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Oleh/By		:	DATO' SERI DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD 
Tempat/Venue 	: 	BUKIT DAMANSARA, KUALA LUMPUR 
Tarikh/Date 	: 	12/03/90 
Tajuk/Title  	: 	THE ROYAL COMMONWEALTH SOCIETY 
			(MALAYSIAN BRANCH) LUNCHEON, AT THE 
			COMMONWEALTH HOUSE 




 Distinguished Guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen.
    I  would  like to thank the Royal Commonwealth Society,
Malaysian Branch for inviting me to this luncheon to commem-
orate Commonwealth Day.   I must say that  it  is  indeed  a
pleasure to be here amongst members of this society, many of
whom  are  luminaries  in  their own right and have over the
years made various contributions towards  the  progress  and
well-being of our society.
2.   Unlike  some  societies,  whose propensity to engage in
activities is very much dependent upon the prospect of their
receiving some amount of publicity, this society,  has  over
the  years,  been  carrying  out it tasks quietly but effec-
tively.  This is in no small measure, a positive  reflection
of  the  commitment and dedication of its office-bearers and
members alike.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
3.   This being Commonwealth Day, I think it would be  quite
appropriate if I were to touch briefly on this family of na-
tions.    It  is  indeed gratifying to note that the Common-
wealth of today has shed many of the negative traits of  its
former self.  Today, this grouping has initiated and adopted
many  programmes  of action which reflect the aspirations of
member countries, particularly the developing ones.  We  are
beginning  to  share many of the things that we collectively
possess.  I also believe that perhaps it may not be long be-
fore we may be able to probably share  the  "common  wealth"
that the Commonwealth has.
4.   Though it is true that in the past the Commonwealth had
initiated  various  forms  of cooperation for the benefit of
its members, most notably the Colombo Plan and  the  Common-
wealth Fund for Technical Cooperation, nevertheless over ma-
jor   international   economic  and  political  issues,  the
Commonwealth views were divergent and consequently  ineffec-
tive.  And more lamentable, was the indifference on the part
of  some  senior Commonwealth members to the pleas and cries
for understanding by the less  fortunate  members  regarding
their problems.
5.   Fortunately,  this  rather  sad  commentary on the then
state of the Commonwealth is no  longer  valid.    Owing  to
changing  circumstances  and attitudes including the growing
assertiveness amongst member countries, the grouping's  more
prosperous  partners  have  come to realise that they have a
moral responsibility to assist the less developed member na-
tions which, in case we forget, they once depended upon  for
their wealth and power.
6.   Malaysia is glad to note that due to this change in at-
titude,  the  Commonwealth  has been transformed into a more
cohesive and dynamic grouping.  When in its early days,  the
Commonwealth was basically a forum in which the former colo-
nial  master held discussions with its ex-colonies, today it
is an undeniable fact that the  Commonwealth  meeting  is  a
gathering  of  equals  sharing common ideals and aspirations
over various matters.  If I may say so, the decisions of the
Commonwealth  are  now  of  some  importance   outside   the
organisation  itself.   And several countries even seem keen
to join it.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
7.   The present day Commonwealth is now acknowledge as  one
of  the  more  successful international groupings.  Malaysia
will continue to contribute to  the  Commonwealth  and  will
work closely with member countries for the common good.  De-
spite  being a small developing nation, Malaysia is prepared
to share her expertise and experience with member  countries
of the Commonwealth as well as with those outside the group-
ing.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
8.   I  am  confident that the Malaysian Branch of the Royal
Commonwealth Society will continue to carry out  its  activ-
ities  aimed  at  a  more effective role in fostering better
understanding.  I wish the society  and  its  members  every
success in their endeavours.
     Thank you.

 
 



 
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