The Institution of the Rubber Industry (IRI) was founded in England in 1921 to fill precisely this need to disseminate and share knowledge, technical or otherwise, through seminars, talks and meetings and to promote networking among rubber professionals.  The Plastics Institute was almost as old and was founded in 1931.  The Malayan Chapter of the IRI was formed in 1960 by a group of scientist working at the Rubber Research Institute (RRIM) and some enthusiastic individuals working in the rubber industry.  One of its first activities was training of local rubber technologists as no local institution of higher learning offered the course, the only way then was to study in England.  The Licentiate course in rubber technology was taught in the evenings by volunteer teachers in the lecture hall at RRIM.  Among the first students to sit the examination and pass were Peter Mitchell and Sin Siew Weng.  Peter Mitchell had the best set of answers of students from the Commonwealth and Sweden and Holland.  Sin Siew Weng came second.  Both of them went on to become presidents and PRIM Hall of Famers. The Licentiate course eventually evolved in to the Diploma of the Plastics and Rubber Institute Malaysia, DPRIM – Rubber. A DPRIM-Plastics course was also introduced in 2010

In 1975 the IRI merged with the Plastics Institute to form the Plastics & Rubber Institute UK (PRI).  In the 1980s talks began on merger with other professional institutes and in 1993 the Institute of Materials (IOM) was formed by merger of the Institute of Metals, the Institute of Ceramics and the Plastics & Rubber Institute.  The Malaysian Section felt this would dilute the status of rubber and plastics and opted to break away.  The Rubber and Plastics Institute Malaysia (PRIM) was formed in 1995 but remained loosely affiliated to IOM.

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