MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
First of all, I would like to record my sincere appreciation to IKM Council and members for electing me as your President for 2018/19. I am grateful for your trust and confidence in me and I will try my very best to serve IKM and our members.
IKM has developed from its humble beginning in 1967 to a full-fledged scientific and professional organisation recognised both locally and internationally. We have just celebrated our 50th Anniversary, or Golden Jubilee last year and within a period of 50 years, we have made many significant achievements. First, we are the first in the world to be incorporated under an Act of Parliament, the Chemists Act 1975, that makes IKM a professional organisation with the power to implement the Act and regulate the practice of chemistry in Malaysia. We also set up the IKM Professional Centre that provides training and continuous professional development of our members. Under the Act, we also conduct the IKM Part I Examinations annually to enable those without the required academic qualifications to be admitted as a member of IKM and join the chemistry profession in Malaysia. We even conduct refresher courses to enable these people to have a better foundation for the Examinations.
Internationally, we are a founding member of the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies (FACS) and play an active and important role in the development of chemistry in Asia. We are also a National Adhering Organisation (NAO) of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and play an active part in IUPAC programmes and activities, including organising IUPAC conferences and other functions. Many of our members also serve in IUPAC Divisions and Committees.
There are many other notable accolades that we can boast of for IKM, including being appointed as a Standards Development Agency by Department of Standards Malaysia in 2014, what is more important and relevant is how IKM can progress even further to serve our members, the nation and humanity. I would like to share with you my thoughts on this.
IKM is a professional scientific organisation. Our membership is derived from various sectors. One group comprises practising chemists in the government, manufacturing industries and service sector. The other big group are from i) the academia from universities and institutions of higher learning, ii) researchers and scientists from research and development (R&D) institutions and organisations from both the government and the private sectors, and iii) education sector including teachers and other education professionals. The question is “How IKM can play a role in serving these members from different diversified backgrounds?”
I am of the opinion that IKM can play a number of roles in serving our members, the nation and humanity. The first would be to promote the advancement of chemistry and other related disciplines. New knowledge, chemical research, development and innovation are crucial to socio-economic transformation of a nation and its people. Chemistry can also play a crucial role in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030. For this IKM will work with universities, R&D institutions and the Government to increase research outputs, technological development and innovations for increased productivity and improving quality of life of our people. IKM will also continue to organise many scientific meetings, conferences and exchanges to promote knowledge sharing and transfer, and also collaboration and networking in R&D.
Second is to better serve our members in terms of training, continuous education and professional development. We are now living in a digital era where invention and innovation in science and technology are moving in a very rapid pace. New materials, products, technologies and innovations are changing the ways we live and do things. Our members must be kept up to date with these latest developments. New rules, regulations, laws and enactments are also being put in place that will affect our work environment and services. The role of IKM is to facilitate this knowledge and knowhow transfer and ensure our membership are kept up to dates with these latest developments. The IKM Professional Centre plays a crucial role in this aspect. However, I believe that there are other ways and avenues that IKM can use to serve our membership.
Another area that IKM must play a key role is to promote interest in chemistry to the younger generation to ensure that there is a continuous stream of younger chemists and a better public understanding and appreciation of chemistry. For this, we already have a number of programmes including Kuiz Kimia Kebangsaan Malaysia, or K3M, Karnival Kimia Malaysia, or K2M, and other outreach programmes aiming at secondary school children and the general public. We also intend to set up an IKM Young Chemists Network (IYCN) for young chemists to interact and exchange ideas for a better future. IKM also encourages the formation of Postgraduate Clubs in universities and is willing to provide some financial support.
One more area that I would like IKM to look into is Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR. As a responsible professional group, we should look into the plights of the less fortunate and see how we are able to help out in whatever ways.
IKM will continue to play an active role in promoting close collaboration among the scientific bodies in Malaysia. We will also promote professionalism among all the professional organisations in Malaysia to ensure quality services and integrity in Malaysian service providers. At the international level, we shall continue to work closely with IUPAC and ensure more Malaysians to be involved in IUPAC programmes and activity. At the regional level, we shall continue to support FACS to promote advancement of chemistry in the Asia Pacific region. We shall also play an active role in regional organisations such as the Federation of Asian Polymer Societies (FAPS), Network of International Chemistry Educators (NICE) and others to develop the relevant disciplines.
I believe that we have many things to do and I hope that our membership will support the Council’s effort to make Chemistry works for a better world.
Datuk Dr Soon Ting Kueh
President, Institut Kimia Malaysia
Date: 7th April 2018