Centre of Excellence for Halal Research UNISSA
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, 23 October 2016
Brunei Darussalam can be developed into a global Halal hub that will help drive the country's economic growth.
This was stated in a titah delivered by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni AI-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam during the 6th Hafl Al-Takharruj (convocation ceremony) of Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif All (UNISSA) held at the International Convention Centre yesterday.
"There are many areas that UNISSA must explore. One of them is the Halal industry that is fast expanding globally. Is the Halal status not a key requirement of Islam?" His Majesty asked.
"The global market value of the Halal industry is increasing and is estimated to be very large. Within the overall global food industry, the Halal industry has expanded by 16 per cent. The industry may expand to 20 per cent of global trade in food products.
"In view of this, I fully support UNISSAs plan to set up a Centre of Excellence for Halal Research as a catalyst to fulfil my aim to make Brunei Darussalam a 'global Halal hub'that will help drive the country's economic growth," the monarch said.
Highlighting UNISSA's present significance, His Majesty said, "In facing the current issue of accusations and provocations against Islam, I see UNISSA as having a very important role to play in portraying a correct and accurate image of this religion," His majesty said.
"In moving towards this direction, UNISSA students not only have to be proficient in the Al-Quran and the Arabic language, but must also have a deep understanding of the classical works of the Ali Sunnah Wallama'ah scholars of the past in various disciplines of knowledge.
"In addition to that, UNISSA, as an institute of knowledge, also has to be attuned to the developments in the academic landscape and the human resource demands in Brunei.
As such, I am optimistic that the rebranding of the faculty, the expansion of programmes and the offering of new ones, as well as the assessment and changes to a number of courses, are wise and apt steps taken by UNISSA. These steps are some of the best initiatives in further expanding career opportunities for graduates of this university."
"As such, it is important that we pay attention to UNISSA. A key focus that relevant parties should pay attention to includes the building of UNISSA's permanent campus in Temburong. This is important in realising UNISSA's status as a world-class Islamic institute of higher learning."
Earlier in the titah, His Majesty congratulated the graduates who are receiving their degrees and diplomas as well as the parents, guardians and lecturers "who have always worked very hard to see our graduates succeed".
The monarch was happy to know that on the 6th Convocation Ceremony, UNISSA managed to produce its first batch of double degree programme graduates in Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Syariah Law and pleased to note that the first batch of graduates from the Syariah Criminal justice System Certificate completed their studies at UNISSA.
All praise be to Allah the Almighty, this achievement, in my view, is a significant one, aligned with the nation's needs and the expansion of contemporary knowledge.
"Meanwhile, I also hope that the graduates will not be satisfied with merely having a certificate and their academic titles, but are also able to become the driving force in my government, specifically, in establishing the implementation of the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013."
His Majesty also took the opportunity to congratulate and thank the entire UNISSA community, including the university's Council and senate members, rectors, key officials, academics, and all officers and staff of the university for their contributions.