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UMK To Boost Economic Development In Kelantan Under Sultan Muhammad V As Chancellor

Last update: 14/04/2017
By Mohd Fakri Awang Lah and Nabilah Mat

KOTA BHARU, April 14 (Bernama) -- Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK), with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V as its chancellor, is becoming a catalyst for development in Kelantan, especially for the agriculture and tourism sectors.

UMK vice-chancellor Datuk Dr Mortaza Mohamed said Sultan Muhammad V, who was appointed the university's chancellor on may 9, 2011, had always emphasised the importance of the two sectors.

"At various events attended by Sultan Muhammad V, His Majesty always spoke on food security, and of our dependence on imported food like rice, meat and vegetables.

"In response to that, UMK has set up the Institute of Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture to develop the agriculture sector in Kelantan," he said when met by Bernama at the UMK Chancellery at the university campus in Pengkalan Chepa here recently.

He said His Majesty also saw the importance of the tourism for the state's revenue and for that UMK had set up the Faculty of Creative Technology and Heritage.

Mortaza said Sultan Muhammad V wanted UMK to play a role in helping the low income earners to benefit from the two sectors.

As an entrepreneurship-oriented university, he said, UMK also initiated the Social Enterprise for Economic Development (SEED) programme which was implemented with the cooperation of the East Coast Economic Region (ECER).

Under the programme, he said, students would go to the villages to conduct studies on resources that could be developed.

The establishment of UMK was announced by then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on March 31, 2006.

Since its establishment, Mortaza said the university had indirectly contributed to the economic and social development in Kelantan.

He said studies conducted on 10,000 students from various courses at the university found that they spent an average of RM500 a month, or RM60 million a year.

Their presence indirectly benefitted car rental and homestay operators, as well as raised the price on property, especially in areas where the UMK campuses are located, namely Kota Bharu, Bachok and Jeli, he added.

He said it also led to the growth of various business activities in the affected areas.

Sultan Muhammad V, 47, took the oath of office as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong in a ceremony steeped in tradition at the Balairong Seri (Throne Room) of Istana Negara on Dec 12 last year.

His Majesty succeeded the Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, who completed his reign as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Dec 12, 2016.

The installation ceremony will be held this April 24.