PRASARANA SIGNS MOU; ROLL OUT STRATEGIC COLLABORATION WITH INSTITUTES OF HIGHER LEARNING
Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana), custodian of significant public transportation services in the Klang Valley, today rolled out a landmark programme to develop strategic collaboration with local institutes of higher learning in an effort to build a bigger pool of professionals in the rail industry and further enhance the quality of Malaysia’s public transportation system.
Marking the announcement, Prasarana, whose assets include RapidKL’s LRT Kelana Jaya and Ampang lines and the KL Monorail, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM); listing out significant areas of collaboration in the academic field and research and development.
“Our tireless efforts and lengthy planning with UTHM have finally bear fruits; as we can finally put pen to paper a landmark agreement. This we believe will open a new era in pursuance of excellence in education and further uplift the standard of Malaysia’s railway industry specifically; and the public transport in general,” Prasarana’s Group Managing Director Dato’ Shahril Mokhtar said.
The strategic collaboration, he added, would boost further Prasarana’s initiatives in producing more professionals in the rail industry and would enhance its efforts in raising the quality of service to world class standard.
The overall performance of Prasarana’s rail services had always been commendable over the last few years with statistics for 2011 showing the service reliability index for all its rail lines – Kelana Jaya LRT, Ampang LRT and KL Monorail - exceeding 99 percent.
In his speech at the signing ceremony, which was held at Prasarana’s headquarters in Bangsar, Shahril said that UTHM would, under the MoU, introduce a new Masters in Railway Engineering course this year where qualified staff of Prasarana from the Rail Division will have preference in gaining entry to the university.
UTHM would also give priority to Prasarana in offering employment to their top students, he said, adding that Prasarana would be recognized under the MOU as a party to utilize research grants secured by UTHM and both parties would be working closely in developing joint research works.
The MOU also provided the opportunity for sponsorship of a Chair which Prasarana can leverage on international networking for various purposes such as rail technology advancement as well as provisions for an adjunct professor where UTHM shall endeavor to qualify Prasarana’s selected employee for the appointment.
The MOU would also see an active participation of RapidKL’s Rail Academy, which would play the role of Knowledge Manager; performing the duties of identifying key components of the knowledge required for the rail industry; providing systems training to UTHM via short course; coordinating the placement of the students; co-supervising research projects for final year students; and development of the course modules.
“A bigger agenda of this collaboration under the MOU, however, will be to enhance the quality of Malaysian professionals in the railway industry and utilization of local experts for domestic projects in the railway industry; and, perhaps, opening the doors for export of local talents to serve as expatriates in other countries,” added Shahril, who signed the agreement on behalf of Prasarana.
UTHM was represented by its Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dato’ Dr Mohd Noh Dalimin.
Shahril added: “While our strategic collaboration with UTHM is the first in our efforts of building staff competency, it will definitely not be the last.
“Talks are already on the way with other leading institutes of higher learning as we continue our rigorous efforts for collaborations in the academic field and research development,” added Shahril, who listed out Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), KLIA College, Malaysian Institute of Transport and Singapore’s Nanyang University as Prasarana’s next partners.
Shahril said the strategic collaboration with institutes of higher learning was part of Prasarana’s initiatives in the enhancement of the quality of its staff, who he described as the company’s key asset in realization of the Go Forward Plan (GFP) targets.
“Today also marks the new beginning in Prasarana’s emphasis on development of human capital and staff resourcefulness as we continue rigorous efforts to pursue the agenda of our GFP, which enters its second year.
“Outlining visionary plans in making Prasarana a world class establishment, the GFP named Culture Transformation as one of its strategic initiative, which in turn listed the element of Resourcefulness as one of the five Guiding Principles of the GFP,” Shahril said, adding that the other four guiding principles were Integrity and Honesty; Openness; Freedom Through Responsibility; and Mutual Respect.
Through programmes developed under the umbrella of Resourcefulness, Shahril said, Prasarana aimed to inculcate staff innovative thinking, operational excellence, enhancing efficiency, practicing safety and security of all services and optimizing costs amongst its staff.
“This, ultimately, creates value to our customers and stakeholders; and will also help to build our competitive advantage in this knowledge economy,” said Shahril, who also announced a revamp in Prasarana’s Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) to provide a more conducive learning assistance for its employees with an increase budget to RM450,000 for 2012.
A total of RM150,000 was allocated for 2011 and the aid was given out to 11 employees – Mohd Nadzir Mat Isa (Management); Mohd Faisal Mohd Anuar (Manufacturing Management); Sharifah Rohani Syed Shahbuddin (Legal - Jurisprudence); Mohd Amin Shamsuddin (Electrical Engineering); Nor Yusliza Wani Mohamed (Legal - Jurisprudence); Zamhuri Mohamad Sukiman (Mechanical Engineering); Zali Ibrahim (MBA – Building); Muhamad Azam Hamzah (Electrical Engineering); Mohd Firdaus Mohd Idris (Electrical Engineering), Mohd Shahrizal Shariman (Electrical Eng) and Ferdy Erlwin Bin Marizal (Mechanical Engineering).