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Vol 44, January 2020

Malaysia received a pair of Giant Panda as a diplomatic gesture from People’s Republic of China in 2014 and were placed in Zoo Negara Malaysia. The pair has been successfully bred twice, with the births of the cubs YuanYuan in 2015 and YiYi in 2017. Recently, representatives from the National Focal Point for The Malaysia Giant Panda Research Consortium were invited to present and share their research at The Giant Panda Annual Conference 2019, was held in Chengdu, Sichuan, China on 11-15 November 2019.
The conference, with the theme of Giant Panda Breeding and Technical Research, was hosted by The Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens, and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding was the organizer, while the co-organiser was The Sichuan Academy of Science for Giant Panda Research, Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Foundation.
The Conference invited the experts and representatives from the government authorities, wildlife conservation organizations, universities, research institutes, nature reserves management to share their scientific research achievements and management experience in in-situ and ex-situ Giant Panda conservation and to build a Giant Panda conservation international exchange platform.  The papers presented at the conference were regarding conservation for Giant Pandas and other wildlife, and the global husbandry, breeding, disease control, and research, population management and other existing challenges for Giant Pandas.
Three agencies represented Malaysia, namely, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks delegation of Haji Aziz B Che Man and Dr. Norsharina Bt Arshat; Ph.D. student Dennis Ten Choon Yung (Universiti Malaya) who presented a paper together with his supervisor Professor Dato’ Dr. Mohd Tajuddin bin Abdullah, Director of Institute Tropical Biodiversity and Sustainable Development Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, cum the National Focal Point for The Malaysia Giant Panda Research Consortium. The Malaysian consortium is currently working on the scope of Giant Panda reproduction biology, socio-economic and environmental, animal metagenomic study and animal bioinformatic modeling.
Source: Dennis Ten Choon Yung, , and Prof. Dato’ Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Abdullah; ,  Institute of Tropical Biodiversity and Sustainable Development (BIO-D TROPIKA)
Another history was created when Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) recently achieved certification of Quality Management System (QMS), MS 9001:2015 on 17th August 2018 and Information Security Management System (ISMS), ISO/IEC 27001:2013 on 15th November 2018 from SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd.
On 21st October 2019, UMT successfully expanded the certification for the scope of  QMS on services at the foundation, diploma, degree, and postgraduate levels, 2. research management and university supporting processes and management related to scuba diving licences.

The scope for ISMS which includes Information Security Management System involving 1. Student; 2. staff, 3. finance and accounting; and 4. research was also expanded and being certified on 1st October 2019.
As a public university that has been recognised for overall ISMS, UMT received the first benchmarking visit on 26th June 2019 from Centre for Strategic Planning  & Quality & Risk System Management, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) and another benchmarking visit from Centre for Quality Assurance and Information Technology Centre, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) On 22nd December 2019.
The objectives of this visit were to learn the implementation of the Quality Assurance Management for Academic Program, QMS, and ISMS and share the best practices of the internal quality assurance system of UMT.
This visit was participated by 31 UKM staff. The delegation was led by Associate Professor Dr. Roziah Sidik @ Mat Sidek, Director of Quality Assurance Centre UKM, and Puan Salina Ibrahim, Deputy Director of ICT Governance & Finance UKM, as the chief delegate of the ISMS team.  The visit was also participated by Jawatankuasa Taskforce Peluasan Skop ISMS and Process Owner of ISMS and also support staff from Centre for Quality Assurance UKM.
A welcoming speech was delivered by Professor Dr. Hamdan Bin Suhaimi, Director of PPAK.  Other presences during the visit were Deputy Director of PPAK, Head of Internal Audit Division, Deputy Director of Centre of Transformation, Strategic Planning, and Risk (TSR), Deputy Registrar of PPAK, ISMS team from Centre for Knowledge Management and Communication Technology (PPPTK) and support staff from PPAK. PPAK particularly, and UMT, in general, we're very excited about the sharing session and exchanging views on the best practices of the quality management system with UKM.
UMT is open to sharing the experiences with any university or organization for the sake of the quality of our education industry.
Source: Fauzayani Ibrahim; , Center for Academic Management & Quality
Prof. Gregory Butler is a Professor of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. He leads the development of the Bioinformatics platform at the Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics of Concordia University and has been the Bioinformatics lead on several large-scale genomics projects covering omics and meta-omics. The genomics projects were vertically integrated covering all stages from sample cultures, extraction of DNA and RNA, sequencing, cDNA microarray & RNA-Seq & proteomics expression profiles, EST and genome assembly, gene prediction, functional annotation, prediction of secreted proteins, expression of proteins, assaying and characterization of proteins.
Prof. Butler was one of the visiting professors for PPIMG, UMT. On October 24, 2019, he had arrived in Malaysia for the first time for an academic visit to three Universities, which are the University of Malaya (UM), Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). The purpose of this visit is to share his current project that is producing Bioinformatics tools and seek for potential end-users for the tools.  Faculty of Ocean Engineering Technology and Informatics (FTKKI) and Talent and Innovation Center (PPBI) of UMT benefited this occasion by conducting a full two-day program starting from October 28 to October 29, 2019, which was successfully arranged by Mr. Fakhrul Adli Bin Mohd Zaki.
On the first day visit at UMT, Prof. Butler was introduced to Prof. Ts. Dr. Mohd Zamri bin Ibrahim, the Dean of the FTKKI at his Office. Accompanied by FTKKI’s dean, he was then made a courtesy visit to the office of UMT’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato` Dr. Nor Aieni Binti Haji Mokhtar. A short meeting was held there discussing his research background and possible research opportunities together with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs) Prof. Ir. Dr. Noor Azuan bin Abu Osman, Director for International Affairs of UMT, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ahmad Faisal bin Mohamad Ayob, FTKKI’s deputy dean, Assoc. Prof. Ts. Dr. Ahmad Nazri bin Dagang, and Computer Science Program Coordinator, Dr. Amir bin Ngah.
Prof. Butler delivered a talk to the academic staff and postgraduate students of FTKKI at MP7 on The TooT-Suite Project: Predicting and classifying membrane and transport proteins to study host-microbiome interactions. Funded by Genome Canada and Genome Quebec, this large project is developing machine learning classifiers for membrane and transport proteins in order to better understand interactions between microbial communities and their host organisms. With his 40 years of research experience across diverse disciplines, he also shared some of his knowledge on what makes a good research study, and research collaborations and strategies.
On the same day, Prof. Butler had a two-hour meeting with Mycology researchers from Faculty of Fisheries and Food Science, UMT, Dr. Andrew A. Ngadin, Dr. Siti Nordahliawate Binti Mohamed Sidique, and Dr. Rohayu Binti Ma’Arup. At Concordia University, Prof. Butler is mainly involved in fungal genomics. Therefore, he took this opportunity to meet these researchers to discuss their current findings and at the same time shared his knowledge and experiences, besides suggesting related Bioinformatics approaches and research networks.    
On the morning of the second day, Prof. Butler delivered a public talk on the topic of Big Data: How will it change your life? which was held at the INOS auditorium and hosted by PPBI. In this talk, Prof. Butler shared his experiences on various groups discussing big data and what he has learned including the impact of big data in business, science, healthcare, education and government that places increased need for people to understand what is big data, its consequences and what are the issues that need to be addressed to avoid its potential harm. This two-and-a-half-hour talk was attended by both academic and non-academic staff of UMT.   
Prof. Butler also visited the Institute of Oceanography and Environment (INOS) gallery, where he was given briefings on activities on oceanic and marine-related research by two INOS staff. He was also introduced to the head of SEATRU, Dr. Mohd Uzair bin Rusli and they had exchanged some thoughts and ideas on their works and research interests there. The visit continued to the Hatchery, Institute of Tropical Aquaculture. Mohd Iffa Rezuan bin Rusdi, the assistant fisheries officer had given a very comprehensive explanation to Prof. Butler on the research works on aquatic organisms at the Hatchery including their health, breeding, and physiology. The last place visited by Prof. Butler on that day was the Institute of Marine Biotechnology (IMB). As the co-founder of the Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics of Concordia University, this institute interests him the most. He received a warm welcome from Prof. Dr. Siti Azizah Mohd Nor and her team. Together with Assoc. Professor Ts. Dr. Muhd Danish Daniel bin Abdullah, they had discussed on many things related to Bioinformatics, Genomics and Metagenomics research and current projects.
Prof. Butler had expressed his appreciation to FTKKI and UMT for supporting his academic visit, and special gratitude to all the people who made this visit beneficial and yet fascinating ones. 
Prepared by: Faizah Aplop;  Faculty of Ocean Engineering Technology and Informatics (FTKKI ) and former Ph.D. student of Prof. Gregory Butler
During her visit to UMT in September, the High Commissioner of Canada in Malaysia, Julia G. Bentley, highlighted the Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchange for Development (SEED). These scholarship offer opportunities for students from ASEAN member states to participate in short-term studies or research at Canadian post-secondary institutions, as part of their degree from their home university, in fields that are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. She expressed the hope that undergraduate and postgraduate students from University Malaysia Terengganu would apply for this scholarship program. The application deadline for 2020-2021 is early March 2020. More details can be found at this link

Starting in 2020 the SEED program will include a component for mid-career professionals, which is intended to allow individuals from the public or private sectors or academics to go to Canada for a short period for professional development. The application deadline for this is likely to be early February. Details are available on the same website.
Source: Bethany Tien, Trade Commissioner - High Commission of Canada in Malaysia 
Our mailing address is:
The Chancellery, 
University of Malaysia Terengganu, 21030,
Terengganu, Malaysia

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Universiti Malaysia Terengganu · The Chancellery,  · Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu 21300 · Malaysia

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