By Thiviyah Manicam
Photo by Marina Ismail
PUTRAJAYA, 13 Sept – Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) together with The National Council of Professors (MPN) organised a discourse ‘Wacana Ilmuwan’ aimed at increasing the sense unity and patriotism among the Malaysian multiracial and religion citizens in conjunction with the Malaysia Day Celebration which will be held on 16 September 2017.
The programme which involved 5000 participants including academicians, literature figures, educationists and students from public universities (UA) around the Klang Valley instilled a sense of self-identity and unity among the society and a sense of loyalty and passion towards the country as well as increasing the fighting spirit and willingness to sacrifice for the development and prosperity of Malaysia, in line with ‘Hari Malaysia Negaraku: Sehati Sejiwa’ (Malaysia Day Mycountry: One Heart One Soul) celebration.
The Vice Chancellor of UPM, Prof. Datin Paduka Dr. Aini Ideris said the programme would instil a sense of patriotism that drives racial unity.
“When we wish to discuss the issues of unity and national integrity, the campus is the most fitting place for us to address this momentous agenda. In fact, the campus community is a representation of the society due to its diverse cultural background”.
“UPM will always support programmes such as this because apart from pursuing for academic excellence and global recognition, institutes of higher learning should spearhead any efforts that cultivate racial unity and national integrity for the benefit of the people,” she said.
At the same time, the programme connects the academics and the various societies to increase their patriotism spirit, which is one of the objectives of ‘Wacana Ilmuwan’.
The discourse which centred on the topic, ‘Negaraku Malaysia: Di Mana, Ke Mana Kita?’ (MyCountry Malaysia: Where Are We; Where Is Our Destination?) showcased notable guest panels such as MPN Deputy Chair, Distinguished Prof. Datuk Dr. Shamsul Amri Baharuddin; Head of Cluster of History, Heritage and Socioculture, MPN, Prof. Dato’ Dr. Teo Kok Seong; Secretary of the National Unity Cluster, MPN, Prof. Dr. Sivamurugan Pandian; Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) lecturer, Associate Prof. Dr. Awang Asri Awang Ibrahim and UPM lecturer, Associate Prof. Dr. Sarjit Singh Darshan Singh.
In the discourse, Distinguished Prof. Datuk Dr. Shamsul Amri Baharuddin emphasised that ‘Perpaduan, Kesepaduan Sosial dan Penyatupaduan’ (Unity, Social Integration and Unification) are the three important principles and crucial in getting to know Malaysia in its process to achieve unity.
Prof. Dato’ Dr. Teo Kok Seong put forward the idea that strategic thinking needs to be thought of to create and consolidate the concept of nationhood regardless of the different religions and races in the multiracial society. Prof. Dr. Sivamurugan Pandian, on the other hand, criticised that Malaysians only unite in four situations which are entertainments, sports, food and incidences such as MH17 and MH370 which exposed their selective nature and lack of emphasis on social unity which was their responsibility.
He also said that as civic-minded Malaysians, we are responsible for preserving the unity that has been achieved by Malaysians so far. The ideas put forth by the panels in ‘Wacana Ilmuwan’ have opened the eyes of the participants on the importance of unity and social integration in multiracial and multi-religious Malaysia as expressed by a local idiom, ‘bersatu kita teguh bercerai kita roboh’ ("United we stand, divided we fall”), particularly in the multiracial Malaysia.
Updated:: 26/09/2017 [syifarida]
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