Keynote Address: “The Power of Volunteering: What Have You Changed?”

by admin / 29 November 2017 / No Comments



22 November 2017 | Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC)



Assalamualaikum WBT, Salam 1Negaraku Malaysia, and to all foreign delegates, Selamat Datang ke Malaysia!


  1. As Minister of Higher Education, Malaysia and Patron of our Yayasan Sukarelawan Siswa (YSS) or Student Volunteers Foundation, I am very pleased and honoured to give this Keynote Address.
  1. Although I am not able to be physically present with all of you distinguished delegates of 15th IAVE Asia-Pacific Regional Youth & Volunteer Conference today, but trust me, my support and that of my Ministry of Higher Education towards this Conference remain high.
  1. I wish to congratulate the organisers for bringing in the first ever international volunteer conference to Malaysia and I hope this Conference would be able to contribute to the continuous growth and interests of volunteering activities and inspire the youths especially among our 1.2 million students of higher education, some of whom are here at this Conference this week.
  1. “The Power of Volunteering: What Have You Changed?” – This is certainly a powerful theme to provoke the thoughts of the impact volunteering has brought to society.
  1. Countless activities done by many youths, institutions, government agencies and NGOs, are now needed to be measured for us to take necessary actions collectively, in improving those volunteer efforts and make changes to the approaches leading to better results, outcome and impact. These measurements and impact must meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals otherwise known as the SDGs or Global Goals.
  1. Today, I will be highlighting two key points which are:
  1. Education and Volunteerism – What Have Malaysia Changed?
  2. Volunteerism as a Means to Achieve the SDGs


  1. For Malaysia, we made sure that “Volunteerism” is highlighted as one of the country’s strategic thrusts as outlined in the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015 – 2025 (Higher Education) – The First Shift relates to producing graduates who are holistic, entrepreneurial and balanced. To unlock this shift, Volunteerism is a key component in making our graduates holistic and balanced.
  1. With over 1.2 million students across 20 Public Universities, 34 Polytechnics, 94 Community Colleges, and over 500 Private Higher Education Institutions, the importance of quality education is without a doubt vital for the nation, BUT more so the quality of graduates whom our institutions churn out.
  1. They must be holistic with a mind for proper qualifications, with a heart and soul to give back to the same society that has moulded them into fine young men and women, our young leaders of today and tomorrow.
  1. They must have the hunger to strive to do better for themselves, their family and for the nation.
  1. Through the notion of ‘Empowerment’, the Ministry of Higher Education has established the Student Volunteers Foundation or Yayasan Sukarelawan Siswa (YSS) in 2012, an organisation tasked to create ‘Global Volunteer Icons and Volunteer Leaders’ and to lead volunteering missions across the country and abroad.
  1. We have empowered the Student Volunteers Foundation (YSS) our 100% entity, to conduct volunteer missions in the ASEAN region, primarily Laos and Vietnam and wherever we see fit.
  1. YSS also helps mobilises students during cases of mass flooding, rural infrastructure restoration works and community engagement such as teaching community children. We support the Capacity Building of our Student Volunteers and Student Leaders and I am proud of the success of our YSS, thus far.
  1. Through government intervention and clarity in our purpose to advance human development by social contributions, volunteerism becomes the ideal culture for us to nurture among our students.
  1. Empowerment needs to be given to administrators to entrust students to make their contributions by volunteering. Recognition should be accorded to deserving students, to create role-models who would inspire our future generations.
  1. The recently launched GAP YEAR PROGRAMME by the Ministry will provide an opportunity for undergraduates to do national service, going into the industry, volunteering, or travel around the world and doing volunteer work. These experiences would be able to develop the students into becoming more mature and holistic.


  1. Through volunteerism, our students are at the grassroots, assisting and dissecting the survival needs of certain communities.
  1. For the Higher Learning Institutions, on the other hand, they will step up the ‘Intellectualising Volunteerism’ by helping to advance research in developing sustainable and viable solutions for communities in need.
  1. This way, volunteers, volunteering organisations and academia will collaborate and contribute to a research-driven volunteerism ecosystem, to find solutions in science, technology, and methodologies to enhance volunteering impact and experiential learning.
  1. Through synergistic collaborations between institutions, industries, government, and entrepreneurs, we can become a driving force to Enable and Empower our students to take volunteerism to a sustainable and enterprising level.
  1. Institutions will therefore contribute tremendous value in the holistic development of our students – the youths. There will be challenges and just as Robert Frost once said, “I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
  1. Finally, the whole ecosystem through integration of Government Ministries, private sector and the educational institutions under our National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) will move forward and contribute to the SDGs or Global Goals. 


  1. Ladies & Gentlemen, In conclusion, let me reiterate my support for the volunteer efforts of students and youths of today especially from the Asia-Pacific region.
  2. I wish you all every success and do learn, interact and be inspired from your experience at this 15th IAVE Asia-Pacific Regional Youth and Volunteer Conference 2017 in Kuala Lumpur so that you may continue to make an impact to society.
  3. Do spend some time to savour the delights of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya!

All the best!

Thank you.





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