Saturday, March 05, 2005

IPMB officiating ceremony

It does boggle the mind at first that we have been in an institution for the past four years and of which existence has been running for a decade without it being officiated. But then the Borneo Marine Research Institute (BMRI) was not always as it is, starting out as the Borneo Marine Research Unit (BMRU) with the founding of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and followed in its footsteps through its countless shifts in temporary buildings until the present permanent campus site in Teluk Sepanggar. Even the current Institute building was recently completed, I still recall walking through its half finished structure with bare cement and piles during my first year as an undergraduate and later moving into the finished premise just 2 years ago.


Thus maybe it is logical that only on Friday we held our officiating ceremony, after proving that the Institute has the staying power as well as the drive to succeed and to forge ahead in the field of teaching and research. It has taken to this point to form a credible team of researchers with international credentials, award winning research as well as an active research driven goal and proven graduate developer for the marine and aquaculture field. 10 years on, this energy has not wane and now maybe it is the right time to formally induct BMRI as a legitimate and productive arm of the university.

Preparations were all apparent throughout the week, plants were carted out, the stage all set, labs and rooms being spruced up, cleaners going about it 24/7, invitations sent, pamphlets all done out, caterers and ceremony staff all busy with the setting up of the venue. When the day finally came, the place never looked so grand.

A red carpet stretched all the way through the garden to the foyer where the ceremony was to be held. Hyatt staffs were all busy with the banquet while dressed up lecturers were running here and there to ensure that everything is all right. Us master students had to be attired as well, the girls all wearing baju kurung while the guys were easier with formal dressing. It was a sight to see them doing lab work in such a get up as they aren’t the most lab friendly attire.


The VIPs were late as usual as the time flew by the 9 a.m. official arrival and only near 9.30 did the entourage of YAB Datuk Musa Hj. Aman, Chief Minister (CM) of Sabah arrived signalling the start of the event. The function was pretty straight forward, no long tirades, just a quick speech by the Vice Chancellor whom by next week would see his retirement and later by the CM himself. This followed with the signing of the plaque, presentation of gift, tree planting ceremony and a tour of the Institute. What I was looking forward more to was the buffet. Could never resist them, food was ok though I expected better from Hyatt; they had fried meehon, murtabak daging, curry puffs, vegetable dhal and cakes (which to me was the best fare among the lot).


So basically it was quite a simple event (besides the throng of camera men and video shoot from the YAB office as well as RTM), once all is said and done nothing really changed, just a signed plaque and a nice lunch provided. The Institute is as it is, after this everyone went back and life went on, work has to be done.

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