Friday, February 5, 2016


On 28 January 2016, ISDEV has been honoured to listened and gained useful information from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Centre for Human Rights and Research Advocacy (CENTHRA), Azril Mohd Amin in the programme called 'Knowledge Sharing Session' which was held at C05, ISDEV Meeting Room, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).
Universal Periodic Review Malaysia was the topic presented by Azril Mohd Amin to ISDEV fraternity
The prgramme was slotted at 3.00 pm and ISDEV Director, Professor Dr. Muhammad Syukri Salleh started the session by gave a detailed overview of ISDEV which included the various academic courses offered, past and on-going research that ISDEV is embarked in as well as ISDEV plans for the future.
Azril Mohd Amin in his full confidence explaining on the discussed topic
After the ‘ice-breaking’ session, Azril Mohd Amin then started his talk and shared on “Universal Periodic Review Malaysia (UPR)” as generally. According to him the UPR is a mechanism, which involves a regular review of human rights records of all 193 United Nation (UN) member states, including our country, Malaysia. It is like a test our country has to go through in order to prove how well we are at upholding our citizens’ human rights. UPR was established when the Human Rights Council was created on Mar 15, 2006 by the UN General Assembly. Malaysia went through its first UPR back in 2009 and its second one in 2013. Three key documents form the basis of the UPR from state, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and stakeholders.
Full House at C05, ISDEV , where the not to-be-missed sharing session was held.
He explained that the important document is the stakeholders’ report which is compiled by OHCHR based on National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) and civil society organisation (CSO) or non-governmental organisation (NGO) submissions. Thus, in the UPR process, the NHRI and NGO have an important role to play especially in submitting independent reports to the council to provide their perspectives on the situation of human rights in the country. In one stage of UPR, the state under review (SUR), Malaysia, for example, will present its national report in an interactive dialogue session where all UN member states have the opportunity to pose questions, comments and recommendations.
Never missed a chance to pen down some notes delivered by Azril Mohd Amin
He added that, the SUR may accept, reject or comment on the recommendations and the outcome report would outline the number of recommendations received, accepted, rejected, noted and responded in writing. As for Malaysia, the country had several responses to the recommendations such as ‘accepted in full’, ‘accepted in principle’, ‘accepted in part’ and ‘rejected’. The government defined ‘accepted in full’ as recommendations accepted in full indicating Malaysia’s support while ‘accepted in principle’ meant the government was taking steps towards achieving the objectives of the recommendations but under certain conditions. Meanwhile the government did not provide a specific definition for recommendations that were accepted in part except that it provided detailed clarification and responses. Malaysia is due for its third UPR review in 2018.
During the Question and Answer session with ISDEV students
Question and Answer session was also open to those who keen and seek for clearer understanding of the topic shared by Azril. ISDEV lectures as well as students never missed a chance to asked him questions and satisfied with his answers. Indeed, such sharing session was a worthwhile programme that can be schedule for the next time so that everyone can amplify the knowledge of Malaysia's current issues especially related to human rights.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Chairman of the programme, Dr. Fadzila Azni Ahmad giving a memento to
Professor Dr. Levi Geir Eidhamar for the 8th Annual Lecture Series between ISDEV and UiA, Norway
On 28 January 2016, ISDEV had successfully organized the 8th Annual Lecture Series on Contemporary Islam in Malaysia. There were more than 80 participants in this programme consisting mainly of ISDEV students and lecturers as well as the undergraduate students from the University of Agder (UiA), Norway. 
Some of UiA undergraduates students listening and jot down notes from the speech
The 22 UiA undergraduates students of “Religion in Asia” study programme were led by Professor Dr. Levi Geir Eidhamar. It was an annual occasion resulting from the signing of an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and University of Agder, Norway in 2007. ISDEV Deputy Director, Dr. Fadzila Azni Ahmad, served as Chairman of the programme while Dr. Shereeza Mohammed Saniff served as the Moderator. The programme took place at University Conference Hall (DPU), USM. 
Invited speaker, Azril Mohd Amin delivering his speech with full spirit
The programme was divided into two sessions. The first session saw the invited speaker, a Fellow from the Islamic Institute of Islamic Strategic Research  Malaysia (IKSIM), Azril Mohd Amin gave a talk on “Conversion Issues in  Malaysia based on the Laws in Malaysia and the Special Rights of Bumiputera in Malaysia”. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (CENTHRA), a lawyer and an Islamic NGO activist. His interlocutory skills and being a well-travelled Islamic human rights activists has prepared him well for the task at hand for this programme.
During the Question & Answer session - The invited speaker, Azril Mohd Amin calmly
answered all the question to fill the curiousity from the audience
 Azril's one-and-half-hour talk was divided into two main topics. In his clarification of a case in point, the speaker tactfully finds points of similarities that bids well with the participants. His first topic touched on the state of affairs of the conversion issues from the legislative and reported case laws perspectives in Malaysia. He cited relevant articles in the Federal Constitution and then provided some verbal illustrations pertaining to court cases on reverting back to Islam as well as some cases of those who had made application to return to their religion of birth or to determine the religion for their minor-aged children from their estranged spouse. He also touched on some technicalities of the laws pertaining to those who are born Muslims.
Prof. Levi asking questions for clearer understanding on the topic deliver by the speaker
The second topic was on the special rights of the Bumiputera in Malaysia where Azril brought the participants back in history to appreciate the significance of the Nusantara or Tanah Melayu as well as the strong Malay Muslim Sultanate background permeating Malaysia until this very day. It was with such strong understanding of this unique background that even the British respected and ensured through the Reid Commission that Article 3 and  Article 153 of the Federal Constitution were drafted, preserved and upheld until today. He then went on to mention about the effect of the National Economic Policy (NEP) and the National Development Policy (NDP). The optimum desired results of both the NEP and NDP is still an ongoing process requiring all stakeholders to proactively look for alternative formula and solutions that can benefit all people in Malaysia.
One of the UiA student asking questions and keen to get more details on
 the speech delivered by the speaker
The second part was a truly lively and vibrant Question & Answer session. Almost all the undergraduate Norwegian students at DPU were keen to get more details on the points shared by the speaker. Coming from a well-developed country with a conventional development paradigm, where Muslims are a minority, these students really took the opportunity to clear the air about their views on Islam and the Muslims. In his clarification of a case in point, the speaker finds points of similarities that bids well with the participants. Azril was able to tactfully tackle and answer the myriads of questions fielded by these students.
Group photo with ISDEV Director, Professor Dr. Muhammad Syukri Salleh, Professor Dr. Levi Geir Eidhamar, Azril Mohd Amin as well as ISDEV and UiA students at the end of the programme
Overall, from the reaction and gleeful faces exhibited by the students of UiA, the programme had indeed provided satisfactory information to their queries and apprehensiveness pertaining to the two issues tackled by the speaker. In fact Prof Levi had on a few occasion throughout the programme declared the excellent manner in which the questions fielded were brilliantly answered. He expressed his ardent hopes that he is able to return to USM next year with a new batch of students from UiA.

Sunday, January 31, 2016


And say, "My Lord, cause me to enter a sound entrance and to exit a sound exit and grant me from Yourself a supporting authority." [al-Israa', 17:80].

Friday, January 29, 2016


Praise to Allah SWT for the success of two RISDEV (ISDEV postgraduate by research) candidates, Khatijah Othman and Saharudin Shakrani in their viva voce on 21 January 2016. Their viva took place at C06, Social Science Conference Room, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and was divided into morning and afternoon session. 
Khadijah Othman attending her mock viva - a day prior to the actual viva in providing a
realistic presentation for the candidate to enable them adequately prepare for the actual viva
The first candidate, Khatijah Othman’s viva voce was scheduled in the morning. She defended her thesis on "Islamic Compliance Quality Management System (ICQMS): An Analysis from Islamic Tasawwur, Epistemology and Ontology Perspectives" (Pematuhan Sistem Pengurusan Kualiti Islam (PSPKI): Analisis dari Perspektif Tasawwur, Epistemologi dan Ontologi Islam).

The chairman for her viva was Professor Dr. Muhammad Kamarul Kabilan Abdullah from the School of Education Studies, USM while the External Examiner was Associate Prof. Dr. Che Zarrina Binti Sa'ari from the Department of Akidah and Islamic Thought, Academy of Islamic Studies, Universiti Malaya (UM). Her two Internal Examiners were Associate Professor Dr. Zakaria Bahari and Professor Sr. Dr. Mastura Jaafar@Mustapha from School of Housing, Building and Planning (HBP), USM. Her main supervisor Dr. Fadzila Azni Ahmad and her co-supervisor Professor Dr. Muhammad Syukri Salleh, were also present. 
Khadijah Othman during her viva voce. She passed her viva with flying colours and
her thesis is nominated for the best thesis award
During the viva, it could be discerned that she was a little jittery but she managed to answer all questions calmly. The chairman of the viva voce, Prof. Kamarul declared that all examiners were pleased not only with her written thesis but also the manner in which she was able to defend it excellently. Prof. Kamarul unanimously announced that Khatijah passed her viva with flying colours and her thesis is nominated for the best thesis award.

Second candidate, Saharudin Shakrani faced his viva voce in the afternoon session. He defended his thesis on “Penilaian Prestasi Sekuriti Patuh Syariah Terpilih Menggunakan Model Kemeruapan Bersyarat Peletakan Harga Aset Modal Islam" (Performance Evaluation of Selected Syariah Compliant Securities using the Conditional Volatility of Islamic Capital Asset Pricing Model).
Second candidate, Saharudin Shakrani during his mock viva trying
his best to answer all the question calmly
The boards of examiners of his viva voce were Professor Dr. Joni Tamkin Borhan from Academy of Islamic Studies, UM as the External Examiner while Professor Dr. Muhammad Syukri Salleh and Dr. Fadzila Azni Ahmad served as the Internal Examiners. Both of his main and co-supervisors, Associate Dr. Zakaria Bahari and Dr. Zahri Hamat were also present.

During Saharudin's viva, the air was definitely tensed as the candidate was fielded various questions from the examiners. Although he was unable to agree to some of the questions asked and suggestions given by the examiners, he had managed to control the situation and respond with utmost calmness and clarity. The chairperson, Professor Dr. Abdul Ghani Kanesan Abdullah finally announced the candidate passed his viva voce.

Congratulations to both candidates! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Four RISDEV (ISDEV Postgraduate by Research) candidates, Ridwan Nurdin, Surita Hartini Mat Hassan, Farah Farhana Johari and Mohammad Zulfakhairi Mokhtar presented their PhD thesis in ISDEV graduate discourse for the month of January 2016. Ridwan Nurdin presented his final draft of PhD thesis whereas the other presenters, Surita Hartini, Farah Farhana and Mohd Zulfakhairi presented their PhD thesis proposals in front of more than 40 attendees consisting of ISDEV Deputy Director, lecturers as well as ISDEV students. The programme was divided into two different places, C05, ISDEV and C06, Social Sciences Conference Room, School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) on 22 January 2016.
Surita Hartini  answering all the question and response to all the feedback
confidently during her presentation for her PhD thesis proposal
The presentation was divided into two sessions, in the morning and afternoon session. The first session started at 10.00am with the first candidate, Surita Hartini Mat Hassan. She is currently supervised by Asssociate Professor Dr. Zakaria Bahari. She presented her PhD thesis proposal on "Pelaburan Hartanah Wakaf: Analisis Kelestarian Manfaat Wakaf" and her presentation was evaluated by Dr. Shahir Akram Hassan.
Ridwan Nurdin in his full spirit presenting his PhD final draft in front
 of ISDEV lectures and fratenity at C05
The second candidate was Ridwan Nurdin.  He presented his final draft PhD thesis on "Kriteria  dan Tahap Kesetiaan Pekerja Perbankan Islam di Banda Acheh, Indonesia". He is also under the supervision of Associate Professor Dr. Zakaria Bahari. Dr. Fadzila Azni Ahmad served as the evaluator for his presentation.
ISDEV students in full attention and  jot down some notes from
Farah Farhana's presentation
After the Jumaat Prayer, the programme continued with the third candidate, Farah Farhana Johari. She presented her PhD thesis proposal on "Asas Pembinaan Visi dan Misi Institusi Pembangunan Berteraskan Islam di Malaysia". Farah Farhana was evaluated by Dr. Mohd Shukri Hanapi and currently is supervised by Dr. Fadzila Azni Ahmad.
Mohd Zulfakhairi patiently presenting his PhD thesis proposal and receive a
positive feedback from all ISDEV lecturers to proceed further to the next level
The last candidate was Mohammad Zulfakhairi Mokhtar with his thesis proposal on "Pengaruh Niat Terhadap Tingkah Laku Berwakaf Tunai Dalam Kalangan Muslim di Pulau Pinang". He is currently supervised by Associate Professor Dr. Zakaria Bahari. His presentation was evaluated by Dr. Fadzila Azni Ahmad.

After a detailed evaluation, all candidates finally received good tidings that their PhD research proposal and final drafts were accepted. Ridwan Nurdin had been given the mandate to submit his PhD thesis while the rest received the endorsement to proceed further to the next level.

Congratulations to all candidates!

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Jabir ibn Abdullah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Ask Allah for beneficial knowledge and seek refuge in Allah from knowledge without benefit.” [Source: Sunan Ibn Majah 3843].

Friday, January 22, 2016


With great pleasure and honour Centre for Islamic Development Management Studies (ISDEV) would like to invite all especially to all ISDEV  fratenity to attend The 8th Annual Lecture Series on Contemporary Islam in Malaysia. The programme will be held on 28 January 2016 at the University Conference Hall, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).

The programme will start at 9.30am until 2.00pm with Dr. Shereeza Mohamad Saniff from ISDEV as the Moderator of the programme.

The 8th Annual Lecture Series is an annual occasion resulting from the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Universiti Sains Malaysia and University of Agder, Norway in 2007. In this programme, the two panels will discuss current issues on Islam in Malaysia. In addition, there will be a session of exchanging views, opinions as well as giving in depth explanation in regards to the issue discuss to the students from University of Agder, Norway.

The panels are Associate Professor Dr. Levi Geir Eidhamar from the Department of Religion, Philosophy and History of University of Agder, Norway and Tuan Azril Mohd Amin from Institut Kajian Strategik Islam Malaysia (IKSIM). He is also the CEO of Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (CENTHRA), Lawyer and Islamic NGO activist.

To those who interested to attend and for further information kindly contact:

Dr. Fadzila Azni Ahmad
Tel: 604 - 653 4603/ 5812 


Mr. Kamarudin Mohamed Ismail Merican
Tel: 604 – 653 4601

All are cordially invited.