BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Monarch of Brunei Darussalam, called for the immediate construction of the new campus of the Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali’s (UNISSA) in the Temburong District.
The Sultan Bolkiah’s instruction was conveyed during an unscheduled visit to the university on Monday (Oct 12).
“With the completion of the Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Bridge, it is our hope that the construction of the UNISSA campus in the Temburong District will take place,” said His Majesty.
“This project is significant for the Temburong District and for Brunei Darussalam too, as a symbol of how Islam is preserved and promulgated in this country.
“I do not want any excuses as to why this project should not be carried out. What is relevant here is that UNISSA must prepare for a new era with a new building.”
“The preparations should incorporate state-of-the-art university management and administration, empowerment of existing faculties, and enhancing the overall performance and quality of the academic staff, without neglecting the students’ accomplishments.
“Regarding the prospective location of UNISSA in the Temburong District, it would be quite fitting for the university to have a new faculty on agriculture, since the sciences of agriculture, animal husbandry and the like are also part of Islamic teachings.
“From my point of view, although we may not have a higher educational institution for agriculture, having our own agricultural faculty is quite sufficient to meet the requirements.”
Earlier, the monarch described UNISSA as the country’s leading Islamic university, whose role is to produce authentic Islamic scholars.
“It is generally known that Islam has been given labels such as liberal Islam, moderate Islam and so on.
“However, our country has no interest in such labels – we only know it as pure Islam or Islam as delivered by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), ” said His Majesty.
“Apart from producing authentic Islamic scholars, UNISSA acts as a buffer against iniquity and slurs on Islam…As with other higher educational institutions, it has its own set of qualifications, but they are not meant to be flaunted about.
“This reflects an unhealthy attitude – as a progressive higher educational institution, UNISSA must constantly be engaged with academic works and research, in addition to being responsive towards all matters related to education.” – The Borneo Bulletin/Asian News Network/PMT