The Thinking Business Blog recently spoke with Dr. Jessica Ong, the Organising Chairperson of the 8th International Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences (ICHiSS 2016) which will be held this May in Kuala Lumpur.

As the organising chairperson are you satisfied with preparations?

I am very satisfied when the preparations are going well especially our yearly  jointly organize conference with Prince of Songkla University, (PSU) Thailand for nearly 5 years  and this year we spread our wings to collaborate with  Malaysia Global Business Forum (MGBF)  and The Chartered Institute of Logistic and Transport (CILT). I hope that more participants all over the world will join this conference in conjunction of Visit Malaysia Year 2016.

QFS2010-photo-ENSS_2179What are the objectives of the upcoming conference?

There are 5 key objectives for the upcoming conference:

  1. To provide a platform for the intellectuals from different disciplines in humanities to interact and discuss current issues related to politics, history, Islamic studies, culture and civilizations.
  2. To gather the new inputs in humanities studies and advancement in recent research topics.
  3. To create a network of experts in politics, history, Islamic studies, culture and civilization studies.
  4. To expose the NDUM community of the importance study in humanities.
  5. To disseminate good research findings in the form of journal publication through Special Issue Journal in NDUM Zulfaqar Journal and CILT International Journal

How important is the role that a defence university can play in the development of human capital?

Defence university of Malaysia (NDUM) plays an active role in development of human capital in the country, our vision is “to be the premier defence university in the region for education, training and knowledge creation”. That coupled with the philosophy to be “the premier national institution dedicated to producing intellectual leaders of character committed towards selfless service to the nation in furtherance of national strategic interests”.

This fits in nicely with the mission of making “UPNM is committed to excellence in serving the nation as a premier defence university for leadership and professional development, knowledge dissemination and application of defence science and technology, as well as policy research”. Quality integrated military education and training in producing graduates who exhibit excellence in the intellectual, leadership and professional domains without sacrificing the winning mentality.

We also need to instil greater professionalism among the academics by stimulating the pursuit of scholarly excellence through a greater flourish of academic and policy research activities resulting in quality publications in refereed journals.

Being an acknowledged centre for policy research and post-graduate studies in defence and security.

Striving for R & D success through research collaboration with defence industries and other research organizations in creating new knowledge to enable the university to be the knowledge hub and consultancy for defence technology applications.

Striving for enhanced internationalization and collaborative networking with reputable international universities and research centers.  Transforming the organization to ensure greater cross-functional coordination, good service delivery and customer focus so as to support UPNM’s effort to be a knowledge hub.

This is a collaboration with Songkla University in Thailand, how important is this in the context of increase working ties between Malaysia and Thailand?

Thailand and Malaysia share a border and are two of Southeast Asia’s most popular tourist destinations, but they are still distinctly different.  Thailand is famous for Land of Smile and their cultures are so beautiful and polite. Malaysia also has many races that portray a lot of cultural diversity that can be shared especially towards our ASEAN neighbours.

How important is Innovation in Humanities and Social Sciences for the development of Malaysia and ASEAN in general?

I think that the best way to understand this is to echo the words of our second Prime Minister, We the nations and peoples of Southeast Asia,” Tun Abdul Razak said, “must get together and form by ourselves a new perspective and a new framework for our region. It is important that individually and jointly we should create a deep awareness that we cannot survive for long as independent but isolated peoples unless we also think and act together and unless we prove by deeds that we belong to a family of Southeast Asian nations bound together by ties of friendship and goodwill and imbued with our own ideals and aspirations and determined to shape our own destiny”. The establishment of ASEAN, we have taken a firm and a bold step on that road”.

What are the challenges that are faced and how will the private sector be able to take advantage of the opportunities?

​​The challenges that we have people too much focussing on science and technology and they should look more in humanities factors as we need humans that have spiritual and manners

I wish that all private sector should come in to share their knowledge and doing more NGO’s on projects on humanities and Social Sciences that is very important in our life today. Out theme for the conference is Innovation in Humanities and Social Sciences : Opportunities and Challenges. Ministry of Education also focussing on KPT My BrainSc Scholarships to achieve the goals of the National Higher Education Plan who have a big heart and guts who to take up the challenge and producing world-class scholars and finally recognized as a Noble Laureate  that shows we want to produce intellectual of characters.


8th International Conference on

Humanities and Social Sciences

(ICHiSS 2016)

“Innovation in Humanities and Social Sciences: Opportunities and Challenges”


Date: May 27-29 May 2016

Venue: The Royale Chulan Damansara, Selangor

Organizing Chairperson

Dr. Jessica Ong Hai Liaw

National Defence University Malaysia (UPNM)

Faculty of Defence and Management Studies

Sungai Besi Camp

57000 Kuala Lumpur


+60390513400 Ext.7622080


Fax: 0390512559



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