A Very Happy 2017 to UiTM staff and students. I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Yab Datuk Amar Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg and the Vice-Chancellor of UiTM, Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr. Hassan Said for the continuous support given to UiTM Sarawak. To the staff, I thank you all for your cooperation and dedication which have contributed to the tremendous development made by UiTM Sarawak. In addition, I also encourage UiTM Sarawak students to work hard and excel in their studies.
As I reflect on the events that took place in 2016, I am happy with the achievements that UiTM Sarawak has made for the year. Amongst our many achievements, we have been successful in networking with other institutions both locally and abroad. In today’s globalised society, the internet has resulted in networking becoming a key concept. The term ‘network’ refers to the need to work together through direct exchange information and knowledge. Collaboration between universities not restricted to regional collaboration but now extends across different geographic areas around the world. A university cannot exist on its own without relations beyond its own frontiers. Therefore, I encourage UiTM Sarawak staff, especially the academic staff, to attend and present papers at national and international conferences and seminars in order to meet other researchers and share knowledge. In today’s increasingly globalised world, we at universities are aware of our need to be linked to benefit both education and research. Therefore, we should identify cooperation and collaboration that will be mutually beneficial.
Networking enables innovative ideas to be exchanged. The internet makes it possible to communicate instantly with people from any part of the world. Ideas stand a better chance of becoming projects with cooperation between interested parties. There is no doubt that national and international collaborations enhance research. Without research activities, be it fundamental or applied, universities won’t be able to fulfill their role of being engines of development. By collaborating with other researchers, university teams are constantly refreshed with new ideas and gain new perspectives to problems. Together ideas are explored and it is possible to test the potential of various options to come up with the most feasible.
UiTM Sarawak has been actively collaborating with other organizations and universities at both national and international levels. This can be seen from the many conferences that are jointly organized with other organizations and universities locally and abroad. The International Conference of ISO and Total Quality Management (ICIT) jointly organized by University Teknologi MARA together with APEST Acadeny Hong Kong, International 5S Organisation and SIRIM Malaysia was held from 21st to 23rd April at the Riverside Majestic Hotel Kuching. Out of the 60 papers presented, UiTM Sarawak lecturers won the best paper awards in five out of the ten categories. The categories won were ISO 9000/14001/50001, OH180001ETC, Islamic-principle based Management Techniques, Knowledge Management and Learning, Best Practices in Higher Education and Best Practices in Service Sector. I wish to congratulate the winners of all these awards who have indeed made UiTM Sarawak proud. The success achieved shows that our high caliber UiTM staff are able to compete at both national and international levels. Having the confidence to compete internationally will spur you to greater success in the future as you take part and win more and more competitions.
I was most privileged to present at the gala dinner held in conjunction with the 5th International Research Symposium on Service Management (IRSSM 5) held at Parnu, Estonia from 8th to 10th June, 2014. UiTM Sarawak lecturers who also attended the symposium were Associate Professor Dr. Margaret Chan, Associate Professor Dr. Voon Boo Ho, Associate Professor Dr. Firdaus Abdullah and Dr. Ellen Chung. Each of the team members not only presented research findings but also promoted IRSSM 6 to be organized by UiTMSarawak from 11th to 15th August, 2015 at the Riverside Majestic Hotel, Kuching.
Networking visits enhance cooperation and collaborationand build linkages. In February, 2014, Associate Professor Dr. Margaret Chan and I made a trip to New Zealand sponsored by the Sarawak Convention Centre. There, we visited three universities namely Lincoln University and Waikaito University in South Island and Auckland University in North Islandas well as the Ministry of Primary Industries in Auckland. The aims of the trip was to promote the international conferences organized by UiTM Sarawak and to network with other foreign universities, in this case universities in New Zealand.Subsequently, Professor Hiringi Matunga, the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Communities and Professor of Indigenous Planning of Lincoln University visited our campus and delivered a talk on study opportunities at Lincoln University. Thus, overseas visits such as these build international linkages that are mutually beneficial.
The partnership between Universiti Teknologi MARA and the University of Bangalore, India through the Dr Sivaram Research Foundation and Century Foundation with the support of the Sarawak Convention Bureau resulted in the organizations coming together to organise the 2nd International Conference on Advances in Plant Sciences (ICAPS) 2014from 18th to 22nd November 2014at Four Points by Sheraton, Kuching. It is noteworthy to mention that nine undergraduate students from our Faculty of Plantation and Agrotechnology and Faculty of Applied Sciences presented six papers which indicate the high quality of our student’ research. In addition, together with the State Education Department, Teacher Education Institute of Malaysia Batu Lintang Campus and Tun Abdul Razak Campus, UiTM jointly organized the 16th IOSTE Symposiumheld from 21st to 27th September 2014 at the Riverside Majestic Hotel, Kuching. Moreover, the GLOMUS Camp 2015 supported by UiTM Sarawak, UNIMAS, the Commission of the City of Kuching North, the Sarawak Convention Bureau, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and the North-South-South Programme under the MoFA of Finland and funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark was held in January 2015 at the Sarawak Cultural Village. This camp aimed to bring together participants from various countries, musical backgrounds and traditions with the purpose of developing collaborative projects.
UiTM Sarawak is playing an important role in bringing together experts in various fields to pave the way for cooperation and collaboration between different organizations and universities not only locally but across the globe. I would like to encourage UiTM Sarawak staff to continue with the efforts to uplift our university’s status in the world. As we move towards becoming a fully developed nation by 2020, Sarawak as a part of Malaysia has to progress in tandem with this trend. UiTM Sarawak is proud to contribute to the development of our beloved country Malaysia in general and our Land of the Hornbill, Sarawak in particular.
Let us work together to make UiTM Sarawak a campus that we can all be proud of.