Thursday, June 2, 2011


Tuesday May 24, 2011



24 MAY 2011 (TUESDAY)


Assalamualaikum W.B.T and Salam 1Malaysia.

Yang Berbahagia Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh,
Managing Director of PERODUA;

Yang Berbahagia Brigadier Jeneral Dato’ Profesor Dr. Kamarudin Hussin,
Vice Chancellor of Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UNIMAP);

Mr. Abdul Rahim Hitam,
Managing Director of Ingress Technologies Sdn Bhd;

Puan Hajah Noraini Soltan Talib,
Managing Director of Sipro Plastic Industries Sdn Bhd;
Mr. Mohamad Razali Osman,
Chief Operating Officer of Sapura Industrial Sdn Bhd;

Members of the Media;

Ladies and Gentlemen.

1. I would like, first and foremost, to thank Perodua and the Malaysia Automotive Institute for inviting me to witness this graduation ceremony of trainees trained in the field of Digital Engineering. This programme, a collaborative effort between MAI, and Perodua and in collaboration with UNIMAP, is a welcomed contribution to our effort to upgrade skills in our automotive industry. This initiative is another programme of MAI, under MITI, focused on enhancing our human capital capability for the benefit of our automotive industry.

2. Although I am not by training a person with a technical background, I have to confess that I have long had an interest in the use of computers and advanced software for design and manufacturing technology. The technology, of course, has advanced from CAD to CAM, and again to CADCAM. And with every passing year, new concepts and new techniques of design using digital technology are being introduced. What passes for digital engineering these days is an amazing combination of skill, creativity and technology.

3. Much progress has been made in this area of technology where numerous software and techniques have been developed and lately this field has been recognised as ‘digital engineering’, and I believe this terminology was introduced to sum up all the acronyms I mentioned earlier simply to describe engineering development using digital technology.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

4. Early this year, when I was in Japan, I had an opportunity to visit a few establishments engaged in digital engineering work. One of them is called ‘Dipro’, a name which some of you may be familiar with. The company specialises in the design and development of automotive vehicles and parts.
5. At the Dipro plant, I was shown how digital engineering is used - from conceptualisation of a product to its manufacture. The product concept is first outlined using the appropriate software. It is then presented in two or three dimensional views for examination and evaluation. The concept can thus be tested for functionality and durability during application, among other things.

6. Prototypes are then generated using advanced prototyping equipment in real 3D size for the benefit of production engineers and customers. The next stage is to develop the tooling requirements for the manufacture of the parts.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

7. I am sure what I have described is not new to many of you, especially those from Perodua and your vendors. You have been exposed to this design environment, and can appreciate why it is important for us to develop the knowledge and skills to use digital engineering in our automotive industry. If we want to be competitive, if we want to be world-class, we must embrace the latest technology in this field.

8. In this respect, I am pleased to acknowledge that three of Perodua Tier-1 companies, namely, Sapura, Ingress and Sipro, are supporting this programme by taking the trainees to be part of their engineering team and exposing them to the real automotive engineering work and experience.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

9. The point that I like to emphasise again is the need to be competitive and to stay competitive. The automotive industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world, and unless you have the knowledge, the skills and the products to compete in the international marketplace, you will soon end up as an also ran.

10. In this context, let me relate to you an interesting story about the development of digital engineering in Vietnam. In 2003, a select group of 30 Vietnamese students in a local energy company were sent to Japan to further their engineering studies. Supported by Nissan, the students underwent practical training in one of the company's establishments. Nissan was impressed by the quality of their work and upon their return to Vietnam, the company decided to outsource some of its digital engineering requirements to these students who now work for Nissan Techno Vietnam.
11. Nissan Techno Vietnam was established by Nissan to develop local Vietnamese expertise in digital engineering. The company started with 50 employees. Today, it employs some 2,000 people who provide digital engineering services for Nissan and its affiliates around the world.

12. Please take note of this. Although Vietnam does not have a national car project today, it already has the digital engineering know-how to design cars and car parts. Imagine what will happen should the country decide to go into car manufacturing. I have no doubt it will hit the ground running, and give all the other car manufacturers in the region and beyond a run for their money.
13. There is a lesson in this for us. It is that we must always be vigilant and continuously strive to upgrade our skills and knowledge if we want to stay ahead of the curve. We must think strategically and have a comprehensive and coherent industry development plan that anticipates the future if we want to stay relevant.

14. In this context, therefore, I appreciate the efforts MAI, Perodua, its vendors and UNIMAP have made to offer this digital engineering programme to the local industry. I call upon all OEM and parts manufacturers to support initiatives such as this by accepting their students in your facilities for industrial training.

Ladies and Gentlemen.

15. I like to end by congratulating once again all the participants, or should I say "graduating designers", of this programme. I understand that PERODUA, SAPURA, INGRESS AND SIPRO have offered permanent postings to all members of this graduating class. Congratulations to everyone.

Thank you.

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