Volume 1, August 2018 For a better web display, Click here...


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

UMTSohor--This 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" is a local Terengganu dialect, an adjective, which simply means renowned in English. UMTSohor in essence means UMT is renowned, famous. And if UMT is not already is, UMT is certainly working towards achieving that stature.

We hope you will enjoy reading this eNewsletter and subsequently mark the calendar for the release dates of future issues. We intend to get in touch monthly, so that everyone will always be constantly updated.



Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) and National Marine Data and Information Service, China (NMDIS) formed a formal relationship by signing a Letter of Intent (LoI) on 6th July 2018 to develop Marine Data Centre in Malaysia. The event took place at the National Marine Data and Information Service, China.

The LoI was signed by Assoc. Prof Dr Aidy@Mohd Shawal Muslim, Director of INOS, representing UMT and Mr. Yang Jikun, Director of Marine Data Centre, representing NMDIS.

The LoI indicated the commitment of both UMT and NMDIS to materialise the formation of China-ASEAN Marine Environmental Big Data Platform through capacity building and technical participation. In addition, NMDIS, who acts as a key player in marine big data field, is willing to assist UMT with the development of UMT Marine Big Data Platform. Furthermore, a collaborative research project will be proposed involving UMT and NMDIS for research in marine big data.

The reciprocal visit by NMDIS to UMT is planned in October 2018 in conjunction with the Tropical Oceanography and Marine Science International Symposium (TOMSY) organised by INOS.

The research cooperation meeting at NMDIS was also organised as part of UMT’s participation in a training course ‘China-ASEAN Countries on Marine Data Processing and Management Technologies’. Three science officers from INOS were selected by the organizer (NMDIS) to become participants of the course which started from 26th June until 7th July 2018. The negotiation team from UMT was brought to the Tianjin Foreign Studies University after the LoI signing ceremony to meet the participants. The cooperation between UMT and NMDIS will be beneficial for the Marine Big Data initiative in Malaysia, with UMT as the focal institution.



More than 20 scientists from University Malaysia Terengganu and China took part in a scientific expedition across the South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca from 16 July to 30 July 2018.

The expedition was made possible by the collaboration between the Institute of Oceanography, UMT and two agencies under the State Oceanic Administration, China, which were the First Institute of Oceanography (FIO) and the National China Sea Marine Forecasting Centre (NMFC).

Associate Professor Dr Mohd Fadzil Mohd Akhir, the Deputy Director of the Institute of Oceanography, who was also the lead scientist said that the purpose of the expedition was to understand the dynamics of upwelling, a process that increases the productivity of marine waters, and consequently improves the fishing industry of the country. He went on to add that by understanding the effect of climate change and the influence of the different seasons on the ocean’s current, we can conduct detailed study to enable us to understand the effects of weather and current on fishery in Malaysia.

Dr Mohd Fadzil further stated, “the ocean forecasting system being developed through the collaboration will use ocean data as the main criteria in ensuring the product generated is more accurate. The forecasting system will help in predicting the temperature, current, and wave to assist industries such as fishery and petroleum. In addition, it can aid in the search and rescue activities in the event of capsized boats or oil spill.”

“Latest technology is used in the collection of data such as temperature, salinity, current, nutrient, chlorophyll and microplastic. Long-term monitoring is also done using buoys and mooring to provide more accurate ocean forecasting system, “said Dr Mohd Fadzil.

The scientists completed the expedition by sailing on UMT-owned vessel RV Discovery.        



Enactus (Entrepreneurial-Action-Us) UMT was crowned champion at 2018 Enactus Malaysia National Competition (EMNC) held on 21st July at WORQ, Glo Damansara, Kuala Lumpur. Next, the team will be representing Malaysia at 2018 Enactus World Cup in San Jose, California, USA later this year and will be competing with 36 teams for other countries.

In the final, Enactus UMT showcased a project entitled Pollen. The project studied how pollination method could be improved by using stingless bees as commercialized pollination agents. One bee hive was placed in each greenhouse in the farm during the plants’ maturity period. The project showed that the method used improved the quality and quantity of Melon Manis Terengganu. Twelve judges were impressed with the quality of the presentation and the responses given during the question-and-answer session that they declared Enactus UMT team the winner.

Before participating in the final, Enactus UMT had to make the cut in the preliminary rounds on 17th and 18th July, competing with 33 other projects.

The other teams competing in the final round were from Universiti Utara Malaysia, Universiti Islam Sains Malaysia, Universiti Tenaga Nasional Malaysia, and Universiti Teknologi Mara.

Enactus is an international non-profit organization comprised of thousands of university students, academic professionals and business executives from around the world. This organization creates global partnerships between business and higher education that prepare university students to make a meaningful contribution toward a better world as entrepreneurs and business leaders by challenging them to address real world business and economic issues in their communities. With 185 active members, Enactus UMT has been actively involved with social entrepreneurship since 2010.

Enactus Malaysia National Competition is a platform for active Enactus members in 25 Malaysian universities to showcase how they are transforming lives and enabling progress through empowering entrepreneurs in the their local communities.



UMT conducted a series of workshops between June and July 2018 for teachers of Cluster Schools of Excellence.

The workshops are part of the activities planned under the Ministry of Education’s programme, the Engagement of Cluster Schools of Excellence with Public Universities.

In line with the ministry’s goal of enhancing the teachers’ skills and proficiencies in selected fields, the workshops focussed on helping the teachers write reports and research papers. Under the guidance from UMT academicians, the teachers were required to come up action-research papers on selected topics.

The Ministry of Education initiated the Engagement of Cluster Schools of Excellence with Public Universities programme in 2009. Seventeen selected primary and secondary around Terengganu are now attached to UMT. Teachers from these schools are to undergo trainings to enhance their skills before transferring them to the students.

This programme has provided opportunities for UMT, known as a university with Marine Science and Aquatic Resources as its forte, to promote its niche area. As a university with a high profile niche area, all of its academicians and researchers are encouraged to transfer their knowledge to the community, including primary and secondary students, adults, and other academicians.

Not only can this kind of programme promote UMT's niche area, experts and facilities, it can also lead to many more cooperative and collaborative programmes between the schools and the faculties at UMT in the future.


gertrudedavid13@gmail.com, aiditarsier@gmail.com, yati.manaf@umt.edu.my &  syahrunizan@umt.edu.my

Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) endeavours to strengthen its capability to engage in research that is multi-displinary and oriented towards social innovation. With that goal in mind, UMT has renamed the Tasik Kenyir Institute, formed at the end of 2013, to Institute of Tropical Biodiversity and Sustainable Development (BIO-D TROPIKA). The changing of name, which took place in 2018, was done to be in line with the Terengganu government’s commitment to make Kenyir the best eco-tourism destination.

Continuous research in areas such as biodiversity science, social and community, physical and socioeconomics is conducted to realize the vision of establishing Tasik Kenyir Geo-Park.

At present, Tasik Kenyir is home to 2,500 species of plants, 61 species of fish, 34 species of spiders, 207 species of butterflies, 27 species of reptilias, 319 species of birds, and 135 species of mammals.

The existence of endemic flora Melunak tree (Pentace excelsa) and two endemic species of snails Kenyirus sodhi and Pearsonia tembatensis proves that Tasik Kenyir is teeming with unexplored treasure.

In addition, research at Tasik Kenyir is oriented towards the development of the Orang Asli community of Semaq Beri, particulary the Senoi population and the local settlers. The Orang Asli community totals 513 and can be found living at the new settlement at Kampung Sungai Berua.

Varioius studies have been conducted including on poverty, interconnection with the environment, and continuous genetic.

BIO-D TROPIKA also carried out knowledge transfer programmes involving communities in Hulu Terengganu that was based on the Community-based Ecotourism (CBE) concept. It first started in 2017 as a collobaration with researchers from UiTM Shah Alam and Hulu Terengganu District Department.

A book about rural entrepreneurs around Hulu Terengganu is being published entitled Business- Minded : Rural Entrepreneurs.

In addition, BIO-D TROPIKA has secured two research grants, the first one under the Transdisciplinary Research Grant Scheme (TRGS) focusing on the Orang Asli communities and the second the strategic research grant focusing on Tasik Kenyir and surrounding community profiling.

Universiti Malaysia Terengganu

21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu,

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

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