Orientation Course for Heads of Mission and Their Spouses
IDFR has successfully conducted the Orientation Course for Heads of Mission and Their Spouses from 2 to 6 September 2013. A total number of 15 participants attended the course comprising nine (9) Ambassadors and High Commissioners-designate accompanied by their spouses.
The participants were Tan Sri Haji Ismail bin Haji Omar and spouse Puan Sri Hajjah Suriati binti Md Sobri; Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim bin Dato’ Zainuddin Mohd Hashim and spouse Datin Seri Che Mahani binti Ismail; Datuk Awang Sahak bin Haji Awang Salleh and spouse Datin Dg. Mas Lauyah Binti Pg. Bagul; Datin Seri Blanche Olbery; Datin Renuka Das; Dato’ Salman bin Ahmad; Dato’ Zainal Abidin bin Ahmad and spouse Datin Shireen binti Dato' Sulaiman; Dato’ Syed Sultan bin Mohd Idris and spouse Datin Zarinah Binti Hussin; Encik Jilid bin Kuminding @ Zainuddin and spouse Puan Noraimeh Binti Abdul Jalil and Encik Raszlan bin Abdul Rashid.
The objectives of the five-day course were to provide an overview of functions and responsibilities of Heads of Mission and their spouses, develop knowledge and understanding of current Malaysian and international issues and enhance and strengthen diplomatic skills of Heads of Mission and their spouses. In line with these objectives, IDFR had arranged numerous modules comprising lectures and panel discussions with the Heads of Divisions from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia, other agencies and government-link corporation (GLC). Prominent and distinguished speakers were also invited to share their thoughts and insights on substances related to diplomacy and international relations.
Three (3) panel discussions were conducted during the course. Firstly on Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and Economic Diplomacy by YBhg. Dato’ Ahmad Suhaili Idrus, Director of NKRA (UPT), NKEA (Greater KL), PEMANDU, Dato’ M. Redzuan Kushairi, Deputy Chairman of Foreign Policy Study Group (FPSG) and Dr. Sufian Jusoh, Manager of World Trade Institute Consulting (WTI).
Secondly on “Situation in Egypt and its Impact to this Region” by Dato’ Dr. Mohamed Ghazali Md. Noor, former Director of the Strategic Planning (IDB) Group, Professor Ruhanas Harun, Director for Centre for Defence and International Security Studies National Defence University Malaysia, Associate Professor Azahari Karim, Head of Programmes, Global Movement of Moderates Foundation and Associate Professor Dr. Azmi Hassan, Geo-Strategist, University of Technology Malaysia.
Thirdly on “Traditional and New Media” by Mr. Kamarul Bahrin Haron, Anchor of Sudut Pandang, Vantage Point and Analysis of Astro Awani, Mr. Sharaad Kuttan, Journalist from the Business Radio Station (BFM), and Mr. M. Krishnamoorthy, Journalist and Lecturer from Krishna and Associates.
In addition, the participant were also privileged to listen to two (2) luncheon talks firstly on “Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) by Tan Sri Razali Ismail, Chairman of Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMMF) and secondly on “Leadership and Management” by Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Haji Zainul Ariffin bin Haji Hussain, Non-Executive Director, Gamuda Berhad.
Apart from that, the participants had also listened to lectures on topics related to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs such as Financial, Administration and Security matters, Perks and Privileges, Standard Operating Procedures for Humanitarian Crisis Management, Key Performance Indicator Malaysia’s Candidature to international organizations, “Etiquette and Royal Protocol” and “Dealing with Media a presentation on Defending National Interest”.
Realising the importance of spouses to the heads of mission, separate modules were also designed for them to have the right skills and ability needed to uphold Malaysia’s good name and reputation. Among them were a cooking demonstration and food presentation by a chef lecturer from Taylor’s University, a workshop on effective communication, presentation skills and public speaking by British Council Malaysia and a lecture on “The Role of Spouse” by Datin Rohayazam Kamaruzaman, President of the Ladies Association of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia (PERWAKILAN).
The course was officially closed by YBhg. Datuk Othman, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia where the participants were presented with the certificates at Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur. The closing ceremony and certificate presentation was preceded by a dinner talk on “Expectations on the Role of Heads of Mission” by the Secretary General.
In general, the participants were pleased with the course and further expressed their compliments concerning the knowledge, exposure and benefits that they had gained throughout. They have also expressed their gratitude to IDFR for convening the course. On this note, IDFR believes that the course objectives are achieved and would continue to constantly review the modules for the Heads of Mission and their spouses so that it will be relevant to the needs, vision, mission and aspirations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia.