By: Michelle Liew
An Australian Member of Parliament who was born in Malaysia, Sam Lim paid tribute to the Malay language when he chose to speak in the language when making his inaugural speech at the country’s Parliament session yesterday.
Before speaking, 61-year-old Sam asked permission from the council to give him the opportunity to speak in Malay and Mandarin – two languages he mastered while in his homeland.
A video recording of Sam’s speech was shared by Australia’s Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, Tim Watts on his Twitter page, and soon received widespread praise.
In his speech, Sam took the opportunity to express his gratitude to the people of Australia and Malaysia who supported him throughout the election process.
“Kepada semua saudara-saudara yang berada di Malaysia, Australia dan seluruh pelusuk dunia, terima kasih atas semua perhatian dan berkat yang telah anda sekalian berikan kepada saya (To all my friends in Australia, Malaysia and abroad, thanks for all your care and love).
“Terima kasih atas semua dokongan dan bantuan anda semasa pilhanraya di Australia. Terima kasih semua. (Special thanks to all who have reached out to support and help in the Australian general election. Thank you),” he said in his speech.
He who represents the Labour Party was appointed as a Member of Parliament after winning the Perth seat in Tangney in the recent Australian general election.
Sam who was born in Kampung Parit Zin, Muar, Johor in 1961 came from a poor family and struggled during his childhood. Sam’s mother and father were rubber tappers, and their income was very low.
In 1980, Sam joined the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) which is a career path he was very interested in since childhood. However, that career only lasted for two years.
After ending his career as a policeman in Malaysia, Sam once worked as a dolphin trainer which he described as the most special career he had ever done in his life.
His migration to Australia also gave him the opportunity to serve as a police officer in Western Australia before engaging in a political career.