Workers Day, which is celebrated on 1 May of every year, is a fitting recognition given to all groups of workers who have contributed to the development of the country, as well as an expression of appreciation to all employers who have contributed towards the creation of a progressive, dynamic, and prosperous society.
Indeed, workers constitute the primary asset which continuously contributes to the sustainable development of the country. Thus, the theme, 'Creative Employees Initiate Innovations', chosen for the year 2017, is consummately consistent with the trend of the times that requires creativity and innovation at all levels of the organisation in order to be able to deliver maximum impact, especially at the moment when we step into the developed nation phase in the year 2020, as well as being a long-term preparation focused on achieving the goals of National Transformation 2050.
I fervently hope that members of the UUM staff will embrace creativity and innovation as essential features of their work culture so as to enable us to remain productive and competitive in our respective fields. To continue to contribute, we should endeavour to keep abreast of the national innovation and creativity index, which will be one of the thrusts aimed at elevating Malaysia to the rarefied ranks as one of the top 20 countries in the world in the long run.
We must also take the initiative to optimise our existing pool of talent and this requires the emergence of innovative leadership from among the staff at UUM itself. We need to think creatively and innovatively, be deeply committed, persevere in improving the quality of work that is appropriate to the role assumed and, at the same time, be prudent in maintaining safety and wellbeing. As a major player in the field of knowledge, we, i.e. UUM, should also give serious attention to research as it is an approach to empower creativity and innovation among Malaysians.
Apart from our responsibility to ourselves and to other members of staff, we must also stimulate the intellectual vigour of our students by providing them with the proper channels and opportunities for the creation of new ways of thinking, which is always associated with the processes of idea generation behaviour, which would be appropriate, and appreciated, in their future workplace.
I fervently hope that every effort we invest will have a positive impact on engendering holistic human development which will guarantee the future of our beloved country.
Happy Workers Day!
Professor Dato 'Seri Dr. Mohamed Mustafa Ishak
Universiti Utara Malaysia
Translated by Mahaliza Mahadhir (firstname.lastname@example.org)