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Commonwealth Foundation And Networking

BIM : Building the Nation , Networking through the Commonwealth

BIM was formed with the assistance of the Commonwealth Secretariat and BIM received grants for its operation as from the date of operation. Besides the activities of the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) , the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (MHG) and the Commonwealth Games (CG), there has not been much opportunity for the involvement of individuals to benefit through educational programmes and networking for culture and business. This is in spite of many young Malaysians being educated in many of the Commonwealth countries such as the United Kingdom , Australia, New Zealand , Canada, India, Pakistan, Singapore and China-Hong Kong.

The University of Hull Alumni initiated a programme called the Commonwealth Graduates Convention (CGC) in 2001 working with many alumni of Commonwealth universities , and this was very successful with the then Minister of Tourism “hosting” the Gala Dinner for 600 persons and with DBKL “hosting” the welcome party for 300 persons at the City Hall premises. Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir and Tan Sri Kamaruzzaman Shariff were present. There were also games and some sightseeing. The guests contributed to the cost and the surplus was donated to charity. The event was supposed to be continued at least once every 2 years to be hosted by different alumni but this has not happened.
The University of Hull Alumni in Malaysia decided to re-visit this project and a working committee has been formed participated by the RCS and the British Graduates Association (BGAM) and other alumni. The Prime Minister YAB Dato Seri Najib Abdul Razak has agreed to be the Patron but the date has now been postponed to end April 2012. The PM has yet to confirm his availability. As an addition to the previous CGC , a number of Business Forums were proposed including Education, Finance, Cross border Maritime Issues and Going Green.
The various High Commissions have pledged support and some (more than 10) of the 40 universities in Malaysia have so far responded positively to this proposal.
There is also a proposal to set up the Commonwealth Graduates Association (CGA) of Malaysia and to promote the setting up of CGAs in all the 53 Commonwealth countries.
This can be done at the Commonwealth HOG meetings with the next meeting scheduled for October 2011 in Perth. There is also a proposal for a Business Forum there.
BIM as the umbrella body can get involved as one of the main participants of CGC and CGA and also similar programmes (if organised) with graduates of USA, Europe, China/Taiwan and Russia that have degrees recognised by the Government of Malaysia, starting with the Commonwealth
As Chair of CGC, as Past President of the Hull Alumni, and now as President of BIM I can facilitate discussions on the sharing of the surplus /deficit with the University of Hull Alumni. This will however require the agreement and support of the BIM EXCO and the endorsement of the Board of Management. By promoting the setting up of CGA, BIM would also be promoting professionalism. Through involvement in the CGC, there is the prospect of a surplus which could be shared.

The Commonwealth Foundation (CF) and Formation of Commonwealth Graduates Association (CGA) and Commonwealth Graduates Convention (CGC).

BIM Secretariat has touched base with Commonwealth Foundation in London. We are actively looking at some initiatives with CF and exploring possibilities of soliciting for grants where BIM is eligible.

President Sr. John Loh announced the initiative to start a Commonwealth Graduates Association and a Commonwealth Graduates Convention the latter being scheduled for June 2012 with our Patron YAB Datuk Seri Najib and wife are expected to grace the gala dinner.