Nobel laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus has called upon the new generation of Malaysia to put their talents and energies to solving the problems of society using their innovation, creativity, resources and technology.
The microcredit pioneer made the call during the launch of the Nobel Laureate in Residence programme at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in Bangi, Selangor, on Friday, said Yunus Centre in a statement.
The 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner has accepted an offer to become Laureate-in-Residence at UKM, and delivered the inaugural lecture to an audience of over 2,000 faculties and students on social business as a way to solve society’s most pressing problems.
Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin, vice chancellor of the university, introduced Prof Yunus and his work so far to the programme, which was officially inaugurated by the secretary general of the higher education ministry.
The ministry initiated the Nobel Laureate Programme in 2001, inspired by a vision of former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed to generate a Malaysian Nobel Prize winner by 2020.
The government has developed strategic plans to make the vision a reality and has allocated special resources to develop the necessary infrastructure and human capital for the purpose. The UKM’s Nobel Laureate in Residence programme is part of that overall strategy.
In his speech, Prof Yunus said developing microcredit and social business in Bangladesh taught him about the potential of all people to change their own lives for the better.
He called upon the new generation to work and put their talent and energies to solving the problems of society with their own innovation and creativity and with the resources and technology available to them today.
The Nobel Laureate in Residence invited Yunus to stay at UKM for one month to one year, with a full-time teaching position, full accommodation and access to all facilities.
UKM is a university based in Bangi, Selangor with more than 25,000 students. It is also known for introducing the PermataPintar initiative, a nationwide initiative to identify and nurture gifted children through specialised teaching programmes.
Yunus was in Malaysia on Friday for a three-day visit before going to Japan to attend the Asian Forum for Social Business to be held in Fukuoka.
-With The Daily Star input