Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and the Sabah State Tourism Board, under the supervision of International Society for Quality-of- Life Studies (ISQOLS) will be organising the 22nd ISQOLS Annual Conference 2024 on 25th to 28th June 2024, at Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC).

The conference aims to improve quality of life and will bring together people from diverse areas of interest, including academia, the arts, health, education, business, politics, justice, religion and the environment.

The 4-day-long event will include preconference workshops, plenary lecture sessions, presentations and discussion sessions whereby participants from different backgrounds will work together to produce a set of resolutions, to help improve quality of life in the region.

Conference chairperson, Professor Dr. Helen Lasimbang said that the decision for ISQOLS to hold its 22nd annual conference here in the beautiful land below the wind, is because past president Elizabeth Eckermann was born in Sabah and she envisioned and successfully bid for an ISQOLS Conference in Sabah.

“Sadly, she passed in 2019, and it is in her memory that this conference is hosted in the land of her birth. This year’s theme ‘Human Happiness and Wellbeing in an Uncertain World’ reflects both the changes that have occurred in our world post-pandemic, but also the unique capacity for post traumatic growth and quality of life improvement.

“For this, the organisers hope to gather scholars from all corners of the world, from different disciplines, with different methodological and theoretical perspectives, and following different approaches, but with one common goal: generating research-based knowledge to contribute to the well-being in societies,” Helen said.

Plenary lectures will be delivered by distinguished international speakers, including world renowned experts on quality of life Simon Eckermann, Senior Professor of Health Economics at Wollongong University Australia; Andrew Clark, Chaired Professor from Paris School of Economics and Director of the National Centre for Scientific Research CNRS; Mohsen Joshanloo, Associate Professor in Psychology at Keimyung University South Korea and Honorary Principal Fellow of Centre for Wellbeing Science of University of Melbourne, and Jannie Lasimbang, Chairman of the Rural Development Corporation.

The conference organisers would like to invite registration from members of the public, academics, organisations and anyone else who is interested. Registration details and other information can be found on the website: www.isqols.org


Three Sabahan participants excel at the 4th Chinese-Bridge Chinese Show for Malaysian Primary School Students (第四届“汉语桥”世界小学生中文秀,马来西亚) after succeeding in sweeping the top three prizes in the finals event at Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur recently.

The champion goes to Janice Tsen Yu Xuan (曾愉玹), runner-up to Phoebe Chong Zhi Xuen (钟芷璇) while the second runner-up to Ammar Yusof Izwan (安玛).

The three of them who are students from SJK (C) St. James Kota Kinabalu had been provided two weeks intensive coaching with Confucius Institute (CI) Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) through teacher Jin Jinjin prior to the competition.

Another student from the same school, Geraldine Amaris Lajawai (柯乐婷) was also awarded the Best Eloquence Award.

Janice who won the champion will represent Malaysia to compete in China for the global level under the primary school student’s category.

Meanwhile, Director of CI UMS, Prof. Ts. Dr. Chong Khim Phin congratulated the outstanding performance of the students.

He said, CI UMS as a non-profitable institute will strengthen its effort to promote Chinese culture and language.

“The institute has actively promoted the Chinese Bridge competition to the local schools and provided great assistance to the participants, attracting attention from various primary and secondary schools in Sabah.

“The success of the contestants from Sabah in the competition has attributed to the outstanding performance of the students and the meticulous guidance of the teachers, demonstrating the fruitful cooperation between the CI UMS and local schools,” he said.

The competition consists of questions about Chinese language and culture, Chinese speeches, talent performances, and impromptu speeches, and was broadcasted online simultaneously to the public.


Lace-up your running shoes and get ready to make strides for a good cause! Persatuan Pegawai Pengurusan dan Profesional Universiti Malaysia Sabah (PPUMS) and Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia (PAM) Sabah Chapter are thrilled to announce its annual Charity Run, slated to take place on 30th June 2024, at the UMS Dataran Dewan Canselor.

The 7K Campus Run is more than just a race; it is an opportunity for the community to come together and support a noble cause.

With the aim of helping the members of Bukit Harapan, an organization well-known to be dedicated to sheltering and improving the lives of abused children, as well as underprivileged and helpless communities.

In this cause, this event promises a morning of fun, fitness, and philanthropy. This run will also be officiated and supported by Datuk Ts. Mustapha Sakmud, Deputy Minister of Higher Learning.

Participants of all ages and abilities are invited to join and to raise funds and awareness for Bukit Harapan. Whether you are a seasoned runner or just enjoy a leisurely jog, there is a place for you at the starting line.

“We’re excited to once again bring the community together for our annual Run, and this year is very special since we are conducting together with PPUMS as our co-organizer” said Ar. Mok Juang Yu, Chairman of PAM Sabah Chapter.

Meanwhile, Chairperson of PPUMS 2023/2025, Alna Tugan said this event not only promotes health and wellness but also allows to make a meaningful impact in the lives those we serve.

“Every step taken, and every cent raised brings us closer to achieving our mission in helping the cause of this Charity Run which is the first for PPUMS which means a lot to us,” she said.

In addition to the race, participants can look forward to lucky draws and food trucks for all participants. Registration for the Charity Run is now open, with various options available for individuals, teams, and corporate sponsors. Every registration includes a race bib, commemorative t-shirt, e-certificate, and the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting a worthy cause.

To register or learn more about the Charity Run, visit www.ticket2u.com.my or for group registration for more than 10 pax, manual registration is accepted (kindly contact the registration secretariat, Bibie Sekil of PAM (016-582 5001 – whatsapp only), or Faranizah Taufick of PPUMS (014-856 9013- whatsapp only). Do not miss your chance to be a part of something truly special and make a difference in your community.

For media inquiries or sponsorship opportunities, please contact: Ir. Ts. Dr Asrul Effandy at 012-885 9897 or Deidre Faye Danggot at 016-7733889.


A group of 13 final year Aquaculture Degree Program students from Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) have embarked on a unique industrial training programme, Student Aquaculture Industry Training Oversea (SAITO) which allow them to have opportunity to industry training in Japan.

This is 21st batch of group of students dispatched by the the Faculty of Science and Natural Resources (FSSA) of UMS and Borneo Marine Research Institute (BMRI), these students are set to gain hands-on experience in aquaculture, a sector vital to Malaysia's food security and economic growth.

The director of BMRI UMS, Associate Professor Dr. Faihanna Ching Abdullah said she is eager to witness the valuable experiences that students will bring back to UMS enriching aquaculture industry.

“Began on the 11th of May until 29th of July 2024, the students placed at renowned aquaculture facilities including the Kindai University, Nagasaka Eel Farm, Olive Suissan, and Tanoura Fisheries Cooperative.

“These facilities are known for their success in aquaculture and aquaculture research institute will provide the students with valuable hands-on experience in various aquaculture methods and emerging technologies,” she said.

Additionally, Dean of Faculty of Science and Natural Resources, Prof Jualang Azlan Gansau highlighted the importance of this training initiative, affirming UMS takes great pride in offering this distinctive training program, which holds immense significance for both students and the industry.

“Through this program, the main objective is to enhance students’ practical skills and knowledge in the field of aquaculture while immersing ourselves in Japanese culture.

“Experiencing different cultures and working in diverse environments not only broadens their horizons but also helps them develop as individuals and professionals,” he said.

The leader of UMS students participating in the SAITO, Eric Choong Khai Hang, represents the whole team of members to express their gratitude for the opportunity provided by FSSA and BMRI of UMS.

“While we are feeling a mix of excitement and nervousness, we believe that our hard work as a team has prepared us well for this opportunity. We are determined to represent UMS proudly and will do our utmost to make the most of this experience.

“Also, we are excited about the opportunity to explore Japan's rich cultural heritage, traditions, and professional ethics. Moreover, we hope that our positive experience will encourage other students to pursue similar international internship opportunities,” he said.

FSSA and BMRI are delighted to offer their students the opportunity to study in Japan and gain modern knowledge and skills in this sector, which has evolved as an important contributor to food security and a provider of economic and job opportunities.


A team of researchers from the Institute of Tropical Biology and Conservation (ITBC), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Sabah Parks made a thrilling discovery on Mount Kinabalu in late 2023 when they rediscovered the critically endangered Mesilau Stream Toad (Ansonia guibei).

The toads were once relatively common but was feared extinct after the devastating earthquake in 2015 caused massive damage to the species’ habitat.

This catastrophic even was expected to have caused significant declines in the toad’s population and even potential extinction. A survey in 2017 at Mesilau failed to locate any specimens, and this resulted in the species being listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

With funding from the Asian Species Action Partnership (ASAP), the research team lead by Assoc. Prof. Evan Quah of ITBC, UMS set out to reassess the status of the species last year.

In September 2023, the team were elated rediscover of a single subadult specimen of the Mesilau Stream Toad at its type locality. In addition, tadpoles of the toad were also recorded in the main Mesilau River and Tibabar Stream.

These findings are extremely encouraging as it not only indicates the species survives, but is also breeding. The research team is continuing to monitor the toads at Mesilau to gather more ecological data on the species post-earthquake.

The Mesilau Stream Toad still faces many ongoing threats. Firstly, it has an extremely restricted range and is confined only to the Mesilau watershed on Mount Kinabalu which makes it vulnerable to any extensive changes in the environment.

Second, the preliminary data collected by the team indicates that the habitat of the toad has not fully recovered after the 2015 earthquake. Landslides still frequently occur at the cliff faces exposed after the earthquake, especially during the rainy season.

Runoff and siltation from the landslides affect the water quality of the waterways where the toads breed.

Finally, similar to other montane endemics, the Mesilau Stream Toad faces the ever-present threat of climate change. As a species that evolved to thrive in the cool, moist conditions of high elevations, it will be vulnerable to changes brought upon by a warming climate.

Thus, the data collected from this ongoing study is critical in the construction of a sound conservation plan to ensure the survival of the species. Details of the findings were just published this week in the journal Zootaxa.

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