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Tengku contribution in education and arts showcased in annual essay writing competition

TAR winner

A distinguished public servant, former cabinet minister and a lawyer, YM Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen bin Tengku Ismail has made immense contributions to nation building, particularly in the fields of foreign affairs and national security,education and the arts.

He has also taken a strong personal interest in the initial setting up of the Southeast Asian centre of Nottingham University. From its modest beginnings in the heart of Kuala Lumpur the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus has grown into its current impressive garden campus located in Semenyih, approximately 40 kilometres south of its original location. The University of Nottingham, Malaysia has grown to be at the centre of a cluster of mixed residential and commercial activities in the Semenyih area.

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 Tengku’s tenure as Chairman of the University of Nottingham in Malaysia(UNiM) Berhad the University , the University established the Globalisation and Economic Policy (GEP) Research Centre in 2008. Later 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. The Tengku efforts were accorded recognition with the award by the University of Nottingham Malaysia of an honorary doctorate 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 Rithauddeen has always prioritised the role of the youth as leaders of the future. In his work, he has always advocated the importance of listening to and engaging the Youth in all national projects. In keeping with this conviction, he agreed to lend his name to the Essay Competition organised jointly by the University of Nottingham, Malaysia and the United Nations Association of MAlaysia. The Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen Award Essay Competition has from its inception in 2014 drawn active participation from youth in the selected age group (17 to 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

Consolation winners

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.

(Article image caption: The Top Three Winners of the Competition)

(Thumbnail image caption: The Top Three Winners and the Consolation Prizes Winners with (L-R) Prof Chew Ging Lee (UNM), Prof Graham Kendall (UNM), Y.Bhg Tan Sri Razali Ismail (Acting President of UNAM) and Y.Bhg Dato’ Santhananaban (Chairman of the Organising Committee and Vice President of UNAM).


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Posted on 14th November 2019

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