Malaysian studies in Sarawak

THE Malaysian Social Sciences Association and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) organised a two-day workshop on “New Research in Malaysian Studies” on Feb 27 and 28.

It was aimed at enhancing the research and analytical skills of the younger generation of lecturers as well as graduate students pursuing their Master’s and PhDs in Malaysian Studies either here or abroad. More than 18 papers were presented at the workshop with participants coming from several local universities. The workshop was also attended by Japanese postgraduates who are working on topics related to Malaysia.

The Association team was led by its president Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Embong and vice-present Dr Diana Wong. UNIMAS’ Institute of East Asian Studies (IEAS) and Social Sciences Faculty acted as co-organisers.

“This is the first collaboration between Unimas and the Association and we hope that it will lead to more cooperation between both parties. “Social scientists in Sarawak feel a little isolated from their colleagues in the Peninsula and this is a good way for us to forge links,” said IEAS director Assoc Prof James Chin.

He added that Unimas’ strength lies in its location in Sarawak.

“We are the gateway to the whole of Borneo and we invite social scientists from other universities in Malaysia to come work with us here.”

In many ways, he said, Borneo is the last frontier in social research. “Compared to the Peninsula, we are under-studied,” he added.

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