JOHOR BAHRU, Malaysian students should foster close ties and spread goodwill regardless of race or religion with their peers including those from abroad, said the Permaisuri of Johor, Raja Zarith Sofiah Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah.
Her Majesty, who is also Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) chancellor, said this is due to the presence of international students from war-torn nations who choose to pursue their academic endeavours in the country.
Raja Zarith Sofiah said global geopolitical tensions affect everyone to some degree, as evidenced by the widespread distress as well as loss of life and property in many parts of the world, including certain Muslim countries.
"As a prestigious institution of higher learning, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) has provided a number of international students with the opportunity to pursue their education in Malaysia. This is a noble effort.
"Let us be grateful that we can provide a safe place for these students as their loved ones are enduring great sorrow.
"Various initiatives have been implemented at UTM, such as the Serambi Al-Quds programme to help Palestinians continue their studies at the university," Raja Zarith Sofiah said in her speech during UTM's 67th convocation here today.
Also present was the wife of Tunku Mahkota of Johor, Che’ Puan Besar Khaleeda Bustamam, who is also the UTM pro-chancellor.
Raja Zarith Sofiah also said that, as the consort of the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, she is also responsible for helping the people in this state.
"There are still many people in Johor who are living in deplorable conditions and do not have enough food for their families.
"At the same time, we see many Muslims suffering, but the burden of suffering or misery is heavier on those who bear it, and we are aware of the pain experienced by many people in nations that suffer atrocities.
"Therefore, let us help those closest to us who live in our state and country. At the same time, let us consider the appropriate way of helping those who are being oppressed in foreign countries," said Her Majesty.
A total of 7,804 graduates will receive their scrolls in the convocation ceremony which lasted six days until Nov 23.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency