Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, Universiti Muhammadiyah Malaysia (UMAM)’s visiting, led by the Rector, Assoc. Prof. Ir. Dr. Waluyo Adi Siswanto was delighted by the Principal of Sekolah Indonesia Kota Kinabalu (SIKK) and Konsulat Jenderal Republik Indonesia (KJRI) Kota Kinabalu on the 12th December, 2022. Muhammadiyah which has been known to have made a lot of contributions and enlightenment through education currently offers five PhD programmes by research in Malaysia.
The visiting was also accompanied by 6 students from Persatuan Pelajar Indonesia Universiti Malaysia Sabah (PPI UMS) to strengthen relations between students and agencies or institutions and this visit was the first to be carried out by UMAM in Sabah region.
The first meeting was with the Principal of Sekolah Indonesia Kota Kinabalu, Dadang Hermawan, M.Ed., and several teachers together with PPI UMS which is currently led by Sagita Nofarda Ramadhan and its members, Centhyea, M.Sc., Hariyady, S.Kom., M.T. , Abdul Aziz Jaziri, S.Pi., M.Sc., Hanif Abdurahman Siswanto, and Muhammad Ikhsan who also joined the visiting. The Rector of UMAM expressed his appreciation and praise for SIKK, he said that Indonesian children who have lived in Sabah, Malaysia for a long time can still receive school education with a learning and teaching system similar to children living in Indonesia.
On this occasion, Dr. Waluyo also explained that UMAM is the first Muhammadiyah campus that is outside Indonesia as well as a Muhammadiyah campus which was for the first time established in Malaysia. The children who attend SIKK later on or teachers can also receive education at UMAM if they are going to continue to the doctoral level.
UMAM together with PPI UMS continued the visit to KJRI Kota Kinabalu, having a meeting with the Consul General, Rafail Walangitan, Head of Chancellery (HOC), Lingga Setiawan, and PENSOSBUD Function, Debbi Oktarossa. The meeting was held to introduce UMAM and students from PPI UMS.
On that occasion, the Rector of UMAM introduced UMAM and explained the history of UMAM’s establishment in Malaysia, how Muhammadiyah through education could spread its wings abroad. He explained that UMAM was the first Muhammadiyah campus to be established in Malaysia and was not related to any subsequent branches after Muhammadiyah campuses in Indonesia.
The Consul General of Indonesia at that time was quite surprised as well as appreciative, because UMAM only had a doctoral program without undergraduate and master programs but gained the trust of the Malaysian Sultan, especially the Perlis sultanate, which allowed higher education to be held in the region.
The hope conveyed by the Indonesian Consul General to the Chancellor of UMAM, especially PPI UMS, is that communication between students in Sabah and the Consulate can be maintained as well as a joint agenda that will be carried out in the future. It is hoped that UMAM can develop rapidly and open educational levels other than Doctoral. Hopefully with the agenda of the meeting, the relationship between PPI UMS, UMAM, SIKK, and KJRI Kota Kinabalu will be well established.