KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor announced a RM2 million funding to Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) to boost its research works. 

“Research opens up new opportunities for learning and growth and I want to see UMS  doing more in this area,” he said at the Aku Janji Pledge ceremony in conjunction with the  orientation week of new students for the 2022/2023 intake at the UMS Chancellor Hall  here today. 

Hajiji, who is also Pro-Chancellor of UMS was informed about the various programmes  including research being done currently at the university when he met with the new UMS  vice-chancellor, Prof Datuk Dr Kasim Md Mansur a few days ago. 

“Hence, I am pleased to announce the State Government’s contribution of RM2 million  to the UMS research fund. I hope this will spur the university’s research agenda,” he said. 

He said as the next echelon of leaders, the younger generation has the responsibility to  equip themselves with knowledge, skills and high morals with impeccable etiquette  through education. 

“Youths must be given the opportunity to formulate the nation’s development policies. In  recent years, youths have come forward to be involved in several state elections in  Malaysia, which showed their readiness to contribute in terms of ideas and energy in  developing the country,” he said. 

Realising this fact, the State Government has always provided space and opportunities  for youths in Sabah to be involved in the process in a more holistic way through several  initiatives like the Sabah Youth Parliament as well as Sabah Maju Jaya Fellow  programmes under the purview of the Youth and Sports Ministry. 

The first batch of 24 graduates were selected for the Sabah Maju Jaya Fellow programme  to undergo a six-month guidance programme in all 12 state ministries in March this year. 

“The programme is part of the State Government’s efforts to grow Sabah’s human capital  development. It is also an opportunity for the youths to contribute in a positive way should  they decide to venture into politics or even to help shape government’s policies in the  future,” he said.

The UMS Pro-Chancellor said human capital development is one of the three main thrusts  in the Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya initiated by the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah-BN State  Government to steer Sabah’s development. 

In the Sabah 2022 Budget, he said the State Government had implemented various  initiatives to ensure human capital development and people’s prosperity. 

The Chief Minister also hoped the youths will be involved in the election process since all  Malaysian citizens are automatically registered as voters upon reaching 18 years of age. 

“It is not just because you are registered automatically, but it is your responsibility as a  Malaysian citizen to choose the country’s government,” he said. 

Hajiji also advised the new students who come from different religious and racial  backgrounds to make UMS the platform to continue maintaining and strengthening the  unity that has been forged between them. 

“Through such understanding, there will be racial and religious harmony and unity. We  must always be united in order to preserve peace and prosperity,” he said. 

A total 4,576 students have been selected for the new intake of which 60.6 per cent or  2,770 are from Sabah and the rest included 1,144 from other states, 582 from Sarawak  and 23 international students. 

Also present were Special Tasks and Coordination Minister and State Education Exco,  Datuk Hj Ariffin Arif and Chairman of the UMS Board of Directors, Datuk Seri Panglima  Abdul Rahman Dahlan. 

Ends