Wednesday, October 10, 2012

9th IPRC 2012

Below is my welcoming speech at the 9th IPRC 2012. 

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. Good morning to all.

The highest of praise and thanks are due to Allah SWT. He had made this gathering possible, and may He shower the gathering with His blessings and mercy. Selawat and salam to the prophet Muhammad SAW, his companions and his family.

The theme of the 9th IPRC is "Leading a Balanced Life". For muslims, prophet Muhammad SAW is the best example for finding balance in life. He has shown in his attitude and his actions the way to find a balance in life; between the material and spiritual, between the personal and social life, and between the present life and the life hereafter. Many of his wisdoms had been recorded and practiced by both muslims and non-muslims. One particular advice from him concerns self-improvement. It was reported that he said, “In a believer’s life, today must be better than yesterday, and tomorrow has to be better than today.” While his advice is targeted at the personal level, we can apply it to institutions and organisations as well. As an academic institution, IIUM, and many other universities and colleges exist to seek improvement. Taking the spirit of his advice, I’d like to remarks on IPRC, as an event and an institution, on its past, present, and future.

This year marks the 9th edition of the IPRC. The Department has organised the colloquium 4 times, including the one in 2010 where it was not known as IRPC for technical reasons. The fact is, the IPRC is now 10 years strong. It is now part of the tradition of the Department of Psychology and BSRI. And this is something that both institutions can be proud of. Last year, upon my return to the Department from the 8th IPRC in Bangkok, I was given the challenge to be the Chairperson of the organising committee for the 9th IPRC. The main remark by the staff from the Department was the gracious hospitality of the colleagues and students of BSRI. We were impressed and humbled by their efforts, warm reception, and tireless hard work in making the guest at the colloquium comfortable. We hope our own brand of hospitality is not too far off the BSRI standards.

For this edition of IPRC, we try to make improvements. On the technical side, we’ve introduced the use of EasyChair, a web-based conference management application. Although not all participants submitted their papers through EasyChair, it was a good learning experience for those involved. For future IPRC, the use of applications such as EasyChair is highly recommended. It can reduce the amount of time spent of managing the abstracts and papers, and also communication with the participants.

Another deliberate decision taken by the organising committee was to use Conference Alerts website to promote the colloquium.  I believe, this have led to expansion of the participation. Last year, there were participants from Sri Lanka and Pakistan. This year, on top of delegates from BSRI and the Department of Psychology IIUM, we are honoured to welcome delegates from the Philippines, Iran, Nigeria, as well as participants from other universities in Malaysia like UiTM, UKM, UM, UUM, and UTM. Welcome to IIUM, the Garden of Knowledge and Virtue. Welcome to the 9th IPRC 2012. Yindi ton-rab kau su IIUM.

For the future, more improvements can be made by the organising committees. Hopefully, the MOU between the Department and BSRI, which is due to be signed soon, will spur further collaborations among the two institutions. Perhaps other activities covered by the MOU can be attached to the Colloquium to make it into richer activity, spanning a wide range of scholarly, social, and intellectual dimensions.

I’d like to record heartfelt appreciation to all those involved in organising this IPRC. First, to all delegates who’ve chosen to participate in this colloquium, I thank you for joining us. I hope you will have a productive and beneficial time with us. Second, I thank the sponsors who have helped greatly in running the colloquium. Fortunately, the number of sponsors is not a long list, so I can say all of them here: International Links and Community relations Division of IIUM, U&C Book Distributors, and the Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge of IIUM. Third, a big thanks is due to the management of IIUM for kindly supporting the Colloquium for yet another time. Fourth, to all students and staff directly involved in organising this colloquium, I’d say syukran jazilan. I know they have worked hard to make this event a success. For some of them, this is a learning experience. For any shortfall in their performance, I’d like to apologise on their behalf. Thank you to the students for their willingness to work and learn. May Allah reward them handsomely. Fifth, and last, to all others that I’ve not mentioned yet, whether you have been involved directly or indirectly, through your efforts, du’a and moral support, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Wabillahit tawfiq wal hidayah, wassalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

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