15th December 2016
Grand Ballroom, Ramada Plaza Melaka

33rd Symposium of the Malaysian Society for Microbiology (MSM2016)

Assalamualaikum w.b.t. and a very good evening:

Yang Berbahagia Prof Dr. Mohammad Sanusi Jangi,
Director, Centre for Collaborative Innovation, UKM; Pro-Temp Member of the Malaysian Society for Microbiology, 1975; MSM President 1982-1983

Yang Berbahagia Prof Dr. Zulkifli Shamsuddin,
Technical Director, Phytogold Sdn Bhd, UPM-MTDC Symbiosis Initiative, MOHE; Pro-Temp Secretary of the Malaysian Society for Microbiology, 1975;
MSM First Hon. Secretary, 1976

Yang Berbahagia Prof Dr. Azizan Bin Mohd. Noor, Head of Section, Dean's Office,
Universiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysian Institute of Chemical and Bio-Engineering Technology; MSM President 1992-1993

Yang Berbahagia Prof. Abdul Jalil Abdul Kader,
Former Director of Research Management Center and Centre for Industrial Liaison and Commercialisation, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia;
MSM President 1998-2000

Yang Berusaha Assoc. Prof. Dr. Foo Hooi Ling,
The Chairperson of the 33rd Symposium of the Malaysian Society for Microbiology and Vice President of the Malaysian Society for Microbiology



MEMBERS OF THE ORGANISING COMMITTEE OF THE 33rd Symposium of the Malaysian Society for Microbiology



The Malaysian Society for Microbiology is forty years old this year and we are commemorating her 40th Anniversary under the auspices of this 33rd Symposium of the Malaysian Society for Microbiology or MSM2016.

Thus, I am very pleased, honored and humbled to stand here tonight to welcome all of you to the MSM2016 symposium and the Malaysian Society for Microbiology 40th Anniversary Dinner.

Indeed this is a very special occasion and I invite you to take a walk down memory lane. This event is made even more special for, with us tonight and to help us reminisce about old times, we have past Presidents and Pro-Temp MSM members from as far back as 1974, well before inauguration of the MSM.

Please welcome:
Prof. Zulkifli Shamsuddin, the MSM Pro-Temp secretary and the first Hon Secretary of the MSM; Prof. Muhammad Sanusi Jangi, the Pro-Temp member involved in setting up the Malaysian Society for Microbiology and MSM President 1982-1983; Prof Dr. Azizan Bin Mohd. Noor, MSM President 1992-1993; Prof. Abdul Jalil Abdul Kader, MSM President 1998-2000.

Please also welcome more recent MSM Presidents who are here with us tonight: Prof. Ali Hassan, MSM President 2000-2002; Prof. Vikineswary Sabaratnam, MSM President 2002-2004; Prof. Raha Abdul Rahim, MSM President 2004-2006 and Prof. Kalaivani Nadarajah, MSM President 2008-2010.


The MSM is indebted to the pro-temp members who in 1975 initiated efforts that led to the inception of the Malaysian Society for Microbiology. In discussions with Prof. Zulkifli Shamsuddin, I discovered that the idea of forming the MSM went back to 1974 when Prof. Zulkifli attended a UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) training course, the UNESCO Regional Network for Microbiology and Allied Activities in Southeast Asia and met the then American Society for Microbiology (ASM) President who encouraged representatives from Asian countries attending the workshop to form their respective National Microbiology societies.

That was when Prof. Zulkifli began gathering fellow Malaysian Microbiologists including Prof. Sanusi to form the pro-temp committee. The dedication and zeal of the pro-temp committee members comprising the Pro-temp Chairman Dr. C.K. John, the secretary, Prof. Zulkifli and pro-temp members Prof. Sanusi, Dato Dr. Aminuddin Rouse (UPM) and Allahyarham Faizah Wahab (RRIM) and others, led to the birth of the Malaysian Society for Microbiology on the 3rd of May 1976. The first MSM President was Dr. C.K. John.

Today, the Society has developed into a major scientific organisation and has one of the largest memberships of life science organisations in Malaysia, with over 200 life members, as well as ordinary members, student members, affiliate members and associate members from various disciplines of Microbiology.

The mission of the Society is to advance research and the public understanding of microbiology in Malaysia and to help develop and utilize the latest scientific developments to improve well-being, health and the environment world-wide.

MSM has been a proud member of the American Society for Microbiology since 2006 and have had long standing support and collaboration from the ASM. Since 2010, we are also a member of the International Union of Microbiology Societies (IUMS).

The MSM has collaborated with various other associations, societies, universities, institutions and organisations including the UNESCO, Asian Society for Mycology, Biorisk Engagement Programme (BEP) of the US State Department (USA), Malaysian Society of Biosafety and Biosecurity, Malaysian Genome Institute (MGI), Asia Pacific Association of Forestry Research Institutions (APAFRI), Microbial Culture Collection Unit of UPM, numerous Malaysian universities and research Institutions and more recently, the Asian Federation of Biotechnology Malaysian Chapter (AFOB-MC), Malaysian Society for Lactic Acid Bacteria (MSLAB), Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development Program (SATREPS) and World Data Centre for Microorganisms (WDCM).

The activities and achievements of the Society have widened to include:

  1. The MSM National conference series: Such as this 33rd Symposium of the MSM (MSM2016) and the MSM Postgraduate Seminar, organised biennially.
  2. The International conference series: i.e. the International Congress of the MSM (ICMSM) which was initiated in 2009 and also organised biennially, alternating with the MSM National conference series.
  3. Publications: in the early years, MSM published printed MSM Bulletins.We now also publish the Malaysian Journal of Microbiology or MJM together with MSM members from the Universiti Sains Malaysia. MJM publishes research articles, short communications and review articles on various novel aspects of microbiology. Since 2011, the journal has been indexed in Scopus and the number of articles published has increased four times per year.
  4. Short courses and workshops: for e.g. The Joint American Society for Microbiology and MSM Workshops/short courses on Scientific Writing and Communication conducted annually and the recent Pre-conference workshop conducted in collaboration with Codon Genomics on Basic Transcriptomics that reach out to support and train scientists and budding scientists alike.
  5. Public Lectures: for e.g. The Rita Cowell Public Lecture co-organised with the Malaysian Genome Institute in 2011.
  6. Awarding outstanding microbiologists: The Malaysian Society for Microbiology honours a prominent microbiologist once every two years by granting its prestigious MSM Microbiology Award during the International Congress of the Malaysian Society for Microbiology (ICMSM). Among others, the criteria for this award are: significant contributions to the field of microbiology as well as the microbiological community and outstanding research in the field of microbiology.
  7. Organizing nationwide competitions to scout for and award innovative and young talent: For e.g. this year we launched our Best Undergraduate Microbiology Thesis Award Competition in which THREE cash prizes and certificates will be presented.

MSM has come a long way in serving the scientific community in Malaysia. We will continue to strive to advance Microbiology particularly in Malaysia but also internationally. Microbe-based science and technology are important tools for the socio-economic development of a country and the welfare of her people. They must be put to good use to improve the quality of life and serve mankind.

On behalf of the MSM and MSM2016, I would like to take this opportunity to specially thank all collaborators of the MSM from Malaysia and abroad, ranging from universities and research institutions to societies and organisations. We look forward to further collaborations in the future.

I would also like to record our deep appreciation of all sponsors for their continued participation in our events and generous support.

I would also like to record deep gratitude to the MSM Pro-temp members, past Presidents, past EXCO members, the current board of MSM executives and all MSM members for their contributions to and support for our beloved Society.

And finally, I would like to sincerely thank and congratulate the Organising Committee of MSM2016 comprising members from UPM and partner Universities and Institutions of Malaysia and the Executive Board of the MSM for their initiative, commitment to team-work, dedication and hard work, in making this auspicious MSM2016 and MSM 40th Anniversary Dinner come to fruition.

I sincerely hope that all participants will enjoy the MSM 40th anniversary celebration, dinner and entertainment that we have planned for you.


Wabillahitaufik walhidayah, wassalamulaikom W.B.T.

15 Dec 2016
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Farah Diba Abu Bakar
MSM President 2012-2017