PUTRAJAYA, July 25 – UPM Board of Directors Chairman, Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr. Syed Jalaludin Syed Salim was announced as winner of the National Academic Personality Award 2007 for his many contributions in developments of education as well researches in developing the nation’s human capital in science, technology, and humanities.
Dr. Syed Jalaludin, 64, said his achievement proves that ordinary people like him are also able to succeed because he does not consider himself as an exceptional intellectual.
“An academician’s success not only confines to the education field but also in research activities,” he said after receiving the award conferred by Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
He said the award fortifies his passion in leading UPM to be recognized in the area of research and to ensure that the researches create a large impact to the country’s economic growth.
After ending his services with UPM, Dr. Syed Jalaludin now holds the position as Chairman of the Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia and Chairman of the UPM Board of Directors.
He also initiated the idea of forming a research and development management module under the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) program throughout the Fifth Malaysia Plan until the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
Meanwhile, Dr. Syed Omar’s eight year long research to produce a treatment substance to enhance growth of paddy plantlets called ZAPPA was announced as winner of the Innovation and Product Commercialization Award.
Dr. Syed Omar, 48, who is also UPM Faculty of Agriculture’s Deputy Dean (Development & Professional Services), said he was pleased when the research he produced can be of help to farmers in increasing rice production although his first trial received skeptical remarks by farmers.
ZAPPA, the world’s first technology to saturate patented paddy seedlings also won the Invention and Innovation Award 2002 from MOSTE and was prized an international award at Geneva, Switzerland in 2004.
The commercialized product has succeed in being granted a contract and sales mounted up to RM7.4 million in both the local and international market where UPM receives 2% as sales royalty.
Previously, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in his officiating speech wishes for local universities to intensify their performance and excellence in many fields including R&D.
“It is essential for all of us, together with professionals including Vice Chancellors, and I myself, to possess the attitude of always yearning to add values to oneself and to the organization that you are leading,” he said.
While visiting exhibitions of Public and Private Institutions of Higher Education, the Prime Minister spent more time at the UPM’s exhibition room as he was absorbed with the briefings made by Dr. Syed Omar and UPM Vice Chancellor, Prof. Datuk Dr. Nik Mustapha R. Abdullah.
The National Academic Award was initiated to serve as the Government’s highest recognition to University and University College lecturers whom have help stand out the country’s name especially in the international arena.
Other categories of the awarding ceremony held at the Putrajaya International Convention Center (PICC) include Journal Article Award, Book Publication Award, as well as the Arts and Creativity Award.
By Media Unit, Corporate Communication Division.