Masing challenges local engineers to build iconic structure

Masing (centre) puts his palm on a scanner to launch the event. From left are Tang and Ong.

KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing has challenged local engineers to build iconic landmark in Sarawak so that they can be proud when pointing out the building to foreigners.

In issuing the challenge, Masing however urged those involved to strike a balance between cost, functionality and creativity and all the while keeping the mantra ‘safety first’ in mind.

“Construction of iconic buildings and houses is part of promoting your skills to the world. This will tell people that Sarawak engineers are capable,” he said at the Institute of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) Sarawak branch annual dinner themed ‘Oscars Night’ on Saturday.

“I wish to call upon all engineers and members of IEM Sarawak branch to continuously put your efforts and involvement in the various aspects of development in the state.”

He said that engineers in the nation are constantly bringing change to the world and to do that, they need knowledge and experience in determining what is best to be implemented to achieve the desired outcome, and in turn, improve the standard of living and quality of life for fellow countrymen.

“In our state, change is occurring as we speak. In connectivity, the Pan-Borneo Highway project is currently in progress, connecting Sematan to Merapok. We are currently building Tanjung Kidurong Power Station, Balingian Power Station and Baleh Hydroelectric Plant to cater for the electricity demand of Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy. In transportation, our Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg has announced plan to revamp the public transportation system in Kuching with efficient bus services to ensure better connectivity between townships.”

He added these changes would not be able to proceed without the assistance and help of engineers from various disciplines.

Masing said that he was happy when informed that the International Engineering Centre (Intec) would commence work this year. He was pleased to see the collaboration among the engineering fraternity as well as strong initiative by IEM to bring in the latest technology.

He looks forward to see more seminars, courses and conferences held in Sarawak once Intec is completed.

Earlier, IEM Sarawak branch chairman Vincent Tang briefed Masing on the International Engineering Centre (Intec) and the new IEM Sarawak Branch building located on 6.11 acres of land in Kota Samarahan which was approved by the state government in 2011.

He said then Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud gave his assurance to fully support the idea and requested IEM Sarawak branch to collaborate with local key players to come up with the best development model focusing on the needs of the state.

“The development of Intec will be the bedrock of centre of excellence in engineering for future generations, spearheading many green concepts with sustainable yet innovative engineering ideas, incorporating many Green Building Index rated initiatives and several innovative building technology and materials.”

“We would like to appeal for a matching grant to enable the initial development of Intec.”

The purpose of the centre is to promote and advance scientific and professional aspects of engineering for the benefit of Sarawakians. Its goals are to promote advancement and expertise in various engineering fields, collaborate with local universities on applied research, enhance integration of knowledge and adoption of innovative technology and promote life-long learning.

The centre will include a lecture theatre, IEM Sarawak office, open foyer and car park.

“As engineers we are empowered to move the nation, let’s dedicate ourselves to realise our dreams by making the impossible, possible,” Tang said.

As of January this year, IEM has 40,734 active members and Sarawak branch has the second highest membership at 3,000 engineers. IEM president Tan Yean Chin and organising chairman Dr Dominic Ong were among those present at the event.

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