UBD should contribute to solve social issues
By Azlan Othman

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday urged Universiti Brunei Darussalam lecturers and students to conduct research, which the nation could be proud of. The monarch also called for the tertiary institution to make contributions to the community in tackling various issues.

In delivering his titah at the 19th Convocation of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), His Majesty, who is also the Chancellor, said UBD, established more than two decades ago, is undoubtedly capable of producing an intellectual generation for the nation and would continue to do so without any obstacles.

As the first university in the country, it should be given support and confidence to plan its development work for the nation to enjoy its contributions quicker.

UBD's meaningful and valuable contributions could come in the field of research or analysis. His Majesty was confident that the university could produce something with quality involving not only lecturers but also students.

"We would be proud if a lecturer or a student once in a while produces research which is 'astonishing', regardless of their field. This would prove that UBD also possesses a creative workforce.

"Besides, I would like to see UBD contribute to the community through its faculty members and students such as tackling various issues including social, environment, disasters, etc.

"As an institution that possesses wider expertise, UBD is certainly capable of contributing ideas in the form of proposals in solving these issues," the Sultan said.

His Majesty recalled that he once said that the expertise found in UBD could be utilised to its maximum level by all interested parties including relevant agencies in the government and the private sector.

Moral and financial support and recognition from parties outside the university could attract prominent experts and academicians in their respective fields to serve in the university. "I believe that UBD could see this as a way to attain excellence," His Majesty said.

His Majesty is also pleased to note that one of the programmes offered by UBD is the Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Finance, which is recognised by the world professional body that gives maximum exemption from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA), UK examination scheme. This is an achievement that we should be proud of, the monarch added.

Speaking on educational developments, His Majesty said the nation has succeeded in providing wider opportunities for the people to acquire more knowledge.

With the establishment of Sultan Sharif Ali Islamic University early this year, the opportunities for people in the country have widened in acquiring religious knowledge.

"This is a sign that we wish to acquire knowledge in all fields. It is through knowledge that we can attain perfection in this world and the hereafter," the ruler said.

"In acknowledging the importance of knowledge, by God's will, we would continue to be committed in ensuring that all fields of education would continue to be upgraded. We would uphold and beautify the facilities and educational infrastructure, so that local and foreign students could benefit from all the available fields," said His Majesty.

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

Earlier, His Majesty and His Royal Highness were greeted upon arrival at the Chancellor Hall by the University Council members followed by the Chancellor parade and reading of the Quran.

Some 996 graduates succeeded in completing their studies in UBD this year, out of which 675 received their degrees in the morning and another 321 received their certificates and diplomas in the afternoon.

This year, UBD awarded PhD to two recipients, namely Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Awg Abu Bakar bin Hj Apong, the Minister of Communications, and Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Dr Ustaz Hj Awg Abdul Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti.

The award has taken into account their contributions to UBD in the academic field and their services and guidance in nation building. The award is seen as an academic recognition for the deserving. - Borneo Bulletin (12th September 2007)