Information for staff

To stay up-to-date with Curtin’s advice please view the VC’s communications on the Staff Portal or communications from the Curtin Malaysia senior management.

Any essential information for staff will be provided on this site and communicated in our regular channels including email and weekly e-newsletter.


Latest announcements

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Dear staff,

I am sure you are all aware that COVID-19 cases in Sarawak continue to rise more rapidly than at the start of the pandemic, and more alarmingly, is spreading to rural areas. There is also increasing concern about the number of asymptomatic cases in the State, making detection and mitigation by the health authorities extremely difficult.

Currently, we have two staff who have tested positive and have taken strong steps to ensure that staff are protected. The good news is that several other staff have been tested as part of our response and have had negative results. We will keep staff informed should this situation change in any way.

The campus has responded in several ways, including closing certain areas, having some staff work from home and deep cleaning, and we continue to monitor the situation constantly.

Given the current situation, and in the interest of the safety and health of our campus community, we strongly recommend that staff and their family members not travel out of Miri District (or no more than 25 km from the city centre) unless ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

In any regard, according to the SOP under the current Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO/PKPB) – which has been extended in Sarawak to 14 February 2020 – cross-district travel or movement between MCO/CMCO zones is not allowed except with the permission of the police and for emergencies only.

If you do need to travel outside of Miri District due to an emergency, you are required with immediate effect to register with the Human Resources Department beforehand with a copy of your police permit to travel. Should you return, you may be required to take annual leave for the days you need to quarantine at home.

 Please take this seriously as the health and safety of your colleagues, their family members and the community at large are at stake. As we continue to act on advice from the State authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, we ask that you continue playing your part in ensuring your personal safety and that of your loved ones at home or when out in the public.

Please be reminded that under the CMCO, all social events and gatherings are not permitted. The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has issued an SOP for funerals whereby attendance at funeral ceremonies is limited a maximum of 30 people, and a maximum of 20 people at burial sites. For those who will soon celebrate the Chinese New Year, celebration is permitted for the first day only, house visiting limited to 20 persons at any given time and restricted to close family members only.

For more SOPs from the SDMC, visit its website at https://sarawak.gov.my/web/home/article_view/370/312/ or its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SarawakDisasterInfo.

Please continue to be vigilant and stay safe, and please check your emails for further updates.

Regards,

Professor Simon Leunig
Pro Vice-Chancellor, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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Dear staff and students,

It is alarming to see the number of COVID-19 cases in Sarawak continuing to rise each day. Miri alone has seen some 215 accumulative cases over the past 14 days. The need to be extra cautious and ensure your personal health and safety and that of those around you is more pressing than ever.

As I have communicated over the last few days, our campus is in a state of heightened alert with enhanced precautions and enforcement of SOPs to ensure the continued safety of our campus community. This has included regular deep cleaning and sanitising of public areas under the advice and supervision of the State Department of Health, and the requirement to wear masks at all times.

You are also reminded to follow all SOPs regarding physical distancing and maintaining the highest standard of hygiene like washing and sanitising your hands regularly, and being conscious of contact with commonly touched surfaces such as door handles, counter tops, stairway railings and lift buttons.

If you are feeling unwell or experiencing symptoms such as cough, fever, sore throat, loss of sense of taste or smell, tiredness or body ache, please do not come to the campus and see a doctor and get tested immediately. You are also advised to get tested if you have travelled across districts or to a high-risk area or have been in close contact with individuals from high-risk areas in the past 2 weeks.

As part of our enhanced precautions on-campus, commonly accessed areas such as the Housing Office, Purchasing Office and Bookshop & Mailroom are now closed until further notice. This is in addition to the Health Centre and Food Court (except for takeaway), which were closed earlier this week.

We are in constant contact with the health authorities regarding the current situation and acting on their advice. We will continue to update you on any new developments on campus and in the community to keep you aware of the situation.

Please stay safe, everyone!

Regards,

Professor Simon Leunig
Pro Vice-Chancellor, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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Dear staff and students,

Due to the continued increase of COVID-19 infections in Sarawak, the Sarawak State Director of Health issued a press statement yesterday urging individuals who have travelled to high-risk areas, are unwell and experiencing symptoms, or have been visited by or been in close contact with individuals from high-risk areas, to undergo COVID-19 screening and tests immediately.

As a responsible educational institution that is concerned for the safety and well-being of its staff and students, as well as the community in which we operate, we are obliged to share this information and urge you to take heed of the State Health Department’s advice.

The original text in Bahasa Malaysia is attached whilst a translation is provided below:

MEDIA STATEMENT
SARAWAK STATE DIRECTOR OF HEALTH

 INDIVIDUALS WITH THE FOLLOWING RISK FACTORS ARE REQUESTED TO UNDERGO COVID-19 SCREENING

The Sarawak State Health Department requests that individuals with the following history go to the nearest health clinic or private hospital to undergo screening and testing for COVID-19:

  1. If they have travelled between districts to high risk areas such as Sri Aman, Betong, Sibu, Kanowit, Dalat, Miri, Beluru, Sebauh within the past two weeks, whether to visit family members, friends, or to attend any ceremonies such as weddings or funerals;
  1. If they are unwell and experiencing any symptoms such as cough/fever/sore throat/loss of sense of taste or smell/tiredness of body and have travelled across districts in the past two weeks; and
  1. If they are unwell and experiencing any symptoms such as cough/fever/sore throat/loss of sense of taste or smell/tiredness of body and have been visited by friends or relatives who have travelled across districts in the past two weeks.
  1. Since many positive cases of COVID-19 have been detected in longhouses, longhouse residents who are experiencing any symptoms such as cough/fever/sore throat/loss of sense of taste or smell/tiredness of body are also advised to go to the nearest health clinic for treatment and COVID-19 confirmation tests.

DR. CHIN ZIN HING
Director
Sarawak State Health Department

January 26, 2021

See Media Release Here

I know these continue to be trying times for you and your loved ones, and I trust you will all continue to be vigilant and take the necessary precautions to stay healthy and safe.

Regards,

Professor Simon Leunig
Pro Vice-Chancellor, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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Dear staff and students,

As communicated yesterday, I want to once again reiterate the necessity to exercise extreme caution, ensure the highest standards of hygiene, and observe all SOPs in view of the increasing number of local COVID infections.

It is regretable that one of our staff members has been tested positive and is undergoing hospital isolation and treatment after being exposed at a community event, and our thoughts are with her and her family members in this difficult time. We have also had staff members who have been identified as PUI, but gladly their test results have all returned negative so far.

Given the current situation throughout Sarawak and under the conditions of the CMCO, attending any form of community gathering is not recommended. Also, please do not expose yourself to risk unnecessarily. Think of the consequences it would bring not only to yourself but also your loved ones and colleagues and their families should you be infected. If you are feeling unwell or have any flu symptoms, do not come to campus, go and see a doctor immediately and also get tested.

Local clusters have proven highly infectious, the latest being the Rakut Cluster. If you attended the wedding at Sungai Rakut or have been in contact with anyone associated with the wedding, please get yourself tested immediately as a precaution, especially if you have flu-like symptoms. Indeed, if you believe you have been at risk at any time or exposed to any individuals associated with any cluster in Sarawak, it is advisable to go for a Covid test.

As your health, safety and well-being is our topmost priority, a series of enhanced precautionary measures aligned with government health advice have been put in place to ensure the continued safety of our campus community and give you the peace of mind. These include:

  1. Mandatory temperature screening and registration via MySejahtera at the main gate.
  2. Stringent screening of visitors to the campus, including requirement for prior approval from the management.
  3. Increased sanitisation and disinfection of all public areas and commonly used spaces on weekends, including centralised airconditioning systems once a month.
  4. Collaboration with Ministry of Health officers to ensure our deep-cleaning and other measures are according to SOPs.
  5. Closure of the Food Court (except for takeaway) and the Health Centre.
  6. Enforcement of social distancing and room occupancy rules.

Stay healthy and safe, everyone!

Regards,

Professor Simon Leunig
Pro Vice-Chancellor, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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Dear staff and students,

As there has been an upsurge of COVID-19 cases in Sarawak of late, including in Miri, I urge everyone to be more alert and follow necessary precautions according to health advice, including wearing face masks at all times, washing and sanitising your hands regularly, avoiding physical contact and practicing safe distancing. This applies to the workplace, at home, and when you’re out in the public.

If you are feeling unwell or have any flu symptoms, do not come to campus, go and see a doctor immediately and also get tested. As part of our heightened precautions on campus, our Health Centre is closed temporarily, so if you need health assistance, please visit one of our panel clinics.

Your health and safety is our top concern at this time, and everyone has a part in keeping the spread of the coronavirus in check and looking after you and importantly your colleagues, so please remember to stay healthy and safe and follow the guidelines!

Regards,

Professor Simon Leunig
Pro Vice-Chancellor, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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Dear staff and students,

Due to heightened COVID-19 precautions on-campus, the Food Court is open for takeaways only from today until further notice.

Please do continue to wear your masks, practice safe distancing and wash/sanitise your hands when visiting the Food Court.

Warmest regards and stay safe!

Ir. Pieter W Pottas (P.Eng. PEur)
Chief Operating Officer
Office of the Pro Vice Chancellor
Curtin University, Malaysia

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Dear staff,

Please be advised that, whenever you engage any contractors to perform work on campus, Campus Security must be notified by email beforehand.

Information that need to be furnished are as follows:

  1. Name of company
  2. Number of workers involved
  3. Names of workers
  4. Identity Card numbers of workers
  5. Date and time work is to commence
  6. Area of work (be specific)
  7. Nature of work (state briefly)
  8. Name & contact number of person-in-charge of work (contractor)
  9. Name & contact number of person-in-charge of work (Curtin Malaysia)

The contractor and workers are to register with security staff at the main gate and adhere to all campus ground rules and regulations. They are also required to wear their contractor’s passes at all times.

Before leaving the campus, the contractor and workers must surrender their contractor‘s passes at the main gate security post.

Take note that foreign workers must have valid work permits.

First-time contractors and workers are required to fill in and submit Health Declaration Forms.

Notification must be submitted or reported to the Campus Security Office at least 3 days before work commencement.

A representative/person-in-charge from the Curtin Malaysia department/faculty/office concerned must be present on-site to supervise the work.

Please be advised that the person-in-charge must apply for permission and get prior approval from Chief Operating Officer.

Failure to cooperate or comply with these procedures may result in the Campus Security Office denying entry,  stopping work and requesting workers to leave the campus immediately.

All requests or notifications can be channelled to the Campus Security Office via the Campus Security general email at campus.security@curtin.edu.my .

Your cooperation and understanding regarding this matter is much appreciated.

Thank you and best regards,

Campus Security Department
Curtin University, Malaysia

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Dear all,

Please be informed that all sport activities on campus are suspended with immediate effect to contain the spread of COVID-19.  Please check your webmail regularly for any further announcements from the University regarding changes to the operation of campus facilities.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your kind patience and understanding.

Best regards,

Sports and Recreation Services
Curtin University, Malaysia

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Dear Foundation students and staff,

It has been our policy to remain flexible and responsive to current circumstances and follow all government directives with regards to COVID-19. With the latest directives from the Ministry of Higher Education and Miri being declared a Red Zone today, all face-to-face classes scheduled for Foundation students on campus will moved online with immediate effect until further notice. Therefore, there is no need for these students to come to the campus from tomorrow onwards. However, lecturers are allowed to continue teaching online from campus.

Faculty deans, heads of department, lecturers and support staff are to facilitate the move online and notify the affected students of the new arrangements immediately. Students already learning online will continue as usual for now. Any changes to class delivery, timetables, etc., will be advised by your lecturers accordingly.

The COVID situation in Malaysia, and indeed much of the world, is becoming increasingly volatile at the moment and I cannot stress enough the need to be vigilant and follow all the SOPs in place. We are in constant contact with the authorities on the latest developments and directives, so please do stay alert for further updates from the University in the coming days.

I regret this short notice but we have to act on the advice of the authorities without further delay. Please stay safe, everyone!

Regards,

Professor Simon Leunig
Pro Vice-Chancellor, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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Dear colleagues,

Let me start by wishing all of you a Happy New Year. I trust you and your loved ones have had a very happy, safe and relaxing festive season.

2020 was a challenging year for Curtin as a whole and I would like to thank you for your commitment to our University throughout the many difficulties and changes we faced. It seems that none of the challenges were insurmountable and through astute planning and sheer determination, we attained some very significant achievements we can all be proud of.

I look forward to us building on that momentum in 2021, especially in the coming months in what will be a gradual return to normalcy through a hybrid/flipped mode of teaching for our current Foundation and summer school intakes, and a return to full face-to-face teaching soon.

Our activities in the coming months will still require a great deal of flexibility and resilience, given that the situation in Malaysia and worldwide is still worrying, and with the recent announcements from the federal government, we can see we need remain vigilant.

For academic staff who will commence teaching our Foundation and summer school classes this week, as well as professional staff returning from their break, I would like to welcome you back to campus, but at the same time, remind you that our COVID-19 SOPs and protocols continue to apply and should be observed at all times.

They include the need to avoid confined spaces and close contact or conversation by maintaining a one-metre distance, and to wear masks, wash or sanitise hands regularly, dispose of used masks and gloves in a safe manner, and observe set room occupancy rules. If you have any flu symptoms, please stay at home and get tested.

You are also reminded that it is compulsory for all those entering the campus to undergo body temperature scans and security record-taking and register using the MySejahtera mobile app.

The same, of course, applies to all the students who will be attending classes on campus, and where applicable, to any contractors, suppliers and visitors given access to the campus as well. As staff members, please advise them accordingly so that everyone can conduct their business in a safe and worry-free manner.

Our objective is to ensure the continued safety and well-being of our campus community, and you must continue to diligently follow the SOPs and protocols. As Curtin staff, according to the Curtin values, we should always act responsibly and with a genuine concern for others.

Best wishes and stay safe, everyone!

Professor Simon Leunig
Pro Vice-Chancellor, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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Dear staff and students,

With the rise in COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, I would like to reiterate the importance of staying alert and staying safe, even in a supposedly safe zone like Miri. We have seen in the past and presently how rapidly the coronavirus can spread.

Therefore, I urge you to continue observing the prescribed SOPs and protocols, whether you are on campus, at home or out in public. This includes practicing social distancing, the highest standards of hand and personal hygiene, and wearing protective masks where appropriate.

On campus, be sure to register using the MySejahtera app when entering the campus, be aware of commonly-touched areas and surfaces, observe physical distance and room occupancy rules during meetings, wash or sanitise your hands regularly, and dispose used gloves and masks in a responsible manner. If you have any flu symptoms, stay at home and get tested, and if you are returning from locations outside Sarawak, please be sure to undergo quarantine according to advice from the health authorities.

This is a critical time and we need to remain vigilant.

Best wishes and take care, everyone!

Professor Simon Leunig
Pro Vice-Chancellor, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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Dear staff and students,

Please be reminded that registration via the MySejahtera app and body temperature scans are compulsory for entry to the Curtin Malaysia campus. The country is currently at a heightened alert due to the latest spike in COVID-19 cases. This requirement applies to all staff, students, contractors and other visitors. Anyone failing to comply will be refused entry to the campus.

Existing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for contractors entering the campus to conduct work, and for authorised final-year and HDR students to carry out specific study activities on campus, continue to apply and will be enforced more stringently.

Staff on campus are also advised to observe existing SOPs and protocols regarding being aware of commonly-touched areas, maintaining one-metre distance, wearing masks, sanitising hands before and after meetings, observing set room occupancy rules, and disposing of used gloves and masks.

In your daily activities, particularly when you’re out in the public, it’s good to constantly avoid the 3Cs – CROWDED PLACES, CONFINED SPACES and CLOSE CONVERSATION – to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

It cannot be stressed enough that the situation could worsen very quickly, as we have seen in numerous other countries that are experiencing a second wave of infections, so it is good to remain alert and stay safe always.

Best wishes and stay safe, everyone!

Professor Simon Leunig
Pro Vice-Chancellor, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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Dear staff and students,

As you may have read in The Borneo Post yesterday, Sarawak is sealing off its borders to all non-Sarawakians and foreigners travelling from Sabah and Labuan from 4 to 18 October 2020, in the State’s latest move to prevent the spread of COVID -19. Malaysia has seen a surge in new cases after 260 infections were recorded in the country, as reported by Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah yesterday.

Here are the essential things to note with these new restrictions:

  • While Sarawakians in Sabah and Labuan can still return home, they must first apply through the EnterSArawak app and complete and submit an e-Health Declaration Form. Furthermore, they will be quarantined at designated quarantine centres for 14 days and will be required to undergo the rT-PCR COVID-19 test on the second and 10th day of their quarantine. The cost for quarantine and the tests will be borne by the state government.
  • Non-Sarawakians and foreigners entering Sarawak from Peninsular Malaysia from 4 October onwards must also apply through the EnterSarawak app and submit the e-Health Declaration Form. They will be quarantined for 14 days and the COVID-19 test will be taken on the second and 10th day. However, the cost of quarantine and COVID-19 test will be borne by the individuals.
  • Sarawakians who are in Peninsular Malaysia are allowed to return but they too need to apply through the EnterSarawak app and submit the e-Health Declaration Form. They will be fitted with a wristband and will be quarantined for 14 days and the rT-PCR Covid-19 test will be taken on day two. If the test results are negative, they will be allowed to return home to resume the remaining quarantine days and will be given a Home Surveillance Order (HSO). They will also be required to go to the nearest Health Clinic to take the rT-PCR test on the 10th day and the cost of the quarantine and test will be borne by the Sarawak government.
  • For Sarawakians returning from overseas, the previous standard operating procedure (SOP) applies.

According to the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), these  new measures are being imposed as a precaution in view of the increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases outside Sarawak daily.

Likewise, we at Curtin Malaysia should be extra cautious and continue to diligently follow the SOPs and protocols in place to ensure the continued safety and well-being of our campus community. As Curtin staff, we should always act responsibly and with a genuine concern for others according to our Curtin values.

Best wishes and stay safe, everyone!

Professor Simon Leunig
Pro Vice-Chancellor, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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Dear staff and students,

Implementation of RMCO in Sarawak

In relation to the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) announced by the Federal Government on 7 June 2020, the Sarawak State Government has decided, following a special meeting of the Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) convened on 9 June 2020, that the State will comply, with additional guidelines and SOPs applicable to the State of Sarawak, as follows:

a. In accordance with the announcement by the Ministry of Transport, in-flight social distancing will be practised for all scheduled and non-scheduled aviation services, including general aviation, private jet operation and helicopter.
b. All Malaysian citizens will be allowed to travel inter-state to Sarawak and inter-district within Sarawak effective 10 June 2020.

*Police permits for inter-state and inter-district travel are no longer required. However, the University will still issue letters of recommendation and certify health declarations as supporting documentation upon request, if required.

c. All Malaysian citizens from the Peninsula, Sabah and Labuan will be allowed to enter Sarawak without having to apply through SDMC and do not have to take a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test three (3) days before departure to Sarawak. They must, however, comply with the following SOPs effective 10 June 2020:

  1. They are required to download the MySejahtera application;
  2. Fill out the E-Health Declaration at http://sdmc.sarawak.gov.my;
  3. Swab samples to test for COVID-19 will be conducted on visitors on a random basis on arrival at the state’s main points of entry (air, land and sea); and
  4. Visitors are advised to download the COVID Trace Sarawak and Qmunity application
d. All Sarawakians returning from overseas will undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days at designated hotels and will be swab-tested for COVID-19 on the 10th day.
e. All Malaysians entering Sarawak with a history of traveling abroad within the past month are required to undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days and will be swab-tested for COVID-19 on the 10th day.
f. All foreigners entering Sarawak with valid work permits and visas, including MM2H participants, are required to undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine. (Quarantine costs incurred will be at their own expense).
g. All Persons Under Surveillance (PUS) currently quarantined in hotels must complete their quarantine periods. (There are currently 2,060 PUSs quarantined in 38 hotels across Sarawak).
h. Public assemblies are allowed for up to 100 people only (subject to the size of the event venue) effective 10 June 2020 and participants are required to comply with SOPs such as social distancing and ensuring high standard of personal hygiene.
i. All ‘Village Security and Development Committees (JKKK) and Neighbourhood Watch Committees (Rukun Tetangga) along with RELA have been directed to monitor SOP compliance of community members in their jurisdictions, as well as to ensure no outsiders encroach into their communities.
j. All activities authorised under the RCMCO (unless otherwise stated above) will be effective from 17 June 2020.  This is to enable the relevant ministries and agencies to refine their existing SOPs.

WHAT IS ALLOWED

  • Interstate travel
  • Inter-district travel
  • Morning/night markets
  • Domestic tourism
  • Hari Raya Aidiladha celebration based on SOP
  • Schools to reopen in stages
  • Self-service laundrettes
  • Fishing ponds
  • Cycling
  • Non-contact sports (such as bowling and badminton)
  • Normal business hours (according to SOPs)
  • Meetings, workshops

WHAT IS NOT ALLOWED

  • Pubs/nightclubs
  • Entertainment centres/reflexology centres/karaoke centres
  • Theme parks
  • Religious processions
  • Feasts,
  • Open houses
  • Contact sports such as swimming, rugby, football, hockey and more
  • Overseas travel
  • Country’s borders still closed
  • Public gatherings

I trust that everyone will follow the advice and SOPs from the Government and remember to ‘Stay Safe’. Please continue to check your webmail regularly for any further updates, particularly in regard to our return-to-campus plans.

Warmest regards,

Professor Simon Leunig
Pro Vice-Chancellor, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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In view of the increased (but still restricted and closely monitored) access of contractors, suppliers and essential staff onto our campus, as well as the scheduled return of HDR and final-year undergraduate students soon, Curtin Malaysia has worked with the Ministry of Health and other authorities to establish enhanced health and security protocols on campus.

This includes the use of MySejahtera, the Government’s mobile application to assist in managing COVID-19 outbreaks in the country, and MySejahtera Check-In, an extension of MySejahtera that empowers businesses to screen those who wish to enter their premises according to standard operating procedures (SOPs), as well as facilitates self-registration by users before entering premises. This is far more efficient and effective than manual screening methods and we are proud to be the first educational institution to register as a MySejahtera Check-In user.

Therefore, in order to access our campus from Wednesday, 10 June 2020 onwards, ALL staff, students and others authorised by the Management to access the campus need to:

  1. Download the MySejahtera application from Google Play Store, Apple App Store or Huawei Appgallery onto their mobile phones.
  2. Register as MySejahtera users, including completing the health declaration, on the application or via these links: https://mysejahtera.malaysia.gov.my/intro/ (BM) / https://mysejahtera.malaysia.gov.my/intro_en/ (English).
  3. Using the application’s QR code scanning feature, scan the QR code displayed at the campus gate before entry. This will facilitate automatic online registration and monitoring of visitors to the campus.

Please note that it is compulsory to scan your QR code in order to enter the campus, and the University Management reserves the right to prohibit anyone with a possible health risk or does not have prior authorisation from entering the campus.

If you have any queries regarding MySejahtera Check-In or access to the campus, please call the Campus Security Hotlines at 085-630081 / 085-630082.

Kind regards,

Ir. Pieter W Pottas (P.Eng. PEur)
BSc.(ME), MBA, BSc(MM), BSBA, DME, CME, DEE, CSPO
Chief Operating Officer
Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor
Curtin University Malaysia

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To all students and staff,

We are pleased to announce that, in accordance to a directive issued to HEIs by the Ministry of Higher Education on 27 May 2020, ALL learning and teaching activities will be continued online post-MCO until 31 Dec 2020 with the exceptions of the following categories of students who are required to return to the campus in stages for the following activities:

1. By mid-June 2020 (with SOPs in place)

  • Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students (both doctoral and Master of Philosophy) who need access to specialised equipment and labs or special software installed in design studios to continue experimental study, will be allowed to return to campus by mid-June. The Dean of the Graduate School will be contacting the HDR students on the expected date of return to campus in the coming week. COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will be applied for continuing experimentation at the labs and specialised research venues.

2. Semester 2, 2020 (once MCO is lifted)

  • Final-year students in Honours Degree Programmes (Bachelor degrees) who need to undertake experimental lab work, conduct lab workshops, work in design studios, or conduct practical or specialised experiments for their studies will be allowed to return to campus in the second semester of 2020. Laboratory access for these students will commence on 3 August 2020 (the first week of Semester 2, 2020). The University will publish the list of relevant programmes and years of students expected to return to continue their final-year projects and practicums by 1 July 2020.
  • Final-year or final semester students who do not have access to the Internet or do not have a conducive learning environment at their current places of residence can apply to return to the campus in Semester 2, 2020 (by 3 August 2020) to utilise facilities such as labs and studios in order to participate more effectively in online classes.
  • All newly-enrolled HDR students who require specialised labs and research equipment in the coming semester are allowed to commence their studies on campus.

Please note that all academic activities on campus must be fully compliant with the SOPs recommended by the Ministry of Higher Education and Ministry of Health, while prioritising safety and security measures and social distancing.

In addition, the above learning and teaching arrangements are subject to change according to Ministry of Higher Education directives from time to time.

Warmest regards,

Professor Simon Leunig
Pro Vice-Chancellor, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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To all staff and students,

While staff at our Australian campuses have started a staged return to work this week, staff at the Curtin international campuses remain under various levels of restrictions for the time being. For the majority of staff at Curtin Malaysia, that means seeing out the current Conditional Movement Control Order and remaining off-campus until at least 9 June, though limited access to the campus is being given to final-year and HDR students to undertake their projects and research activities in labs according to Ministry of Higher Education guidelines and Ministry of Health SOPs.

The Ministry of Higher Education’s announcement yesterday regarding the lifting of certain MCO protocols in the higher education sector is significant, signalling a gradual, staged reopening of campuses over the coming months. However, it is to be noted that the exemptions will be given to five categories of students specifically (and mainly only after the current CMCO is lifted), and HEIs are expected to continue conducting nearly ALL teaching and learning activities online until 31 December 2020.

These developments require analysis and discussion at all levels to ensure a smooth and safe transition. We need to ensure that our activities are suitably aligned and we remain compliant with Government directives and guidelines. Therefore, we are not likely to make a detailed formal announcement of Curtin Malaysia’s plans until after the Gawai Dayak holidays. In the meantime, we will maintain the status quo and continue current operations and teaching and learning activities.

This also applies to our plans and preparations for the staged return of staff to campus, as mentioned in my previous update. Essential staff who are already accessing the campus on rotation will continue to do so, whilst plans are being made for ‘Category 1’ staff according to our COVID-19 Action Plan to return right after the Gawai holidays. Those in Categories 2 and 3 are likely to return a bit later, as and when it is deemed safe and conducive with appropriate health and safety protocols in place.

I trust those of you celebrating Hari Raya or Eid have been having an enjoyable time with your loved ones despite the unusual circumstances, and that those celebrating Gawai Dayak soon will also have meaningful and memorable times with your families. May you all have a pleasant holiday next week!

Warmest regards,

Professor Simon Leunig
Pro Vice-Chancellor, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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To all staff and students,

It has been a very challenging year so far for everyone and I would like to express my sincerest thanks to all staff and students for your commitment and resilience in the face of the many challenges required to respond to the pandemic, including working from home and having to continue your studies online.

The reopening of many economic sectors and businesses, albeit under strict conditions, under the Conditional Movement Control Order signifies the Government’s growing confidence that the COVID-19 curve has flattened enough to ease some of the restrictions and take cautious steps towards reviving the nation’s economy. Recently, the Government also lifted the restrictions on students going home and I am pleased a good number of our students have since rejoined their loved ones at home.

However, Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah cautions that the COVID-19 threat is still very real and it’s important that all SOPs are closely observed, particularly in view of the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Pesta Kaamatan and Gawai Dayak festivals, including celebrating with close family members only, maintaining good personal hygiene and continuing to practise social distancing.

Staged reopening of the campus

What transpires after the CMCO expires on 12 June is yet to be known, but in the meantime, we are working on plans and making preparations to reopen our campus in a staged manner. This will take staff from a “mostly offsite phase” to a “return phase”, followed by the resumption of face-to-face teaching in Semester 2 (excluding large lectures). Until then, classes will continue to be delivered remotely according to the latest directive from the Ministry of Higher Education.

Our COVID-19 Action Plan (CAP) group met last week to review the Curtin Malaysia Infectious Disease Control (IDC) Policy and Procedures (copy attached), in addition to the return to campus plans. These plans will furthermore be guided by relevant Government directives as soon as they are announced. Our overriding principle is to act in line with our duty of care to keep people healthy and safe.

In the meantime, those who are working from home will continue to do so. When the time comes, line managers will contact staff to discuss their specific return to campus plans. This may involve split team arrangements, and the transition back to campus will occur in a careful, staged and coordinated manner, to ensure all relevant health and safety protocols are established and maintained.

Preparing for reopening and resumption of construction projects

 Certain areas of the Campus such as Campus Services have already started the process of preparing the campus for reopening. On a related note, we are pleased that work on the new cafeteria and the Engineering Research Lab have resumed under strict conditions set by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB).

One of the conditions is that we continue to ensure that only essential workers and University staff be allowed onto the campus and that we fully comply with Government requirements under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) (No.2) Regulations 2020 and Sarawak Protection of Public Health Order 2020.

Recommendations and approvals for staff to enter campus

Therefore, stringent checks will continue to be conducted by Campus Security on those accessing the campus. With this in mind, Human Resources will soon be sending deans and managers relevant guidelines on selecting and recommending staff in their areas to enter the campus to conduct urgent business or handling specific tasks. Approvals in these instances will be given by the Chief Operating Officer and Campus Security.

As always, I wish you and your loved ones well and look forward to seeing everyone on campus soon. I would also like to take this opportunity to wish all those celebrating a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Selamat Hari Gawai and Tadau Kaamatan!

Warmest regards,

Professor Simon Leunig
Pro Vice-Chancellor, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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REMINDER: Update on Student Status under CMCO

DEADLINE EXTENDED!

https://csapp.curtin.edu.my/mco5/mco5.php

As there has been considerable movement of our students returning home, whether by transport pre-arranged by the University or on their own arrangements since the lifting of restrictions on students in university accommodations on 27 April 2020, there is now an urgent need to determine the current status and location of ALL Curtin Malaysia students in University-managed and own housing – so that we will have the most up-to-date data to update the Ministry of Higher Education on student movement under the MCO.

To facilitate the compilation of accurate data, we need ALL students in University-managed or own housing whose movement have been affected by the current and previous phases of the Movement Control Order (MCO) to complete and submit a simple online form at https://csapp.curtin.edu.my/mco5/mco5.php The submission deadline has been extended to 5:00 PM on 19 May 2020 (Monday). The form should take you no more than 5 minutes to complete.

This includes: (1) students who have already gone home (whether by pre-arranged or own transport or travel arrangements) AND (2) students who remain in University-managed or own housing and intend to/do not intend to go home in the immediate future.

Please make sure you read the questions carefully and answer accurately and truthfully. Revisions will not be allowed after submission.

If you have any queries regarding this matter, please email our Academic Quality Office at aq@curtin.edu.my.

Warmest regards,

Professor Simon Leunig
Pro Vice-Chancellor, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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As there has been considerable movement of our students returning home, whether by transport pre-arranged by the University or on their own arrangements since the lifting of restrictions on students in university accommodations on 27 April 2020, there is now an urgent need to determine the current status and location of ALL Curtin Malaysia students in University-managed and own housing – so that we will have the most up-to-date data to update the Ministry of Higher Education on student movement under the MCO.

To facilitate the compilation of accurate data, ALL students in University-managed or own housing whose movement have been affected by the current and previous phases of the Movement Control Order (MCO) are to complete and submit a simple online form at https://csapp.curtin.edu.my/mco5/mco5.php before 5:00 PM on 17 May 2020 (Sunday). The form should take them no more than 5 minutes to complete.

This includes: (1) students who have already gone home (whether by pre-arranged or own transport or travel arrangements) AND (2) students who remain in University-managed or own housing and intend to/do not intend to go home in the immediate future.

They are to make sure they read the questions carefully and answer accurately and truthfully. Revisions will not be allowed after submission. If they have any queries regarding this matter, they are to email the Academic Quality Office at aq@curtin.edu.my.

Warmest regards,

Professor Simon Leunig
Pro Vice-Chancellor, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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To all Malaysian students,

Further to our related communication yesterday, all students who have submitted completed and submitted their Letters of Release and Health Declaration Forms to Chief Operating Officer Ir. Pieter Pottas are requested to collect the signed letters and have their Health Declaration Forms certified by the Campus Health Officer preferably by 5.00 pm today.

As tomorrow is the Labour Day public holiday and the Health Centre will be closed, you will not be able to do so tomorrow. Otherwise, you will have to wait until Saturday (half-day only) or Monday.

We would like to remind all those who are travelling in their own cars to other locations in Sarawak outside of Miri District, or have made your own arrangements to travel by air to permitted destinations, that a Letter of Release (Surat Sokongan Kebenaran Pergerakan) from the University and a Health Declaration Form to apply for a police permit from the Miri District Police Headquarters is compulsory. You will not be able to travel without such a permit and must have all documents with you throughout your journey. Those travelling by pre-arranged bus are also required to have these documents with the assistance of the Academic Quality Office staff.

If you have any queries regarding any of the MCO student movement procedures, please email our Academic Quality Office at aq@curtin.edu.my.

May you all have a safe journey and please be reminded that hygiene, social distancing and other measures will still need to be observed while you travel.

Warmest regards,

Professor Simon Leunig
Pro Vice-Chancellor, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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Dear staff and students,

The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan begins this week even as the coronavirus pandemic up-ends life around the world and the Movement Control Order is extended for another two weeks. Today is also ANZAC Day in Australia, a very important day of remembrance.

The COVID-19 crisis is forcing people all over the world to rethink traditions and find new approaches to their rituals, and obviously we will not be able to celebrate the month of Ramadan or other events like before.

Though events like Ramadan bazaars and communal prayers might not take place this year, alternative arrangements at home can remain meaningful and be seen as acts of reflection, charity, love and sacrifice inherent in the spirit of Ramadan. Similarly in Australia, for the first time ever, the dawn services were held in individual homes joined to each other virtually.

We need to embrace the new ways of showing our respect and interacting with others as we all contribute to defeating the COVID-19 virus. At a time when we feel separated from family, friends and other loved ones, we are united as a University and a community in a way we haven’t seen before.

I trust all of you will continue to protect your families and the community by observing social distancing and following the directions to stay at home.

I wish all those who celebrate Ramadan the very best and that you and your loved ones will stay well and safe throughout the fasting month.

Warmest regards,

Professor Simon Leunig
Pro Vice-Chancellor, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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Dear students and staff,

A number of enquiries have been received from students and parents regarding the possibility of students being allowed to go home following the latest extension of the MCO, and some have asked when the University will make the decision to allow students to do so.

We would like to clarify that the decision does not lie with the University but with the Government. We have all the while been acting on the advice of the Federal and State governments, including the Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Health and Sarawak Crisis Management Committee, and will continue doing so for as long as necessary.

Please be advised that, despite once-weekly Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flights between Kuala Lumpur and Miri being reinstated, travellers who wish to fly home during the ongoing Movement Control Order (MCO) period are advised to get permission first from the police before purchasing their tickets.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a press conference yesterday that, regardless of the mode of travel, the standard operating procedures on interstate movements under the MCO remain unchanged. It is still an offence to travel more than 10km without police permission and such travel should only be done in dire emergencies, for example, attending to a sick relative or attending the funeral of a close relative.

Therefore, we would like to caution students and staff not to make any arrangements for travel without the necessary permission. We do not want you to be caught in a situation where you cannot fly home, or worst still, are detained upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur because you were not able to get the permission in time.

Furthermore, Malaysia and many other countries have imposed border closures and travel restrictions, and airlines have cancelled or reduced their flights, making international travel extremely difficult.

For students specifically, the terms under the MCO stipulate that those residing in campus housing are to remain where they are until further instructions from the Ministry of Higher Education. They will not be permitted to return to their home towns or home countries until the Ministry advices that it is safe to do so.

This is despite the request from the Ministry this past week for data on students who wished to go home. This was based on its proposal to allow students to go home for the remainder of the MCO, which has since been deemed inadvisable by the health authorities.

Please be guided accordingly and stay safe always.

Best regards, 
Curtin Malaysia Critical Incident Group

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To all students and staff,

We are now into Day 33 of the Movement Control Order and I trust everyone is coping well despite the trying circumstances.

After a month of quarantine, the outcome of Malaysia’s fight against COVID-19 looks promising. However, the fight is far from over and the current phase of the MCO is crucial in curbing the pandemic, so please continue to exercise caution, stay at home and practise social distancing.

Online learning will continue during this time with a lot of hard work from our academic staff. Patience and understanding will still be required by all of us until the resumption of face-to-face classes. Students who are having problems keeping up with their studies can consult their lecturers, heads of department or faculty associate deans of learning and teaching. Our goal is to ensure a conducive online learning experience and that no student is left behind.

There was a proposal by the Ministry of Higher Education to allow students in institutions of higher learning to go home in view of the extension of the MCO but this was rejected by the Federal cabinet based on advice from the Ministry of Health. Apparently, the movement of some 80,000 students would have been too risky. However, the Ministry is still keeping the option open and we have compiled and sent our students’ data as requested by them. We thank all students who submitted their data in a very short time given.

I would like to remind everyone that movement of people is still restricted and heavily monitored by the authorities under Phase 3 of the MCO, with severe penalties for offenders including fines and incarceration. For students residing on campus and in University-managed housing (as with all in the community), this means moving in public only for specific reasons, not travelling in groups and no farther than 10 km from the campus or your residence, and returning no later than 7pm.

Furthermore, special permits issued by the police are required for any travel between districts in Sarawak, and for tertiary students, travel between regions within Malaysia is still prohibited, even if flights are available. If you have any questions about the travel restrictions, please contact Bradly Endes of the International Division at 019-854 4949 or email ID@curtin.edu.my. If you are residing on campus, you can enquire at the International Division Office, 10 am – 11 am, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

In the meantime, we are working to ensure the needs our resident students are met. Mail and courier parcels are being delivered to student housing. On-campus ATMs, GK Supermarket and The Bookshop also remain open for cash withdrawals, sundry and stationery purchases, as does the Lakeside Café for takeaway meals. Efforts are being made with the Ministry of Higher Education to extend the provision of free meals for students under the MCO and we hope to receive a favourable response very soon.

On this occasion, I would also like to remind members of our campus community to be empathetic, tolerant and kind to others during these difficult times, and to hold true to our Curtin core values of Integrity, Respect, Courage, Excellence and Impact.

Behaviours that don’t follow these values, including bigotry or discriminatory comments made on social media, have no place in the Curtin community. No matter how stressful the MCO is or frustrated you may feel, there is no excuse to be insensitive and abusive to others. The stay at home strategy is being practiced in nearly every city, town and country across the globe and I ask us all as part of that global community to play your part by following the guidelines and showing tolerance, patience and kindness to others.

If you need to speak to a university counsellor about any matter please contact the Campus Health Centre at 085-630100 ext. 2782/2383 or email studentaffairs@curtin.edu.my.

As always, I wish you and your loved ones well and look forward to seeing everyone again on campus soon.

Warmest regards and stay safe,
Professor Simon Leunig
Pro Vice-Chancellor, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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To all students and staff,

Malaysian Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced yesterday today that movement curbs under the country’s Movement Control Order (MCO) have been extended another two weeks from 15 to 28 April, as the government continues its effort to curb the spread of  COVID-19.

The decision was based on the feedback from the Health Ministry and medical experts who believe that, while there are promising signs that the infection curve is flattening, the coronavirus has yet to be contained and it will be quite a while before it can be fully curbed. Nevertheless, we look forward to more positive news and a gradual relaxing of the restrictions until the situation is considered safe for the full resumption of daily activities.

In the meantime, social distancing measures will remain and you are expected to continue staying at home and keeping yourself in good health and spirits. For Curtin Malaysia, it means the continuation of online learning for students and working from home for most staff.

I realise learning online, with its many complexities and limitations, can be quite taxing for both students and lecturers and I hope next week’s degree tuition-free week will be a welcome break for all of you. Our new Foundation students, who are experiencing online learning for the very first time, must also be finding it challenging but I am heartened to hear that most of you are handling yourselves wonderfully.

For staff, these are indeed very challenging times, and I recognise we are all being torn between responsibilities to our work, our families and the need to support the government’s efforts to bring Malaysia through this pandemic. Nonetheless, we must continue to persevere and demonstrate maturity and leadership; remember our Curtin values of courage, respect, integrity, impact and excellence; and continue to work as one team.

Thank you for your ongoing work to respond to this very fluid and challenging situation and for your continued commitment to the University. Your resilience and adaptability in these trying circumstances is commendable. As always, I wish you and all your loved ones well.

My kindest regards,
Professor Simon Leunig
Pro Vice-Chancellor, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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Dear staff and students of Curtin Malaysia,

We trust everyone’s keeping well under the MCO!

We invite you to support the ‘Curtin Malaysia MCO Pledge’ video being shared on our social media today (see links below).

We ask that you – as responsible citizens and members of the Curtin community  committed to the University’s core values of Integrity, Respect, Courage, Excellence and Impact – pledge your support for the Movement Control Order (MCO) and its objectives of encouraging social distancing and flattening the infection curve in the fight against COVID-19.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CurtinMalaysia/videos/2783415995061640/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-tNrPul-QU/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6653510243894562816
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CurtinMalaysia/status/1247754839242596353

*It is also being shared on other Curtin Malaysia social media sites such as The Library, University Life, Careers & Alumni, Student Council.

Pledge by liking and sharing any or all of the above posts with the following comment:

I have taken this ❤PLEDGE❤ in support of the Movement Control Order to #StayAtHome and to express my gratitude towards the frontliners fighting for our wellbeing and safety.

If I tagged you, please take the pledge by liking this post and sharing it. However, If I didn’t tag you, please don’t be offended and you’re welcome to take this pledge too. I tried to choose people I thought would make this challenge fun! 🙌🏻

Then tag your friends to do the same.

⭐ Let’s together Make Tomorrow Better ⭐

#PledgeAccepted #StayHome #StaySafe #MCO #COVID19

I was tagged by:

Support the MCO, pledge your commitment to it, and challenge others in the Curtin community to do the same! Let’s have some fun, and let’s show we care!

Back to Home

These are indeed very tough and uncertain times for us all and I acknowledge the difficulties everyone is facing at the moment. I know how hard it must be for you, especially being confined to your homes and away from your workplace for prolonged periods.

Nonetheless, the Movement Control Order (MCO) will remain in force until at least mid-April and the Malaysian Government has been unequivocal in stating that it will enforce the MCO protocols and take stern action against those flouting them, particularly as there continues to be new cases detected and an increase in COVID-19 hotspots nationwide.

As a higher education institution, we are obligated to keep our campus closed (except for essential services and emergencies) to reduce the number of people on campus and to protect our community, and must do everything to ensure the well-being of all our students, including ensuring that they get to continue their studies in online mode. For those remaining on campus and in University-managed housing nearby, it means providing for their daily needs such as meals, healthcare and Internet access, and ensuring the highest standards of hygiene and social or physical distancing are practised.

I recognise that working from home is new to many and it can be hard to cope, but our line managers have been working hard to ensure this process is managed in an orderly and coordinated manner to ensure that staff are able to continue working safely and effectively from home and that they stay productive and motivated. For those who might not have the means to do so, we are attempting to re-assign them to other duties so they can still actively contribute to ongoing campus business and operations.

So I implore you, as part of a responsible higher education institution and part of the Curtin community, to comply with the MCO by staying safe at home and playing your part in ‘flattening the curve’ and breaking the chain of infections for the protection of weaker members of our community for whom the COVID-19 threat is life-endangering.

Remember that these restrictions we are facing are happening right across the globe, in almost every city and country around the globe – not just in Malaysia. Please also urge your colleagues, friends, and family members to understand the importance of it all. Everyone can help if we just follow the government guidelines for the next few weeks. If everyone cooperates, we can get through it together.

Stay strong and stay safe!

Prof. Simon Leunig
PVC, President & Chief Executive
Curtin University Malaysia

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As communicated to your webmail today, we have received a reminder from the Ministry of Education regarding complying with restrictions under the MCO today. Please take note that only essential services staff in the following departments are allowed to travel to the campus:

  1. Campus services technicians (water, electric and power)
  2. Cleaners (cleaning)
  3. ICT (telecommunication)
  4. Campus drivers (transport)
  5. General admin staff managing couriers, retail and food supply
  6. Corporate communications (broadcasting)
  7. Financial services (finance and banking)
  8. Student affairs (health and pharmacy)
  9. Security
  10. Research infrastructure (staff managing research labs)

We are doing everything possible to both follow Ministry guidelines and maintain the best possible service for our students – not always an easy task.  Thus, we request that any areas which are not listed above should not be going onto the campus.

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It has come to the attention of the Management that certain quarters are contacting our international students and staff still in Miri for dubious reasons such as arranging ’emergency evacuation’ to their home countries in view of the extension of the Movement Control Order (MCO) for further two weeks as announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today. These persons have been asking for the personal particulars of students and staff, including names, passport and contact numbers, student ID numbers, etc.

We would like to caution students and staff of the possibility of these being scams and not to disclose any personal data if unsure. You are not obligated to disclose any personal data under the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) if there are no assurances your data will be protected.

We would also like to remind you that there are severe restrictions on both inbound and outbound travel at this time under the MCO, whether by air or land, and you should make decisions on travel based only on reliable travel, health, security and immigration information. Restrictions under the MCO are to be adhered to at all times.

If you are an international student or staff, please contact Bradley Endes of the International Division at 019-854 4949 or email ID@curtin.edu.my for guidance. If you are residing on campus, you may drop by the International Division Office between 10 am and 11 am, Tuesdays and Thursdays, but please remember to practise social distancing whilst there.

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Please be advised that, according to news reports, members of the public in Sarawak who do not have special permits to move around in public after 7 pm from today may be detained by the authorities under the current Movement Control Order (MCO). The permits are available only from the State Disaster Management Committee in Kuching.

According to the State Disaster Management Committee, if there is an absolute necessity to travel after 7 pm, members of the public have to write in to the Committee for a permit. The Committee will evaluate your request based on your needs and a permit approved and issued almost immediately. However, we have no further information at this time about how a permit may be applied for.

Under the current terms of the MCO, members of the public are encouraged to stay at home and will be allowed to leave their homes under strict conditions only between 7 am and 7 pm. Most businesses, including markets, hypermarkets, supermarkets, coffee shops and restaurants, private clinics, fuel stations and 24-hour convenience stores, are required to close by 7 pm. Those who defy the order are liable to a maximum fine of RM10,000 or imprisonment of up to two years, or both, upon conviction under Section 186 of the Penal Code.

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With the nationwide Movement Control Order (MCO) in force since 18 March 2020, the movement and daily activities of the general public are being severely curtailed, but according to the authorities, many are still not heeding the restrictions. To ensure that the objectives of the MCO to flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections is achieved, the full cooperation of the Malaysian public is needed. We urge all in the Curtin Malaysia community to give their full support, cooperate with the authorities, and comply with all the regulations under the MCO.

For your information, the National Security Council (NSC) recently released perhaps its most comprehensive list so far of essential and non-essential services allowed to be open or operated within certain limits during the MCO period (see below). Please use it as a guide on services available to you and your family despite the wide-ranging restrictions, and the do’s and don’ts under the MCO.

  • Vehicle maintenance or mechanic workshops are allowed to be open but to only operate at a minimal, while towing services are allowed to operate as usual.
  • Works on in-progress construction and renovations for safety and security infrastructures are allowed only with permission from the Public Works Department (JKR) and the Department of Safety and Health (DOSH).
  • All religious events are prohibited except for funerals which should only be carried out with minimal participation.
  • Social and cultural events are strictly prohibited.
  • Domestic travel is prohibited. As for international travel, only Malaysian nationals coming back from overseas are allowed to enter the country but must adhere to the quarantine regulations. Out-of-country travel is strictly prohibited for Malaysian nationals but allowed for non-citizens. Malaysians who are working in Singapore, Thailand, Brunei and Indonesia crossing the border to go to work are refrained from doing so throughout the MCO period.
  • Only non-citizens with diplomatic status, permanent resident status, or expatriates in essential services are allowed to enter the country, but must adhere to the quarantine regulations.
  • Banking, financial and stock exchange services are allowed to operate normally, but administration and management as well as over-the-counter services should operate minimally and if possible from home.
  • As for power and electricity, only administration and management should be carried out minimally or from home. Maintenance and operations can be carried out as usual.
  • For the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba), operations can be carried out normally but administration and management should be done minimally or from home.
  • Ports and airport services can operate normally but management and administration are to be done remotely from home or minimally.
  • Postal and courier services including delivery and over-the-counter services can operate as usual but management and administration should be done minimally or from home.
  • Prisons, temporary holding centres, immigration depots, narcotics rehabilitation centres and police lockups are to operate as usual but with visitations prohibited, while management and administration are to be carried out minimally or from home.
  • Fuel and lubricants businesses like petrol stations and production, storing, supply and distribution are allowed to operate as usual with management and administration to be done minimally or from home.
  • Health services like medical operations, hospitals, clinics, private and government pharmacies, registered traditional medicine shops, veterinary and dialysis centres are to operate normally with management and administration to be done minimally or from home. Patient visitations to medical institutions are prohibited except for critical cases according to the Health Ministry. Alternative medicine centres are to be closed.
  • Waste management including sewage services are to operate as usual with management and administration done minimally or from home.
  • Broadcast and information services are to be carried out normally with administration and management to be done minimally or from home.
  • For telecommunications services, maintenance and operations, data centres and call centres can run normally with management and administration done minimally or from home. Over-the-counter services are prohibited.
  • Public transportation over land, air and sea including e-hailing services can operate normally with management and administration done minimally or from home.
  • Water services can operate normally with administration and management to be carried out at a minimum.
  • Government statutory bodies like public flights, Customs Department, Immigration Department, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Marine Department, Meteorological Department, printing, registration, and Road Transport Department are to operate as usual with administration and management at a minimum.
  • Security forces like the police and the Armed Forces are to operate normally but recruitment and training to be postponed, and management and administration to be done minimally.
  • Industries and businesses involving security and defence are allowed to operate as usual with management and administration to be done at a minimal level or from home.
  • Services on food production and distribution like supplying raw materials, packaging, delivery and drive-thru are allowed to operate normally except for dine-in. This is to be adhered to by restaurants, stalls, food trucks, food courts and hotel restaurants.
  • Retail shops selling essential items like groceries can operate and do delivery as usual, but to limit purchasing of items per family.
  • Night markets and ‘pasar tani’ are not allowed to open but shopping malls can remain open only for sections of retail shops selling essential items like groceries and food items.
  • Hotels, homestays and lodgings can remain operational but guests must observe the quarantine regulation and can only order food through room service.
  • Hotels or any lodgings with recreational facilities such as swimming pools, bars, spa and gyms should keep them closed. Their kitchens can remain open only for room service or food delivery services.
  • Wildlife management such as parks and zoos can operate normally with management and administration to be done minimally or from home.
  • As for online services and e-commerce, all operations and transactions can be done normally.

Although the country is not in a state of lockdown, gathering unnecessarily is prohibited and can result in fines or jail time. For those who are caught in a group, first-time offenders can be jailed up to 2 years or fined or both. Second-time offences can also result in fines or jail time for up to five years and any further offences that may occur will result in a fine of RM200.

Currently, there is an advisory in place to inform people not to travel from one infected place to another. Individuals who do so will need prior written permission of a police officer in charge of a police station, which is applicable for interstate travel and they must also provide strong or valid reasons.

Individuals can only leave their home to perform official duty, to buy, supply or deliver food or daily necessities, to travel to and from limited categories of premises, including any premises which provide essential services, to seek healthcare or medical services and other special purposes that may be permitted by the director-general.

Essential services are still up and running to provide to the public. Supermarkets, wet markets, banks, ATMs, clinics and pharmacies are still operating. Restaurants are also open. However, only take-away and delivery is permitted; there is strictly no dining at restaurants.

Specifically to those residing in Sarawak, the State Disaster Management Committee has announced that, as of Tuesday, 24 March 2020, all public markets, hypermarkets, supermarkets, coffee shops and restaurants, private clinics, fuel stations and 24-hour convenience stores in the State will be allowed to operate from 7 am to 7 pm only.

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You would be aware that the Government has recently been reviewing its public health measures to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, including measures to increase the physical distances between individuals.

We have been responding rapidly to these developments to ensure that you are able to safely continue with your studies. Actions taken to date at our campus include:

  • The campus is closed until March 31 as per the Federal Government’s Movement Control Order (MCO) guidelines.
  • All formal lectures have been moved to iLecture format, which means that they can only be accessed online.

In addition, we are making next week (the week beginning 23 March 2020) a tuition-free week at our campus. This will give you time to prepare for the online environment and to adapt to the other changes that we will make to the delivery of your units.

It will also give our staff time to put units fully online and work through the more complicated issues around laboratory work, fieldwork, studio sessions and the like.

The two tuition-free weeks in April will continue as planned and we will add a teaching week to the end of this semester.  This will mean that the study week and exam period are delayed by one week.

If this impacts on the way in which the additional tuition-free week is managed, you will be informed directly by your Unit or Course-Coordinator.

Throughout this period, library services remain open.

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Following the Prime Minister’s Special Message on the implementation of the Movement Restriction Order from 18 to 31 March, 2020 and particular restrictions on educational institutions throughout the country, the Ministry of Higher Education clarified some key points through a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) released to institutions of higher learning today, particularly the matter of online learning.

The Ministry stated that it is aware of the level of readiness of the public and private universities (UA and IPTS) in terms of infrastructure and lecturers in the implementation of online learning. It also notes that there are IPTS registered as institutions that offer fully online Teaching & Learning. UA and IPTS that utilise full online learning in their Teaching & Learning are allowed to continue their online learning provided that all students have access to infrastructure and lecturers. UA and IPTS that do not fully utilise online learning in their Teaching & Learning are not allowed to continue their online learning activities, taking into account the interests of their students who may not necessarily  have access to the Internet.

Therefore, as we qualify as a university that uses online learning management systems (LMS) such as Blackboard and Moodle with established infrastructure for Learning & Teaching, and as all our classes are now all available online as iLectures (including additional online resources at Curtin Perth) and furthermore lecturers are available to students online for tutorials and seminars, we are cleared to continue online learning for the duration of the Movement Restriction Order and possibly longer.

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In compliance with the Restriction of Movement Order being imposed by the Federal Government, Curtin Malaysia will proceed with a shutdown for two weeks beginning 12 midnight on 18 March 2020 to 31 March 2020.

 

How this will affect various facilities and services is detailed below. For further updates, please check our COVID-19 coronavirus webpage at https://curtin.edu.my/coronavirus/.

 

  • Access to the campus during the period will be restricted to only essential staff and suppliers of essential goods. However, staff and non-resident students will be allowed onto the campus for limited periods if valid reasons are given, such as to collect essential work materials or handle critical matters.

 

  • All non-essential staff are requested to work from home during this period and make necessary arrangements to ensure they are able to do so. Your managers will discuss details with you.

 

  • Security staff will remain on duty and be on high alert. They will conduct stringent screening of persons entering the campus including noting their particulars and taking temperature scans at the main gate.

 

  • The ICT Department will maintain a team of essential staff on-site to ensure ICT services continue to operate, including computer servers, learning platforms (Blackboard and Moodle), email services and campus website, as well as Internet access for on-campus residents. ICT will ensure that all students’ email accounts are activated so they may access their student webmails and online resources.

 

  • Limited Campus Shuttle services (1 bus every hour) will be provided for students in neighbouring off-campus housing to access the campus for essential business but the number of passengers per trip will be restricted and they will be required to be seated at a safe distance from one another. Temperature checks will also be conducted on all passengers. Buses will also be sanitised before and after each journey.

 

  • A campus van will be available at all times for transportation in case of emergencies.

 

  • The Campus Food Court will be closed but the Lakeside Cafeteria will remain open but for takeaways only. Students visiting the cafeteria are advised to ensure they do not enter if there is a crowd and to practice social distancing when inside.

 

  • The on-campus supermarket (GK Mart) will remain open and will stock additional essential items, including pre-packed fresh produce for the benefit of on-campus residents. Staff will also assist them with off-campus purchases of groceries, if needed.

 

  • The Mail & Courier Room will operate with one staff member for limited hours only.

 

  • Housekeeping staff from Campus Services will continue the intensive cleaning and sanitising of student commons, public areas and on-campus accommodations, as well as university-managed student housing at Curtin Water and Curtin Villa. Technicians will also be on-site to ensure essential services continue to operate normally.

 

  • As all gatherings, meetings and activities involving groups of people are to be cancelled, the Recreation & Event Centre (including the gym), The Library (including student commons) and the Islamic Centre will be closed. It goes without saying that all classrooms, lecture theatres, laboratories and other learning and teaching areas will be inaccessible, except selected laboratories for ongoing projects where access will be closely monitored.

 

  • All scheduled events and activities over the next two weeks have been postponed or cancelled, including the Sem 2 Club Fair.

 

  • Housing Services staff will essentially be working from home but will be available to assist students with urgent housing needs between 10am and 11am on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

 

  • At Student Central, the Admissions and Enrolment counters will be closed but there will be an emergency roster between 10am and 11am on Tuesdays and Thursdays to deal with urgent matters or emergencies. Related online systems will also continue to operate. Students can make enquiries or seek assistance during these times but are requested to visit individually and practice social distancing with others when in the premises.

 

  • Airport Reception Service (ARS) will be available for any incoming students.

 

  • The University Life team will be working remotely and will conduct the Foundation Orientation online on 23 March 2020. They will communicate with the new students on registering and participating in the Online Orientation. They will also work with other areas to assist incoming Foundation students with online class registration and other related matters.

 

  • All Faculty staff will be working remotely. Faculty staff will advise their students of possible postponement of assessments, provide necessary guidance on accessing online resources, and update them on any changes to the ongoing online teaching. For degree students in particular, their respective HODs will contact them regarding exams scheduled in the next two weeks, and Foundation students will be provided essential information by their coordinators via Moodle.

 

  • Special arrangements will be made for final-year students to access laboratories to monitor their projects. The staff in charge will produce a roster for access and notify the students individually.

 

  • Students will still have access to all The Library’s online resources.

 

  • The Health Centre will continue to operate and provide the usual health and counselling services.

 

  • The Human Resources Department will work remotely and will continue to provide relevant services, including payroll processing.

 

  • Most of the Financial Services Department will also be working remotely, with the exception of the Purchasing Section and Cashier’s Counter (for essential transactions only) which will be open only between 10am and 11am on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

 

  • The Marketing & Communications Department, including marketing and recruitment staff, will all work remotely. They will continue to disseminate critical communications, update the website, and handle phone, email and online enquiries, as well as continue to generate essential reports and carry out various administrative duties.

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To protect the health and wellbeing of our students and staff and in line with a directive from the Ministry of Higher Education dated 14 March 2020 that all institutions of higher learning conduct their classes online to avert the spread of COVID-19, all lectures regardless of class size, as well as tutorials and seminars, will be delivered online until the end of April starting tomorrow. This will be reviewed in the coming weeks and further updates given as necessary.

Students are required to log in and fully participate in these iLectures, tutorials and seminars so as not to miss out on any classes or consultation. Students will be updated, where appropriate, via Blackboard or Moodle, and if they have any queries, they are asked to contact their Heads of Department or Faculty Associate Deans of Learning & Teaching immediately.

If there are any activities that still require face-to-face contact, please implement social distancing and maintain a distance of one metre between all participants. If you have any reservations regarding a particular activity, please discuss this with the staff member in charge.

You might be aware that the campus has gone into a heightened state of alert with more intensive cleaning and sanitization of classrooms and public areas, the postponement of the Graduation Ceremony and Foundation O-Week, and more stringent temperature checks upon entry to the campus. We also strongly advise the campus community to practice the highest standards of hygiene at all times, including washing hands regularly, avoiding touching your face, practicing cough etiquette, avoiding close contact with anyone showing respiratory symptoms, and staying at home if you are unwell.

The situation is increasingly fluid and we are making decisions as swiftly as possible with the guidance of the education and health authorities. So please stay tuned to any new announcements and updates in the coming days. Thank you all for your patience and understanding, and for the care and support you have shown for our University community.

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As part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Higher Education and the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee have directed that all institutions must postpone gatherings, sports events, social programmes, and mass gatherings involving more 50 persons. Accordingly, we are postponing the Foundation Orientation Week (O-Week) scheduled to commence tomorrow for ONE WEEK to Monday, 23 March 2020 and conducting it online instead of a face-to-face event.

Online content for the Online Orientation will be available on our Orientation Webpage at https://orientation.curtin.edu.my/ from 23 March 2020 onwards and all incoming Foundation students are requested to keep themselves updated via our email communications, the Orientation Webpage, our Instagram accounts (orientationleaders_cm, myunilifecurtin) and our other official social media channels.

Those affected by the postponement can also consult with relevant staff in the University Life and Student Services Departments, or with their respective Faculty Deans.

As all face-to-face classes have been suspended and are currently being delivered online, new Foundation students are expected to also commence online classes following the Online Orientation, from 30 March 2020 onwards. Guidance on how to prepare and register for the online classes will be provided during the Online Orientation, so it is important that they participate in the Orientation.

These decisions are being made to protect the health and wellbeing of the campus community, which is our top priority. We are also focused on ensuring that we continue to provide a quality education to our students and the campus will remain open, facilities will operate as usual, and most services will continue to be provided. Appropriate guidance and support will also be provided by staff to those needing assistance.

As the situation is constantly changing, we will send regular communications to keep everyone informed and updated. Please monitor your webmail and our other internal communications channels for relevant information.

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At these difficult times with COVID-19 being declared a pandemic, I wanted to write and highlight how important our role is in the community. A university is a place of learning and education and it is imperative we live up to our mission and our Curtin  values – particularly Courage, Respect and Integrity.

It has been reported in the local press that one of our students (and three others with whom he has been in close contact) have been placed in self quarantine by the health authority as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus. This is because he happened to be on the same flight from Kuala Lumpur to Miri on 3 March 2020 as the Brunei national who was later diagnosed upon his return to the neighbouring country as being infected with the coronavirus. According to the State Disaster Management Committee in its media statement of 11 March 2020, three other passengers seated in proximity to the Bruneian are also undergoing self quarantine.

Our student and his companions, meanwhile, all remain in good health and are being closely monitored by the health authority at their off-campus accommodation. Furthermore, as the student is now isolated at home, any risk to students and staff on campus is deemed as minimal.

Nonetheless, we are continuing and heightening some of our preventive measures on campus, as with many other establishments in the city, given that the State Disaster Management Committee has announced that Sarawak has recorded its first three positive cases and there has been an increase in the number of cases in Brunei Darussalam.  We also urge all in our campus community to maintain the highest standards of hygiene and ensure all work areas are clean and sanitised as a precaution.

In addition, we have postponed our April Graduation as a precaution as it is a mass gathering with people from all over the world and this was a measured and appropriate decision. We have also started preparations should the situation worsen and will require extra measures.

While we understand that there is concern on campus about COVID-19, we are maintaining all of our daily activities and services at this time. We are also continuing to keep the campus community informed with the latest updates and guidelines from the State Disaster Management Committee and health authority on our website at curtin.edu.my/coronavirus/.

It is incumbent on all our staff to act with calmness and clarity and only deal in factual information and accurate health advice.  Our role as educators and leaders should be uppermost in all our minds. If you are unsure of the correct information, there are many resources available on the Curtin website including an excellent video by the VC yesterday.

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In an effort to minimise risk to students and staff at this time, Curtin University Malaysia has decided that this year’s Graduation Ceremonies and related events, including the Curtin Malaysia Award Ceremony, scheduled for 18 April 2020 will be postponed to a tentative date in June 2020. Once confirmed, the date will be published on the graduations website at graduations.curtin.edu.my and through our usual internal communications channels.

This decision has been made in view of the worsening COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak globally, the inherent restrictions on travel worldwide, restricted entry to Malaysia and the State of Sarawak, but most importantly, in the health interests of our students, staff, graduates and family members, as well as the wider Sarawak community.

This postponement may be of inconvenience to some, but this is far outweighed by the benefits to all concerned and I thank all graduands and their family members for their kind understanding. As the new tentative date approaches, by which time we expect the situation to have stabilised or improved somewhat, we will be sure to keep them informed of any new developments.

More information will be sent to graduands through their Official Communication Channel (OC) in OASIS as it becomes available. In the meantime, should they have any concerns or queries, they may email our Graduations Team at graduations@curtin.edu.my.

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The Curtin Malaysia Critical Incident Group announced that following trials of new temperature scanning devices and training of staff on their use, the campus is ready to implement compulsory temperature checks of everyone entering the campus as of today. The temperature checks will be carried out at the campus security checkpoint 24/7 until further notice. Any refusal to be scanned could result in entry to the campus being denied and you may be asked to return another day if you are unwell.

The checks may affect traffic flow at the checkpoint, especially at peak times in the morning and midday. You are therefore requested to adjust your arrival times to avoid any unnecessary delay.

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All on campus are reminded to practice good hygiene such as washing hands with water and soap regularly, or in the absence of water, cleansing with hand sanitisers, and avoid touching your face. You are also encouraged to ensure your work areas are cleaned and aired out regularly. Please take the time to do it yourselves whenever possible; do not rely on the cleaners too much as they’re focusing on ensuring all the public areas are clean.

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As part of the novel coronavirus preventive measures recommended by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Sarawak Disaster Management Committee, we commenced trial testing of body temperature scanners at our campus security checkpoint this morning. This is to allow our security staff to familiarise themselves with the scanners under the guidance of our health officers.

The checks will be carried out on all staff, students, contractors and visitors as they enter the campus 24/7 as of tomorrow until further notice. Please note that temperature checks are compulsory and any refusal to be scanned could result in entry to the campus being denied. You may also be asked to return another day if you are unwell.

We caution that such checks may affect traffic flow at the checkpoint, especially at peak times in the morning and midday, and request that you adjust your arrival times to avoid any unnecessary delay. Special arrangements for students arriving on the campus shuttle bus will be announced in due course.

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In view of the risks involved due to travel to and from China, the University requests that all staff (including HDR students with teaching commitments) comply with the following:

  1. Staff are not permitted to travel to Mainland China.
  1. Any staff returning from China in the last 14 days, either for business or leisure, are to notify Human Resources for further instructions.
  1. Staff are to submit details of their scheduled travel, whether on leave, to attend meetings or other business (outside of Sarawak) over the next two weeks starting from 8 February 2020. This information is to be provided to Human Resources using the Staff Travel and Meeting Plan template attached and emailed to dmdelicia@curtin.edu.my by COB on Monday, 10 February 2020. Human Resources is to be advised of any changes or updates prior to travel. This data is being collected to assist the Management in identifying potential risks and providing suitable advice to staff regarding travel or attending meetings outside the state.

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A circular from the Malaysian Ministry of Health via the Ministry of Education dated 2 February 2020 advises that staff and students of educational institutions, irrespective of nationality, with a history of residing in or visiting China are requested to undergo self-quarantine for 14 days upon entering Malaysia.

The Ministry of Health will work with the institutions to identify such persons by recording their personal particulars, including names of individuals, telephone number, residential address, name of institution, date of arrival in Malaysia and send the data to the National Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC); contacting the nearest District Health Office to brief the affected persons; and refer any with pneumonia-like symptoms within 14 days of arrival in Malaysia to the nearest hospital.

Those affected will be issued Health Alert Cards (HAC) and Health Assessment Tool (HAT) from the Ministry for self-monitoring. A copy of the HAC is attached for your reference.

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Our Health Centre has been briefed by the Ministry on its functions and responsibilities in regards to self-quarantine and is prepared to assist any affected staff and students, including arranging suitable alternative housing for self-quarantine (if necessary) and food provisions and other necessities for daily use. For more information or assistance, contact the Health Centre at 085-630100 ext. 2782 / 2383.

In light of the novel coronavirus outbreak, there have been shortages of hand sanitisers across Miri but we have managed to source some for our immediate use until supplies are available. 200ml and 120ml bottles have been distributed various areas of the campus today.

They are not commercial or medical sanitisers but ones produced by a local pharmacist and are equivalent to premixed ones used by the Hospital. We will continue to refill them until the manufactured version is available. Please contact Mislina at the Health Centre (ext. 2782) for refills when your current supply runs out.

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