By: Mohammad Syahfitri Daud

UPSI, Tanjong Malim – International Symposium: Embrace Diversity, Explore Identities brings together several experienced psychologists from Malaysia and Indonesia in a bilateral conference to discuss and exchange ideas and opinions related to the latest hot issues affecting these two neighbouring countries.

The symposium that was organised by the Academic and Career Exco of Ungku Omar College Student Council, Sultan Idris Education University (UPSI), was held on 16th January. This program was aimed to discuss several issues that are related to Malaysia and Indonesia. Furthermore, this program has managed to catch a lot of attention from local students, where there are more than 1000 students that have joined this program, which consisted of local students and also the students from Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI) and Universitas Bina Darma (UBD).

This program was divided into two slots, where the first slot was Bicara Tiktokshop Mahasiswa (Rezeki Yang Tertunda), which focuses on the exchange of opinions regarding the challenges, limitations of use, and the current issues that clearly give some pros and cons to Malaysians and Indonesians, especially those who uses TikTok platform as an in-depth source of living.

Besides that, the slot Diskusi LGBT (Aku Keliru) covers the hot issues about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender groups in a clear and professional manner to provide the students with an appropriate education and understanding of this sensitive issue. Moreover, there was also a sharing session that was given from a former ‘maknyah’ about his life journey full of twists and turns which touched the hearts of the audience and boosted up the awareness of the true reality of the LGBT world.

Ikram Fahmi Rahmat, the program director of this program mentioned in his speech that, “This program has successfully attracted over 1000 spectators to watch the conference sessions in the presence of some great panels. In addition to that, programs like this can be seen as a benchmark for the future academic programs, which will lead to a greater impact on the first-class minds,” he said.

“I feel excited by the presence of the panels, where we can see that there are panels from Malaysia and also our neighbour, Indonesia. Besides, I am also delighted to see the number of spectators for this program. I hope that all of you will be able to gain a lot of knowledge from this program. This kind of program can actually help to increase our self-knowledge and we can always be aware of the issues that are happening around us. Hopefully, this kind of program will continue to be implemented in the future,” said Associate Prof. Dr. Nizam Nasrifan, the principal of Ungku Omar College.

There is no doubt that this International Symposium: Embrace Diversity, Explore Identities has encouraged a two-way communication between the two countries through the exchange of opinions and ideas that was carried out professionally. It can be seen that the students who attended this program were directly exposed to the current issues affecting the countries and they can clearly see why these are the issues that need to be fought for.

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