Seminar on ‘Research on Malay’ begins

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ANN) - The Academy of Brunei Studies (APB) and Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) in collaboration with the Department of Southeast Asian Studies, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany held the opening ceremony for the second International Seminar on Research on Malay (SAPEMM) yesterday.

The opening ceremony took place at the Lecture Hall of the Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Advancement (ILIA) Building of UBD, and saw the attendance of Associate Professor Dr Mohammad Ayub Sadiq @ Lin Naing, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of UBD as the guest of honour.

Also present were deans and directors of faculties, institutes and offices of UBD, along with representatives of government agencies, as well as sponsors supporting the SAPEMM event, namely Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam, IBIC Sdn Bhd and other individuals.

Dr Siti Norkhalbi binti Haji Wahsalfelah, the Director of the APB spoke at the event.

"The first SAPEMM was held at UBD in 2013 and succeeded in bringing together scholars from several universities in the Malay world," she said.

"Alhamdulillah, this time the seminar has also received an encouraging response. We have received 31 papers that will be presented by speakers from within the country and overseas."

She shared that a positive development is that they have received papers from postgraduate and graduate students who have only recently completed their studies. She also noted that there are also undergraduate students who are working together with their supervisors.

She said that the papers presented will be edited and published in line with the university’s policy which encourages research findings to be published.

"As the oldest university and always supporting the concept of Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) in its educational background, I believe that this SAPEMM is important in elevating the image of the Brunei civilisation in particular, and Malays in general," she said.

"Although there has been much research on Malay in various fields, I believe there are still many areas and aspects regarding Malay that are unexplored."

With regards to this, she said that UBD always welcomes research on Malay by scholars – not only from academic of UBD but also those from outside, in collaboration with other universities.

"One important field of research to be conducted is regarding herbs that grow in forests in the Malay world that have been used for a long time as medicine," she said.

"In connection to this, studies on Malay manuscripts commonly called ‘kitab tib’ containing the use of various herbs as a cure for various diseases can also help."

This, she said, is just one example from a number of important fields that have yet to be researched widely and deeply.

"I hope that SAPEMM in the future will do this and go on to contribute to the exploration and development of knowledge of Malay, which is vast," she added.