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ARKIB : 17/03/2003

World at brink of war should lead to realisation - Raja Zarith

JOHOR BAHRU March 16 - The world on the verge of yet another war should realise of how selfish attitudes will lead to the global destruction, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Pro-Chancellor Raja Zarith Sofiah Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah said Sunday.

She said the adamant attitude and usage of power at the whims and fancies would not only result in self-destruction and family but could also ruin the fate of a race.

"I hope all these will guide us to repent and realise on how disastrous the effects can be if man forgets himself to the extent of flexing his powers to fulfill his personal agenda," she said when opening the second session of UTM's 30th convocation in Skudai, near here.

She said Malaysians should be grateful to God for living in a peaceful country like Malaysia as they could still go to work, their children could go to school and savour delicious food at a time when many countries had to grapple with all sorts of problems, including threats of war and conflicts like in Palestine.

"Their security is at risk at all times, many children have lost their families while houses, food and medicine are insufficient and going to school is unthinkable," said Raja Zarith.

She also advised graduates to be role models to youths, particularly to dropouts by helping to imbue the culture of acquiring knowledge and guiding them to stay away from immoral activities.

She thanked the UTM authorities and the Education Ministry for their trust and confidence in appointing her as the new Pro-Chancellor, succeeding Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tun Dr Mohamed Zahir Ismail whose term had expired.

"I regard this responsibility entrusted upon me as a challenge, more so as UTM is the sole university in the south of the peninsular which offers important courses on science and technology," she said.

Raja Zarith Sofia, the wife of Tunku Mahkota of Johor, Tunku Ibrahim Ismail Sultan Iskandar, was appointed by the Chancellor of UTM, Sultanah Zanariah Tengku Ahmad, at a special function during the first session of the convocation on Saturday.

A total of 2,731 graduates received their scrolls during the two-day convocation. Sixteen of them graduated with Ph.Ds, 252 Masters, Post-Graduate Diploma (10), Bachelor's Degree (1,784) and Diploma (669).

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