Obama: Draw strength from ethnic, religious diversity for better future

KUALA LUMPUR: The US and Malaysia can draw strength from their ethnic and religious diversity and hope from history to carve a brighter future for the next generation, President Barack Obama said.

Obama delivering his speech at the banquet

Obama delivering his speech at the banquet

In his remarks at a state banquet hosted at Istana Negara in conjunction with his three-day state visit to Malaysia, Obama noted that while the US and Malaysia may be different as nations, their people shared similar hopes and aspirations.

“I believe that whether we come from a remote village or a big city, whether we live in the United States or in Malaysia, we all share basic human aspirations – to live in dignity and peace.

“(We want) to shape our own destiny, to be able to make a living and to work hard and support a family. And most of all, to leave the next generation something better than what was left to us,” he said.

At the banquet graced by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajah Haminah, Obama said these were the aspirations that can illuminate a new era of partnership between the US and Malaysia. The American leader sprinkled his remarks with a few Malay words, a gesture that was well received by the audience, as shown by their appreciative applause.

At the start of the speech, he wished those present “selamat petang” (good evening) and ended it with “terima kasih banyak” (thank you very much).

In between, he used the word “bekerjasama” when touching on the partnership between the US and Malaysia, as well as “boleh spirit” in reference to the “Malaysia Boleh” mantra which loosely translates as “Malaysia Can Do It”.

Obama flew into Kuala Lumpur at about 5pm Saturday for the visit to Malaysia as part of his four-nation tour of Asia that started in Japan followed by South Korea while his final stop is the Philippines.

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/04/26/obama-state-banquet/

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