Posted on December 13, 2019

The Honourable Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, Prime Minster of Malaysia received an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from Qatar University (QU) at a special ceremony held at Ibn Khaldoon hall at QU.

In his welcome remark, Dr. Hassan Al Derham, President of Qatar University, said, “It is a great honor to welcome the Honourable Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad in this historical visit that for sure will strengthen the ties between Qatar and Malaysia. At Qatar University we have a great relationship with the educational institutions at Malaysia as we have signed MoUs with five Malaysian universities including, the University of Malaya, the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and the International Islamic University Malaysia. QU has also been working with more than 36 different institutions in Malaysia since 2014 that resulted in 274 research paper and project in different fields. Furthermore, QU has welcomed The Honorable Dato’ Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia who delivered a keynote address to our community in 2018. We look forward through this visit to open the doors to more educational cooperation with your esteem universities.

“We take pride in welcoming a national symbol and a figure of the Islamic World, who have achieved a great deal and was a pioneer in so many fields. As a student, I have followed your work that allowed Malaysia experienced a period of rapid modernization and economic growth and today we witness the success of The Way Forward plans that placed Malaysia in a leading position globally. From a rich academic contribution, that included 16 books and research paper to a long and fruitful political career that led the country to prosperity.

We are honored to award you the Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy and we are grateful for your acceptance and your visit to Qatar University.”

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During his acceptance speech, The Honourable Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, Prime Minster of Malaysia, said, “First of all, let me start by thanking Dr. Hassan Al Derham, the President of Qatar University for his kind words even though I feel that I do not deserve much of them. Nevertheless, let me reciprocate the warmness of that welcome by expressing my deepest thanks and appreciation to Qatar University for conferring on me this Honorary Doctorate. I am humbled by the acknowledgements and it is indeed a great privilege, not only for me but for my wife, the Government and the people of Malaysia as well. I feel truly honoured.

This award that the Qatar University has accorded to me will be remembered as a symbol of the strong bonds between our two countries. As the top university in the country, Qatar University has distinguished itself as the nation’s premier university on many fronts including in the field of Arts and Sciences, Business and Economics, Education, Engineering, Law, Sharia and Islamic Studies. Let me take this opportunity to congratulate Qatar University for this achievement. Malaysia values its friendship with all countries, large or small, irrespective of their systems of government. In return, we only expect mutual respect and regards. We believe in working together towards a conducive environment for global peace, stability, and shared prosperity.

Relations between Malaysia and Qatar had remained warm and friendly throughout the years since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1974. Both countries have consistently worked together to broaden and deepen our existing cooperation. I must say that the relation now is at an all-time high. 

On the multilateral platform, Malaysia and Qatar have cooperated well at various platforms including the United Nations (UN); the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC); and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). We acknowledge the important role of Qatar in these organisations and at the international arena, at large. On the economic front, in 2018, Qatar was Malaysia’s sixth largest export destination and third source of import from the West Asia region. Our trade has increased by 29.3% in 2018 and has shown more improvement this year.

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My official visit to Qatar, a first since my reappointment as Prime Minister in May last year, bears testament to Malaysia’s desire to strengthen the bonds of friendship for the mutual interest of both our countries. I had the opportunity to have an audience with His Highness the Amir of the State of Qatar yesterday, in which we had an extensive and fruitful discussion on bilateral matters. We also exchanged views on regional and international issues.

We are now living in a multipolar world. We are truly interdependent where there is an integration of diversity and creativity among cultures, nations, and economies in the world. National prosperity and security can no longer be secured by any one nation acting in isolation. Today we stand together at the confluence of time. This is the opportune moment to push the envelope of cooperation, collaboration and solidarity further for our mutual benefit. It is my fervent hope that Malaysia and Qatar will continue to maintain these cordial relations that already exist and work towards enhancing closer future relations.

Malaysia and Qatar share the same beliefs and commitment with regard to education. Malaysia believes that the pursuit of education is a lifelong process and it is the right of every individual to have access to education. Therefore, I am pleased to have this opportunity to address the students of this University. There is no doubt that the students here today will be the leaders of tomorrow, the next torch bearers of your country and the hope for the future generation. Education enhances one's capability and can be an important determinant in improving one's socio-economic status. I believe universities play a significant role in providing opportunities and support for students to explore new knowledge and realise their potential. To this end, I look forward to see more cooperation and collaboration between Qatar University and the universities in Malaysia.

Before I conclude, I would like to once again thank Qatar University for conferring on me the Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy. I deeply treasure this recognition. I will try my level best, to contribute further to the strengthening of Malaysia-Qatar relations.”

The Prime Minister of Malaysia was welcomed by Dr. Hassan bin Rashid Al Derham, Qatar University President, along with a number of members of the Board of Trustees, Vice-Presidents, Deans of Faculties, Qatar University students, faculty members, and interested members of the general community. This marks the second honorary doctorate awarded by Qatar University after The President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in December 2015.

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