Social workers face different challenges in Sabah
KOTA KINABALU: The diverse cultures, languages, customs, norms and conventions in Sabah present new and different challenges for social workers.
UMS Vice Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr D Kamarudin D Mudin said Sabah as part of Malaysia was a multicultural society encompassing more than 40 ethnics and other sub-ethnic groups.
“The diverse cultures, languages, customs, norms and conventions represent new and different challenges for social workers,” he said in a speech delivered on his behalf by UMS Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research and Innovation Prof Dr Shahril Yusof, when officiating at the opening ceremony of the Borneo International Social Work Symposium (BISWS) 2017 here yesterday.
Kamarudin said Social Work in Multicultural Society as theme of this symposium was appropriate as Malaysia was a multicultural country made of different ethnic groups including the Malays, Chinese, Indians and natives.
He said social workers had the responsibilities in promoting healthy society for all people irrespective of their ethnic or cultural background.
Kamarudin added that a healthy society comprised three important elements, the first being a society in which men and women were encouraged to accept responsibility for themselves and their families, and live their lives with maximum independence and self-reliance.
Second, it is a society where everyone feels themselves as responsible members in the community, where he or she is inspired to ensure the wellbeing of their community, particularly in showing practical concern for others regardless of age, occupation or disability, he said.
Thirdly, he said family life formed the bed rock on which a healthy society was built on.
Kamarudin also hoped that BISWS would become an annual event for the social work programme of the faculty.
Also present was the Dean of Faculty of Psychology and Education, Prof Dr Haji Mohd Dahlan bin Haji A. Malek.
Shahril (fourth left), Dahlan (third left) and others at the opening ceremony of the symposium.