By : Siti Nur`Ain Feisal
Editor : Nik Hafzaini Nik Hassan
SERDANG – MEKAR 2021: OKU Inclusive Campus Awareness Campaign was successfully held. MEKAR is an acronym for Menggamit Seribu Kenangan: Alumni Reunion.
MEKAR is a program that gathers or Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) alumni reunion in collaboration with Alumni Relations Centre UPM and UPM Alumni Association.
The main purpose of MEKAR 2021 programme was to gather people with disabilities alumni to celebrate their contribution to the university’s excellence over the years. In addition, this program also looks at a more strategic phase of continuous cooperation between the disabled UPM alumni and alma mater as well as a sign of empowerment of the disabled alumni towards the university’s triumph in conjunction with UPM 50 Years golden Jubilee Celebrations (1971-2021).
In addition, this programme also strengthens the spirit of belonging through the disabled alumni reunion. Furthermore, the programme also launched the establishment of the UPM Disabled Alumni Chapter.
Indirectly, the programme and the establishment of this chapter also demonstrates the involvement and visibility of people with disabilities in the Disabled Inclusive Campus Awareness Campaign as we celebrate UPM 50 Years Golden Jubilee Celebration (1971-2021).
The programme was held for the first time at Mini Auditorium UPM Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Building, was officiated by Mr. Shahriman Hashim, Head of Administration of the Student Affairs and Alumni Division of UPM. Also present at the programme were Assoc. Prof. Dr. Arba'ie Sujud, Director of Alumni Relations Centre UPM, representatives of the disabled alumni, Dr. Mastura Mahamed, Senior Lecturer of Communication Department, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication UPM, student representative, Muhammad Muzhaffar Shah Azmi, President of Chapter Student Ambassador UPM, ARCUPM staff and representatives of the UPM Alumni Association.
According to Shahriman, the university welcomes the establishment of UPM Disabled Alumni Chapter and the university recognizes the disabled students, alumni and staff who work together to lead the university’s success internationally.
"These groups should be considered as important as subjected in the UPM PWD Inclusive Policy 2020. The establishment of the PWD Alumni Chapter is to promote the aspiration of inclusiveness in the higher education environment in Malaysia. This chapter will indirectly serve as a platform for alumni and students to voice their hopes and views on the issues of people with disabilities in university and campus. My hope is that the establishment of the chapter and the MEKAR program will be pioneer towards the establishment of a secretariat that act as advisor to students and role models to university students," he said.
The establishment of PWD Alumni Chapter and MEKAR received the support from Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Mohd Radzi who fight and vocally voiced issues related to the PWD in Malaysia.
"Deepest appreciation for Alumni Relations Centre UPM for its good initiatives to empower the PWD groups among alumni through PWD Inclusive Campus Awareness Campaign in conjunction with International People with Disabilities Day which is celebrated every December 3rd every year.
The hashtag campaign “Dari Alumni untuk UPM” is seen as an attraction to call alumni to continue contribute back to alma mater through contribution like Alumni Scholarship, knowledge and expertise sharing to UPM students and its community.”
I hope the establishment of UPM PWD Chapter will sustain the importance and existence of PWD in Malaysia public universities,” said Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi.
Earlier, UPM through ARCUPM together played roles in highlighting the voice of the disabled and ensuring that these people continue receive privileged in university to pursue their hopes and dreams.
Date of Input: 13/01/2022 | Updated: 26/01/2022 | suziana.wil
Office of Deputy Vice-Chancellor
(Research and Innovation)
Universiti Putra Malaysia
Off Lebuh Silikon
43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor