SHAH ALAM, March 21 2012 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the government's proposal to amend the University and University Colleges Act (UUCA) 1971 showed the government had faith in the ability of undergraduates to be matured in their thinking and be responsible citizens.
He said this was the philosophy behind the planned amendments which would enable university students to listen to political speeches and choose the political party they preferred but without neglecting their studies.
Najib said this to some 10,000 students of public and private universities gathered at Universiti Teknologi MARA's Dewan Agong Tuanku Canselor here tonight in conjunction with the launching of Yayasan Sukarelawan Siswa, a foundation for student volunteers.
He said the planned amendments showed the government wanted university students to be open minded and be able to evaluate for themselves issues of interest to them and make matured decisions in determining their future.
"Don't fall for all the opposition's lies and empty promises because there are people who love to do just that. They can promise the sun, the moon and the galaxy...I just want you to know that they can make promises, but we can deliver," he said.
Najib said the government did not take lightly its promises, but could prove to the people, including university students, that they can really count on the government to administer the country.
"We are giving assurance that tomorrow will be better than today. Major changes are taking place in the country and I mean real changes, not just political rhetoric," he said.
He said the government would also pay attention to finding a long-term solution in regard to career prospects of university students so that they gain jobs suited to their qualifications upon graduation.
He said towards this end, the government would be implementing the Mass Rapid Transit project connecting Sungai Buloh and Kajang and a giant Petronas refinery project costing RM60 billion in Pengerang, Johor to generate more employment opportunities for graduates in Malaysia.
Najib said:"They will graduating, looking for jobs and who will give jobs if we did not have systematic planning in place.
"If we did not attract investment of RM130 billion .. we would not be able to provide employment opportunities for graduates."
According to the Economic Transformation Plan, the government is targeting to have 3.3 million jobs by 2020, he said.
Najib said:" I remembered when I was in the university, I was wondering what job opportunity would be there after graduating, whether I could get the opportunity I wanted, I can also see that in the minds of the students both in and outside of this hall."
As such, he called on graduates to trust the government as it gave full attention to the development of the nation's economy so that there would be a growth rate of between five and six per cent per annum for job opportunities to continue to be generated for graduates.
Commenting on the launch of the foundation, Najib said he hoped university students would participate in charity and volunteer activities once a year if possible, or at least once during their college life.
Through these activities, they could get new experiences and probably become an icon or a role model for the people and the country, he added.