May 24, 2024

During the mid-semester break, a group of 36 third year students from the Politics and Government Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities went across the border for a mobility programme. The four-day educational visit to Fakultas Ilmu Sosial dan Ilmu Politik (FISIP), Universitas Tanjungpura (UNTAN), Pontianak, Indonesia was organised by the Political and Governmental Studies Society (Polgov) and Professor Dr. Neilson Ilan Mersat served as its advisor.

The educational visit aims to strengthen international ties and enhance student engagement between the two institutions. A number of activities were conducted in collaboration with their UNTAN counterparts – Himpunan Mahasiswa Ilmu Politik (HIMAPOL) and Himpunan Mahasiswa Ilmu Pemerintahan (HIMAPEM). The highlight was the academic seminar on International Bureaucracy of Malaysia and Indonesia. Ms. Nur Najwa Atira binti Nor Rihan represented UNIMAS, while the other speakers were from FISIP UNTAN.

Ms. Nur Najwa Atira binti Nor Rihan representing FSSH, UNIMAS at the Seminar

Another sharing session was conducted with the Provincial People’s Representative Council of West Kalimantan (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Provinsi Kalimantan Barat). The session aimed to facilitate an exchange of insights and experiences regarding government and politics in Malaysia and Indonesia. By discussing governance structure, political systems, and policy frameworks, participants sought to deepen understanding, foster collaboration, and strengthen diplomatic ties between the two regions. This dialogue provided valuable perspectives, identified areas for potential cooperation, and promoted mutual learning in the realm of governance and politics. In the dialogue, UNIMAS was represented by Dr Leha Saliman and the other discussants include representative from Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Provinsi Kalimantan Barat, Prabasa Anantatur, Heri Mustamin and Dr Lidya Sartono.

Other than academic programme, the participants engaged in various activities, including a community outreach initiative at Panti Asuhan Ar Ridho, a visit to the Museum Kalimantan Barat, and an international cultural night for cross-cultural exposure. Both sides showcased their cultural performance, enhancing mutual understanding and appreciation.

Programme leader, Muhammad Afiq Azizi bin Tarmiji, expressed his satisfaction with the success of the programme. The visit had offered great opportunities and invaluable insights that deepen their understanding of international politics and government in Indonesia, while exploring cross-cultural elements. Muhammad Afiq also noted his personal growth from leading the group, especially in managing a large group of students across the border. He hopes that such programme will continue in the future to maintain and strengthen the ties between these institutions.

Programme leader, Muhammad Afiq Azizi bin Tarmiji, at the symbolic tree planting ceremony to commemorate the collaboration between the two student bodies.

The Politics and Government Studies programme co-ordinator, Dr Leha Saliman, highlighted the academic visit’s significant benefits in expanding networking opportunities for both the university and its students. Participants gained exposure to a wide range of knowledge and practical experiences, leading to a deeper understanding of international relations and governmental frameworks. The programme also successfully encouraged collaboration among students from both universities, promoting cultural exchange, embracing differences and celebrating diversity.

The group at the Provincial People’s Representative Council of West Kalimantan
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