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Oleh/By		:	DATO' SERI DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD 
Tempat/Venue 	: 	SHANGRI-LA HOTEL, KUALA LUMPUR 
Tarikh/Date 	: 	23/10/89 
Tajuk/Title  	: 	THE DINNER IN HONOUR OF THE 
			COMMONWEALTH HEADS OF DELEGATION 




 Your Majesties;
Your Excellencies;
Secretary-General Ramphal;
Ladies and Gentlemen.
    This has been for Malaysia and for me a momentous week,
a  week  of playing host to the distinguished leaders of the
Commonwealth, who are also leaders of the world.
2.   We  have  tried  our  very  best  to make not only  the
Conference  successful  but  your stay  here comfortable and
memorable. You  have, as  Secretary  General  Ramphal  said,
helped  us  to pre-launch  the 1990  Visit Malaysia Year --
albeit  unintentionally.  We hope you, your spouses, and the
members of  your  delegation,  have  had  a  good experience
during  your stay here.
3.   The Conference itself has been  most  enlightening  for
me.    It will be   another  98 years before I can chair the
Commonwealth Conference again -- and I am not sure whether I
will be the Prime Minister then.  I am afraid my  successors
are not going to like me for stealing this once in a century
opportunity.
4.     We  have  discussed  many  things  which  are  of the
greatest  significance  and  concern to all of  us  and  the
world. Though we  differed on some points, largely we agreed
with  each  other.  And we  have really no differences as to
what  we  should  do  with  a  number  of  mutually  helpful
activities which means so much to the  less  fortunate of us
here.
5.   This Conference is held at a most interesting period in
the history of this world.   Many changes are  taking  place
which  will  affect us all.   Hopefully we will see a better
tomorrow.  But  tomorrow -- not  the  distant  future -- but
tomorrow, we will sit for our final session, to discuss  and
formally  adopt  the various programmes and resolutions that
we have before us, and issue the final communique.
6.   This Conference is memorable also  because  it  is  the
last  for  our  current  Secretary-General  --  Sir Shridath
Ramphal.   Sonny has been  the  longest  serving  Secretary-
General  of  the modern Commonwealth.   Of course, there has
been only two so far but fifteen  years  in   the    service
of   the Commonwealth is still a long time, a hefty chunk of
a  man's life.   Some of us had hoped that he would continue
as Secretary-General for another term, but he  himself  felt
that  the  time  has  come  for  someone  else  to have this
singular honour.
7.   With his going, goes also what some  have  regarded  as
almost an institution.  But Sonny will not be forgotten.  He
has seen many Heads of Government come and go and come again
in  some instances.  I must thank him personally for the way
he persuaded me to recognise the role  of  the  Commonwealth
and  to get Malaysia to be active again in it.  Sonny can be
very  persistent  when he  wants  to, and  persistence  is a
virtue  for  the kind of  post like the Secretary-General of
the  Commonwealth.
8.   Sonny  will  not  retire  just  yet.   He will only  be
relieved by Chief Anyaoku on July 1st. 1990. But  this  will
be the  last bi-yearly  meeting of  the Heads of  Government
that  he will attend as Secretary-General.
9.   I am sure that all of you want me, on your  behalf,  to
wish  him  and  Mrs.  Ramphal  all  the  very  best  and  to
congratulate  him  on his sterling performance as Secretary-
General of the Commonwealth.  As Chairman of this meeting, I
am particularly indebted to him for his guidance, his little
notes and his whispered advice.  I readily lent him my  ear,
perhaps the only loan that need not be repaid with interest,
in fact not at all.
10.  We  would  like, I  am  sure, to  congratulate  and  to
welcome the Chief, that  is Emeka Anyaoku, Deputy Secretary-
General  since  1977,  who  has   been   elected   the   new
Secretary-General.    With  his  wealth  of  experience as a
minister in the Nigerian Government and as  a  senior  civil
servant  in the Commonwealth for twelve years, Chief Anyaoku
is bound to be an asset to the organisation.    I  know  him
well and I am sure, so do many of us here.  We are glad that
with   his   unanimous   election,  the  continuity  of  the
Secretariat will be maintained.
Your Majesties, Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
11.  I should mention here the officials and  the  ministers
who  had  to stay up late in order to make sense of what the
Heads of Government had discussed.  Theirs is a  behind  the
scene  activity  which  is hardly noticed.  Yet without them
the CHOGM would have neither beginning nor end.
12.  The press too has played their role.  They reported the
goings on and, in between, some of them took swipes at  some
of  us.    It  is a temptation that they, like all those who
wield absolute power,  cannot  resist.    I  say  this  with
trepidation for in the neo-feudalist world that we live  in,
we  should  not be disrespectful of those who wield the real
power.
13.  While we were preparing  for  this  Conference,  I  had
wished  many  times  that it had come and gone.  Tomorrow we
will be ending this Conference and much too soon we will  be
saying  good-bye  to  you,  the Heads of Government and your
spouses and retinues.  There is a sadness which I feel  deep
in  me.   Parting is such sweet sorrow.  I have enjoyed your
company and the Conference.  I wish you can stay  longer  to
see  Malaysia,  its  people, and its cultures.   However, as
busy leaders, you have no time.  But think of  Malaysia  and
come  back  again, at least for a holiday.  Come back to see
the friends you have made and the trees  you  have  planted.
Langkawi  and  a thousand  places  beckon you.  You will not
regret playing MacArthur.
14.  Before  I  conclude,  allow  me  to  recite a Malaysian
pantun or poem:
     CHOGM Malaysia tamatlah kini,
     Delegasi pulang ke negara sendiri,
     Sehingga berjumpa dua tahun nanti,
     Harap datang ke Malaysia lagi.
     Literally translated, it reads:
     The CHOGM in Malaysia is nearing its end
     The Delegations return to their
       respective lands,
     Till we meet in two years time,
     We hope you will visit Malaysia again.
     (Poetic licence with apologies to the
        Aussies)
Your Majesties, Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
15.  I wish you all a pleasant evening and  a  safe  journey
home.  Thank you.

 

 



 
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