By Azaraimy HH
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam expressed his high hopes Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) would attain international standard and respected the world over.
The monarch in delivering a titah during the historic first Convocation Ceremony of UNISSA yesterday underscored the importance of weighing on religious knowledge in preserving social quality indicating His Majesty's strong stance of no separation between Islamic principles and national policies.
In stressing the importance of knowledge, His Majesty said, in principle, all knowledge are good, but Islam is the mother of all knowledge, it brings us to the basic goal of revealing the truth.
Also in attendance was HRH Prince Dr Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, who was also at the event made the Pro-Chancellor of UNISSA.
Also present were dignitaries, Cabinet Ministers and foreign diplomatic community.
Articulating his highest appreciation and congratulations to 149 graduates in the first-ever UNISSA graduation, His Majesty said the graduates do not only represent enhancement to the pool of educated workforce but also mark a development in the social quality.
His Majesty said this is in line with UNISSA's motto, "Producing Educated and Pious Humans".
Towards realising that motto, His Majesty assured that his government would always uphold the importance of knowledge in the religious fields.
That is why education and religious studies have never been overlooked, but shall continue to be improved, His Majesty said.
His Majesty encouraged efforts to improve existing knowledge, especially in the Islamic religious fields, that are free from being adulterated or polluted.
His Majesty said "truth" in terms of knowledge is "well-being", and well-being is a platform to bring us happy livelihood, either in this world or the thereafter.
His Majesty added that this is what Islamic knowledge is all about.
"If it retains its truest form, not contaminated with elements that are contradictory in nature, then it will save its owner and save the society," His Majesty stated.
"I hope UNISSA will not only become a prestigious institution in its own soil, Brunei Darussalam, but will be able to become a university of international standard.
"So, for that, UNISSA must equip itself with all necessities, including possessing academic staff with the status of 'Professor Madya' and 'Professor' in the religious fields," His Majesty pointed out.
"Besides depending on Islamic knowledge inside classrooms, it is not wrong for UNISSA to have practical programmes, such as "Industrial Training Programme" for their students in government firms and in private sector to orientate the students to the working world," His Majesty said.
His Majesty urged UNISSA to establish a leadership programme, such as through co-curriculum and "community services".
His Majesty believes that these are effective strategic plans to produce future leaders. Students who are never exposed to such programmes will become ineffective citizens when they face a larger society.
The monarch took the opportunity to express his utmost contentment on the successes of UNISSA in producing its first group of graduates.
His Majesty also believes that the successes is the result of dedication from UNISSA administrative teams under its Rector, as well as strong support from various sectors, especially UNISSA academic staff, members of UNISSA senate and councils.
- Borneo Bulletin
(4th Novempber 2011)