By Hakim Mahari
GOMBAK, 20 May 2020: The International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) is celebrating its 37th anniversary today (20 May). Founded on 20 May 1983 this is the first Islamic university in Malaysia with Islamic values inculcated into all disciplines.
The idea for an international institution of Islamic education was conceived by the fourth Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, in 1982 during a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) leaders on the Islamisation of knowledge. It was shared with the then Minister of Education, Dr. Sulaiman Daud, the then Director-General of Education, Dato’ Murad Mohamed Nor; and two others. Prof. Dr. Mohamed Kamal Hassan, then of the National University of Malaysia, along with a senior academic official who attended the meeting, produced the first working paper on the concept of the university.
IIUM was incorporated under the Companies Act 1965 as this university’s language instruction was not Malay but instead English and Malay and this actually prohibited by Malaysian Law. This also was the reason why IIUM was a private university before. However, after IIUM received its Establishment Order from the King, Sultan Ahmad Shah, the Sultan of Pahang, IIUM was officially made a public university on 23 May 1983, in accordance with Section 5A (2) of the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971.
As other public university that has a ceremonial head called the Chancellor, IIUM has too but it is called Constitutional Head. He/she presides over convocations and serves as the point of reference for all constitutional issues. The Constitutional Head is appointed by the King on the recommendation of the Federal Government for a term of seven years.
Almarhum Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah was the founding Constitutional Head since 1 July 1983. Prior to his demise, he was replaced by his daughter-in-law, Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, the current Raja Permaisuri Agong (Queen), She was made the Constitutional Head on 12 April 2019 for a five-year term, ending her father-in-law’s chancellery in IIUM for 36 years, but the instrument of appointment was only presented to her by the Federal Government on 17 June 2019.
Since 1987, IIUM has produced more than 70,000 graduates from more than 100 countries around the world. Most of them were from Malaysia.***
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