Intellectual development determines developed nation status

PULAU PINANG, 31 July: Malaysia can only achieve developed nation status in 2020 if the society succeeds in terms of intellectual development.

Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said that a society that is advanced in terms of intellectual development and which is also skilled enables a nation to be more competitive and able to attract foreign investors to contribute to the development of the country.

“Malaysia will be left behind if the people are not knowledgeable or killed. The government is aware of this and is taking efforts to provide greater opportunities for people of different ages and backgrounds to become more knowledgeable,” he said at the launching of the state-level ‘Program Selangkah Ke Universiti’, at the Main Students Hall in Penang today.

At the same function, he also spoke of the government’s commitment in helping the people and the minorities to obtain better opportunities to pursue their studies at a higher level.

A total of 280 students from 33 schools in Penang, Kedah and Perak attended the one-day programme organized jointly by BAKTI (The Association of Wives of Ministers and Deputy Ministers) and the Student Affairs and Development Division, USM.

Besides a tour of the university, the students were given guidance as well as information regarding the opportunities to further their studies in institutions of higher learning, especially in USM.

More than 50 volunteers were also involved in the programme.

Prof. Dato’ Omar Osman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs and Development) in his speech said that the objective of the programme was to expose school students, especially those from the rural schools to see the opportunities that are available for raising their socio-economic status.

“Everyone has similar capabilities. It’s just that differences in opportunities, environment, facilities and affordability sometimes limits us. This programme attempts to overcome these shortcomings and by bringing the students into an intellectual environment, perhaps those who have the potential but who are less fortunate will be able to see the opportunities available for them to succeed.

“USM is committed in such efforts and will assist in whatever way it can to get it moving. I hope that more USM students will get involved as volunteers not only to participate in volunteer work but also to share their experiences with the school students to help them improve their academic performance and also the less fortunate families,” he said.

The ‘Program Selangkah Ke Universiti’ is the brainchild of Datin Paduka Sri Rosmah Mansor, the Prime Minister’s wife. It is aimed at exposing students from lower socio-economic backgrounds to the opportunities available for pursuing their studies at institutions of higher learning in the country.

Also present at the function were Puan Sri Fawziah Begum Mohd Abu Bakar, wife of the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Representative of the Chairman of BAKTI (Penang); Prof. Tan Sri Dato’ Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, USM Vice-Chancellor and wife, Puan Sri Datin Masrah Hj. Abidin; Datuk Noorhayati Kamaluddin, representative of BAKTI (Main Branch) and Prof. Ahmad Shukri Mustapa Kamal, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International Affairs) USM.

Published: 04 Aug 2010

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Universiti Sains Malaysia 11800 Minden Penang

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