PENANG, September 2015 – The Media and Public Relations Centre, Universiti Sains Malaysia (MPRC USM) has been called upon to gather the views and opinions of the country’s prominent scholars, especially those who have been long involved in the nation-building and development process, in order to enhance the sense of self-worth within the community and to provide more clarity to the information on efforts relating to the development of the society and the country.
The USM Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato' Dr. Omar Osman said, such a documentation is essential in providing the views and information from the country’s scholars and intellects in warding off the various accusations which lack accurate facts and data, in relation to the many issues currently being discussed.
"We know that some of the accusations were mainly based on rumours and suppositions made by numerous parties, and spread via social media channels meant to bring harm to the country," said Omar to the staff-members of MPRC here.
Furthermore he said, there should be a commitment together to spur, to steer and promote the development of the country, instead of causing its downfall.
According to Omar, the act of humiliating, causing provocation and sedition need to be contained and not exaggerated to the extent that it could destabilise the country, as well as to avoid in being insensitive to the religious beliefs of certain communities, for example by misusing the name of the Prophet in making certain assumptions.
“I have reminded the new batch of students coming into USM to continue to learn, learn and learn in this towering institution of knowledge and not to be involved in any unhealthy activity which could discredit the good name of this beloved institution,” he stressed.
Omar said, the new students should instil in themselves a strong determination to succeed and those responsible in providing guidance to the students at USM should look closely at the operations planning modules for the students, for them to be moulded from the onset, to become righteous individuals who can contribute and dedicate their service to the country.
Omar was also disappointed with the attempts by certain quarters in questioning the integrity of the mainstream media, in their coverage on current issues which gives constant focus on the aspect of development of the country.
"Certain quarters, on the contrary, would prefer to believe reports from doubtful sources in trying to understand the various issues, which might lead to causing inconveniences in others, and having dubious intentions in spreading news which are ambiguous and would lead to causing distress in others," said the Vice-Chancellor further.
Omar also requested for MPRC to work together with various parties, especially in utilising the available expertise at the schools, to establish a news-gathering centre which could assist the university to become more ‘visible’ and could contribute to the development process of the country.
"I have requested for a working paper to be finalised and deliberated by the university to coordinate in the establishment of a Media Centre for the university, which would consolidate all the talents and skills available at the School of Communication, School of the Arts, Centre for Educational Technology and Multimedia (PTPM), and MPRC in the near future to ensure the effort is realised," Omar added.
Those who attended the gathering include the Director of MPRC Mohamad Abdullah, officials and staff-members of MPRC and the Vice-Chancellor’s Office of USM.
Translation: Mazlan Hanafi Basharudin/Text: Mohamad Abdullah & Hafiz Meah Ghouse Meah/Photo: Zamani Abd Rahim