AS THE site of the first Mencius Institute outside of China, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman’s (Utar) Kampar campus looks set to promote Confucian and Mencius teachings to students, people or organisations.
The institute has been set up to promote the understanding of traditional Chinese culture among people in Malaysia.
The first Mencius Institute was established in Xuzhou, China in 2008 under a collaboration between Jiangsu Normal University, China Zoucheng Heritage Tourism Bureau, and Xuzhou Mengshi Clan Friendship Network.
To further promote Mencius teachings overseas, the Mencius Institute chose Utar as the location to establish the first-ever overseas Mencius Institute.
Utar President Prof Datuk Dr Chuah Hean Teik said the institute will promote culture and philosophy that can be integrated in our daily lives.
“It is a great honour for Utar to establish the first offshore Mencius Institute. As the most well-known Confucian philosopher after Confucius, Mencius’s thoughts and stories have inspired generations of people in the way we perceive and live life, as well as perfect our attitude in life.
“I believe that the inauguration of the institute will greatly benefit the university by creating an atmosphere encouraging the learning of humanistic values.
“Through the institute, we will be able to do more research and development, seminars and technical talks.
“It’s not only for the Chinese-studies students but for students from other faculties too.”
He also said that Jiangsu Normal University is admired for its contribution to the enrichment of traditional Chinese culture and the partnership will surely benefit Utar greatly.
After unveiling a plaque to officially launch the institute, MCA Vice President Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung said, “Many books have been written about Mencius and the institute has them all. Utar is only going to benefit from the presence of the institute.
“Kong Zi Institute University of Malaya, before this the only confucius institute in the country, is doing well and many people from around the world go to the centre.
“Now people will have another important avenue to learn about Confucian teachings. The Mencius institute will see lots of scholars coming to share their knowledge,” adding that the exchange of knowledge between Utar academicians and other scholars will be important aspect of the Mencius Institute.