YM Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen bin Tengku Ismail has numerous contributions in the education and arts field. Among Tengku’s many contributions include the instrumental setting up of the South East Asian office for the University of Nottingham right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur as an initial set up in 1997. This provided the support and backbone for Tengku to then see through the setting up of the University of Nottingham Malaysia in 2000 – the first British University to have an overseas campus. With his core belief that research-led teaching would be important to the quality of the students who graduated from this branch campus, Tengku set out a plan to support such a direction for this young branch. During the time when Tengku was the Chairman of University of Nottingham in Malaysia (UNiM) Berhad, the University established The Globalisation and Economic Policy (GEP) Research Centre in 8Later in the same year, the University also announced its partnership with Biodiversity International to form an international research centre on underutilised crops, Crops for the Future. Research Centres like the GEP, would allow faculty members to share their research and allow students to be part of a vibrant and dynamic research-led environment. Tengku’s efforts saw him being awarded with an honorary doctorate from the University in 2002. He continued to serve the University on the board of UNiM and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the University in 2013.
Tengku has always said the youths are the future of this great nation. Their views are important and it is this passion in education that has fuelled his interest to lend his name to the Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen Award Essay Competition, a collaboration between the United Nations Association of Malaysia (UNAM) and the University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM); both the result of Tengku’s passion for top quality education and the politics and national agenda of his beloved Malaysia. Over the years the competition has drawn many insights from Malaysian youths between the ages of 17 and 21. The competition is hosted by the School of Politics, History and International Relations (PHIR) at UNM, to honour Tengku’s contribution to Malaysia.
There was a record of 38 participants for this year’s essay, which was titled: Corruption: what does it mean to your generation? How can corruption, in your view be reduced or eliminated. This year’s essay submissions came from schools and institutions of higher learning throughout Peninsular Malaysia. Malaysian youths spoke of their understanding of corruption and defended their views with examples allowing judges to follow their journey of growing up in Malaysia and experiencing the significant changes that the General Election in 2018 brought to their daily lives. The submissions were of high quality as attested through the command of English used in the writings and the thoughts articulated in these essays. These participants wrote down their hopes to better a place they call their home, Malaysia and we heard them.
This year’s competition winners are as follows:
First Prize: Zarith Sufiah – UiTM, Shah Alam
Second Prize: Muhammad Syabil Saifuddin – Kolej Yayasan Saad Melaka
Third Prize: Hidayatul Athirah Alffian – University Nottingham Malaysia
Chairmaine Phong Jia Min – University Nottingham Malaysia
Owen Lim Chi Loon – Mantissa College
Olivia Angelyn Letchumi – SMK Puteri Titiwangsa
Monte Tan Jia Ying – Real International School
Ooi Zhanwei –Melaka Manipal
The Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen Award Essay Writing Competition 2019 Prize Giving was held at the University of Nottingham Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur Teaching Centre (KLTC) on 5 October 2019. About 60 guests comprising the UNAM Governing Council members, University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) faculty members, participants, parents and youth members attended the function.
The winners received their prizes from Y.Bhg Dato’ Santhananaban,Chairman of the Organising Committee and Vice President of UNAM, Professor Graham Kendall, Provost and CEO of the University of Nottingham Malaysia and Y.Bhg Tan Sri Razali Ismail,Acting President of UNAM.
The ceremony was to celebrate the winners and also to honour YM Tengku’s contribution to the nation as a minister in various capacities for 20 years and also as the president of UNAM for 34 years.
“It is pleasing to see the that the youth of the nation have such strong opinions on a ‘cleaner’ Malaysia . We are glad to have provided them with the platform to express their views. As a university we are proud to encourage university students in Malaysia to continue to write even amidst the wave of the digital era and we look forward to working again with the United Nations next year when we hope to have an equally exciting topic,” said Professor Graham Kendall, Provost and CEO of University of Nottingham Malaysia,” said Professor Graham Kendall, Provost and CEO of University of Nottingham Malaysia.