The International Seminar on Global Issues (ISGI) 2019 organized by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) on 16 April 2019 in UTM Johor Bahru was a special platform for students and academicians to discuss global development and global issues.

The seminar was organized by the Leadership and Nationhood Research Group in collaboration with the School of Human Resources Development and Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (FSSK), UTM.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Malaysia, YB Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah in his speech has stated that the organizers of ISGI 2019 should be praised for taking all the efforts to organize such a seminar.
“The organizers should be praised for organizing the ISGI 2019 for two reasons: first, they are changing the perspectives of the Malaysian public who think that international issues ‘belong’ to the group of elites.
“The second reason is creating a platform to inform Malaysians that the international issues were getting more complex as the time goes by,” said Dato’ Saifuddin.

Dato’ Saifuddin was saying this at a press conference which was held at Bilik Mesyuarat Utama, Bangunan Canseleri Sultan Ibrahim, Johor Bahru campus. Also attending the ceremony were Vice Chancellor of UTM, Prof. Datuk Ir. Dr. Wahid Omar and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Student Affairs), Prof. Dr. Durrishah Idrus.
Elaborating his points, Dato’ Saifuddin said that the international issues were actually a continuation of local issues that have been hovering around the country.
“In some cases, some of these issues cannot be resolved nationally and should be handled through international diplomatic channels.
“For instance, we can speak about the issues of foreign workers in Malaysia. For everyone’s knowledge, once we bring in foreign workers from Indonesia or Bangladesh to work in Malaysia, this issue has become an international issue,” said Dato Shaifuddin.
Dato’ Shaifuddin stressed that should there be anything that involves these foreign workers, then the Malaysian government will take the approach of using diplomatic relations with the affected countries to settle this matter.

Speaking about his second point, Dato’ Shaifuddin said that the complexity of an international issues of today’s really carries the needs of better understanding among the local communities.
“The international issues have becoming more complex as time goes by thus it really carries the needs of the local to deepen the way of their thinking.
“This is essential so that the recruitment of the new diplomats will put the emphasis on the candidate who possessed certain knowledge on economics, political and international relations,” he said.
Dato’ Shaifuddin said that in the near future, some of the newly appointed diplomats will be selected from law and engineering graduates to meet the requirements of this new era of international relation.
The ISGI 2019 provided a platform for post graduate students to brainstorm their ideas and thoughts in issues related to global development and global issues.
This programme also gave them a better opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas among UTM graduates and academics in various global issues related to geo-political, socio-cultural, socio-economic, technological and other.
The total collection of papers for this seminar was 38 and they were presented in various topics including but not limited to the following fields which were Global Economic Development, Global Poverty, Population, Malnutrition and Global Hunger, Food Crisis, Conflict and War, Terrorism, Arm Race, Digital Divide, Economic Crisis, War Trade and Environmental Issues.
Among the interesting sessions were Moving towards a Cashless Economy, ‘Tahap Kesedaran Terhadap Pengurusan Sisa Pepejal Isi Rumah Dalam Kalangan Masyarakat di sekitar Skudai, Johor’, ‘Peranan Malaysia dalam Menangani Keganasan Dunia, Pemakanan Sihat Menurut Perspektif Islam dan Pengaruhnya dalam Mengatasi Masalah Malnutrisi di Malaysia’ and Money Masterminds: 1MDB

Dato’ Shaifuddin Abdullah (wearing the yellow batik) together with the participants of ISGI 2019 at the Senate Hall, UTM Johor Bahru.