We are quite fortunate because, despite the uncertainties of the gloomy global economic conditions, Malaysia has succeeded in placing its economy on the right track, ensuring economic resilience and stability, thanks to the efficacious implementation of the National Transformation Plan. We are now in the final five-year phase of our journey towards realising Vision 2020 and joining the ranks of the advanced nations. On the whole, the government is optimistic in its expectation of seeing a rise in the percentage of skilled workers, in its workforce of 13 million, from the current 28 percent to 50 percent come the year 2020.
The theme of the Labour Day 2016 celebration, which is “Skilled Workers, the Movers of the Economy”, attests to the fact that the contribution of skilled workers is crucial to generating a stronger national economy for the future. The economic agenda outlined in the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-2020) is expected to create 1.5 million jobs by 2020. Of these jobs, an estimated 60 percent are expected to require skilled and semi-skilled labour. As such, the relevant strategic measures taken to develop human capital commensurate with the projected needs of the nation, must have the full cooperation of all parties.
As an institution of higher learning, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) is ever in keeping with the recommendations and efforts of the government. In our effort towards becoming an Eminent Management University, every employee has to move, in step with one another, like the measured strains of a symphony, in harmony with our vision, mission, and strategy, so as to culminate in a crescendo of triumphant attainment. Every action we take must have a dual purpose, that is, it should be aimed at both our self-improvement and the guidance we give our students so that they will become employees of the first order who will be able to serve the global community.
On the occasion of Labour Day 2016, let us take to heart the words of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the import of which goes:
Indeed, Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, favours it very much (loves it, in fact) if one from amongst you, when you perform your work, do it diligently.” (From Riwayat Baihaqi)
God willing, our diligence in our work with the incorporation of our shared values, namely, self-reflection, excellence, integrity, mutual respect and acceptance, lifelong learning, communication, and gratitude, will serve as the driving force for all our triumphs.
Also, I would like to urge all of you to harness every iota of your creative and innovative energies and channel them into your efforts to raise your level of productivity and that of the institution. Though we are presently faced with the attritional effects of globalisation that have affected the national economy, we can overcome it if we optimise our resources to the best of our abilities.
On the occasion of this significant celebration, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the entire UUM campus community for the concerted effort in raising our beloved university to a level that inspires overwhelming pride. I congratulate you on a job well done. May this sincere effort yield success that is abiding and prosperity that is forever blessed.
Happy Labour Day 2016!
Wabillahi Taufik Walhidayah, Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.
Professor Dato' Seri Dr. Mohamed Mustafa Ishak
Universiti Utara Malaysia
Translated by Ravi Rao
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UNIVERSITI UTARA MALAYSIA
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