The idea of having an interdisciplinary platform for Oral Microbiologists and Oral Immunologists started with the plan to organize the International Conference on Oral Immunology and Oral Microbiology (ICOIOM) 2018.  Given the need for a more effective integration in the field of Oral Immunology and Oral Microbiology, ICOIOM 2018 was planned to create a common platform between clinicians, dentists and scientists. During the informal discussion (November 2017) on the proposal of ICOIOM 2018 prepared by Prof. Dr. Mohammad Tariqur Rahman (Faculty of Dentistry, University Malaya), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zamri Radzi (Deputy Dean, Research and Development, Faculty of Dentistry, University Malaya) supported the idea of organizing the event and raise the possibility to form a Malaysian Society in the field of Oral Immunology and Oral Microbiology.

In less than a week, the idea was presented to Prof. Dato Dr. Zainal Ariff Abdul Rahman (Dean, Faculty of Dentistry, Univeristi Malaya) who immediately approved to organize ICOIOM 2018. At the same time, Prof. Dato Dr. Zainal Ariff advised to form an Advisory Board to establish the proposed society.

An Advisory Board was formed that was represented by faculty members from different disciplines namely Dentistry, Medicine, Immunology, and Microbiology from various universities from Malaysia and Abroad. The constitution of the proposed Society was initially drafted by Prof. Tariq and circulated among the members of the Advisory Board for revision.

The revised version of the constitution was finally endorsed during the formation meeting held on 13 April 2018 at the faculty of Dentistry, UM which was attended by 29 members of the Advisory Board (List at the bottom). The formation meeting was chaired by Prof. Dato Dr. Zainal Ariff Abdul Rahman.

Formation Meeting
MySOMOI Formation Meeting

During the Formation Meeting, a Protem committee was formed by direct voting where all participating members were candidates and voters. Prof. Dato Dr. Zainal Ariff conducted the election as the host and chair of the Formation Meeting. Based on the highest number of votes received, 11 members were elected to form the Protem Committee. Prof. Tariq was elected as the President of the Protem Committee who received the highest number of votes among the elected 11 members. Other positions were assigned on consensus basis among the elected members of the Protem Committee.

MySOMOI Protem Committee (formed on 13 April, 2018). From Left: Dr Hafiz (IIUM), Dr. Raja (USM), Prof Fouad (UiTM), Prof Tariq (UM), Dr. Haslinda (USIM), Dr. Anitha (SEGi), Dr. Maha (UPM), Dr. INtan (IIUM), Dr. Hasna (UITM), Dr. Marina (UM), and Dr. Seng (UTAR)

The Protem Committee took the necessary steps to obtain the registration for the proposed society. Although initially proposed as Malaysian Society of Oral Immunologists and Oral Microbiologists, the name of the Society was changed to Malaysian Society of Oral Microbiologists and Oral Immunologists (MySOMOI) which was proposed by Dr. Intan Azura Shahdan. As the General Secretary of the Protem Committee, Dr. Intan Azura communicated with the Registry of Societies Malaysia (RoS) to obtain the registration for MySOMOI. On July 17 2018, a certificate of registration was obtained for MYSOMOI as one of the registered professional body in Malaysia.

Notably, the Protem Committee was given one year by RoS to held general meeting with all the members of the society to form the Executive Committee (EC). However, considering the convenience and benefits to expose MySOMOI among the participants of ICOIOM 2018 from Malaysia and abroad, Protem committee agreed to held the first Biennial General Meeting (BGM) during ICOIOM 2018 scheduled on 14 August 2018. On the same day, Dr. Noor Azlin Yahya (Faculty of Dentistry, UM), the first Election Commissioner for the 1st MySOMOI EC election invited 43 registered members to vote for the first MySOMOI EC for the session of 2018-2020. 

During the ICOIOM 2018 dinner held on 14 August  2018, Datuk Ir. (Dr.) Abdul Rahim Hashim, Honorable Vice Chancellor of Univeristi Malaya launched MySOMOI.

MySOMOI Launching 01
Launching of MySOMOI. From Left: Prof Tariq (President MySOMOI), Datuk Ir. (Dr.) Abdul Rahim Hashim (VC, Universiti Malaya) and Prof. Dato Dr. Zainal Ariff (Dean, Faculty of Dentistry, UM)

Acknowledgements: With great pleasure we would like to extend our gratitude to the Faculty of Dentistry for supporting all that are necessary to establish the Society and not to mention the SubWay lunch for all the participants who attended the Formation Meeting on 13 april, 2018 and most importantly the member of Dental Research Management Centre DRMC, UM) under the supervision of Mrs Intan Suhana for all their hard work to organize the Formation Meeting on 13 April 2018.