KUCHING: Serian-born Associate Professor Dr Novel Lyndon has been appointed a Member of the Board of Advisors of the National Integration Research and Training Institute (IKLIN) for a period of two years.
The appointment to the board, which is under the Department of National Unity and Integration in the Prime Minister’s Department, marked another milestone for the 40-year-old Bidayuh who hails from Kampung Krait.
Novel is an Associate Professor in the School of Social, Environmental and Developmental Studies, and head of the Postgraduate Programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia since 2016.
The eldest of five siblings, whose parents are farmers, obtained his Bachelor’s degree in 2000 and his Masters of Science (2004) from Universiti Putra Malaysia.
He obtained his Doctorate degree (PhD) in the field of Rural and Community Development from Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang in 2011.
He has served as a lecturer at the School of Social, Environmental and Developmental Studies since 2005, and his areas of expertise are the field of Rural and Community Development and Transnational Crime.
He has also attended the Fellowship/Post-Doctoral Programme in the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Science, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand in 2013 to strengthen his expertise in the field of community development and Transnational Crime.
Throughout his service in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, he has received two awards of excellence at university level, namely the Anugerah Bitara UKM for the year 2016 and UKM’s Young Researcher Award for the year 2015.
Novel said the relevance of his appointment as a member of IKLIN Advisory Board can be divided into five key roles, one of which is to provide added value to government policies by making ethnic diversity, religious diversity and cultural diversity as the strength of the Malaysian nation in the effort towards developing national unity.
The other key roles include providing insights and advice by making the states of Sarawak and Sabah the model of unity based on the mould of solidarity or unity in diversity and provide added value and advice in the mapping of the national unity index by taking into account the views of Sarawak and Sabah.
He added another key role is to provide advice and information based on empirical studies on Sarawak and Sabah so both the states are better known by ethnic groups in Peninsular Malaysia.
“Clear understanding of the ethnic groups and cultures of both these states will reduce the social cohesion gap of the country,” he said.
He said another key role is to provide input and facts based on empirical research on issues related to national unity and inequality, whether among ethnic groups, between ethnic groups or clans, regions or states in facing Transformasi Nasional 50 (TN50).
“National unity is crucial in making Malaysia a leading example of a country that is developed and competitive in facing Industrial Revolution 4.0 based on the path of unity in diversity,” he said.