Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad graced the campus of IIUM yesterday for the launching of the Tun Mahathir Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF) Chair for Global Peace.
Also present at the launch were IIUM president Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim, IIUM Rector, Prof. Dato’ Dr. Zaleha Kamaruddin, the Dean of Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyah of Laws, Prof Dr. Hunud Abia Kadouf, first chair of PGPF, Prof Johan Galtung, and other dignitaries.
In his opening speech, Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim said that both the IIUM and PGPF are legacies of Tun Dr. Mahathir.
Launching the Chair, he said that it would provide a platform for expanding knowledge, and practical experience and competency for scholars and practitioners through being involved in peace building and humanitarian assistance.
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir emphasized numerous times in his keynote speech the importance of using soft diplomacy skills like negotiation in settling disputes between countries, avoiding war at all costs.
With the PGPF Chair, Tun Dr. Mahathir hopes to establish the mechanics of war and peace, and to provide long-term solutions to change the mindsets, ideas, and values of the people to detest and object to war so that leaders of tomorrow reject war as solutions to international issues.
Prof Johan Galtung, internationally known as the ‘Father of Peace Studies’, was announced as the first Chair holder at the event.