DIALOG Rakyat 3, themed “The Role of Universities in Promoting National Cohesion and Unity”, was held at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
The half-day forum, hosted by UKM, drew participants from public and private universities who were represented by their vice-chancellors, deputy vicechancellors and academic staff.
They reaffirmed their contributions to nation-building, in particular the promotion of interethnic integration in their institutions.
The theme is timely or perhaps even a little overdue as the country seems to be witnessing more break-ups and disarray.
The people are dismayed by the frequent altercations and confrontations that occur in public spaces, some leading to aggressive and untoward behaviour.
It seems as though there is an echo of Shakespeare’s famous lamentation by Hamlet, “All is not well in the state of Denmark”.
To address this concern, seven civil society groups and individuals have pooled their resources to form a conglomerate, Dialog Rakyat for National Cohesion and Unity. Its aim is to inspire a movement of like-minded individuals and organisations to promote codes of ethical conduct at different levels of society.
It is hoped that by adopting best practices and interventions, Malaysia will be better positioned to achieve national unity.
To achieve Transformasi Nasional 2050’s objectives of training the young to inherit the helm of leadership and drive developments further, there must be good intergroup relationships and social harmony.
Rapid economic development will be meaningless if the rakyat is divided.
Among the questions that need to be answered are:
WHAT does social and national cohesion mean?;
WHAT is unity and is it attainable?; and,
HOW does one describe Malaysia’s level of harmony?
Without doubt, the country’s universities are among the best institutions to research these concepts, meanings and interpretations.
Both public and private universities, therefore, have a crucial
MONDAY, MAY 29, 2017