The Institute of Malay world and Civilization (ATMA) was initially established as an Institute of Language, Literature and Malay Culture (IBKKM) in December 1972. The aim of the institute was to offer postgraduate studies i.e. Masters in Letters and Doctor of Philosophy and research into Language, Literature and Malay Culture as well as become the main reference center for these subjects. The changing of the name from IBKKM to ATMA in 1992 had expanded the areas of research to include the whole of Malay world and civilization.

Since its establishment, the institute is driven by a general conception of the Malay world and Civilization field which includes philosophy, beliefs, material culture, identity and all aspects of life within Malay cosmology. It is further expanded to include landscaping, ocean and outer space.

In responding to global challenges, ATMA attempts to bring forward Malay civilization as a civilizational force which is effective and continuous from time to time. Dynamic interaction and civilizational force the two forces which form the establishment of a modern state of the 20th and the 21st century will also contribute towards strategic, innovative and technological advances. These elements will also contribute towards the continuation of a unified identity and sustainable research at the institute.


To become the research institute of choice dedicated to elevating the Malay language and civilisation through the globalization of the national Malay culture


ATMA is resolute in becoming a premier research institute, leading innovation in the construction of knowledge about the Malay World and Civilisation aimed at nurturing a civilised society that is dynamic, ethical, knowledgeable and disciplined with a global mindset.


  • To further research into the study of Malay thought, civilization and technology.
  • To internationalized studies on the Malay world and civilization so as to contribute in a major way towards a Southeast Asian civilization.
  • To expand academic and intellectual connections in Southeast Asia, Europe, Middle Asia, West Asia and East Asia.


IBBKM (1972-1993) & ATMA (Mei 1993)

  1. Tan Sri Prof. Dr. Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas (1972-1975)
  2. Prof. Dr. Muhammad Haji Salleh (1975-1976)
  3. Prof. Dato’ Dr. Mohd Ghazali Abd Rahman (Pengerusi JK Pentadbir IBKKM (1979-1981)
  4. Prof. Dr. Farid M. Onn (1982-1984)
  5. Prof. Dr. Ismail Hamid (1985-1987)
  6. Prof. Tan Sri Dato’ Ismail Hussein (1987-1993)
  7. Prof. Dato’ Dr. Wan Hashim Wan Teh (1993-1995)
  8. Prof. Dr. Muhammad Haji Salleh (1995-1999)
  9. Prof. Ulung Datuk Dr Shamsul Amril Baharuddin (1999-2007)
  10. Prof. Dr. Che Husna Azhari  (2007-2009)
  11. Prof. Dr. Abdul Latif Samian (2009-2014)
  12. Prof. Dr. Nor Hashimah Jalaluddin (2014-2017)
  13. Prof. Dr. Supyan Hussin