Today is a day of great significance because it is the day on which the contribution of workers to the progress of the economy and society, which is fundamental to the development of a nation, is fittingly recognised. The celebration marks the triumphant culmination of the struggle of the working class, who, since the 19th century, had demanded that the requisites for their wellbeing be met. The outcome of the struggle was sealed in the form of an understanding that prescribed cooperation among government bodies, as well as between employers and employees.
Since 1972, Labour Day has been celebrated in Malaysia on May 1st, that is, in conjunction with the celebration of International Workers’ Day. This year’s theme for the celebration, which is Healthy Workers, Higher Productivity,reflectsthe government’s concern for the welfare of the workers in the various fields and professions. All individuals have their respective roles which complement one another in the fulfilment of the trust and responsibility which they have been charged with. As such, every individual has the equal right to health and safety, especially in the performance of their duties.
In view of the fact that workers constitute the primary asset of Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), their health and safety are among UUM’s main concerns. Thus, this year’s Labour Day theme is seen as highly relevant because it is laden with an irrefutable truth of high value. UUM has provided various kinds of facilities, infrastructure, and programmes to ensure that the mental, physical, and spiritual health of its workers is continually raised to a higher level of wellbeing. A variety of initiatives will also be launched, in the near future, in a bid to raise the awareness level of the denizens of UUM with regard to the numerous amenities furnished for their benefit.
On the occasion of this year’s Labour Day celebration, I would like to urge all members of the UUM community to raise their respective levels of productivity. Indeed, our concern for the University’s position in the changed and treacherous terrain of the chessboard of world economy is an important basis for us to soldier on along the path to excellence and glory. It is also in this month of May that the 11th Malaysia Plan will be launched, signalling the last leg of our journey towards 2020. In this context, as workers, we should be ready to accept and implement the new agenda enshrined in the Higher Education Sector Action Plan. The paradigm shift from Conventional Academia, in terms of new thinking, philosophy, framework for higher education, and pedagogy premised upon New Academia, requires an approach that is apt, thorough, and prudent to ensure high productivity.
Hence, every individual must be aware of their specific role and responsibilities. It is our collective contribution of ideas, energy, and effort that will propel UUM to the fore and ensure that it will continue to remain relevant and reliable in the eyes of everyone in every stratum of society. Every denizen of UUM, be they new members of staff or old, must support the aspirations of the University in concert with the others if UUM is to gain recognition from all the relevant parties and advance to the vanguard of the national and international arenas.
Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the entire staff of UUM on a job well done because they, in their various capacities and in their various roles as catalysts, movers, and drivers, have helped mould UUM into a holistic institution of higher learning. May the noble efforts of all parties bring gratifying success and bountiful prosperity.
Best wishes and HAPPY LABOUR DAY 2015!
Wabillahi Taufik Walhidayah, Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.
Prof. Dato' Wira Dr. Mohamed Mustafa Ishak
Universiti Utara Malaysia
Translated by Mahaliza Mahadhir
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UNIVERSITI UTARA MALAYSIA
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