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Friday, 23 December 2016

Trip To Malaysia: A Reporter's Diary... What you must know before embarking on that trip

Are you a Nigerian with intention to visit Malaysia,this piece is for you!

The Oodua Progressive Union Malaysia Launch held on December 11,2016 at Dynasty Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, The Global Convener of the Union Otunba Gani Adams,his personal Assistance, Prince Segun Akanni,yours truly and Publisher Metronews, Femi Davies, America based music promoter, Subulade Adelaja (Iyalaje Promotions) and Ibadan based music sensation Dele Bravo, were invited special guests at the launch as delegates from Nigeria.

The visa process was smooth aside the fact that one had to journey to Abuja for the visa because they have closed the Lagos consulate, visa is just 1.000 naira! What an irony, you fly 60.000 naira return flight to Abuja for a 1.000 naira visa !

The flight via Qatar Airline was smooth and the transit via Doha was a beautiful sight to behold, I will definitely return to Qatar very soon. The excitement of landing at Kualar Lampur the city capital of Malaysia was cut short when we approached immigration for onward journey to the event venue Cos we arrived on the date of the event.

Upon the display of Nigerian Passports we were politely told to visit the health office for clearance of our health yellow card which we did. We approached the immigration desk again, this time we were told to proceed to immigration office where we met some Nigerians and other nationals.

At this point, we were subjected to various interrogations from the normal to the ridiculous, the lady from America was told point blank that she won't be allowed to enter Malaysia, her crime was that she carries 2 passports (Nigeria/USA). It got to a point we considered returning to Nigeria when it became obvious that they are not interested in our reason for being in Malaysia which is to be part of a cultural Programme, Yoruba Carnival and OPU Malaysia Launch.

Our hosts, cultural troupe and a crowd of over 100 Nigerians were thrown into confusion, they appealed that we should please wait for them to take action, and after 8hrs of delay,the Nigeria Embassy in Malaysia moved in and after cross calls, we were told to approach the immigration office again, after which we were granted permission to enter Malaysia.

We swiftly rushed to our hotel, made clothe changes and stormed the venue to be part of one of the most successful OPU launch. Otunba Gani Adams was awarded the Yoruba Man of The Year by the Organisers of Yoruba Carnival, I also bagged the Yoruba Media man of the year.

The lesson learnt from this trip is that if you have no business in Malaysia don't bother waste money as you maybe deported on arrival! Agreed that some Nigerians are doing things in that country which one cannot be proud of, it is not just to conclude that every Nigerian is bad or have no good intention to be in the country.

I want to commend the officials of Nigeria Embassy in Malaysia for their prompt action when contacted,and the recent resolving of cult clashes, our hosts, Prince Olawale Ayinla the Malaysia OPU Cordinator, his deputy,Prince Kenny Salami,Baba Oodua of Malaysia and OPU members for their warm reception and being good host despite the short stay because we could only spend 2days due to various Olokun Festival Foundation activities in Nigeria.

Aside the not too pleasant encounter on our arrival, Malaysia is a very beautiful country,it's rapid growth is commendable and a good place to do business, aside the bad eggs in that country, some Nigerians are doing very well in Malaysia and have established companies with success stories, I shall be writing about them soon.

Also read what Otunba Gani Adams said @ the launching of OPU Malaysia Chapter....

Speech Delivered By Otunba Gani Adams, The Global Convener of Oodua Progressive Union (OPU) at the Launch of OPU in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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It gives me great pleasure to be with you sons and daughters of Oduduwa in the very famous land of Malaysia. I bring to you from Nigeria good tidings and goodwill messages of over 76 countries where we have established a great global Organisation widely known as Oodua Progressive Union (OPU). With today’s event, I am happy to announce that we are fully rooted in 77 countries of the world.
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My being here today to be part of the formal launching of Oodua Progressive Union is no doubt by the special grace of God. It is indeed the special grace of Eledumare that made this historic event possible. I salute the doggedness of the members of OPU Malaysia for their relentless effort and strong will towards making today’s event the success we are all witnessing.
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If my memory serves me right, Malaysia has an ancient culture and a rich history, the nation itself is about 50 years old, the government of Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, that is the supreme king of Malaysia title rotates as a five year term among rulers of the nine states. The king is the head of state and serves in a ceremonial role.
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The official head of government is the Prime Minister, presently, Najib Tun Razak. Malaysia has a bicameral parliament, with a 70member Senate and a 222member House of Representatives. Senators are elected by state legislators or appointed by the King while members of the House are directly elected by the people.
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In as much as I don’t wish to bore us with a long speech, I need you to flow with me as I color my impression and understanding of our host country. Malaysia has more than 30 million citizens but ethnic Malays make up a bare majority of the population of Malaysia at 50.1%. Another 11% are defined as indigenous peoples of Malaysia or bumiputra, meaning “sons of the earth.” The official language is Bahasa Malaysia while English the former colonial language is still in common use although not the official language, over 140 additional languages representing their mother tongue spread across the region of Malaysia.
Officially, Malaysia is a Muslim community although the constitution guarantees freedom of religion, it also defines all ethnic Malays as Muslims. It is safe to say approximately 61% percent of the population adheres to Islam. In the last 40 years,the economy of Malaysia shifted from dependence on raw materials export to a healthy mixed economy, although it still relies on oil sales,today the Labourer force is 9% agricultural,35% industrial,and 56% in the service sector.
Malaysia was one of Asia’s “Tiger Economies” before the 1997 crash and has recovered nicely. It ranks 28th in the world in per capital GDP, the unemployment rate as of last year was an enviable 2.7% while only 3.8% of Malaysians live below poverty line. The country exports electronics, petroleum products, rubber, textiles, and chemicals.
Going thru this beautiful piece about Malaysia, one will see a lot of similarities in the culture and tradition of Nigeria and Malaysia, we share so much in terms of historical background but differ in direction and serious management of our economy. It is no longer news that Nigeria is in serious economic recession and the degree of hunger in Nigeria is so high now that we cannot even remember when and if we have witnessed such in the past. In 1957, the Government of Malaysia in partnership with the western region of Nigeria under the leadership of Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, came to our land took specimens of our Palm kernel which they planted in their homeland, today Malaysia is the largest exporter of palm oil in the world.
Despite the gloomy state of our economy, it gives me great pleasure to inform you that hope is on the way, very good students of history cannot quickly forget the role Indians in diaspora played in the emancipation of India to become what it is today, same can be traced to Jews, Israelis, British, French and others whose revolutions led to the emancipation of their people.
This brings me to what led to the formation of OPU few years ago. Oodua Progressive Union is a global platform that seeks to unite all Yorubas in diaspora. Aside unity of purpose, it also seeks to promote Yoruba language and project the culture and tradition of Yoruba race. Many may not know, the secret of technology is well hidden in language, that is why world greatest Economies pride themselves in their language and tradition, and they so protect these values making it difficult for outsiders to tap into their technology without relying on them. China, Japan, and other world powers today hide secret of their knowledge in their language.
We have a population of 50million Yorubas in Nigeria, while Yorubas spread across the world is over 250Million, how great will it be for such a populace to come together under a global platform to set the agenda that will emancipate the race from shackles of oppression and backwardness, we are further propelled by the peace movement being championed by prominent traditional rulers at home and OPU seeks to spread such movement across the globe. We have so much to gain if we are united.
It is with great pride and sense of responsibility that I welcome the Malaysia chapter of OPU to the global platform, OPU platform is first of its kind in the history of Nigeria as we boast of the largest global spread. From today Yorubas in Malaysia now have a voice which will be heard from Asia to the rest of the world. I welcome you to the fold of history makers, the fold of “Omoluabis” united in purpose to make their race excel. I want to commend Yorubas and indeed Nigerians in Malaysia for being good ambassadors of our country making it easy for others to come and explore Malaysia.
I am so happy with the caliber of people in our midst today and I personally wish to express my gratitude to our special guests,friends of Yorubas and our wives for being supportive and making this dream come true,”Oodua agbe gbogbo wa o.”
Although my visit is a short one, I desire to revisit Malaysia soon to further learn and be educated about their shift from dependent economy to a producing economy.
I wish you all a merry xmas in advance and a happy new year.
Oodua Agbe Wa O.
Otunba (Dr) Gani Adams,
World Wide Convener,
Oodua Progressive Union

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