Call for development-savvy, mature and visionary graduates

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, said the gathering with students studying in Cairo, the Arab Republic of Egypt, is very significant and historical because it is not always easy to have such opportunity.

His Majesty made the titah during the get-together with citizens and residents of Brunei Darussalam and Brunei students in the Arab Republic of Egypt. The ceremony was held at the Grand Ballroom, Intercontinental Cairo Citystars Hotel yesterday, according to a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office last night.

His Majesty said that quite recently, he had the opportunity to meet students in the United Kingdom, where His Majesty found out that the students are well updated with current developments in Brunei. This is what His Majesty requires from the students where ever they are.

His Majesty added that the students in Cairo, undoubtedly are the lucky cluster as they have the opportunity to study at the renown and reputable institutions, such as the Al-Azhar University, the oldest university in the world, of which until now continues producing prominent ‘Ulama’ all over the world.

Brunei Darussalam, His Majesty added, requires more Islamic graduates, aligned with the rapid and fast development of the country.

His Majesty also realises that duty and obligation become greater and heavier that requires new and fresh human resource, where His Majesty explained, that such human resources can only be produced by factories named as “higher institutions”.

Brunei now is no longer Brunei in the 50s or 60s. Brunei today is a fast developing Brunei.

The development, said His Majesty, is not only limited to material development, but it covers spiritual aspects. For example, beside shaving judicial buildings, the country also has a Syariah Penal Code in place.

Besides building other infrastructure, said His Majesty, we also have a compulsory Islamic religious education and took steps in preserving the Islamic image and values, among others, by temporarily closing business premises on Friday until the mass Friday prayers end.

All these, said His Majesty, are examples of changes and enhancement in Brunei. It also awaits the quality of Islamic human resources to uphold it, where the hope lies in these students.

As such, His Majesty called on the students to study hard and stay focussed in their class, and not elsewhere.

As most are already aware today is the era of the internet where many people are obsessed with it more than anything else. With no exception, the students themselves might be too obsessed with the internet rather than reading books and the “kitab”.

Should this happen, added His Majesty, it is very worrying that there will be people who might change their way of studying, from a classroom to studying via the Internet.

His Majesty hopes that such things should not happen as not all materials from the internet are considered authentic but many materials are controversial.

For the students, especially the Islamic religious students, they must be more careful in surfing the Internet. At the moment, His Majesty said, often come “the internet religious men” or “ulama” who bring new religious teachings, such as denying the “tahlil” and considering the celebration of “Maulidur Rasul” as bad practice.

His Majesty called on the students not to be trapped by these teachings because Brunei Darussalam is not comfortable with it. We are very unwavering and there is no need to be clouded by all sorts of new wild ideas.

His Majesty advised the students to choose “ulama mu’tabar”, not the internet ulama.

There is a difference between “ulama mu’tabar” and the internet ulama, where “ulama mu’tabar” are those who depend on the Holy Al-Quran, As-Sunnah and ijma’. While the Internet ulama rely more to their own opinions.

However, there is nothing wrong in surfing the Internet, said His Majesty, but with cautious minds so as not to accept everything but to think about it deeply and thoroughly.

His Majesty called to the students to be more mature in attitude and more visionary, not just to be a follower as a “Pak Turut”.

Touching on the welfare of the students, under the Ministry of Religious Affair’s Scholarship, the welfare and security of the students are always taken care of, His Majesty said.

In this regard, His Majesty consented to the government bearing the cost of upfront payment and guaranteed for the leasing of a building and also to pay the monthly rental of the basement of the building to be used as an area for the students to perform their activities securely and comfortably.

His Majesty also consented to an allowance for students who are taking postgraduate studies in the Arab Republic of Egypt, and also that the differences in the amount of the allowance to be synchronised with the new rate for students who have already commenced their studies at Masters level, to be reimbursed, starting from the date they left Brunei Darussalam to when they began their studies at Masters level.

His Majesty hoped that all these can benefit and help the students to enhance their studies.

His Majesty said that the students in Egypt have the right to be known as “Best Model” based on their knowledge foundation that is “ugama samawi”, the highest and most holiest at the side of Allah the Almighty, that is Islam.

The arrival of His Majesty was greeted by Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Mahdi bin Pehin Orang Kaya Digadong Seri Diraja Dato Laila Utama Haji Awang Abdul Rahman, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Brunei Darussalam to Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt.

The ceremony began with His Majesty joining a the luncheon. After lunch, His Majesty consented to receive Junjung Ziarah from Brunei students, citizens and residents in Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt.

At the Grand Ballroom, the ceremony began with the national anthem sung by first year students.

It was then followed by a recitation of verses from the Holy Quran read by Awang Ahmad Zulwaqar bin Suhaili, while the interpretation of the verses was read by Awang Muhammad Saifullah bin Rosli.

The Doa Selamat was then read by Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti.

At the ceremony, Awang Mohd Nazerul Wafiqah bin Haji Mohd Hussin, the President of Brunei Darussalam’s Student Welfare Body Association in Cairo, delivered his “Sembah Alu-Aluan”.

His Majesty consented to receive a pesambah from the President of Brunei Darussalam’s Student Welfare Body Association in Cairo.

His Majesty consented to join a photo session with the Bruneian citizens, residents and students in the Arab Republic of Egypt, and subsequently consented to mingle with them.

As many as 155 students are currently pursuing their studies in Cairo, 151 of whom are studying at the University Al-Azhar, the University of Cairo and the University of Alexandaria. Four government officers are also studying under In-Service Training scheme, two of them at the University of Cairo while the other two at the Institute of International Language. - Borneo Bulletin (6 February 2013)