakes shared with the US make for the world’s largest freshwater lakes. It has more lakes than the rest of the world combined – almost two million in total, holding an estimated fourteen percent of the world’s freshwater and set to become increasingly strategic as climate change accelerates.
Like in Malaysia, Canada’s forestry resources contribute significantly to the national economy as Canadian reserves make up ten percent of the world’s forests. But whilst rainforests are considered tropical in Malaysia, Canada’s rainforests on the Pacific coast are temperate ones characterized by enormous trees such as cedar and fir.
The country being as much a Pacific nation as it is an Atlantic one, Asian-Canadian demographics are central to the national identity. Some sixty percent of Canada’s new immigrants originate from Asia, and five million Canadians claim Asian ancestry.
“Our country was built by immigrants from all corners of the world, creating a diverse and tolerant society with roots that extend beyond Canada’s borders,” remarked Her Excellency.
One of the similarities between Canada and Malaysia is that so many people speak several languages. While Canada’s two official languages are French and English, many Canadians also speak a third language. Nineteen percent of Canadians speak more than one language at home, and twenty-one percent have a mother tongue that is neither English nor French.
The diversity is not a challenge to be overcome or a difficulty to be tolerated but a tremendous source of strength. According to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, “Successful not in spite of our differences, but because of them.” Other famous Canadians include performers such as Cirque du Soleil, Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, and Drake; and Colonel Hadfield – the first Canadian astronaut to walk in space and commander of the International Space Station.
Again just like Malaysia, Canada was formed as a federation of thirteen sub-national jurisdictions. One fun fact is that whilst there is a place in Sarawak called Canada Hill, there is also a place in Ontario called Sarawak.
Acknowledging MSU’s strengths in business management, information science, medicine, health, and life sciences, Her Excellency appealed to the scientists and entrepreneurs present in the room, with Canada’s innovative spirit and commitment to excellence – similar ideals shared by MSUrians.
Canadian inventions include the telephone, canola oil, alkaline batteries, medical insulin, the Blackberry mobile device, key-frame animation, iMax movie technology, and the Canadarm – a series of robotic arms – on the international space station.
On that note, MSU looks forward to collaborating with Canada’s talented researchers in driving innovations that improve the quality of life both at home and abroad, transforming lives for a better future.
President Lecture Series (PLS) provides MSUrians with better understanding through in-depth insights shared by invited speakers from around the world. PLS is one amongst the University’s efforts disseminating knowledge within the liberating spaces of critical exploration and creative thought.