The Institute for Policy Research (IKD) with the co-operation of the DEMA under the sponsorship of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAF) had organised a National Students Civilisational Dialogue from January 13 through 14, 2001 at Grand Olimpic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. A total of fify (50) students from Universiti Malaya, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, International Islamic University, Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Universiti Sains Malaysia attended the training.
2.0 Objectives and Aim
The objectives of the dialog were as follows
1. to provide understanding on racial problem in our country.
2. to seek a solution on racial problem in our country for restructure the movement among the student.
Fifty (50) students from Universiti Malaya, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, International Islamic University and Universiti Tenaga Nasional attended the training. Generally the participants are 20 years old.
4.0 The Training
There was no mass lecture or paper presentation but the important points were discussed in small groups of ten (10) to fifteen (15) members. An experienced facilitator from among senior year university students moderated the group discussions. The group discussions tries to discuss the important questions of 'Do you think are there any racial problem in Malaysia?', and 'How to solve the problem?'. The findings of each group were presented on the last day. Through group discussions; some basic elements of dialog were also exposed to these youths. The co-operation of the participants was excellent and this really helped in ensuring the smooth running of the program.
5.0 Participants Feedback and Conclusions
The training took note of the views and comments from the participants. Some are identical to that raised during the first session. Among the matters raised by the participants are
a) There should be more dialogue
for youths and students involving a larger number of varsity students.
b) The dialogue should be done in a smaller group to ensure effectiveness.
c) Dialogue should incorporate practical training sessions.
d) Efforts should be taken to establish a network between the participants after the training.
e) There are differences from one institution to another in terms of living environment and culture. The dialogue should have taken these differences into account and prepare the participants to suit their community.
f) There ought to be a follow up for the participants to really develop their potentials.
This dialogue is the continual session in the series of the dialog in New Era College, Kajang, and Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor which were held in last year. Through this we hope to provide understanding on racial problem in our country, and to seek solution in this problem. In achieving these objectives the training was a success. The number of participants for this dialogue was quite big thus there is a worry that there was a decline in terms of effectiveness.