Sultan renews call to boost research
Lyna Mohamad

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday renewed his call on the need for research or studies on herbs found in Brunei as well as other topics such as social issues.

The call on herb research was highlighted at the last UBD Convocation and naturally, this year there should be news on scientific studies on the herbs or at least how far steps had been taken towards this endeavour, the monarch said.

UBD had developed in terms of research and innovation yet where are the products from the research, His Majesty asked in his titah at the 24th Convocation of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) yesterday.

His Majesty who is Chancellor of UBD highlighted other topics that needed to be studied such as social issues including poverty and crime, as well as offences related to customs and excise, immigration, labour, drugs, smuggling of oil and rice.

Without any studies, how would the source of the problems be known, His Majesty said. And if the source is unknown, how is it possible to combat the problems, asked the monarch, adding that the country needs a database to tackle all these issues.

The studies can be carried with greater ease in view of the vast and rapid technological developments that dominate teaching and learning as well as research.

The digital era, His Majesty said, could also open up a wider opportunity for the people to gain knowledge at a higher level, which is inline with the nation's vision to build a Knowledge Society.

His Majesty is confident that UBD is able to explore various approaches such as offering study programmes through online learning.

In the area of human resources, His Majesty acknowledged UBD's effort in conducting a new Academic Energy Services Scheme as a catalyst for academicians to best contribute such as producing teaching and research of quality.

This new scheme, His Majesty hoped, will also draw interest of academicians abroad to together render their services and contribute towards UBD's development. The monarch said that it would be appropriate if the scheme is implemented by end of this year.

Apart from national development, His Majesty also sees UBD involved in regional development through contribution towards the initiative of Asean Community 2015 by conducting programmes and training for English teachers from Asean countries with the cooperation of East-West Center from the US.

However, His Majesty advised officials not to take this initiative as a platform to change the nation's aspiration on upholding Bahasa Melayu as the mother tongue and official language of the Sultanate.

Congratulating the new graduates, he said that the degrees awarded to them are just recognition that they had completed their studies because more challenges await them in the future. - Borneo Bulletin (16 September 2012)