Kuching (12/04) – The inaugural Borneo Model ASEAN Meeting (BMAM) that took place in Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) was one of the most highly-regarded Model ASEAN Meeting initiatives endorsed by the ASEAN Foundation, primarily aims to create and raise awareness of the ASEAN regional issues among the ASEAN citizens. This year, the undergraduates from UNIMAS were indeed honourable to be the pioneer to organise and to take part as delegates in the BMAM on 5 – 7 April 2017 to discuss about the arising refugee crisis in the ASEAN region.
The very first BMAM has successfully attracted a total number of 38 participants, who did not simply let the golden opportunity slip away, from various fields of study in UNIMAS to take part in this Model ASEAN Meeting. Generally, the four-day run of the model meeting (one day of coaching and three days of various meeting stimulations) organised in the Faculty of Economics and Business has principally achieved its main objectives of promoting and raising awareness of ASEAN affairs as well as current regional issues that strike the ASEAN Member States. On top of that, the younger generation, particularly the university undergraduates, are enormously exposed to the significance of diplomacy and consensus in the process of decision-making among the ASEAN Member States.
In addition, the model meeting offer an ideal platform for the participants as the future nation leaders to proactively voice out their opinions and strengthen their point of view with relevant evidences based on their knowledge and understanding. This Model ASEAN Meeting also provides the real-life experience on how a country leader addresses problems to the other member states, discusses the issues, and eventually comes to a consensus to agree on the proposed solution that is conclusively accepted by all parties.
It was undeniably the utmost golden opportunity for the participants to equip themselves with several self-development skills which are essential in their academic life and career later on besides engaging themselves a step closer to the big ASEAN Community. Most of the participants were very passionate in terms of brainstorming ideas as well as speaking out their knowledgeable opinions confidently. Fiery debates among the participating delegates flickered the ambience and in turn created a conducive environment for the other delegates to voice out their respective ideas, supported their stands with adequate facts and evidences that make the three-day meeting stimulations an exuberant one.
“It was a great experience! Never knew that ASEAN summit can be so interesting and fun!”
“Really thankful for having the chance to take part in this summit, it really helps me to broaden my vision and educates me to think critically.”
“My heartiest gratitude to the ASEAN Foundation! They have been magnificent in producing quality ASEAN citizens, especially the younger generation like us!”
“I hope this summit will be held annually.”
“It allows the voice of students to be heard.”
These were part of the encouraging feedbacks from the fellow participants regarding the BMAM as well as the ASEAN Foundation. It is obvious enough to observe that the role-playing participants were mostly enjoying themselves and certainly appreciating the opportunities that they had during their fruitful mid-semester holiday. May the memorable experiences be the force to drive the participants to further uphold their identity as a responsible ASEAN citizen and continue to play their significant role in the development of country.
The ASEAN Foundation has played its significant role to continue educating the ASEAN citizens by offering its wholehearted supports to the BMAM. Besides that, UNIMAS as the very first public university in Malaysia to host a Model ASEAN Meeting has been very prominent in promoting the awareness of ASEAN among its university undergraduates while the Faculty of Economics and Business has been constantly delivering enthusiastic supports to the founding committee of BMAM.
The participants expressed their heartiest gratitude to Mr. Kim Soon Tan, the founding director of BMAM, for his dedication in upholding the event as well as unselfishly sharing his valuable knowledge as an alumni of the ASEAN Foundation Model ASEAN Meeting or AFMAM to the participants.
Founding director Kim also commented on a possible collaboration with the Sarawak state arm of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Solidarity in future BMAMs. It will definitely extend the reach of BMAM to wider circles and increase ASEAN awareness among the youths and young adults of today.
During the closing ceremony, Professor Mohd Fadzil bin Abd Rahman, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of UNIMAS, expressed his heartiest appreciation to the tireless efforts and commitments from the founding committee in order to make the inaugural Borneo Model ASEAN Meeting a successful Model ASEAN Meeting. He would also like to see the BMAM as a happening event in the future continuing to educate and raise the awareness of ASEAN among the younger generation in order to prepare them to embrace the opportunities that the ASEAN Community offers.