MRT projects enhances abilities of local engineers

(From left) Foo, Lyana, Clare and Henry all wish to see a large-scale project like the MRT being implemented in their home states.

LOCAL engineers’ expertise in the MRT Sungai Buloh – Kajang (SBK) Line demonstrated that efforts to enhance public transportation in the capital city of Malaysia can be achieved.

Although only working behind the scenes, they deserve to be honoured as national heroes as the facilities in place today are the result of the blood, sweat, and tears of local engineers.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri NajibTunRazak, in a blog entry on NajibRazak.co, said he was impressed to see so many young Malaysian engineers of various races and backgrounds involved in this high-profile project.

“I am proud to see our young Malaysian children in this MRT project because not only can they learn from fellow engineers with more experience but are also given opportunities to become project managers even though they are only in their 20s to 30s.

“Certainly the knowledge and experience they have gained in this field are extremely valuable and required in the future not only for the country but also for their career development,” he said.

AN ENGINEER WITH A STRONG SPIRIT
Petite and sweet-looking, many would not have guessed that NurLyanaAmeerudeen is in the field of engineering. Being in a predominantly male-dominated career has never made her feel inferior or isolated, but has made her even more competitive in wanting to emerge as a successful engineer.

The Kuching-born girl is high-spirited and for her, all careers have their own unique challenges. At only 26 years old, this Sarawakian lass, best known as Lyana among her colleagues, has already begun to take great responsibility.

“Upon completion of my Bachelor of Civil Engineering from Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), I was offered a job with the MRT construction project.

“I joined MMC Gamuda (a joint venture of Malaysia’s most decorated construction and engineering companies MMC Corporation Berhad and GamudaBerhad) in 2015 and was assigned to the Engineering Design Management (EDM) team .

“Here, my main responsibility is more towards going through the entire aspect of the design plan as well as coordinating everything with consultants. Even though I’m new, but I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work and cooperate with many important stakeholders including MRT Corp, the developer and asset owner of the MRT project,” she shared.

On the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) for MRT, she said PDP is a smart and effective step which serves as the controller and assurance to meet high quality and compliance standards.

“For example, I was assigned to liase with contractors and consultants to ensure construction is done according to specifications and to minimise errors in the design stage to avoid any construction problems, which could lead to delays.

“Being an engineer has been my ambition since I was little, so when I was seconded last June to one of the consultants involved in the MRT project, I was in awe and hoped to be able to gain more knowledge on the design and technical aspects.

“In the future, I hope to have the opportunity to participate in the Project Management Department, to apply my design and project management skills at the MRT construction site and most importantly, enhance my learning and knowledge,” she said.

Lyana added that PDP is essential as it is a catalyst for large-scale public infrastructure developments such as the MRT project.

“I hope my birth place, will get facilities like MRT in the future. Aside from saving time and a solution to traffic congestion in focused areas, this facility can also generate the economy of Sarawak,” she said.

ENGINEERING TO SERVE THE COMMUNITY

In his school days, Foo Han Piew had the ambition to pursue a career, such as teaching, which could bring change to the lives of the people.

When he learnt that engineering is a well respected and “cooler” job  , he accepted a major in engineering after completing secondary school.

“At first my intention to become an engineer was solely to change the livelihood of my family for the better but the longer I am in the field, I see that my job as an engineer can also contribute to the betterment of the community.

“For me, our job as an engineer has a huge impact on society, simply by providing infrastructure so that they can lead better lives.

“With our role as PDP, Project Delivery Partner, or project manager, large-scale projects such as world-class facilities can be implemented and at the same time inculcate a first-class mentality.

Photo shows the Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line.

“Gamuda has been appointed as the PDP because of its proven track record showing they are capable of implementing large-scale infrastructure projects as the design and construction contractor,” he said.

Foo is also very proud of the transformation of the MRT project, proving that many changes have occurred, particularly prioritising the safety and comfort of workers, the public, as well as the parties involved.

“For example, workers’ safety and health issues are very important to us in Gamuda. In that regard, we will place our employees in Centralised Labour Quarters where they have a good place to live, relax and unwind.

“We also make sure their residence has a kitchen and bathroom suitable for their comfort and convenience. This is because workers with adequate rest will exhibit higher productivity while reducing the risk of accidents at work,” he pointed out.

Foo added that PDP also has a detailed Traffic Management System, which mainly ensures public safety before, during, and after lane closure for MRT construction work. “For example, if there is a need to close the road or divert traffic, feasibility studies on traffic management in the area will be carried out, and professional consultants will be involved to approve the traffic plan, which will then be implemented by the Works Package Contractor (WPC). “WPC will also ensure that residents and business traders or operators around the area are notified early. There is also a 24-hour hotline to be contacted if a member of the public is in trouble or wants more information,” he explained.

Elaborating on his experience working in Gamuda for a decade, Foo shared that one of the best benefits is to have an older generation of leaders who are always ready to give guidance and share their experience.

“We are free to give opinions and share ideas regardless of age and rank. It is an open two-way communication as we strive to achieve excellence and innovation in everything we do together.

“Although the aspiration to become an educator was not achieved, but I get the opportunity to be re-appointed to the Construction Training Department to carry out construction training.

“Besides being able to give knowledge to young engineers, I also share experiences with them, “ he said.

With current technology and expertise at Gamuda, Foo hopes someday, his family will be able to enjoy the same infrastructure in Sarawak. “Implementing such infrastructure can further improve the quality of life and at the same time provide employment and this will enhance Sarawak’s economy.

“Currently, job opportunities and salaries in Sabah and Sarawak are not as high as compared to the peninsula and this is one of the reasons why many migrate here. In addition, most skilled workers there don’t have the chance to improve their skills, so with this large-scale project, I’m confident the local youths will return home and serve their own state, “ he said.

 

WORLD’S FIRST UNDERGROUND COMMUNICATION NETWORK

Henry Mayot also hopes Sarawak will have a public transportation system like the MRT.

He opined that such large-scale government projects can provide more opportunities to locals, especially young engineers, as well as improve quality of life and spur the local economy, especially in Kuching.

“Transport networks such as the metro system will also open up new areas for development and this will result in new property projects, such as what you see in the Klang Valley.

“We need this kind of stimulus to transform Kuching City to the next level and to benefit locals to learn something new and more productive economic generation will also be felt,” he said.

Despite working away from home, Henry returns to Kuching when he can to be with his wife and two children.

Henry said if such a large-scale project is implemented in Sarawak, he would not miss the opportunity to serve there. He now heads the team that manages the Commercial Mobile Telecommunications System (CMTS).

Henry and another PDP engineer worked with a consulting team to produce the required job specifications in relation to CMTS for the SBK Line.

He was also involved in the tender process, and after the tender was awarded, he worked with other consulting teams to ensure the project was completed by the Works Package Contractor (WPC) according to schedule and fulfilled the given design specifications.

Henry said he was fortunate to see one of his main tasks in the project running smoothly – Maxis was conducting its network trials on the underground stations and tunnels of the SBK Line.

“My main task is to create the infrastructure for all mobile operators in the country so that all networks can be accessed, especially at the underground stations and and tunnels of the SBK Line.

One of the elevated station in MRT SBK Line that Foo, Lyana, Clare and Henry have worked on.

“Despite the complexity of handling, I am excited and delighted to be involved in this MRT project as it may be the first project in the world to use the MIMO LTE system where all networks share the same infrastructure using 2G, 3G, 4G LTE FDD, and 4G LTE TDD accessible in the SBK Line underground stations and tunnels.

“Typically, infrastructure construction for mobile networks will be entrusted to mobile operators but in this case, the project owner decided that it will be the responsibility of PDP’s main contractor.

“This will at the same time benefit both me and PDP to learn how to build infrastructure for mobile phone operators as this can be a trend in the future for metro or rail projects.

“In addition to managing the CMTS, my team is also involved in the Government Integrated Radio Network (GIRN), which is among our tasks to ensure in the event of any unexpected disaster such as a fire or accident,” he said.

GAINING KNOWLEDGE FROM HIS SUPERVISOR

Clare Kimduit’s service started with the Engineering Design Management (EDM) team where the tasks were more geared towards coordinating the design of the construction for the KL Sentral route involving a 300-metre pedestrian bridge connecting the underground MRT station for the SBK Line to the main railway hub (KL Station Central).

Upon completion of the task at the end of 2013, Clare later joined the EDM team for the PasarSeniLinkway project (110 metres) that connects KTM KL station with the PasarSeni LRT station over the river and road. The scope of the task also includes upgrading of both stations.

In the EDM team, he learned a lot about the coordination of design between consultants, contracts and procurement processes, dealing with agencies and local authorities, which indirectly enhanced his communication skills.

In September 2016, Clare was transferred to the Project Management Department (PMD) to sharpen his skills in site management.

“Basically, I was previously a contractor coordinator for the design consultant and now a coordinator to the coordination contractor for the PasarSeniLinkway project. Now I am involved more intricately especially in getting the contactor to develop the project based on the previous design process.

“Actually, I learned a lot while at the PMD such as how to think critically, how to think like a project manager in terms of decision-making, handling workers in addition to dealing with local authorities and landowners,” he explained.

Clare said he is proud of the project, which has been the talk of people but most importantly, the knowledge shared by his superior as something beneficial and useful.

He added that the experience gained working with MRT was more enriching than his six years of study at UiTM in civil engineering.

“The team also has high leadership values hard working, possess excellent management skills and adhere to high quality standards. These are the values I practise in my daily life,” he shared.

Clare also hopes that people in his state can have similar facilities.

“We are part of Malaysia so I think Sabah should also have the same integrated transport network so that the journey to the interior will be more comfortable. This will also open areas that can be developed and create more economic opportunities for the people of Sabah.

“Public transport is now something important. If well implemented, public productivity will increase. Work can be done faster,” he added.

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