New IChemE Malaysia Board visits Royal Patron

Article by Amanda Jasi

In picture: Tuanku Zara Salim in the centre. From L to R: Dr. Ragunath Bharath, Ir. Hong Wai Onn (Hon. Sec.), Prof. Ir. Dr. Law Chung Lim (Chair), Ir. Rafil Elyas (Deputy Chair), Ir. ChM Qua Kiat Seng and Ms. Tharshinye Soomaran (Country Manager)

EARLIER this month, members of the new IChemE Malaysia Board paid a courtesy visit to Her Royal Highness Queen of Perak Darul Ridzuan, Tuanku Zara Salim, a chemical engineer and the Royal Patron of IChemE in Malaysia. The meeting took place at Istana Perak in Kuala Lumpur.

During the visit, Board Chair Law Chung Lim informed Her Royal Highness that Malaysia has around 400 Chartered IChemE Members, and the amount is increasing by almost 10% annually. The Board’s Honorary Secretary Hong Wai Onn noted that IChemE Malaysia has a high percentage (43%) of female members. He additionally mentioned that IChemE has 15 student chapters at universities, and the number is growing. Board Member Qua Kiat Seng highlighted that 24 universities in Malaysia offer chemical engineering degrees.

In collaboration with student chapters, the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), and the Love MY Palm Oil campaign, IChemE’s Palm Oil Processing Special Interest Group, is conducting a monthly university roadshow. MPOC promotes the market expansion of Malaysian palm oil and its products, and the Love MY Palm Oil is an initiative by Malaysia’s Ministry of Primary Industries.

The university roadshow started in August 2019 and the eighth took place earlier this month. The event is intended to inform chemical engineering students about palm oil and encourage them to work in the industry.

The highlight of the roadshow was a field trip to industry. Last year, IChemE CEO Jon Pritchard; former IChemE President Ken Rivers; and Director of Regions Peter Slane attended a visit to Sime Darby Plantation in Carey Island with the Klang Valley universities of Malaysia so that they could see first-hand the sustainability of the palm oil industry. The Sime Darby Plantation is the world’s largest palm oil plantation.

Negative views of the palm oil industry were also discussed during the meeting. Tuanku Zara Salim advised that facts be publicised widely. For example, she said she recently learned that the yield of palm is eight times higher than for other seed crops, and this is important in supporting the sustainability story of palm oil.

Tuanku Zara Salim and the Board members also discussed current headlines, including the coronavirus, and the latest developments at University of Nottingham campuses, Tuanku Zara Salim’s alma mater.

Tuanku Zara Salim has accepted IChemE’s invitation to attend this year’s IChemE Malaysia Awards 2020 dinner, due to take place on 19 October.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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