CYBERJAYA (Dec 14): The Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (CUCMS) today conferred an honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration on Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, the former International Trade and Industry Minister.
The award is in recognition of Rafidah's passion, commitment and dedication as Malaysia's longest-serving International Trade and Industry Minister.
CUCMS pro-chancellor Tan Sri Dr R Palan presented the award to Rafidah at a special convocation at the university.
In her acceptance speech, Rafidah, who is AirAsia X Berhad chairman, said she felt proud and was grateful for the award which recognised her contribution to the country's economy and development even after her retirement.
"This feels so good and it has touched my heart. I always wanted to be remembered, cherished and treasured as someone who has helped the country to move forward. I am not a person able to do anything all by myself in my position then. To achieve the success, I had a very dedicated team, thinking on the same level of passion and commitment with me to accomplish my tasks," she said.
Speaking to reporters later, Rafidah also called on the relevant authorities to include a comprehensive message on national unity, and social and cultural integration in the education system which, she said, is essential in maintaining a harmonious and functional society.
"Education cuts across all spectrums of society. The integration part is missing from our education system. That is why today we see the result that people don't see themselves totally as Malaysians. They use race and religion to divide themselves in the political game and self-interest.
"So, it is time for the education system to have inputs and talks about integration and social culture that will provide resilience for the country in the future. We must not make education a 'political bolasepak takraw'," she said.
On the country's economy, Rafidah, who is popularly known as the 'Iron Lady', said foreign investors see they have hope and opportunities in Malaysia under the new Pakatan Harapan government.
"That is an indication there is a change that investors don't have to be cautious and wary. That is the expectation of both local and foreign investors. So, the government must make sure all decision-making processes and procedures are in line with those expectations.
"There should not be delays, bureaucratic red tape and nonsensical demands and criteria in front of investors. For example, everyone in the world is providing A B C D to attract investors, but we (Malaysia) can only provide A B C to attract them. Well, good luck to you then," she said.