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Friday August 29, 2008

Raja Zarith: Education more important than popularity

BATU PAHAT: Malaysian youngsters seem to be more interested in becoming a celebrities than aiming for academic excellence.

Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah, the consort of Tunku Mahkota Johor, said this trend could be due to encouragement by the mass media.

Outstanding: Tunku Ibrahim and Raja Zarith visiting the Universiti tun Hussein Onn Malaysia gallery during its 7th Convocation in Batu Pahat recently.

“What is most important is education. Without education, it will be difficult for one to seek employment and become successful,’’ she said.

Raja Zarith said the media’s highlighting of celebrity programmes caused youths to dream about becoming popular.

She said that knowledge was something a person possessed for life, while popularity did not last.

Raja Zarith told this at a press conference after attending the 7th Convocation of Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia at the university’s campus here recently.

During the function, she was conferred an honorary doctorate in education by the university for her involvement.

She received the award from her husband Tunku Ibrahim Ismail Sultan Iskandar, who is the university’s Chancellor.

Raja Zarith said it was her responsibility as a Malaysian to contribute to the country and do whatever she could for the community.

She urged young people to use of opportunities and resources in education to gain as much knowledge as they could.

Raja Zarith, 49, is a Perak princess who obtained a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s Degree from Oxford University.

She has strong abilities in foreign languages and is able to communicate in Mandarin, Italian, French and English.

She is involved in charitable bodies including the Johor Women’s Council, Johor Girl Guides Association and Malaysian Red Crescent National Committee for Community Services.

Raja Zarith is also an artist and author who has written children books including Puteri Gunung Ledang.

She is the columnist for The Star’s Mind Matters.

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