His Majesty tours Universiti Brunei Darussalam premises
BY Azlan Othman
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has called on students to maintain a firm grip on their religious and cultural values, and not to be overly influenced with foreign elements.
In his titah during an unscheduled visit to Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) on Tuesday, the monarch said, “These are among the challenges that we face, especially in a modern era where foreign influences continue to beset us. This requires caution from all parties, especially those in charge of education.
“Universiti Brunei Darussalam is recognised as a renowned tertiary institution in Asia. It was established in 1985, with a first intake of only around 100 students at that time, and the number continues to grow over the years.”
“I was made to understand that UBD is guided with five founding values, namely humanity, expertise, ability, relevancy and leadership.
“These five values refer to the characters of the individuals produced by UBD. It is my view that such goals are commendable, as character is a measure of status or quality. Those with outstanding character normally possess great quality. This is what we want for UBD: to produce a generation of great character and quality.
“The quality that we seek does not have to be immense, but possessing values such as kindness, loyalty, knowledge, integrity and fairness. This is our culture.
“Towards this, we should strive to avoid from deferring to or emulating other cultures, even though they may come from places with great names. Having a great name alone is insignificant, if the inner elements are defective.
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in conversation with students.
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in a group photo. PHOTOS: RAHWANI ZAHARI
His Majesty talks with students
“I would like UBD to become the main centrepiece in the preservation of our identity, which is the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB).
“Under this system, Brunei, for hundreds of years was designated as ‘Darussalam’, which means ‘the Islamic Abode of Prosperity and Peace’. Alhamdulillah. MIB has been accommodating towards all citizens and residents, and they are well pleased with it.
“MIB is also accommodating towards the rest of the world, as we respect others who respect us. This is where UBD should play a role in promoting this situation by means of character and a way of life, including through social and academic works such as community activities, talks, writings, studies, and so on.”
His Majesty also called on the students at UBD to uphold their national identity: “Identity should not just be restricted to words or slogans, but to be used in terms of demeanour, whether formally or otherwise.
“An example of demeanour in formal circumstances would be at the university’s convocation ceremony, while demeanour at an informal occasion would be regular conduct in or outside the campus. In both cases, our identity must be preserved.
“Manifesting our identity is not an empty gesture, but a symbol of our national uniqueness. Towards this, I am convinced that UBD is ready to conduct self-reflection,” said His Majesty, concluding his titah at UBD’s Chancellor Hall.
Earlier, His Majesty toured several campuses at UBD, including the UBD School of Business and Economics; the male and female students’ hostels where the monarch inquired about the lack of chairs and tables at the canteen; and the Entrepreneurship Village where students learn about business planning.
The monarch also toured the Integrated Science Building and interacted with the students at the Start-Up Centre, who showcased their skills in doing animation.
Among those present during His Majesty’s visit to UBD were Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah; Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman; and Deputy Minister of Education Datin Seri Paduka Dr Hajah Romaizah binti Haji Mohd Salleh.
-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin