KUALA LUMPUR:The Higher Education Ministry has called on students of higher learning institutions to be mature in their thinking and never to get involved with terrorist groups, as this could destroy their own future and dash their families' high hopes for them.
Its minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda would always try to recruit youths, whether they were students or not, to join them.
"I don't deny that there are students who are influenced by such groups, but we don't how many are and how many are not," he said after launching the
Ready4Work portal at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia's (UTM) international campus, here, today.
Khaled was referring to the detention of two Malaysians by the Lebanese authorities on Oct 18 for suspected involvement with al-Qaeda, which has raised concerns over local undergraduates being linked to terrorist groups.
He said the ministry viewed seriously students' involvement in militant activities as this could jeopardise national security.
"I've been made to understand that one of the two Malaysians detained in Lebanon is a former undergraduate but there is no confirmation on whether he was recruited while at university," he said.
Khaled stressed that it was not the fault of the higher education system or the government, but the "world now is so open that all information can be easily accessed".
"Therefore, it may be impossible for us to detect students who are influenced by terrorist groups. We hope for police cooperation for us to know that 'something' is happenning at a university to enable us to act."
On another matter, Khaled said he had been informed by the Foreign Ministry that Malaysian students in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy in the United States, were safe.
"Earlier, I've had direct contact with the students via SMS but I'm not able to do so now. Meanwhile, I always communicate with Wisma Putra to find out about their situation," he added.
Khaled also disclosed that his ministry often received complaints from industries that the quality of graduates from the higher learning institutions were not up to expectations.
He said companies should not blame the institutions or the graduates but should instead together find ways to solve the problems so as to produce quality graduates.
As for the Ready4Work portal, it was developed as a one-stop centre to help address students and graduates' weaknesses, especially during interviews.
The portal, developed by UTM in collaboration with Talent Corporation Malaysia Bhd (TalentCorp), can be accessed at www.ready4work.my.
Source : NewStraitsTimes