The third installment of the annual Symposium on Islamic Governance organised on 1st April 2017 by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) saw around 230 participants at the Senate Room, Chancellor Hall made up of students, both local and international as well as individuals from government and private sectors.
Present as the guest of honour at the event was Vice Chancellor of UBD, Datin Dr. Hajah Anita Binurul Zahrina binti Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Wijaya Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Aziz.
Titled “Integrating Organisational Function Within an Islamic System of Governance”, the continuation from the previous two symposiums hosted talks from local experts speaking about history, Islam, culture, law, digital learning and even the Brunei Constitution in a bid to see Islamic Governance becoming a reality, especially in Brunei Darussalam as a prime example for other Muslim countries.
Speakers for the one-day symposium included Hj Mohd Rozan Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos, Executive Director of the Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies (CSPS); Dr Mohamad Azmi Hj Mohamad from UBD’s Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies (SOACIS); Professor Amin Abdul Aziz, Professor of Islamic Governance at IPS; Dr Azaharaini Hj Mohd Jamil, Senior Lecturer at IPS; Professor Abdal-Hakim Hardaker, Director of the Centre for Lifelong Learning (C3L), Pg Hjh Zabaidah Pg Hj Kamaludin, Former Assistant Solicitor General for Brunei Darussalam; and Majdey Zawawi, PhD candidate in Islamic Governance at IPS.
During the round table discussions, it was unanimously agreed despite the incredible benefits, applying Islamic Governance in practice is much easier said than done. Taking into consideration the attention Islam has received through the media in recent times, changing the general perception to one of positivity is an arduous task. The discussion concluded with the opinion that the best way to portray Islam positively is by improving personal behaviour that would then permeate into the larger community as a whole as opposed to ideal values trickling down into the masses.
The Director of IPS, Dr Mahani Hj Hamdan said in her opening remarks that there is still much to learn and understand from the principles of Islamic Governance and its potential for providing a cohesive and systematic approach for the implementation of MIB.
“What sets us apart from other policy institutions around the world,” Dr Mahani said. “Is our pioneering status in establishing a framework for analysing policy formulation, strategy and governance from an Islamic perspective.” She pointed out how this is in response to the calls of His Majesty the Sultan Dan Yang Di Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam to operationalise the National Philosophy of Melayu Islam Beraja.
UBD, through IPS is the only institution in the world that offers modules as well as advanced degrees in Islamic Governance. This makes it a truly distinctive avenue where students, scholars, academics and policy makers can discuss the important role of Islam and Muslims in today’s expanding world.