By Shahfizal Musa
Pix by Ikhwan Hashim
BANGI, 29 Nov. 2011- Peace in the ASEAN region can be achieved with human capital development, said the Malaysian National University (UKM) Vice Chancellor here today.
Prof Tan Sri Dato’ Wira Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin said universities should focus on human capital development as it can ensure progress in the region thereby bringing about prosperity to its peoples.
She was speaking at opening of The Indonesia-Malaysian Cultural Symposium (SKIM) 2011. The two day symposium is hosted by UKM this year on the theme ‘Strengthening Human Capital: Towards Regional Prosperity’. It is jointly organised by UKM and Padjajaran University (UNPAD) Indonesia.
SKIM has been held every two years for the past 26 years with UKM and UNPAD alternatively hosting it. It enables experts and researchers from Malaysia and Indonesia to gather and discuss pertinent issues concerning the region.
The symposium this year also drew participants from Brunei, Singapore and Thailand. A total of 120 papers are to be presented and discussed during the two day meeting ending tomorrow.
Prof Sharifah Hapsah said universities should focus on human capital development because human resources are needed to ensure regional development and peace.
Universities should then produce graduates with entrepreneurial spirit, socially responsible and be environmentally conscious.
While university as a research institution is to discover new knowledge and innovations through research it should at the same time strive to bring that knowledge to society for its benefit.
Universities can also help to developed sustainable leadership by nurturing present talents to be future leaders. This will in turn ensure a smooth flow of leadership succession which will ensure those talents bring benefits to society.
By strengthening human capital as a regional asset, prosperity can be shared in the region. With regional collaboration and networking, the sharing of ideas between such parties can further enhance human capital be developed to our own moulds, she said.
Such cooperation which should also include the students needed to be promoted at all levels of knowledge.
UNPAD’s Rector, Prof Dr Ir Ganjar Kurnia said human capital should not be limited to knowledge in a particular technology or field only but should also include ethics and behaviour.
He said development of exemplary values is equally important in the development of human capital as it will ensure our future progress which must also be for the good of all mankind
Emeritus Prof Dato’ Dr Abdul Rahman Embong, Principal Fellow from the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies(IKMAS), Prof Dr Hazita Azman, Dean of Social Sciences and Humanities Faculty,UKM and Prof Dr Ramdan Panigoro, Director of Collaboration UNPAD were present along with lecturers and students.