Background of INSPAG, FSPPP

When the Centre for ASEAN Studies (CAS) was established on August 7, 2004, as an inter-disciplinary research unit, its primary purpose was to focus on the study of ASEAN as a regional organisation. Since then, the Centre has taken on a bigger role of engaging in related activities which transcend ASEAN. It is against this backdrop that Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), under whose wings it exists, deems it pertinent and timely to change the centre’s name and elevate its stature to that of an institute, and henceforth the Institute of ASEAN Studies and Global Affairs or the Malay nomenclature, Institut Pengajian ASEAN dan Ehwal Global, from which the acronym INSPAG is derived, came into being.

Since the change in name in November 2007, INSPAG has not only remained steadfast to its original role of engaging in matters that pertain to ASEAN, but has also widen its range of research initiatives to include global affairs. Hence, while maintaining the link with ASEAN-related interests, particularly in creating an ASEAN Community though the three pillars which predominate ASEAN’s raison d’être, INSPAG is also pursuing programmes that reflect the demands of globalisation. This is in tandem with the University’s goal of internationalising its scholastic substance and institutional facade.

The Institute is a manifestation of the good relations forged between UiTM and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia, borne of the desire to produce sound policy research leading towards constructive solutions and practical recommendations to counter the challenges facing ASEAN Member Countries today. Additionally, INSPAG aims to be the reference hub for Malaysia vis-à-vis ASEAN studies.

In addition to providing the framework to facilitate collaborative research initiatives involving like institutions or those with interest in Southeast Asian studies, plans are also underway for INSPAG to offer postgraduate programmes on ASEAN and Global Studies to Malaysian and international students as well as participants from among government officers, especially the diplomatic fraternity.

Besides its didactic and scholastic functions, INSPAG is actively involved in initiatives to promote consciousness of ASEAN especially among the young in Malaysia, as well as to enhance networking within ASEAN and with others outside the region. INSPAG also organise or co-organises conferences, dialogues, seminars, workshops and lectures with local as well as regional partners.