Malaysia’s gift to the world

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GTF 2015 welcomed some 3,000 delegates representing 70 countries and featuring well-known, world-class speakers from across the globe.GTF 2015 welcomed some 3,000 delegates representing 70 countries and featuring well-known, world-class speakers from across the globe.GTF 2015 welcomed some 3,000 delegates representing 70 countries and featuring well-known, world-class speakers from across the globe.

With approximately 3,000 delegates representing 70 countries and featuring well-known, world-class speakers from across the globe and all the major continents except Antarctica, the inaugural Global Transformation Forum 2015 (GTF2015) was by almost any measure a resounding success.

Organised by the Big Fast Results Institute (BFR-I) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), GTF2015 brought together global experts and business leaders to share the stories of their personal, organisational and national transformations and to brainstorm the way ahead.

During his welcome address, Malaysian PM Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak stressed that the time when closed societies could ignore outside perspectives is over.

PM Najib

PM Najib

“You cannot expect to be ‘seperti katak di bawah tempurung’ (like a frog under a coconut shell); this is not only limiting, but ignores the lessons you might have drawn from other countries,” said the Prime Minister to the packed audience (pic).

He pointed out that Malaysia, as a seafaring nation with nearly 5,000km of coastline, had always looked outside and welcomed visitors from near and far. “We celebrate our diversity as our strength, despite the challenges that come with being a multi-faith, multi-ethnic and multicultural nation. We have a history of managing our differences, and managing them peacefully. This is the Malaysia we celebrate and believe can be an example to others.”

As a result, Malaysia recognises the value of harmonising multiple viewpoints and working together to transform the nation into something greater than the sum of its parts, a viewpoint that the country also uses in its approach to international cooperation.

Citing the recent adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations, which set ambitious targets for more inclusive and equal/equitable growth, and an end to hunger and poverty by 2030, Dato’ Seri Najib stated that achieving those targets on a global basis really would be a noteworthy transformation and further outlined two of the said goals.

“Imagine a world in which all our women and girls were truly empowered and can make the choices and contributions that they wish to. Isn’t that what we want for our sisters and our daughters?

“Imagine a world in which there is water and sanitation for all. It surely shouldn’t be beyond us for everyone to have safe drinking water. Those are just two of the SDGs, and they sound so simple and so achievable; yet, it would be very hard work to accomplish. And that is what this forum is all about.”

GTF2016 Helen Clark

GTF2016 Helen ClarkMeanwhile, delivering the keynote address for GTF2015, former New Zealand PM Helen Clark (pic), Administrator of the UNDP, said that fundamental transformations in the way the world lives, works, and does business would be needed to build the economies and societies of the future.

“Agenda 2030 challenges us to transform for “people” and for “planet”, how we understand and how we strive for “prosperity”, and to travel a road to transformation based on peace, stability, inclusion, and partnerships.”

Helen reiterated the need for global economies that emphasised equal opportunity for all. “Generating inclusive and sustainable growth and shared prosperity requires ensuring that all people – including women, youth, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, and members of minorities of all kinds have access to decent work, social protection, and financial services,” she clarified.

“The good news is that our world has more wealth, more knowledge, and more technologies at its disposal than ever before. The challenges we face are mostly human induced. We can tackle them, but not if we keep doing business as usual and expecting different results,” she concluded.

GTF2015 also featured an exhibition showcasing the various transformative efforts and successes from Malaysia, Tanzania and elsewhere. In addition, there was an effort to create a new Guinness World Record for the most number of people involved in a paint-by-numbers mural of the ‘Tree of Life’, which involved 2,339 forum delegates and visitors from over 60 countries.

The attempt was officially adjudicated by Rob Molloy from the Guinness World Records office, who announced the final result and presented the award to Dato’ Sri Idris during the networking session following the end of the forum.

To see highlights from GTF2015, click here.

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