KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said in an era dominated by digitalisation and artificial intelligence, aspects of civilisation such as language and literature should not be forgotten because they are the strength of society’s values and morals.

He said a nation cannot also develop without progress in civilisation. 

“We are humans after all and humans cannot be shaped within only the framework of digitalisation technology, it is formed with the development of the nation and culture.

“In upholding the nation’s dignity, yes, the economy is still fundamentally important. But if we are talking about (the development of) human dignity, it is of course based on knowledge, morals and culture,” he said in his keynote address when officiating the Fikrah Siddiq Fadzil seminar at Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) here today.

In the seminar that discussed the topic “Citra Budaya dan Peradaban Bangsa Malaysia”, Anwar said academic discourse and its likes must be expanded to develop civilisation and raise the dignity of the Malaysia Madani community. 

Also present were Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek and DBP’s board of directors chairman Datuk Seri Dr Awang Sariyan.

In his address, the prime minister described the late Datuk Dr Siddiq Fadzil as someone who was very concerned about the need for reforms and new thinking among a dynamic and progressive Malay community.

Anwar said in his last meeting with Siddiq before he fell ill, Siddiq told him that there needs to be another round of talks on Malay and Islam, progressive understanding while referring to the need for reforms.

“He had written with the frameworks provided on how we can train the younger generation to benefit from this form of understanding,” Anwar said.

The late Siddiq, who was also a former president of the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (ABIM), died on Aug 31, 2021. 

Besides being named as the 2018 national-level Tokoh Maal Hijrah, the late Siddiq was also Kolej Dar al-Hikmah president, chairman of Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia’s (USIM) board of directors and Institut Darul Ehsan chairman.


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