IKM welcomes the New Decade 2020 – 2030

First, I would like to wish all our members A Happy New Year 2020. May the year 2020 be full of joy and happiness, good health and prosperity, success and great achievements.

As we welcome 2020, it is time for us to review what we have done for the last decade 2010 – 2020 and see what is installed for us for the coming decade 2020 – 2030.


1. What we have done in the last 10 years since 2010?

I believe that we have achieved a lot in the last 10 years since 2010.

Taking membership as an example. At the beginning of 2010, we have 2,814 members. Now we have a total of 4,529 members, an increase of more than 60%. This, to me, is quite impressive considering that most scientific bodies all over the world are facing problems of decreasing membership in recent years.

In terms of scientific meetings and conferences, we have done a lot, especially in the last five years. We have the usual biennial flagship events, the Malaysia International Chemistry Congress, or MICC, and the Workshop on Total Laboratory Management, or QSEL. Since 2016, we started the International Congress on Pure and Applied Chemistry, or ICPAC, which is being held annually in an ASEAN country.

We also organise other regional and international chemistry conferences including Asian Chemical Congress, or ACC, Asian Conference on Analytical Sciences, or ASIANALYSIS, IUPAC ChemRAWN Conference and the IUPAC International Conference on Chemistry Education, or ICCE.

Because of good track records and our success in organising these international meetings, we have been selected to host the IUPAC 53rd General Assembly (53GA) and 50th World Chemistry Congress (50WCC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2025.

We will also be organising the 51st IUPAC World Polymer Congress, or MACRO 2026, in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia in 2026.  

In terms of professional development of our members, our IKM Professional Centre, has an annual programme of about 30 professional courses to provide professional development and continuing education to our members. We also conduct inhouse training programmes. Each year, we trained about 500 chemists and other professionals. 

In terms of outreach programmes, we are also working hard to engage the students, younger generation and the public. IKM headquarters and branches organise annually Karnival Kimia Malaysia or K2M, targeting at school children and general public.

Recently, we also collaborate with local universities, American Chemical Society (ACS) Malaysia Chapter, Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Malaysia Section, and other scientific organisations to carry out outreach programmes targeting at the younger generation and the public at large.

Our standing as a professional and scientific organisation has also gone up tremendously. We have been recognised as a well-established and strong scientific as well as professional organisation both within Malaysia and also internationally.


2. What is installed for us in the coming decade 2020 – 2030?

What lies ahead for us from 2020 onwards?

We would continue to develop and advance chemistry in Malaysia to the level that we are on par with the best in the world. To achieve this, we need to work closely with the government, the Ministry of Education and other ministries, universities and research institutions, the chemical and related industries, and most of all, our members and fellow scientists in the academia.

IKM would also like to play a bigger role for women in science. We are fortunate that we already have a relative high proportion of women in undergraduate chemistry programmes but at the higher academic levels, senior female academics are still quite low. IKM would play a bigger role to encourage more females to take up academic and senior positions in chemistry and other science disciplines.

At the same time, chemistry has to play a more developmental role in meeting the targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030. Chemical research and innovations have to be closely involved in socio-economic development and elevating the quality of life for all, making sure that “NO ONE IS LEFT BEHIND” as stipulated in the UN SDG 2030. This will be a long-term aim that may stretches to 2030 and beyond.

One of our main tasks in the 2020 – 2030 period is the two major IUPAC events; one is IUPAC 2025 and the other MACRO 2026. We must put in our best effort to ensure that these two major international events are a big success.

We would continue to develop professionalism among the professional chemists We would also advance professional practices in Malaysia with the latest advances in instrumentation, techniques and services. We shall also keep abreast with the latest development in international rules and regulations, standards and trade practices.

Maybe in a few years’ time, we may introduce Continuous Professional Development (CPD) requirement for our members.

In terms of outreach programmes, we shall continue to promote public understanding and appreciation of chemistry to the younger generation and the general public. We shall also vigorously promote and enhance chemistry education in schools, undergraduate and post-graduate chemistry programmes in universities and institutions of higher learning, and also work and careers in chemistry profession.  


3. Beyond 2030?

Beyond 2030, what are our long-term plans?

In 2030 and beyond, we are facing a totally new world. IT, robotics, artificial intelligence, automation and smart systems, advanced medical innovations including gene therapy, will have taken over the world.

Social media will become a very important mean of mass communication and public opinion will influence cultural and business practices, and even political decisions. Politicians have to be more accountable to the people and hopefully, there will be equality for all. 

Well, this is my wishful thinking but the real world may be quite different. But the development and advancement of chemistry will still have to continue, both for knowledge creation as well as improving the quality of life for all humankind.

Let us wait and see in 2030!


Thank you and with best wishes for a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2020.


Datuk ChM Dr Soon Ting Kueh                                                                   
President, Institut Kimia Malaysia                                                                               
Date: 1st January 2020