KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 2010 (Bernama) -- To make human capital more competent, voluntary activities should be made compulsory in institutes of higher education nationwide, said the prime minister's wife.
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor said, the nation needed citizens and future leaders who were not only intellectually capable, socially cooperative and civic-minded, but also exercising a sense of care for their fellow citizens, especially the lesser fortunate.
Thus, she said, educational institutions should produce graduates not only to fulfill the needs of industry but also to be caring and compassionate.
"A loving and caring society will in turn, complement the nation's endeavours towards economic development and properity," she said in her speech before launching the Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA) International Art Exhibition here Thursday.
The exhibition, open to the public until Sunday from 10.30am to 5.30pm, showcases 157 paintings from local and international artists, including those from Singapore, Taiwan, China and Myanmar, to raise RM1 million to provide interest-free loans for needy students to further their studies at the MIA.
Rosmah said volunteerism would also serve as a platform for students to show their ability to help other people, as well as empower them to undertake activities beneficial to other people, group or cause.
"By involving in volunteerism, students will enable themselves to work as a team and have a sense of belonging," she said, adding it would promote positive feelings of a sense of accomplishment, enhance interpersonal skills and help them to reach their full potential.
On MIA's effort to collect funds for the interest-free study loans, she said it was exemplary and should be emulated by other non-profit organisations.
"Poverty should not be a barrier in their pursuit of education, it is therefore, my sincere hope that more tertiary education institutions will come forward to emulate MIA in assisting, especially needy students, by providing financial assistance," added the prime minister's wife.
She believed that art education needed more exposure in the country as it would help to build awareness of a common history, heritage, as well as shared future and destiny for Malaysians.
"I understand that through art education, it leads to the development of innovative and creative ideas, as well as better understanding for other subjects from languages to geography and even science," she said.