Indian students unite during two-day capacity-building camp
By Patricia Hului
Indian students based in Sabah and Sarawak came together for a two-day event called Sabah and Sarawak Indian Students Unity 2015 held at Youth and Sports Complex on Oct 9 and 10.
Organised by Borneo Young Revolutionary Feathers (BYRF) through the Students Representative Council (MPP) of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), the event was an initiative to strengthen the unity and leadership among Indian students studying at the local government institutions in East Malaysia.
The closing ceremony was held on Saturday night at Faculty of Medicine auditorium.
Women, Welfare and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah officiated the event which was attended by prominent leaders of the Indian community in Kuching.
In her speech, Fatimah advised the students that besides capacity-building programmes for their own race, in future they can also have programmes that foster interaction through community work.
“It is important to bring our own people together of the same race, of the same religion especially when we are the minorities but it is also important to have interactions with others.”
Fatimah who holds the Watching Brief on Education in Sarawak added, “We have been enjoying living in peace harmoniously with the different ethnic groups so far and we hope to stay that way with the help of all of you here to Malaysia a peaceful country.”
She also cited Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Adenan Satem who stated that here in Sarawak, the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups were not regarded as ‘pendatang’, especially the second and third generations born in the state.
Meanwhile according to the programme president Punithan Balakrishnan, this year is the second time Sabah and Sarawak Indian Unity has organised this event.
“This year we have altogether 128 participants including 21 from Universiti Malaysia Sabah Labuan campus, 17 from Polytechnic Kuching and 90 from Unimas.”
Punithan added that the programme would not be possible without 34 committee members from BYRF.
He was overwhelmed by the amount of support the group received from Kuching’s Indian communities and 1Malaysia Indian Students Movement’s president D. Mahaganapathy.
Over the two days, the participants fortified their spiritual character and ability through peer-to-peer learning.
The students listened to talks as well as held a mock election to prepare themselves for the life after university.
Also present during the closing ceremony were associate professor Dr Soubakeavathi Rethinasamy representing Unimas deputy vice chancellor.
The event ended with presentation of certificate of participation to the students, plaques and golden shawls to all the VIPs and Sponsors.