9 September, 2011

Majlis Konvokesyen Ke-13 Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman


    1. Terlebih dahulu saya ingin merakamkan ucapan penghargaan dan terima kasih kepada pihak Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) kerana sudi mengundang saya ke Majlis Konvokesyen UTAR ke-13 pada pagi ini.
    2. Saya gembira dan berbesar hati dapat berada dalam majlis yang meraikan kejayaan yang berasaskan harapan dan kegigihan. Harapan yang didasari keyakinan bahawa hari ini adalah lebih baik dari hari semalam manakala hari esok pula menjanjikan masa depan yang cerah buat mereka yang sanggup berusaha dengan gigih.
    3. Di sini saya ingin merakamkan ucapan setinggi-tinggi tahniah kepada para graduan UTAR yang bakal menerima ijazah masing-masing sebentar lagi. Setelah sekian lama bertungkus-lumus dengan tekun bagi menamatkan pengajian maka saudara dan saudari  kini berada diambang menuai hasil semaian telah dibuat.
    4. Namun pencapaian ini bukanlah noktah usaha, ia hanyalah permulaan sebuah perjalanan, masih banyak lagi ruyung-ruyung yang perlu dipecahkan bagi mendapatkan sagu-sagunya. Saya yakin saudara-saudari akan terus menempa kejayaan demi kejayaan.
    5. Dalam kesibukan untuk membina karier masing-masing nanti insafilah  peluang yang telah di peroleh janganlah lupa jasa masyarakat dan keluarga serta tanggungjawab kepada negara , ingatlah “to those much is given much is expected”.
    6. Saya percaya majlis ini juga mempunyai makna yang besar kepada para ibu bapa yang telah banyak berkorban dalam memastikan anak-anak mendapat pendidikan yang terbaik. Melihat kejayaan anak-anak kita pada hari ini, pastinya kita semua rasa terharu dan bersyukur dengan pencapaian yang telah mereka capai. Sesungguhnya di tangan anak-anak kita inilah terletaknya nasib masa depan Malaysia tercinta.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

    1. It gives me great pleasure this morning to join in the celebration to honour the graduation of the 13th batch of graduates of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman.
    2. I still remember vividly attending the inaugural convocation of UTAR as the guest of honour for session two in August 2005. I am honoured to be here again to join in the celebration of its 13th Convocation. Congratulations to UTAR.
    3. Malaysia and Malaysians place high emphasis and value on a good education. The country spends substantial portion of our national budget on this subject matter while parents scrimps and save to ensure their children get the very best of education.
    4. Our willingness to invest in human capital development has held us in good stead as a nation. In just one generation Malaysia has successfully transformed from a low income agriculture economy into an upper middle income modern industrial economy.
    5. Education has long played an integral role in our nation building effort in the past 54 years and I strongly believe that education will continue to play a pivotal role intransforming the nation into a fully developed high income economy.
    6. Human capital lies at the core of innovation and productive high income economy. It is the most important investment a country can make. No economy can succeed without a highly skilled talent base that respond creatively to economic changes, and is centred on creating, developing and utilising knowledge. For this reason, we are widening access to our education system at all levels – from pre-school to higher education to ensure that every Malaysian can realise his or her potential.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
    1. During my tour as the education minister from 1995-1999 the government decided to liberalise the higher education sector to create more places for our children locally. The legislative framework was put up through the enactment of the Akta Institusi Pendidikan Tinggi Swasta 1996. The Private sector, government linked companies and foreign higher learning institutions were encouraged to set up private universities, local branches of foreign campuses and conduct twining programmes to meet the ever increasing demands for quality and affordable tertiary education. Looking back at the decision I would like to state that it was the right decision, it was a blue ocean strategy before the term was even coined and became popular in providing more places for Malaysians as local institutions cannot accommodate all the qualified students and not every Malaysian can afford the cost of an overseas education.
    2. UTAR founded as a private not-for-profit institution of higher learning recognises the role of the private education industry in stimulating and sustaining the growth of intellectual capital to meet the complex needs of an increasingly knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy.
    3. In this respect, I would unreservedly state that UTAR, as a young and vibrant university in Malaysia, has been contributing to national development. It is made known to me that, within a decade, UTAR’s student enrolment had increased from slightly more than 400 when it started in 2002 to today’s more than 19,000.   During the same period, the University has produced more than 25,000 graduates, including those from this convocation, forming the talent pool that contributes constructively to the economy of the nation and beyond.
    4. I am impressed that UTAR has a proven track record of high employability rate, that is, 97% of its graduates are gainfully employed within six months upon graduation and the graduates have been well accepted by the industries and employers in both the local and global marketplace. This speaks volume of the quality education that they received from the University. Therefore, I urge the graduands here today to uphold the good reputation that your seniors have built.
    5. To stay in the forefront of the knowledge creation, UTAR is actively involved in research and development, particularly in new emerging areas and technologies of growing importance. The continuous efforts by UTAR to progress from a predominantly teaching university to a research university are in line with many initiatives of the Government in nurturing Research, Development and Commercialisation (RDC) initiatives. I applaud UTAR for its significant contributions in the advancement of knowledge through research, producing quality research that has high commercial value and stimulating the economy through its entrepreneurial activities and industrial collaborations.
    6. The achievement of UTAR is by no means a small feat – from moulding the leaders and thinkers of tomorrow to conducting research to discover the undiscovered. UTAR has built an enviable track record in less than a decade and rightly deserved the recognition as one of the youngest and among the most dynamic university in Malaysia. I would like to applaud the Malaysian Chinese Association for their foresight in initiating the establishment of the University and also for their huge efforts in raising the fund to build UTAR. Not mixing politics with education, I am glad to know that the University is currently managed by dedicated academics and professionals. I would like to thank all who have worked diligently to make this University a success within a short span of time.
Ladies and Gentlemen
    1. As the University is celebrating its 10th Anniversary next year, I wish UTAR would grow from strength to strength and forge ahead of its peers in being more creative and innovative and hence more competitive and continue to contribute significantly to the country’s economy.
    2. To the graduands, a moment later, you will be receiving your long-awaited scrolls.   Remember that the scrolls you receive today will put you in a good stead to be of greater service to your family, your alma mater, the society, the nation and the world.
    3. As Woodrow Wilson an academic who later became one of the greatest American Presidents once said “every man sent out from a university should be a man of his nation as well as a man of his time” You are the precious assets of the nation. You will inherit our nation and will determine its development in the years ahead.Your responsibility now is to propel our nation to greater heights. I urge you to go forth with this strong sense of responsibility and underpin your pursuit of success with uncompromising integrity, transparency, ethics and moral values which are the hallmarks of a truly educated individual.
    4. Open up your minds and question things but be not only critical but also fair and balanced, value moderation and apply wisdom. As Confucius put it “He who learns but does not think is lost. He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger”. Together let us build a Malaysia of our dreams and hopes.
Ladies and Gentlemen
  1. Once again, I thank UTAR for inviting me to this meaningful occasion. I look forward to sharing more of such moments with the University in the future.
  2. Saya berharap para graduan akan terus berusaha dan menempa kejayaan dalam kerjaya anda serta menyumbang kepada negara Malaysia. Saya ingin mengakhiri ucapan saya ini dengan ucapan ribuan terima kasih dan selamat maju jaya.
Sekian, Wabillahi Taufik Walhidayah Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh. Terima kasih.
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