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Curtin Malaysia a key contributor to Miri and Sarawak

Miri – 6 April 2019 - Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) has contributed immensely to Miri and Sarawak since its establishment 20 years ago and the media has played a huge role in publicising its achievements and raising its profile.

That was the message conveyed by the university’s Pro-Chancellor Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chang Hong Nam, Curtin Malaysia Board of Directors Chair Datu Ose Murang and Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Beena Giridharan at Curtin Malaysia’s recent 2019 Media Appreciation Night.

Held in conjunction with Curtin Malaysia’s 20th anniversary this year, the event held at a leading hotel here was attended by over 70 members of the media in Miri.

Datuk Patinggi Dr Chan said from a humble beginning in 1999 at a temporary campus at the Riam Road Secondary School here, Curtin Malaysia is now sited on a vast 1,200 acre purpose-built campus in Senadin providing quality education and an enriching learning experience to thousands of students from Malaysia and beyond.

“Our innovative spirit and commitment to educate minds and enrich lives has seen us lead in many areas, including embracing new technologies, introducing new ways of learning, conducting research that impact local communities, and producing work-ready graduates.

“So, on the occasion of our 20th anniversary, we proudly celebrate Curtin’s continued presence in Malaysia, the many significant milestones we have attained, and the promise of greater days to come,” said Datuk Patinggi Dr Chan.

Also present at the dinner were state assemblyman for Piasau Datuk Sebastian Ting, Curtin Malaysia Management Board Chair Datuk Lee Kim Shin who is also Assistant Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Chief Operating Officer Ir Pieter Willem Pottas, and President and Deputy President of the Northern Sarawak Journalists Association (NSJA) Andy Jong and Chai Chon Chin respectively.

Datuk Patinggi Dr Chan paid tribute to all involved in the establishment of Curtin Malaysia, both in Sarawak and Western Australia, 20 years ago. They included then Chief Minister Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib bin Mahmud and the late Harry Perkins AM, former Chancellor of Curtin University, as well as state and civic leaders in the various councils and working committees formed to make the campus a reality.

He also thanked the local community in Miri and the media for their contributions and commitment in making Curtin Malaysia what it is today.

“Curtin Malaysia has become synonymous with Miri, and this has been largely due to the outstanding support of the people of Miri. We also owe a debt of gratitude to the press. Without all the news coverage and articles on Curtin Malaysia that you have published, we would not enjoy the strong reputation we have today,” he said, adding that Curtin Malaysia needed the continued support of all for its continued success.

He said Curtin Malaysia looks forward to building meaningful partnerships with the media and is poised to produce more future journalists. For example, he said the university recently introduced a new journalism stream in its Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication. This involved building an industry-standard radio conty for realistic teaching of broadcast journalism units and the university is now exploring the teaching of TV production and broadcasting.

“In addition, we are establishing an expert panel of commentators that the media can readily consult, and the media can engage with our academics who are conducting research in various aspects of media and communications,” Datuk Patinggi Dr Chan said.

Earlier, Professor Giridharan said Curtin Malaysia has enjoyed considerable editorial mentions in various media, both locally and internationally, reaching millions of print and online readers over the last 20 years due to the support of the media.

“Nevertheless, we remain perplexed that many Malaysians have no, or very little, awareness of Curtin Malaysia. Perhaps our geographical location or lack of prominence compared to larger urban centres nationally, is a factor,” she opined.

Professor Giridharan was however glad that the media, particularly in Sarawak, has continued to give their support through the years, stressing that the Media Appreciation Night was one of the ways to thank them personally, and called for continued support as the university journeys forward into the next 20 years.

Datu Ose, who also spoke, said there is a thousand and one reasons for Sarawakians to be thankful that Curtin Malaysia was set up in Miri. Among them were the fact that the university has successfully graduated a total of 7,002 graduates and 3,737 (53 per cent) were Sarawakians; of the university’s 425 staff including 167 lecturers, Sarawakians account for 77 per cent; it is the most prestigious and highly-ranked university in Borneo; and soon it will be the only university in East Malaysia to operate and manage a biotechnology pilot plant within its campus.

He added that Curtin Malaysia was also pivotal in Miri achieving city status in 2005, and the university has contributed more than RM2.2 billion into the local economy in Miri through the years.

During the event, Datuk Patinggi Dr Chan launched the university’s 20th Anniversary website (20years.curtin.edu.my). Other highlights included screening of a 20 Years Timeline video, presentation of awards of appreciation to the respective media, lucky draws and live band performance.

For more information on Curtin Malaysia, visit its website (www.curtin.edu.my), its Facebook page (CurtinMalaysia), Twitter profile (curtinmalaysia), Instagram (curtinmalaysia), YouTube channel (Curtin Malaysia) or LinkedIn page (Curtin Malaysia).


Professor Giridharan giving her speech.


Curtin Malaysia Board of Directors chairman Datu Ose Murang.


Datuk Patinggi Dr Chan addressing the media representatives.


(L-R) Ir Pieter Pottas, Datu Ose, Dr Chan, Prof Giridharan, Datuk Lee, Datuk Ting, Andy Jong and others following the launch of the website.


Group photo of Curtin and media representatives.