Chancellor Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah launched the Chancellor’s Lecture Series, an initiative of the Centre for Dialogue (C4D) of Wawasan Open University, at the main campus today.
Tun Dzaiddin congratulated the University for establishing the C4D and for organising the inaugural public lecture on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye said the C4D operates under the umbrella of WOU’s Institute for Research and Innovation (IRI), and is fully supported by the Wawasan Education Foundation (WEF).
“The mission of the Centre is to promote greater understanding of different viewpoints especially on contemporary issues that are confronting Malaysians across all walks of life. C4D is to lead in addressing critical issues that impact the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of our communities. It uses dialogue to generate non-partisan and constructive communication around difficult topics,” he added in his opening remarks.
He explained that the late Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik mooted the idea for the Centre during his tenure as WOU Council Chairman to support “open, free dialogues that can provide feedback to leaders to help deal with issues that confront the people”.
Prof Ho stressed that it is important to “constantly engage people, both the young and old, and offer them a platform or outlet for participating in discussions, debates and dialogues in a formal, honest and diplomatic fashion. The desired goal is to build a higher level of thinking and understanding between the Government and corporate, intellectual and academic opinion makers.”
He reiterated the aim of C4D was to promote civil discussions “in a conducive, unbiased and objective manner, free from any partisan politics, hidden agendas or overly aggressive activism”.
Through the Chancellor’s Lecture Series, he said, the Centre “will draw on thought leaders, practitioners and perceived agents of change to speak on current topics that are of public interest. It will examine key questions that affect our communities and the nation. Doing so will help the University engage with the local community, alumni and students to enhance knowledge, exchange views and opinions.”
Among those present at the event were Pro-Chancellor Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, Universiti Sains Malaysia Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Ahmad Shukri Mustapa Kamal and academics as well as students from WOU and other institutions of higher learning.