By Azman Zakaria
Photo by Marina Ismail
Serdang, March 2 (UPM) - Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin urged higher education institutions students to constantly emphasise on unity despite concentrating on their studies.
In relation to this matter, such a multiracial programme organised by the Student Representative Council (MPP) was crucial in shaping and strengthening national unity.
"To ensure Malaysia achieves excellence, order must be kept, racial and religious conflicts should be avoided. If these matters are not well taken care of, all programmes that have been arranged will be hampered and not bring any good.
"It's time for MPP to accentuate its roles... through interactions in the newly-established Student Parliament, which can also be a platform to express views so that ideas from youth can be submitted to and addressed by the government," he said at the gathering with student leaders at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) here, which was attended by approximately 1,500 student leaders from higher education institutions.
Also present were Education Minister II, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh; Education Deputy Ministers, Mary Yap Kain Ching and P. Kamalanathan; Education Ministry Secretary General, Tan Sri Dr. Madinah Mohamad; UPM Vice Chancellor, Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Fauzi Ramlan; MPP National Chairman, Mohammed Anas Misbahudin; and UPM MPP President, Muhammad Hanif Ramlan.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin who is also Education Minister, said the government has always been firm in dealing with matters that may raise unwelcoming issues such as racism, extremism and crime.
However, he affirmed that did not mean the government has been thwarting students’ freedom of speech. "But matters related to Malay special rights, Malay Rulers, Islam as the country’s official religion and rights of other races can not be disputed."
Besides studying, students were also urged to emphasise on matters pertaining to values, morals and manners to create a balance in personality.
He also said the roles of MPP have become vital in ensuring students would always be kept well-fed with information regarding education development and national policies.
"The principle is to create an educated generation with sufficient knowledge, well-mannered and is able to contribute to national development in all sectors," he added.
He said, substantial investments have been made in education development comprising primary, secondary and higher education institutions, aiming to equip the country with adequte human capital.
"We want to produce all-rounder human capital who master multi faceted aspects. If we want to move forward, we must go further than them (other countries). It is time we become leaders in spearheading new ideas," he affirmed.
Deputy Prime Minister also said the government would mull over a request made by Muhammad Anas to extend the purchasing scope of the 1Malaysia Book Voucher (BB1M) not only restricted to buying books, but also to purchasing other learning materials.
At the event, Tan Sri Muhyiddin presented BB1M 2015 voucher mock check worth RM325 million to 1.3 million students from all higher education institutions to Muhammad Anas, who represented students across the country. - UPM
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