These risks have also posed serious challenges to the government, especially in terms of the current laws and policies, economic development as well as political stability.
Thus, to resolve these issues, social service practitioners and scholars need to focus their attention and provide immediate intervention.
With that in mind, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), School of Applied Psychology, Social Work and Policy (SAPSP) in collaboration with the Social Institute of Malaysia (ISM) and the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM) organised the 2nd International Social Development Conference 2016 (ISDC 2016) with the apt theme, Multidisciplinary Perspectives in Enhancing Psychosocial Development at the Bayview Hotel from 18 to 19 August, 2016.
The conference, held for the second time, aimed at expanding the intellectual platform in order to increase the development of psychosocial awareness in a diverse population. This was achieved through a compilation and examination of insights, important ideas, informed opinions related to relevant current topics generated by academic researchers of various disciplines with the aim of merging them with strategies of various disciplines.
The conference was officiated by the Deputy Minister of (KPWKM), Yang Berhormat Senator Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun who represented the Minister, Yang Berhormat Dato' Sri Rohani Abdul Karim.
In her speech read by Yang Berhormat Senator Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, Dato' Sri Rohani said that the mental and physical health issues would equally affect and jeopardize the quality of psychosocial well-being of Malaysians.
"Cases of violence and physical abuse, mental, emotional and sexual abuse are rampant in our society today. Psychosocial well-being can be affected when violence and abuse disrupt the husband and wife relationships. Not only that, the difference in economic status would affect the ways and methods of interaction between parents and children and thus influencing psychosocial well-being.
Therefore, there is a need to emphasize the care and handling cases related to mental health among Malaysians in this decade.
It is my hope that this conference will not only serve as a platform for participants to discuss social development and its application, but also provide practical experience. The conference should also conclude with more affirmative actions and desired results, " she said.
The conference involved practitioners, academics and both local and international researchers from various disciplines. With the efforts to improve and nurture the psychosocial development of social welfare in the global community, the event was also expected to become a medium for the improvement and development of policy in the public sector.
Meanwhile, in the Vice-Chancellor’s speech read by UUM College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), Assistant Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Norshuhada Shiratuddin, Prof Dato' Seri Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said that the principles, spirit and objectives of academicians and practitioners, who gathered at the conference, would express a shared and common view and would ultimately create synergies toward meeting the main objectives of the conference.
"With more partnerships like this, the expertise of the SAPSP can be gainfully used toward becoming a centre of reference in the field of social work, counselling, psychology and correctional science," he said.
Among the speakers and presenters who took part included Prof. Dr Najib Ahmad Marzuki (Professor of Psychology, UUM), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Decha Sungkawan (Former Dean, Faculty of Social Administration Thammasat University, Thailand), Dato' Norani Haji Mohd Hashim (Adjunct Professor UUM SAPSP and former Director General of the Department of Social Welfare Malaysia) and Datuk Dr Deenison Jayasooria (UUM SAPSP Adjunct Professor and Fellow at the Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA) UKM).
Also present were the Director of ISM, Dr. Al-Azmi Bakar; Dean of UUM SAPSP, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Noor Azniza Ishak; Director of ISDC 2016, Dr Zainuddin Omar and Secretary of the Policy Division, KPWKM, Dr. Waitchalla a/p R.R. V. Suppiah.
Translated by Mahaliza Mahadhir
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