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UMT SIGNS MOU WITH UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA

On 30th September, another significant signing took place here at the campus, held as part of UMT’s strategy to strengthen its research excellence. University of East Anglia (UEA) had agreed to collaborate with UMT, with the agreement later formalized through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions of higher learning.

Representing UMT at the signing ceremony was its Vice Chancellor Professor Dato’ Dr Nor Aieni Mokhtar, and University of East Anglia its Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Phillip Gilmartin.

Professor Nor Aieni said that one of UMT’s strategic plans was to continuously improve its research excellence, and one of the ways to achieve this would be to forge collaborative partnership with established universities.

She further said that UAE was already a great university, and was part of one of the largest scientific communities in Europe, with its research regularly making headlines as well as a real-world impact all
around the globe.

“UMT is honoured and excited to be able to forge partnership with UEA, it being one of the more established universities in the world. We know we can learn a lot from their researchers. And for UEA to accept UMT as one of its research partners, that also speaks volume about what we have to offer, research-wise,” added Professor Nor Aieni.

She also said that while the five-year strategic collaboration would improve the research quality and performance of both universities, UMT hoped to increase its visibility at the global level through this partnership.

The two universities will be focusing on several specific areas of research, namely Chemical Sciences, Environment, and Oceanography. In addition, they will be looking at the feasibility of conducting online courses that are beneficial while being costsaving. Another possibility to be discussed is student- and researcherexchange projects between the two universities.

Source - laili@umt.edu.my

UMT HOSTS 1ST INTERNATIONAL UNION FOR CONSERVATION OF NATURE SYMPOSIUM AND RED LIST ASSESSMENT

UMT, through its Institute of Oceanography and Environment, collaborated with National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium, Taiwan to host the 1st International Union for Conservation of Nature Symposium and Red List Assessment from 24th to 28th September 2018.

The theme for the symposium was “Ensuring species and ecosystem conservation for the future: Theory, challenges and practices”.

There were two objectives of the symposium; the first was to acquire specific knowledge on the assessment process of different endangered species at national and international levels, and the second to understand the current situation causing the species to be threatened. The event was officiated by the Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources Dr Xavier Jayakumar.

Dr Jayakumar in his speech said that these century-old environmental issues had become more threatening and ocean pollution was threatening lives in the ocean and ashore. He added further that we had failed to respect the lives and ecosystems of other living things and also failed to take care of the earth we “borrowed from our children”. 

UMT Vice Chancellor Professor Dato’ Dr Nor Aieni Mokhtar in her welcoming speech said that the Red List Assessment was the global standard for evaluating the status of conservation activities throughout the world.

She said the symposium was a melting pot for researchers and academicians from all over. “We have a plenary speaker from Malaysia and keynotes speakers from the United States and Taiwan. There are
also invited speakers from Bangladesh, Myanmar, South Africa, Brazil, and China.

In addition to having researchers and academicians gather here, the symposium is also aimed at creating an ecosystem for idea sharing and establishing collaborative network”, stated Professor Nor Aieni.

A workshop on Sciaenidae assessment was also held as part of the programme. Sciaenidae is a scientific name for local fish called “ikan gelama”, found in areas near tropical beaches, estuary and shallow waters. This workshop focussed on the assessment and conservation of the fish with the aim of using the outcomes as points of references for future conservation and management of fisheries.

Source -  izwandy.idris@umt.edu.my

UMT-BORN DEBUDU: LOCAL PRODUCT WITH POTENTIAL INTERNATIONAL MARKET

Anchovy sauce may not be well-recognized at the global level, but that is about to change with a UMT research team having succeeded in turning Asia’s popular liquid condiment into a more portable form—powder.

Research by UMT Lecturer Dr Fisal Ahmad and his team has garnered some interest for its potential penetration into an international market.

Anchovy sauce, known as “budu” in the East Coast part of Malaysia, is an almost must-have traditional aromatic condiment, eaten with rice to add more flavour and increase appetite. The sauce is created from a mixture of anchovies and salt that is fermented. Anchovy sauce is also widely used in Asia, each region calling it using different names. It’s called nampla in Thailand and Laos, nuocman in Vietnam, tuk-trei in Cambodia, patis in the Philliphines, yulu in China, shottsuru in Japan, aekjeot in Korea, and ngan-pya-ye in Myanmar.

Dr Fisal said that anchovy sauce took time to prepare, ranging from 6 to 12 months. Anchovies would be mixed with salt at a ratio of 2 or 3 to 1 and then fermented. The use of salt, apart from giving the salty taste, was to prevent the growth of microorganism that could spoil the anchovies and render them hamrful.

Dr Fisal also said that the traditional packaging of anchovy sauce in glass bottles had somewhat limited the marketability of the product, being sold only in local retail shops and supermarkets. This prompted him to conduct research to turn the product into powder form without diminishing the quality and original flavour. Dr Fisal dubbed his innovation Debudu. “The anchovy sauce, in powder form, can be packaged more attractively and conveniently. And in powder form, the anchovy sauce now can be used in more than one way, not just a condiment for the rice,” said Dr Fisal.

“One example of using the powder in western food is on pizzas and lasagnes to add that extra unique taste. Or how about replacing black pepper with the powder on scrambled or poached eggs,”

added Dr Fisal. Dr Fisal’s innovation was so impressive it had bagged several awards at competitions and expos, the latest being Gold award at iCompEx 2018.

 

Source - fisal@umt.edu.my

UMT PROVIDES FREE ACCOMMODATION CARAVANSERAI@UMT MOSQUE TO PARENTS

In conjunction with the 2018 new intake registration on 3rd September, UMT offered a free accommodation package called Caravanserai@UMT Mosque to families who could not afford or did not wish to spend additional money renting hotel rooms or guesthouses for an overnight stay.

The thoughtful gesture was made possible with the involvement of UMT’s Sultan Mahmud Islamic Centre. Its Director Dr Riswadi Azmi said that this was the first of such package introduced in Malaysia.

The Caravanserai@UMT Mosque package included free lodging, breakfast, car wash, and car inspection. Families slept inside the mosque in partitioned areas. The next day, they were served breakfast and their cars washed and inspected for free.

A total of 141 people comprising men, women, and children made use of the package. Some 18 non-Muslims also enjoyed the free offer. They were briefed beforehand by the Association of Muslim Converts Chairwoman Datin Norhana on manners and etiquettes in a mosque. Caravanserai@UMT Mosque was not reserved for parents of UMT students only. Also joining them were eight students from the nearby

Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) who arrived a day earlier for their registration.

“We wish to help anyone in need, especially the students. We wish to show the society that an act of kindness knows no boundary,” said Dr Rizwadi. The announcement was made via newspapers and UMT Facebook page while booking could be done via the latter.

“The idea to provide this type of free accommodation came up when we were discussing ways to lighten the financial burden of parents who come from afar to register their children at UMT.

Free lodging, or caravanserai, is not a new concept but goes way back during Uthmaniyyah Empire, where it was put under the management of public amenity division. We used the concept of caravanserai and adapted it to today’s situation,” added Dr Rizwadi.

The Islamic Centre received help from the public in the form of monetary donation. Free car wash and inspection services were sponsored by a local auto company GTA Auto Service.

Source - riswadi@umt.edu.my

 

SEATRU: 25 YEARS OF CONSERVING, STUDYING, AND EDUCATING ON TURTLES

UMT’s Sea Turtle Research Unit (SEATRU) celebrated its silver jubilee this year. SEATRU was set up by Dr Chan Eng Heng and Liew Hock Chark in 1993 as a unit to focus on conserving the turtles at Chagar Hutang Beach on Redang Island through conducting relevant research and educating the public.

The hard work paid off when in 2005 the state government decided to declare the beach a turtle sanctuary.

For the past 25 years, SEATRU has succeeded in proving how turtle nesting beaches can be managed well, benefitting the environment, especially the turtles and the surrounding communities.

SEATRU researcher Dr Mohd Uzair Rusli said that SEATRU’s success has translated into the research station becoming the main source of reference for turtle conservation.

“Researchers and turtle sanctuary management teams from all over including the United Kingdom, Taiwan, China, Australia, Cambodia, and Japan flock here regularly and take part in research activities at the station,” said Dr Uzair.

One of the studies receiving wide coverage was the study on turtle migration using satellite. In addition, Dr Uzair’s current research has

attracted international attention for examining the classic theory on how hatchlings dig themselves out of nests.

Dr Uzair said that SEATRU’s success did not come easily. He recounted being told that in the early days the two co-founders had to buy all the eggs at the beach from licensed collectors. What they did eventually gained the attention of private companies who later on provided financial supports.

“In 1998, when the world was experiencing economic recession, I was told that the money stopped flowing in, so SEATRU was struggling then,” said Dr Uzair.

“But as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. So to manage SEATRU financially, it introduced the concept of volunteer tourism, where people pay to become volunteers”, added Dr Uzair.

SEATRU also introduced Community-based Conservation (CBC), a volunteer programme meant for local residents so they can get to know more about these threatened species and learn to appreciate their existence. In September 2018, SEATRU obtained RM100,000 research grant to develop the CBC module at other turtle conservation areas throughout the country.

Source - uzair@umt.edu.my

 

About UMTSohor eNewsletter

UMTSohor eNewsletter is a monthly online newsletter, published as one of the platforms to let the public know more about Universiti Malaysia Terengganu. In each issue, we highlight some of the significant and memorable events happening recently at UMT.

UMTSohor is a term coined by the top management as a branding strategy. Since UMT is located in Terengganu, befittingly a local word “sohor” is added to the university’s acronym. “Sohor” means renowned in English. So UMTSohor in essence means UMT is renowned, famous. And if UMT is not already is, it is certainly working towards achieving that stature.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this newsletter, and subsequently marked the calendar for the release dates of future issues, so you can be constantly updated.

Universiti Malaysia Terengganu

21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu,
Malaysia.

Website: https://www.umt.edu.my  Email: pro@umt.edu.my

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