Mr. Mohamad Farid Hosen, Chairman of ICDC in his welcoming remarks stated that this seminar organized to discuss and expose the current challenges of Muslim Community, to strategize and to determine the strength and opportunity for sustainable and effective development of Muslim community and to develop network of institutions and leaders to collaborate and synergize resources to the optimum. 100 Muslim participants from various sectors such as NGO leaders and representatives, Government officers, Professionals and Students were invited to this seminar, he added.
Director and Representative of IIIT to East and South East Asia, Dato’ Wira Dr. Jamil Osman said during his speech of the opening ceremony that this is the second seminar organized by IIIT in Cambodia and he explained that this seminar is not to listen to the speakers but to sit down together to draft what are the future plan for development of Muslim community in Cambodia.
To grace the event, Math Mara on behalf of her Minister appreciated IIIT for organizing the seminar and inviting many prominent scholars and successful businessman to share their knowledge and experiences with Cambodian Muslims. She agreed that, Cambodian Muslims who majority resided in rural area are facing with some challenges in Education and Households Economic. She further explained that, the drop-out rate of Muslim students is high at National High School level while the Islamic studies do not have a common curriculum, lack of quality and the need of teacher’s salary. Interestingly, the economy of Muslim family is increasing but need more works to be done and need participation hand in hand from many development stakeholders to push up the growth of Muslim Economy, she added. To solve the mentioned challenges, Math Mara suggested some ideas to be discussed in this seminar. First of all, she request of pay closer attention to, and contribute to human resource development with quality, competence and virtue, all of which are keys to sustaining the economic growth. Secondly, motivate Muslim children to receive basic education in both formal and informal forms and encourage Muslim community to value the education. Thirdly, encourage to have an integration of knowledge in one academic institution to balance the religious studies and general education. Fourth, further promote the roles of Islam in contributing to the provision of virtue, and morality to ensure harmony in Cambodian society and prevent the manipulation of religion for personal benefits. Fifth, jointly implement the Nation Policy on Youth Development and National Policy on Physical Education and Sports by provoking participation in social movements/ works and sport activities in order to transform the youth into human resources with quality and competence. Sixth, encourage the investment and establishment of Islamic finance institutions which compliance with Sharia and seventh, formulate strategic plans and action plans in order to ensure the sustainability of development.
After officially declaration of opening, Mr. Mohamad Farid Hosen, Chairman of ICDC and Dato’ Wira Dr. Jamil Osman, IIIT representative signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between ICDC and IIIT which mutually agreed to cooperate on academic research, academic conferences, publication and other areas of co-operation to be mutually agreed upon by the IIIT and ICDC. The signing of this memorandum were witnessed by H.E Math Mara and others senior government members and Tan Sri Mohammad Ali Hashim, the president of Malaysian Islamic Chamber of Commerce.
Tan Sri Mohammad Ali Hashim a former President and CEO of Johor Cooperation (JCorp) and currently a President of Malaysian Islamic Chamber of Commerce was invited to deliver a key note address on “Strategy in Developing the Muslim Community through Waqf Institution”.
After Juma’h Prayer, the seminar resumed with two panel speakers from Malaysia. The first speaker is Associate Professor Dr. Mohd Zain Musa, a Cambodian Muslim born and now a professor in History at National University Malaysia (UKM). Dr. Mohd Zain reviewed the history of Muslim in Cambodia and rose up some challenges related to economic and education. The last Speaker is Dato’Wira Dr. Jamil Bin Osman, IIIT Representative to East and South East Asia. Dato’Dr. Jamil present a topic on Build Muslim Community in Cambodia: Challenges and Strategies.He suggested that, Muslim Community in Cambodia should have a common curriculum for Islamic School, the curriculum of Islamic School at primary and secondary level must be reviewed through a special committee, to set up a private Waqf Islamic college or university which provide integrated approach of education, establishment of Zakat, Waqf and Baitulmal, establishment of Islamic financial institution and Islamic coop, etc. The first day seminar ended up with many Qs and As and Coffee break.
The gathering for second day was made in the form of workshop where bro. Shahran Kasim, the Deputy Director of IIIT moderated and guided for the whole daylong. There were 60 participants from NGOs, Youth Leaders, and Professionals attended the workshop. The workshop on Teamwork and Strategic Planning divided participants into four groups and gradually working together from one activity to another. Setting up a team, how to define vision and mission, SWOT analysis and developing project proposal are touched during the workshop.