KUALA LUMPUR – Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah today decreed that Malaysia rejects all forms of violence against innocent civilians in armed conflicts happening in various parts of the world right now.
His Majesty said this includes bombings of hospitals and schools and the disruption of water, food, and electricity supplies to the public.
“As a sovereign and independent nation, it is our responsibility to reject forms of violence that are contrary to international humanitarian norms. Leaders, including those in the security and defence sectors, must adhere steadfastly to the principles of universal peace and humanity.
“I am worried that if we do not apply these principles from now on, any dispute in the future will inevitably end in an armed conflict that will disregard all forms of humanitarian rationality,” Al-Sultan Abdullah said in his royal address at the 13th Convocation Ceremony of Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) at the World Trade Centre here.
Present were Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Chief of Defence Forces General Tan Sri Mohammad Ab Rahman and UPNM Vice Chancellor Lt Gen Datuk Mardzuki Muhammad.
The King said considering the ongoing armed conflicts, UPNM should be turned into a central hub in instilling an understanding and adherence to international humanitarian laws among the future society and leaders of the country.
Al-Sultan Abdullah, who is also the Chancellor of UPNM, said this is because international laws emphasise the humanitarian elements in controlling the adverse effects of armed conflict and warfare.
“In this challenging era, the role of higher education institutions demands a new paradigm shift towards excellence as institutions supporting the people and the nation.
“UPNM, as a premier defence university in this region, is responsible for producing future leaders to ensure success and defend the strategic interests of the country,” the King said.
In this context, His Majesty said UPNM also needs to confront the challenges of the current geo-political realities wisely and continually explore and identify new areas within the security and defence landscape.
A total of 1,490 UPNM graduands will be receiving their scrolls at the convocation, including 11 who will be receiving a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree, Master’s degree (93), Bachelor’s degree (986), and diploma (400).
UPNM also conferred an Honorary Doctorate on two former Chiefs of Defence Forces, namely General (Rtd) Tan Sri Azizan Ariffin in Aeronautic Engineering and General (Rtd) Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin in Strategic and International Relations.
Former United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Malaysia Datuk Khalid Ghanim Mohammed AlGhaith was also conferred the Honorary Doctorate in International Relations. – BERNAMA