By Azreen Azirinee Azizi
GOMBAK, 1 March 2017: The visit of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to IIUM last night to attend a special convocation symbolises a cohesion of friendship and linkage between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, President of IIUM, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim said.
Tan Sri Dr. Rais told IIUMToday that “It is a prestige for IIUM to have the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques coming to our campus and to receive the Honorary Doctoral Degree that was conferred by the university’s Constitutional Head, Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah.”
Asked about possible contribution of the Saudi government towards IIUM, Tan Sri Rais said it would be left to be decided but we are not be in a position to expect a gift from the King.
He further said, “If His Majesty wants to extend a gift in the form of monetary fund we welcome it, if he does not we will not create any inquiry about it. That is Islamic and that is budi in itself.”
He also believed that in a long run we will have something that will greatly benefit both sides. For a start, he added, we already have over 100 sponsored students from Saudi Arabia and “that is very good”.
“IIUM also will be encouraging more Saudi students to study here.”
Tan Sri Rais indicated that more Saudi students would be studying here with their family and we welcome them.
In his speech during the conferment ceremony, Tan Sri Rais said, “Majesty excellency, Majesty generosity, support and concern for many organisations and committees has not gone unnoticed by the Kingdom and people abroad.”
IIUM has conferred an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Philosophy and the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award on King Salman not only as a recognition of friendship, of cordiality, and of Islamic brotherhood, but also to appreciate the King’s generosity and contribution to the ummah at large.
The special convocation was witnessed by more than 1,000 attendees, among them were Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Higher Education Minister, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, Deputy Higher Education Minister, Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Dr. Asyraf Wajdi Dasuki, and IIUM Rector, Prof. Dato’ Sri Dr. Zaleha Kamaruddin.
There were also guests from the diplomatic missions in Kuala Lumpur as well as media representatives from Saudi Arabia and the international media.***