The initiative to form the Regional Islamic Da’wah Council for Southeast Asia and the Pacific (RISEAP) arose out of a conference that was jointly organized by the Muslim Welfare Organization of Malaysia (PERKIM) and Muslim World League (Rabitah al-Alam al-Islami) that was held in Kuala Lumpur from 11th to 14th January 1980.
RISEAP was born on 11th November 1980 coincided with 3rd Muharam 1401 which was the beginning of a new Islamic calendar year in a new Islamic Millenium. The founding member organizations were from 17 countries, namely Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Singapore, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Australia, Fiji and New Zealand.
Yang Teramat Mulia Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj became the first president of RISEAP until 1988. From the start, the Tunku wanted RISEAP to bring together the Muslim-minority countries in the East Asian and the Pacific, in order to pursue the collective ambitions, and to remain fired with enthusiasm of the Islamic cause. The Tunku’s sentiments were echoed in a RISEAP slogan “In service of Muslim minorities”.
Datuk Patinggi Abdul Taib Mahmud, who was then the Minister Federal Territories of Malaysia succeeded the Tunku as President until to this present day. Taib intimately shares the Tunku’s passion in encouraging the leaders of Muslim organizations, particularly in the Muslim-minority countries, to grow in self-confidence in managing their respective organizations.