UNISSA urged to strive for pre-eminence
Azlan Othman

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday urged Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) to be eminent and stand above the rest in its performance, achievements and even infrastructure.

Delivering a titah at the 2nd Convocation or Hafl Al-Takharruj of UNISSA, the monarch, who is the Chancellor of UNISSA, stressed that the name of the university itself is already eminent and should be upheld.

Being eminent, UNISSA should not be lower than others, His Majesty said.

"This is not a sentiment but honestly as a right because of its name.

"The name (Islam) itself has no duplication and it is obligatory for us to respect it, similar to respecting Allah the Almighty," His Majesty said.

Also present at the convocation was His Royal Highness Prince (Dr) Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Pro-Chancellor of UNISSA.

Out of 133 graduates, 22 yesterday received their Master's degree, 104 Bachelor's degree and another seven were awarded a post-graduate diploma.

His Majesty urged UNISSA to enhance its performance, achievements and the centre's infrastructure, including the size of the UNISSA site which should not be less than that of other institutions.

"It is not wise if we plan just to be sufficient. We should plan for the future needs.

"Being eminent, UNISSA should not become 'dim' and weak. This is the trust for us to jointly uphold and respect until eternity."

His Majesty also noted that UNISSA is experiencing several changes and developments in line with its age of five years old.

"Praise to Allah the Almighty, we also produced human resources that are knowledgeable and skillful. But I also see that there is still a large space that needs to be occupied, especially by human resources in the religious stream. This is where UNISSA faces a challenge.

"UNISSA should strive to fulfil the aspiration that I've stressed before that is for UNISSA to produce graduates that are of cleric level and not just graduates. I take seriously the position of UNISSA as a true Islamic Studies Centre," the monarch said.

The monarch also reminded UNISSA graduates to always uphold the good image of the centre whilst at the same time enhancing their skills and quality.

The students' role is extended beyond the campus by sharing the religious knowledge with the society.

"This year, I've consented for Syariah Penal Code Order to be implemented in this country. In this context, I am pleased to note that UNISSA has started a Bachelor's degree course in Law and Syariah Law (LLB and BSL) which is a double degree programme.

"With this, UNISSA will undoubtedly be able to play a proactive role in an effort to implement the Syariah Penal Code, especially in producing the much-needed human resources."

His Majesty said UNISSA, for instance, could cooperate with the relevant agencies in providing exposure to legal practitioners and the public on the meaning of the Syariah Penal Code.

"I believe, in this approach, academicians deserve to be the pillar," His Majesty said in the titah. - Borneo Bulletin (4 November 2012)