JOHOR BAHRU, 8 October 2016 – The staff of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) have been called upon to join the Army Reserves in the Territorial Army known as Askar Wataniah (AW) as a sign of patriotism and determination to defend the sovereignty of our beloved homeland.

This is because the task of defending the country is the responsibility of every citizen and should not be burdened solely on the security forces alone.

UTM Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ir. Datuk Dr. Wahid Omar in his speech said that with the participation of officials and volunteers as AW, one has the opportunity to learn military knowledge that is useful to national defense if attacked.

He said this in his speech in conjunction with the Handover Ceremony as Deputy Commander of Reserve Officers Training Unit (ROTU) or Pasukan Latihan Pegawai Simpanan (PALAPES) due to the retirement of Rear Admiral Dato ‘Prof. Ir. Dr. Alias Mohd Noor after 14 years of holding that portfolio.

According to Prof. Wahid, more involvement from UTM staff in the AW regiment as Voluntary Reserve Officers required to fulfill job vacancies as well as facilitate cadet training at PALAPES UTM. Nevertheless, the University also acknowledges the importance of the maintaining a balance between curricular and extra-curricular activities.

“For your information, all exercises that have been designed by PALAPES UTM do not involve learning time of students and all planning made has to approved by me as commander of the UTM Reserves.

Prof. Alias has served for 45 years in the Royal Malaysian Navy Volunteer Reserve Force (PSSTLDM) and was the first Reserve Officer promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral. This portfolio handover was also because Prof. Alias has retired as a Professor at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering UTM.

The portfolio will be filled by Lieutenant Colonel (AW) Dr. Mohd Noor Azli Ali Khan who was recently promoted on 28 September 2016 at Wisma Perwira Tentera Darat, Sungai Besi Camp.

Prof. Alias (left) handing over the golden baton as symbol of authority as PALAPES Deputy Commander to Dr. Mohd Noor Ali Khan at handover ceremony held at PALAPES UTM

Prof. Alias (left) handing over the golden baton as symbol of authority as PALAPES Deputy Commander to Dr. Mohd Noor Azli Ali Khan at handover ceremony held at PALAPES UTM