Dare to explore, grads told

GRADUATES should explore new grounds, in and outside the country, with courage and without depending on others. 

Universiti Sains Malaysia pro-chancellor Tan Sri Razali Ismail said there were lessons to be learnt from successful entrepreneurs who had carved a name for themselves by dint of hard work. 

“There were those who had made it on their own in agriculture, fashion, livestock and restaurant industries among others. 

“They are not fearful of taking risks, dare to try and have a fighting spirit,” he said on the last day of the 35th USM Convocation on Sunday.  

He said the usual fault-finding after the anticipated release of the number of unemployed graduates had to stop because all parties, including emplo-yers must be held responsible while graduates must also bolster up their courage to try new things. 

He also urged university academicians to share views and thoughts that could help contribute to the country’s development and revive the thinking culture. 

USM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dzulkifli Abdul Razak called on graduates to appreciate diversity in people who were “differently-abled”.  

“Diversity is a strength in a know-ledge society that appreciates it,” he said. 

Citing the example of the Chancel-lor’s Gold Medal Award recipient Tan Chin Chin who was born with cerebral palsy, he said what made her special was that she was categorised as “orang kurang upaya” (OKU) or people with disabilities. 

“The OKU label is utterly inappropriate whereas she is differently-abled and it is this diversity which we celebrate as an enrichment to the growth of knowledge in the university,” he said. 

He said individuals like Tan were an inspiration and made the university more mature as a knowledge hub wi-thout barriers. 

He also acknowledged the role of the USM Penyayang Club members in hel-ping special students like Tan regardless of race, religion and culture. 

In her speech, the other Chancel- lor’s Gold Medal Award recipient Ling Yoke Li said students were proud of USM’s concept of Health Campus (Kampus Sejahtera) and Campus in a Garden. 

“Because of this, our friends such as Tan Chin Chin can shine although they are differently-abled,” she said, adding that senior citizens among them also showed that age was no barrier to the pursuit of lifelong education. 

Ling, who was also the Conference of Rulers Royal Education Award recipient, said their success was not just a matter of hard work, but also due to the supportive people around them and peace in the country that made it conducive for the pursuit of knowledge. 

“Without such peace as a result of understanding and consensus among the people, political stability and wise leadership, we would not be here today,” she said.  

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