Sheikh Othman Sarawak Chair at UKM to conduct research to empower socio-economic devt of Muslims

Abang Johari (second right) witnesses the MoU document exchange between Ekhwan (second left) and Misnu while Dr Abdul Rahman looks on at the event held at Wisma Bapa Malaysia on Nov 8, 2021. Photo credit: Sarawak Information Department (Japen)

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Nov 8: The establishment of the Sheikh Othman Sarawak Chair at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) will support the exploration of new areas of research that can drive the socio-economic empowerment agenda of the Muslim community in Sarawak.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said through the joint effort by UKM and Sarawak Islamic Council (SIC), the State government is emulating the approach of eminent Sarawakian-born scholar Sheikh Othman Sarawak in emphasising the mastery of knowledge.


“The research culture that will be activated through this Chair is expected to be able to provide ideas and thoughts as well as assist the State government in empowering the potential of Muslims in every field, especially in the aspect of socio-economic development,” he said.

He said this during the ceremony to exchange documents pertaining to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Sheikh Othman Sarawak Chair between UKM and SIC at Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Kuching today.

Parties in the MoU document exchange were represented by SIC president Datu Misnu Taha and UKM vice-chancellor Prof Dato Dr Mohd Ekhwan Toriman.

Abang Johari also revealed the fund of RM5 million for the Chair is indefinite and unlimited for any time.

“I am confident that the allocation will be fully utilised by UKM to achieve the objectives outlined in the establishment of this Chair,” he added.

The Sheikh Othman Sarawak Chair came about through the 8th Nadwah Ulama Nusantara resolution organised in Kuching, Sarawak in 2018.

This effort is in line with the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) and the Sarawak Digital Economy Strategy 2018-2022 which aims to strengthen the involvement of the Sarawak Muslim community in economic fields comprehensively in line with the development of the digital economy today.

Following that, the Chair will prepare a plan to empower the potential and participation of the Muslim community in Sarawak in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and modern agriculture and empower human resources so that progressive and dynamic Islamic thinkers can be cultivated from the children of Sarawak.

UKM has also provided several facilities to ensure the continuity of research activities on the socio-economic development of the Sarawak Muslim community.

Also present was Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs and Kuching North City Commission) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi. – DayakDaily