Alhamdulillah, COVID-19 global pandemic did not halt the Institute of Policy Studies to host its annual Islamic Governance (IG) Symposium in 2020. The Institute collaborated with Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Advancement (ILIA) and Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies (SOASCIS), to organise its Sixth Islamic Governance Symposium. The Symposium was held on Sunday, 8th November 2020 in Room 1, Ground Floor, ILIA Building. The Institute cordially invited Professor Dr Mohammad Ayub Sadiq, the Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Innovation and Enterprise, UBD, as the Guest of Honour for the event.
This year’s symposium theme focused on ‘Innovation & Technology in an Islamic System of Governance’. The symposium seeks to engage issues on the development of innovation and technology within the parameters of ‘Islamic Governance’ and build upon the discussions from previous symposia. There were eight speakers in total. They composed of, a) six local speakers comprising PhD candidates and academics from UBD and practitioners from the civil service, and b) two international speakers, in which one of them is an academic from Pakistan and the other, a practitioner from South Africa. In light of this year’s theme and the current circumstances, the symposium was a hybrid event with simultaneous participation occurring both in-person and online via a livestream.
About 150 participants registered for the event. The livestream platform not only provided an opportunity for international participants hailed from far flung places like the Philippines, Singapore and Pakistan, to partake but also engage in the discussion sessions. Two international speakers had presented their papers virtually. Insha Allah, all papers presented in the symposium will be published in the Sixth Edition of the Journal of Islamic Governance. A new initiative recently introduced by the Islamic Governance research cluster at the Institute is a Thought
Paper series, where individuals from various academic and professional backgrounds in their respective or different fields can submit papers and share their perspectives and ideas on current issues pertinent to IG. This year’s symposium was entirely a student-led activity coordinated by IPS Student Body, with combined efforts from SOASCIS students and UBD administrative staff.
In the face of this COVID-19, the IPS Student Body strictly adhered to Ministry of Health’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and other guidelines set by relevant government agencies. Body scan thermometer device was placed at ILIA entrance, the arrangement of distanced seating in Room 1 and venues for refreshment, as well as allocating regular time intervals for sanitation check. With limited space allowed for the event, the organising committee managed to secure full capacity of participants in a short period of time.