UiTM and Universitas Subang’s International ASEAN Talk 2.0

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It has been almost two years since the outbreak of the deadly Covid-19 virus that affected people’s lives worldwide. The number of fatalities from this pandemic is overwhelming and leaves the future uncertain. Apart from economic activities, educational activities were also significantly affected, resulting in the adoption of online and distance learning as a solution. Students had to study from home and access their teaching and learning content electronically with no physical contact or social interactions with friends. In response to this issue, the Student Association of Southeast Asian Affairs (SASEA), on behalf of Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), initiated a talk program between Malaysia and Indonesia on one of the Sustainable Development Goals’ objectives which is good health and well-being (SDG3).

This program, which was successfully held via YouTube Live on 19th June 2021, was titled “Covid-19 Pandemic Challenges: From the perspective of Malaysia and Indonesia”. The program began at 10 am with a welcoming speech from the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Administrative Science and Policy Study (FSPPP), Dr Mazlan Che Soh. The panel session was moderated by Miss Jeniwaty Mohd Jody, Corporate Coordinator for FSPPP, and the panellists consisted of 3 academics from both countries. Representing FSPPP and Malaysia was Dr Memiyanty Haji Abdul Rahim, the Deputy Dean of Industry, Community and Alumni Network (RICAEN), and the panellists from Indonesia were Puan Nur’aeni and Puan Ine Anggraini. The latter are lecturers from Universitas Subang. In line with the program’s theme on SDG 3, the panellists shared their experiences and knowledge on how the Covid-19 pandemic had affected all walks of life and how Indonesia is coping and surviving with Covid-19. The talk was followed up by a question and answer session.

This programme conducted by SASEA embraces as much as possible the information and knowledge related to SDG3 number 3 through the experience shared between the Asian neighbours in curbing the COVID-19 outbreak that began in 2020. The program has brought to light the coping mechanisms used by the two nations in dealing with the pandemic, and it is hoped that the shared experiences have also allowed the participants, particularly students and academics, to be more aware of their own strategies in coping with online and distance learning during this challenging time.