By Shahfizal Musa
Pix by Saliman Leman
BANGI 5 Jan. 2011- The Sultan of Kedah’s youngest daughter, Tunku Panglima Besar, Dato’ Seri Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz binti Sultan Haji Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah has been appointed as a Pro-chancellor of UKM making her the first woman Pro-chancellor for the university.
UKM’s Vice Chancellor Prof Tan Sri Dato’ Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin acknowledging this said Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz has proven to have the spirit of a warrior, when she became the first female member of the country’s royal family to be made commander of the Territorial Army, Regiment 513.
For her siervices she was awarded the Darjah Pahlawan Angkatan Tentera (PAT) by the Yang Di Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.
Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz’s involvement with UKM began in 2007 when she was appointed a royal Fellow in the Institute of Environment and Development (LESTARI).
She had also been involved in getting the Langkawi Geopark recognised as part of the Global Geoparks under the patronage of UNESCO inJun 2007.
Tunku Puteri Safinaz in her acceptance speech said that UKM was on the right track in moving towards research and development through its eight niche areas and referred to the setting up of the centres of research and excellence such as Langkawi Research Centre, Tasik Chini and Fraser’s Hill.
“The research and development activities carried out in UKM has to be of high impact to the development of the community and in line with the government’s aspiration and transformation plan in moving towards achieving high income and developed nation status in 2020.” she said.
She also said that character building and development of soft skills of the students were equally important apart from achieving academic excellence to ensure that its graduates would be competitive in the market place.
She hopes to contribute to UKM’s continued development to achieve excellence in research, education and community service.
The Yang di Pertua Besar Negeri Sembilan Tuanku Mukhriz Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Munawir as UKM’s Chancellor handed her the seal of appointment at a ceremony here this afternoon. Also present at the ceremony were the Deputy Vice Chancellors, faculty deans and other senior UKM officers.