Private centres urged to set up Rukun Negara clubs

Well done: Aaron (third from left) congratulating the debate winners from Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia. Looking on is his deputy, Senator Saraswathy Kandasami (second from left). — Bernama

SHAH ALAM: More private higher education institutions should establish Rukun Negara clubs to foster patriotism and unity among youth, says the National Unity Minister.

Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang said currently only 36 institutions in the private higher education sector had set up Rukun Negara clubs.

There are more than 400 private higher education institutions in the country.

“Efforts to promote and implement the appreciation of the Rukun Negara have been actively developed at the higher education level through these clubs.

“As of now, there are 189 registered Rukun Negara clubs in higher education campuses nationwide,” he said at the 2024 National Unity Minister’s Cup debate competition for higher education students at a hotel here yesterday.

He added that all public higher education institutions had set up a Rukun Negara club.

These include 30 clubs registered at public higher education institutions, polytechnics (28), matriculation colleges (17), community colleges (51), and teacher education institutes (27).

Aaron also said a grant was given to Rukun Negara clubs at higher education institutions to implement more activities.

“Starting this year, the ministry allocated RM3,000 each to all (Rukun Negara) clubs to carry out the Rukun Negara Exploration programme at the higher education level,” he said in his speech.

He said he hoped national unity could be strengthened among students through this initiative.

The unity debate competition was one of the initiatives by the ministry to promote appreciation for the Rukun Negara by higher education students, said Aaron.

Although the debate was started in 2005, the ministry only endorsed it from 2022 onwards.

“I am informed that 200 debaters involving 50 teams participated in this year’s debate competition,” he said.

The theme of the debate this year is “Appreciate the Rukun Negara” (Menjiwai Rukun Negara).

The main objective of the debate, he added, was to strengthen students’ understanding and acceptance of ethnic, religious and cultural diversity.

It was also to strengthen unity among students based on the principles of Rukun Negara.

The finals saw the Universiti Islam Sains Malaysia and Universiti Malaya debating on the topic “Is racial politics a significant threat to unity within Malaysians?”

Universiti Islam Sains Malaysia emerged as the winner, taking home RM20,000, books from Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP), and a trophy.

One of its debaters, Nur Rasyiqah Unigkutti, bagged the Best Debater award which comes with RM2,700 in prize money and books from DBP.

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