By Muhammad Faiz
GOMBAK, 29 August 2017: IIUM President, Tan Sri Dr. Rais Yatim this morning gave an inspiring speech on Merdeka at the IIUM Merdeka Month Celebration 2017 and the Al-Liqa’ Al-Jamaie No. 3/2017 where he reminded the people to incarnate the spirit of Merdeka so that “we fully celebrate the Independence Day”.
He said: “You can be the future of UMNO, you can be the future of PAS, and you can be the future of Pribumi or PKR, but while we are here during this month of Merdeka celebration, we are united because of Islam. We are united because of Malaysia.”
He even stressed the importance that once the nation is independent, the inhabitants must become independent as well. Besides that, he said “it is also the cost of Merdeka, which is to ‘merdeka’ all the way”.
Talking to the press later, he also spoke about how important it is for all the leaders to unite in the celebration because they need to show examples to the people to follow in celebrating the auspicious occasion.
Asked what should be the mindset of our university students in being independent, he replied: “This is a big question when you look at it in the context of Merdeka. We must be free to follow our own dreams, ideologies, and knowledge, without being influenced by any outside party, especially in terms of our values as Malaysians and as Muslims.”
“It is our hope that IIUM can uphold the Islamic religion and our religious philosophy. We do not need to sacrifice our religion and values for other people’s values,” he added.
The IIUM Merdeka Month Celebration 2017 and the Al-Liqa’ Al-Jamaie was held in conjunction with the upcoming 60th Merdeka Day celebrations on 31 August.
Alongside the event, IIUM also launched a fundraising campaign in support of army veterans, and a prize-giving ceremony for IIUM Patriotic Song Competition 2017. ***