Speech by Graduate Representative
Mohamed Iskandar Bin Sapi, Bachelor of Arts in Malay Language and Literature, School of Humanities and Behavioural Sciences
A very good morning to:
Mr Stephen Lee, Chancellor of SUSS
Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President of SUSS
Distinguished guests, fellow graduates, ladies and gentlemen.
I am Mohamed Iskandar, a graduate of the Bachelor of Arts in Malay Language and Literature Programme. I am humbled and honoured to be given the privilege to speak on behalf of my fellow graduates from the School of Humanities and Behavioural Sciences.
Firstly, let me congratulate all the graduates, including myself for finally reaching an important milestone in our lives, our graduation. The academic regalia that we put on is deserving because it not only symbolizes the completion of our journey in SUSS but it is also a testament of our spirit in overcoming challenges and adversities to be where we are today.
When I embarked on my educational journey in SUSS back in 2015, I was not sure of what I was getting in return. As a madrasah teacher teaching Malay Language, I felt that it is essential to continually improve my knowledge and skills. This is especially so because as an educator, the landscape is consistently changing. SUSS was a standout choice for me because it catered to adult learners with its flexible approach towards learning. It provided an opportunity for me to pace my education, enabling me to balance between work and studies.
Studying in SUSS has been a great experience. It was enriching to meet many adults like myself, coming together from various backgrounds to collaborate. Each and every one of us brought different skills, wisdom and perspectives during class discussions. The most important thing about forging relationships is, you know there are people that are in the same boat as you. We push each other hard to better ourselves, reminded one another about deadlines and, more often than not, we find comfort in each other when our results don't go our way.
I remembered clearly getting distressed as I was occupied with work as the time ticked pass the deadline for my assignment. It made me doubt myself. "Do I still have what it takes to study? Will I ever graduate?" We all have been there, haven't we?
But at SUSS, even when we are subjected to penalties for overdue assignments, we have to push on. To have the indomitable spirit of not giving up and the tenacity when faced with difficulties is a character that is prominent in SUSS students. We are certainly a tough lot, almost indestructible. Failures don't seem to faze us. Setbacks are merely steps towards success. We acknowledge our mistakes and try to learn from them instead of being overly critical about ourselves, or others. Our success today is built on our ethos of always giving our very best.
At this juncture, I would like to thank our lecturers who have taught us. It was inspiring to see them teach with enthusiasm despite the late hours. They were always there to lend us their support. Thank you, dear lecturers. We will certainly miss all of you.
To our colleagues and employers, thank you for helping us along the way. Whether it was through financial or manpower support, or motivational words, you are very much a part of our success. Thank you.
To our donors, we could not thank you enough for the various awards and prizes that you have afforded us at SUSS. We appreciate that you have recognised the hard work that many of us have put into our studies.
Finally, to our families, all this could not be possible without your support. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family; to Papa, Mama, ibu and ayah thank you for always keeping me in your prayers. To my beloved wife Aisha and my two children Sarah and Aufa, I stand here today because of the unconditional love, support and encouragement you gave through these years. Thank you.
On behalf of the graduates, to SUSS, family, friends, employers and sponsors, I would like to offer you a Malay pantun as an assurance of our gratitude.
Pisang emas dibawa belayar,
Masak sebiji di atas peti,
Hutang emas boleh dibayar,
Hutang budi dibawa mati.
The poem speaks of gratitude where a debt of money can be repaid but a debt of gratitude is owed for the rest of our lives.
Dear graduates, please stand and face our loved ones.
(Pause for graduates to rise)
Graduates, please join me in giving our loved ones a big round of applause.
(Lead the applause by clapping)
Thank you. You may take your seat.
I hope that this graduation ceremony will not be the end of our pursuit of knowledge. Instead let this be the start of greater things for all of us. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The only person you are destined to become, is the person you decide to be."