YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) Chancellor recently delivered a public lecture on “Social Evolution in Malaysia: What’s Next?” at Chancellor Hall, UTP.
“Our culture and society have changed over time and we cannot stop or control them from continuously evolving. As Malaysians, we have a choice whether to choose the Western or Eastern ideas in shaping the social evolution in Malaysia.”
“However, not all values and culture promoted by the West are good and useful to the development of society in Malaysia. We need to choose wisely what is good and reject what is bad,” said Tun Dr Mahathir.
“We should not only look to the Western countries, but Eastern too. Countries like Japan and China practice good values and work ethics which we can apply,” he continued.
In the almost two-hour session lecture, the former prime minister also answered questions from the audience that ranged from politics to education.
More than 3,000 people attended the event which included YABhg Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, UTP Vice Chancellor YBhg Datuk Ir (Dr) Abdul Rahim Hashim, government officers, UTP staff and students, and the public.
UTP has been organising the public lecture series annually since 1998 and has invited many prominent speakers.
The lecture series is a significant forum for knowledge sharing between the speakers and the university and surrounding community on various topics and issues including national development, economics, corporate governance and education.
The knowledge and information gained from these sessions complement and enhance what UTP students gain within the classroom and from formal education. As for UTP lecturers and staff, and the surrounding community, such sessions will provide them with better insights into national and global issues.
Prior to the public lecture, Tun Dr Mahathir also launched UTP GENESYS and UTP Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) book “A Gift of Hope”.
UTP GENESYS is a programme for UTP’s technology transformation journey over the next three years (2015-2018). The university is committed to establishing a new technology chapter for the university and ultimately for its staff, students and alumni.
The project will revolve around the change of UTP’s core Student Information System, which manages all information related to the student life on campus up to the point of graduation and beyond as an alumnus.
Other projects include a new library and content management system along with a campus-wide upgrade of the network and wireless infrastructure.
“A Gift of Hope”, is a book launched in conjunction with UTP’s CSR approach, aligned with the university’s overall vision and goals. The purpose of the book is to highlight the relationship between the university and the local society in which it resides.
Since the beginning of its CSR journey, UTP is aware of the influence and positive impact the university wields and can wield on the broader society. The key areas in UTP’s CSR programmes are education, socio-economy and environment.
As an institution of higher learning, the university has always acknowledged the importance of touching the lives of those beyond the campus walls, and this belief has strengthened over the years.
The university also emphasised the importance of the CSR initiatives providing recipients with sound responses to face the challenges and realities of the economy, environment and society.
UTP’s achievements over the years and the accolades and recognition received have not diminished the university’s long-held belief in the importance of having a positive impact on the wider society through sustainable CSR programmes.
UTP’s journey in social responsibility has been an eventful one and has evolved over the years from philanthropic undertakings to more sustainable, and what it hopes are life-changing initiatives in more recent years.