NILAI: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak took a leaf out of the 16th century Malacca history to explain to students why having superior knowledge over oneâ€™s rival is important to emerge victorious.
The Prime Minister said although the Portuguese invaders had sailed to the then bustling port in only three galleons, they managed to conquer the sultanate which had a larger army.
â€œThe Portuguese were victorious because they already had muskets and gunpowder technology as well as canons at their disposal then.
â€œThe Malacca sultanate warriors were defeated as they were only armed with keris and spears,â€ he said when officially opening the Permata Insan College Complex at Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (Usim).
The college, which caters to intelligent children as young as eight, was built to also provide them with education on the teachings of the Quran besides excelling in other subjects.
Built by the Government on a 4.8ha site in Usim at a cost of RM68mil, the college now has 113 students.
Najib said students should always think out of the box if they wished to have the edge over their peers.
â€œAnd to increase our competitiveness, we will continue to ensure that our students have a good grasp of the sciences, technology, engineering and Maths,â€ he said adding that this was clearly spelt out under the National Education DevelopÂment Plan 2013-2025.
He said apart from excelling in other subjects, students at Permata Insan College should also have a good grasp of the Quran.
â€œI am also glad that many students here have a good command of Bahasa Malaysia, English and Arab and some are even able to speak French,â€ he said.
Najib also paid tribute to his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who was also present, for being instrumental in the success of the Permata Insan programme.
â€œI am not saying this because she is my wife. But I am saying so because I have seen how committed she is to this project,â€ he said, adding that Rosmah was also instrumental in getting some of the older students to perform their umrah in Mecca.