In about three years, some 3,000 experts in statistics from over 130 countries are expected to be in Malaysia for the 62nd International Statistical Institute (ISI) World Statistics Congress (WSC) Kuala Lumpur 2019 (Aug 18-23) at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

This premier statistics congress will bring together global leaders from business, government and academia to impact economic and social development through the exchange of ideas and discussions of policies. The biennial WSC is an excellent opportunity for Malaysia to foster wide-ranging efforts in terms of smart partnerships for the advancement of the regional and global statistical community, said Datuk Dr Haji Abdul Rahman Hasan, chief statistician, Malaysia.

“It will be a lifetime opportunity for local practitioners, academicians and industry players in the field of statistics to meet eminent personalities and experts from five continents to acquire knowledge, information and best practices,” he added.

Abdul Rahman said it is an outstanding achievement and honour for Malaysia and its statistical community to host the ISI WSC, the world’s most prestigious statistical event, for the first time. This event will mark the second time it is being held in the South-East Asian region after it was held in the Philippines in 1979.

Other host countries of the congress include Japan (1987), China (1995), South Korea (2001), Australia (2005) and Hong Kong (2013).

Abdul Rahman was speaking at the agreement signing ceremony between the Government of Malaysia and the ISI recently.

Abdul Rahman said Malaysia’s cooperation with ISI began with the 2014 ISI Regional Statistics Conference in Kuala Lumpur.

The successful collaboration among Malaysia’s Department of Statistics, Bank Negara and Malaysia Institute of Statistics in organising the conference elevated the confidence of ISI board members in Malaysia’s capabilites and commitment.

The initial bidding procedure to host the 2019 congress was kicked off in March 2015 and the news that Malaysia had been successful was made known at the 60th ISI WSC 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in July that year. The victory is the result of continued inter-agency co-operation together with the support of the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau.

Significance of the congress

Hosting the ISI WSC 2019, Abdul Rahman said, is an impetus for Malaysia’s development of statistical ecosystems and will strengthen the bid to be in the forefront within the global statistical community.

“Being the oldest scientific association operating in the modern world, ISI will create a positive spillover effect on Malaysia’s doorstep,” he said.

It will be an excellent occasion for Malaysians to learn good practices of statistics and applications of statistical science, which could be useful for adoption, innovation and policy development.

The congress will also be a venue to enhance collaboration among industry practitioners, policymakers and the statistical community on statistical compilation and use of statistics.

The congress also offers speaking opportunities for its partners to present ideas on global impact issues and for participants to exhibit their latest products, services and applications in the field of science statistics or economics.

The six-day congress comprises three main sessions: the scientific programme, short courses and the social programme. The scientific programme will involve about 1,500 research papers in various fields. The social programme will be the showcase to promote Malaysia’s unique wonders, attractions and cultures as well as its meetings, incentives, conferences and events’ capabilities and capacity to congress participants.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s delegation will be participating at the ISI WSC 2017 in Marrakech, Morocco, from July 16 to 21 to promote the World Statistics Congress 2019. The promotion activities include meetings, an exhibition booth, and scientific paper presentations.

Abdul Rahman strongly encouraged the higher learning institutions, industry players and practitioners to give support in promoting Malaysia’s delegations at the 61st ISI WSC in Morocco next year.

“Morocco will be an avenue for Malaysia to showcase our ability in the global statistical platform. It will also be an opportunity to garner experience in order to be well prepared for a successful ISI WSC 2019,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Pedro Luis de Nascimento Silva, president of the International Statistical Institute (ISI), who was in Malaysia for the signing of the agreement of the ISI WSC to Malaysia, emphasised the importance of statistical education.

“Informed and engaged citizens rely on statistics about their city, province and country to form opinions, choose leaders and exercise their citizen’s rights,” he said.

He hopes the conference will be a fantastic opportunity to mobilise and engage even more diverse communities around the production, analysis and usage of statistics, and to leverage contacts with the international statistical community.

He is also confident and looking forward for Malaysia to organise an outstanding statistics congress in 2019.