King: We must strive to produce high-value graduates in defence, security

KUALA LUMPUR – Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah said the country should continue to strive to produce local graduates to fill high-value professions in the increasingly dynamic field of defence and security strategy.

Therefore, His Majesty said the relevant parties such as Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) must continue to explore the latest fields of knowledge to ensure that the country always has a line of thinkers and scholars who are able to formulate long-term plans to protect the country’s strategic interests.

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“All UPNM’s strategic partners, especially the Ministry of Defence, the Malaysian Armed Forces and the defence industry continue to strengthen the synergies that have been established to elevate UPNM to a higher level,” said His Majesty in conjunction with the UPNM 11th Convocation Ceremony’s First Session at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur here, today.

Also in attendance was Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Noraini Ahmad and UPNM vice-chancellor Lt Gen Datuk Hasagaya Abdullah were also present.

Al-Sultan Abdullah, who is also the chancellor of UPNM, said the country needs to be equipped with modern and high-tech defence and security assets.

His Majesty said this was to face the challenges in the security landscape which have undergone various evolutions and are increasingly complex as they involve new forms of cyber and electronic threats.

“Therefore, an integrated strategy should be formulated to ensure that Malaysia has a strong digital ecosystem to remain competitive in facing digital transformation,” he said.

In congratulating the graduates, Al-Sultan Abdullah also expressed his pride in the achievements of UPNM, which continues to excel in dominating the graduate marketability chart among public universities.

“This clearly proves that this university has been producing quality graduates with ideal personalities,” he said.

In the meantime, His Majesty also said that students in all public and private institutions of higher learning should be inculcated with the spirit of helping and loving one another across racial and religious boundaries.

“Such a spirit should be nurtured in an effort to form a caring and united society to create a distinguished nation,” he said.

At this convocation, a total of 2,229 students have successfully completed their studies for 2020 and 2021.

They include 32 recipients who received their doctorate degree; master’s degree (118); bachelor’s degree (1,518) and diploma (561).

UPNM also conferred the Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy to three national defence figures.

One of the recipients is the UPNM pro-chancellor, Admiral (Rtd) Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor, who is also the 13th Chief of Defence Force, who received the Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy in Maritime Technology.

General (Rtd) Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Zainal who is also the 14th Chief of Defence Force, received the Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy in Strategy and International Relations.

Meanwhile, UPNM board chairman and Weststar group managing director, Tan Sri Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim received the Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy in Aeronautical Engineering.

The ceremony also witnessed a total of 83 bachelor’s degree graduates receiving the 2020 and 2021 academic awards.