THE Open Ship Days onboard the Research Vessel Tan Kah Kee (R/V TKK) was successfully held at Boustead Cruise Centre in Port Klang last weekend.
Organised by Xiamen University (XMU), Xiamen University Malaysia (XMUM) and China-Asean College of Marine Science (CAMS), this is the first time that a Chinese scientific research vessel was opened to the Malaysian public, free of charge.
After a week of online registration, the open day event attracted about 1,000 participants from all walks of life, including teachers and students from many universities, middle schools and primary schools in Malaysia.
Held over two days from 10am to 5pm, more than 100 volunteers, mainly consisting of university faculty and staff members and students, guided the visitors on a tour of the research vessel.
Visitors were able to explore the cutting-edge research ship and take part in a series of exciting exhibitions, video playback and interactive activities. Laboratories and specially designed interactive booths covering a wide range of ocean science and marine environmental topics were also opened to the public.
Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Universiti Malaysia Terengganu and the University of Delaware (UD) in the United States also took part in the event.
The event was aimed at improving the public’s understanding of oceans, increasing their awareness of marine environmental protection and pushing forward the development of marine sciences research and education.
It also intends to facilitate the cooperation in marine science research among the universities and research institutions in Malaysia and encourage academic exchanges in the fields of science and culture between Malaysia and China.
R/V TKK is an advanced general-purpose research vessel equipped with state-of-the-art scientific instruments dedicated to ocean exploration, research and education. Described as “clean, quiet, multidisciplinary and green”, this 77-meter vessel has carried out over 20 scientific cruises to different parts of the ocean since it was officially put into service in 2017.
This visit to Malaysia is the first time that R/V TKK has been docked at ports outside China.
After a 12-day maritime scientific expedition, R/V TKK arrived at Port Klang on Aug 15. This visit to Malaysia is part of the second “XMU at Sea” project. During this project, R/V TKK first set sail from Xiamen to Sanya, then from Sanya to Klang, before embarking on the journey from Klang back to Xiamen.
Supported by the China-Asean Maritime Cooperation Fund and located at XMUM, CAMS is the first overseas college of marine sciences to be established by a Chinese university. It currently offers two undergraduate programmes, namely Marine Biotechnology and Marine Environmental Chemistry. The master’s and doctoral programmes are scheduled to be offered soon.
It aims to facilitate cooperative relationships between China and Asean countries through advanced teaching and research in marine sciences. It is striving to become an internationally influential centre for marine education, personnel training, scientific and technological innovation and cooperation.
After the completion of the open ship days event, R/V TKK set sail from Malaysia on Aug 19, carrying onboard 26 students and six lecturers from XMU, XMUM, UM, UPM, UMS and UD to conduct scientific investigations during the voyage from Port Klang to Xiamen.
In the future, R/V TKK will continue to play an important role in linking together the XMU main campus and CAMS, undertaking multi-disciplinary maritime comprehensive investigation tasks, research and teaching voyages.