Universiti Sains Malaysia through its Centre for Alumni Liaison (PPA) has successfully established MyAlumni Council for Kazakhstan in a launching ceremony held at the Hilton Garden Inn, Astana, Kazakhstan on 26 September 2016. The launch was officiated by Dato ' Hidayat Abdul Hamid, Malaysian Ambassador to Kazakhstan. Also present were Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Mat Diah, Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Mrs Anushela Muniandy, Chief Assistant Director, Division of Education, Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE), Mr Jalil Hanib, Director of the Trade Division (Matrade), Puan Norliza Md Zain, Director General of Tourism Malaysia in Kazakhstan, Dr. Ali's son Islam, Director, Malaysia Education Center (MEC), Kazakhstan, members of the MyAlumni Cluster, MoHE and officials from the Malaysian Embassy in Astana and about 50 Malaysian university alumni from Kazakhstan.
This one-day program began with a briefing on the Malaysian Global Outreach by MyAlumni Cluster. This cluster comprised of 12 Directors/Chief of Alumni Center of public and private universities. This was followed by a briefing about the roles of the MyAlumni Council which were made up of Malaysian universities alumni in which nine people have been selected as the Council members. All the alumni also had the opportunities to socialize with the officials from the Malaysian Embassy, Matrade, Tourism Malaysia, Director of MEC in Kazakhstan and officials from Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE).
In his officiating speech, the Director of the PPA, Associate Prof. Dr. Wan Ahmad Jaafar Wan Yahaya explained about the formation of MyAlumni Council, in line with the 2nd Malaysia Education Development Plan (Higher Education) (NHESP 2), namely Malaysia's Global Reach: A New Dimension. The whose aim of NHESP is to develop Malaysia as a hub of international education through Surge 8: Global Excellence, the strengthening of MyAlumni. It is hoped that this initiative will strengthen its presence and brand in the world through 'soft power.' One of the main strategies is to take advantage of the alumni relations for the benefit of students worldwide through the internationalization of the MyAlumni Cluster. The MyAlumni Council in Kazakhstan is the 9th to be established after Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Turkey and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Meanwhile, Dato ' Hidayat Abdul Hamid emphasized the need for this establishment to make all alumni as 'Mini Ambassadors’ for Malaysia whose role is to help expand higher education in Malaysia through MyAlumni. This means promoting higher education in Malaysia, providing linkages and collaboration between the two countries and increases the alumni database of Malaysians in Kazakhstan. The records show that there are 1300 Malaysian alumni in Kazakhstan. Malaysia's Ambassador to Kazakhstan also offers all the facilities and advisory service through the Malaysian Embassy Office to assist the activities of the MyAlumni Council in Kazakhstan.
Invited guests and all alumni were served with a very distinctive Malaysian menu, namely Nasi Lemak prepared by the staff of the Malaysian Embassy. The delegates from Malaysia also attended a welcoming dinner at the home of a Malaysians family, visited and shared experiences with the Alumni Office at Nazarbayev University, observe the production of halal food at a factory owned by a business partners from Malaysia and Kazakhstan and concluded their trip with a visit to the Office of the Malaysian Embassy.
Teks: Prof. Madya Dr. Wan Ahmad Jaafar / Foto: Nur Haziqah Zulkifli