Friday, 15 December 2017
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The current age of digital broadcasting allows anyone to voice an opinion at the click of a button.

While it is a celebration of the expansion of our democratic rights as citizens, the sheer volume of information has changed the landscape of how we perceive certain issues.

On social media, the news sent to end users are based on algorithms that depend on trending information, giving significant advantage to sensationalist marketing techniques and those with significant online presence and influencer capabilities.

The age of information poses the highest levels of misinformation ever seen.

To progress through the current uncertain economy, we must allow ourselves the space to move out of headline-based reading to look at issues holistically, and address the issues more specifically.

Last year, we recorded a gross national income per capita of US$9,850 (RM40,188), inching closer to within 19 per cent of the US$12,235 set by the World Bank as high-income nation status.

Overall, the median household income for all groups of bottom 40, middle 40, and top 20 increased last year by 6.6, 6.9 and 6.2 per cent, respectively, versus 204.

MasterCard also predicts that Malaysia is expected to record the highest ratio in outbound travel in relation to the total number of households with 198.7 per cent by 2021 from 178.4 per cent last year.

These are a few of many indications that Malaysia's economy is creating opportunities for income generation.

Agreed, there are problems that need to be addressed as any economic uncertainty will cause public anxiety about cost of living, business bottom line and career opportunities.

However, unnecessarily negative outlooks are counterproductive when taken in a general sense.

Sensational angles have the power to alter perceptions - mismatching symptoms to root causes that have nothing to do with the problem at hand.

Generalist approaches to complex matters kill any chance to address real concerns as solution need to be specific to the nuances of the problem.

To fairly address the economic situation, it is important to recognise those who are truly in need of assistance based on factors, such as geolocation, career prospects and education levels, in order to better understand barriers of access to opportunities that offer upward economic mobility.

While there are valid grouses that require addressing, some problems can also be self-inflicted.

While household dept to gross domestic product ratios have eased last year, a worrying trend of bankruptcy cases is emerging among the middle class - 60 per cent of insolvency cases are among aged 25 to 44 over the last three years.

In order to climb the economic ladder, it is important for us to be mindful of our expenditure.

In order to further enhance our standard of living, something we all want - we must put ourselves in situations that provide us the opportunity to move up.

Numerous government programmes have been instituted to bridge income gaps and move those less fortunate.

Quality job prospects and ample business opportunities have been created to spur economic growth and elevate the lives of Malaysians as a whole.

However, this elevation is not possible if these opportunities  are not met with competitive spirit, prudence and resilience to lifestyle fads.

Let us look at problems specifically and objectively. Itis often easy to dwell on popular perceptions.

However, true responsibility lies in working together towards our nation's development.

We all have different means and resources available to us, it is important to use them wisely to elevate and influence others towards true  progress.

the writeris the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute

Consumer confidence in the automotive industry seems to have rebounded this year compared to last year, which was mired by economic uncertainty due to the appreciation of the US dollar.

Even though dollar levels are arguably still not ideal, it seems to have not hampered industry growth as a whole - particularly due to strong economic principles that have been created since the the 2014 launch of the National Policy which developed specific focus on competitiveness and the gradual liberalisation of the industry.

These setbacks did not hamper the creation of employment within the industry - 87,382 new jobs were created since the policy was introduced, of which 39,819 jobs were created through the Human Capital Development programmes undertaken by Malaysia Automotive Institute.

Exports of automotive parts and components rise to RM11.2 billion last year, with August figures indicating a higher performance this year. Total industry volume figures until last month had shown slight improvement in domestic sales compared with last year.

The manufacturing sector in Malaysia has shown its best growth since the beginning of the year, as indicated by Nikkei Malaysia's manufacturing purchasing managers' index.

Malaysia has developed its foundation to remain resilient in tough times.

Despite facing one of the toughest foreign exchange challenge since its last economic crisis two decades ago, economic indicators are pointing to a faster rebound rate - a clear signal of economic fundamentals leading to stronger resilience.

However, as times change, so do trends and norms. The fundamentals of today may not be the same as tomorrow, requiring us to quickly shift to ensure that businesses cater to future demands, backed by human capital and technology that can deliver to such demands.

It is for this reason, numerous programmes have been developed by the government to ensure such a transition takes place efficiently.

One of the key realisations is Malaysia's shift from dependence on commodities towards participation in higher yield global value chain.

As far as the manufacturing sector is concerned, this commodity dependence has traditionally thrived on cheaper labour costs.

Current trends, however, indicate the quality of the job market must begin to revolve around skilled, creative and innovative labour pools.

The advent of the fourth industrial revolution will in essence force labour intensive sectors into the lower rungs of economic yield, should there be no change in operational thinking.

Without oversimplifying the matter at hand, the early symptoms would be a slow response to automation.

A shift towards this has been implemented by the government in its recent budgets, moving towards Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), 2U2I initiatives and apprenticeship programmes within the public technical universities and agencies.

This change in education mindset is expected to alter the path of formal education to include automation-oriented skills and knowledge and prepare graduates for immediate relevance in the job market.

Such a shift must also be planned together with the operations systems of the industry.

While there is a clamour for more qualified and relevant graduates within the workforce, it is important for industry players to create the space for such careers to thrive and progress.

In summary, we have demonstrated the Malaysian spirit of resilience - the setbacks that we have faced have taught us lessons to become stronger.

Let us keep this positive outlook and move forward and create an ecosystem for all of us to stay relevant and remain competitive.

The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute.

Come January, the National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2014 will reached its fourth year of implementation.

From the onset, the common goal was straightforward – to create an ecosystem in which healthy competition could spur the creation of businesses and jobs that had the competitive instinct and capability to match customer expectation sustainably.

The policy was a product of all views. When it was announced, we knew it was not a path laced with roses. We knew there were thorns.  In order to stay competitive, changes had to be made by all. Investments were not only monetary, but they also included investment of mindset, culture and time.

In fact, those thorns grew sharper than expected. A year into the policy, significant gains were seen. Car prices became competitive, exports started growing and vehicle sales reached an all-time high, only to be hampered by an uncertain economy and shocks in foreign exchange rates.

Short-term setbacks  are part of the business cycle. The development of capabilities and the competitive spirit, however, cannot be eroded by economic fluctuations. For me, that progress is more important. Tough times never last, but tough people will last.

With this in mind, I am glad that this is one of few occasions I am not writing about what has to be done, but what has been done.

Last weekend, I took time out of my schedule to visit my mother in Nilai.

The ride was smooth, serene and most importantly, felt very safe. Most of all, this level of comfort was provided to me by the ingenuity and talent of the Malaysian people.

The new Perodua Myvi felt spacious, has luxurious handling and surpasses expectations.

It comes with a five-star New Car Assessment Programme for Southeast Asian Countries Rating and the variant I own comes with advanced safety assistance - pre-collision warning and braking, front departure alert and pedal mis-operation control.

These features are available in the entry-level model, bringing advanced safety features to all. It is also one of the most efficient vehicles in term of fuel consumption.

The Myvi is designed by Malaysian engineers. I can attest that it was no small feat and took years of hard work, innovation and an immense learning curve. It also required the company's leadership to take bold and ambitious risks in order to deliver.

Last but not least, it required the tremendous support of local vendors - 90 per cent of Myvi components were developed by Malaysian automotive businesses.

It all started with a policy - one that needed the buy-in and support of all. I am thankful that despite the challenges we faced, the spirit and support did not fade.

I hope all Malaysians can go to the nearest showroom and admire the hard work we have all put in to deliver a more competitive automotive industry.

Spend some time testing the car, feel its comfort and the advance features. It is not just a product, but a proud philosophy built by fellow countrymen.

All that is left to say is, my congratulations to Perodua, its vendors and Malaysia.

The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute.

The eighth to 13th centuries were known as the Islamic Golden Age. It was an age where Muslims dominated the pursuit of knowledge and technology that influenced the sciences and engineering in the modern age.

Modern science and mathematics are today based on the works of those such as Muhammad al-Khwarizmi, Ibn Muadh al-Jayyani, and Ibn al-Haytham.

Ibn Zhur, Ibn Sina and al-Zahrawi were among the early founders of breakthroughs in medicine. Let’s also not forget  those who built great Islamic cities, monuments and buildings that have become global icons today.

There is countless historical resource that narrates the Muslim role in the modern progress of technology and knowledge. However, it is discomforting that one of the core concepts that dictates the goals of Muslims – the word Jihad – has been hijacked by some claiming to be ambassadors of Islam, equating it to terror, tyranny and the progress of Muslims only through the sword and subjugation.

In its true sense, the struggle that is enshrined in Islamic Jihad is about the movement of civilisation towards achieving greatness. It need not mean a comparative greatness, as achieving global heights can come hand in hand with the success of others around us in the same space. It simply is the ideal that we are continuously moving forward in a direction that elevates us to a higher level throughout our co-existence.

This week, the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) is held in Kuching with the theme “Disruptive Change: Impact and Challenges”.

A key point of discussion was the digitalisation of the economy, particularly those of Islamic nations.

As one of the leading Muslim nations, ranked first Thomas Reuters’ Global Islamic Economy Indicator – we sit in a position of responsibility to bring back the peace-loving, technologically renowned civilisation we were once recognised for. Our digital transformation programmes speak for themselves – the e-commerce sector generated RM9.53 billion in revenue.

Our automotive industry is one of its kind in the Muslim world. We have two national carmakers capable of their own designs and development, employing more than 700,000 Muslims and non-muslims working towards the same goals.

Most importantly, the Muslim renaissance is all-inclusive, and is demonstrated through the list of speakers at the WIEF.

The demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution requires us to learn from all sources of information, regardless of background or faith, in line with the Prophet’s teaching of the borderless pursuit for knowledge.

Since the turn of the century, Muslims have struggled to defend our way of life. We have been subjected to labels of religious fanaticism, backwardness and barbarism.

We have something to prove to the world. We, too, are progressive and are willing to participate in the world economy on the same terms. We need not fear competition and our jihad is to be competitive. Let us prove that Islam is a religion of peace and it transcends time. Knowledge, technology and economic competitiveness is part of our life.

The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute.

The 2017 Malaysia Autoshow closed its curtains last Sunday, with more than 250,000 in attendance.

When the idea fully government-backed annual motorshow was mooted more than three years ago, little did I expect the show to grow so much within such a short span of time.

Recently, there is rising belief that vehicle showcases have lost its relevance. Some argue that the cost outweigh the benefits, while others argue that the amount of news coverage on the Internet is enough to provide necessary information to the public all year around.

To be frank - I truly beg to defer.

The global automotive industry is going through its most rapid revolution.

We've seen this before in an other industry when the mobile phone suddenly emerged as a lifestyle tool: hundreds of contraptions combined into a singular devide, addressing numerous daily problems from basic arithmetic to hailing taxis to get to the airport on time.

Cars now need to evolved in the same manner. Perhaps, when we were busy driving our own cars for the last century, it wasn't really an issue.

However, as self-driving cars are getting closer to commercial reality, we will surely start considering what we will do with all that free time!

Therefore, consumers of the Malaysian automotive market must also see - and experience - this change in trends. There is no better way than the autoshow, which allows such experience to ultimately turn into the initiation of the purchase decision, all in a single location.

It is a purchase decision with the ultimate array of choices for the consumer - a first-hand explanation by numerous brand dealers, followed by test drives along the 3km test track at the autoshow's new home on the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park ground in Serdang.

With that, I'd like to convey my heartfelt gratitude to all industry players. Thank you to the original equipment manufacturers who, on their own accord,put up a great display for visitors, from test drives of latest energy efficient vehicles models all the way to driving experiences on custom-built off-road tracks, which maximised the customer experience for visitors, particularly in the area of vehicle safety technology.

My deepest gratitude to the vendors and after-sales businesses who paved the way for a deeper appreciation for the industry, allowing Malaysians to understand how these sectors contribute tothe grander scheme of the industry - the biggest pool of high technology jobs and business opportunities in the industry.

A round of applause to those who made the Kuala lumpur International Automotive Symposium (KLIAS2017) and the SoundValley Festival 2017 a tremendous success.

They were amazing introductions to the autoshow, and brought together automotive experts and music lovers into a single locsation - a symbol of the ever-evolving culmination of motoring and lifestyle we expect to see in the future.

The autoshow would not have grown without the full support of the Malaysian government, through the International Trade and Industry Ministry.

Thank you for your undivided attention to the autoshow for the last three years, and it is our pleasure to keep this momentum going with your continued support for the automotive industry.

To my team - the core talent who made all this happen - there are no words to describe how proud I am.

From our beginnings only seven years ago, to maintaining the passion, dedication and competitive spirit needed to organise the largest motor show the nation as seen, is truly remarkable.

Lastly, I thank The Almightly for His grace and blessing on all proceedings.

Congratulations to all who made the 2017 Malaysia Autoshow a huge success, and we hope to see you again next year!

The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute.

By the time you read this article, the Malaysia Autoshow 2017 would have opened its doors to visitors. The autoshow will run from today to November 12 2017 at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park in Serdang (MAEPS).

The event is in line with the National Automotive Policy 2014 (NAP2014) focus of making Malaysia the regional hub for Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEVs).

To become an EEV hub, it is not only about design and production, but also public buy into the idea of energy efficiency.

While the government has received tremendous support from original equipment manufacturing and industry players towards the EEV direction, it is important to also receive public buy-in and support for energy efficiency at all levels.

The Malaysia Autoshow 2017 will continue to spur growth of the culture of energy efficiency, through the various programmes and activities planned at the event. This year, the government is aiming to attract 250,000 visitors, and to maximise its potential, decided to move this year's show to the vast grounds of the MAEPS.

This year, 170 exhibitors will showcase a wide range of products and services from the various sectors that make up the automotive ecosystem.

Similar to any motor show of global standing, they are here to allow participants to experience the full breadth of the automotive economy.

Most importantly, the Malaysia Autoshow serves as a testament to the number of chioces given to consumers. It signifies the government's commitment to showcasing mobility solutions that are increasing in fuel efficiency, safety and security.

For this very reason, the activities at the Malaysia Autoshow is structured to allow Malaysians to gain first-hand experience of the mobility solutions on offer in the market.

Visitors have the opportunity to test-drive various models from different brands in the true spirit of consumer choice. The test drives take place on a 3km test route, so visitors can truly experience the models they are interested in.

Not of all of us, myself included, are privy to the experience of premium models. For a small fee, the Malaysia Automotive Autoshow provides this experience through models such as the Bentley Bentayga and Ford Mustang.

Adventurers seeking an extreme off-road experience can catch the 4x4 Taxi Ride.

Meanwhile, those with a taste for motorsports can try the Karting Slalom - which is open to visitors aged eight and above.

Running concurrently with the Autoshow is The Kuala Lumpur International Automotive Symposium (KLIAS 2017). KLIAS 2017 is an annual meeting in Malaysia of global automotive professionals and players.

This event also serves as a platform for market experts to gather and share the latest trends, technologies, advancements and policies in the industry.

For those seeking career opportunities, they can visit the KLIAS Career Fair on the last two days of the Malaysia Autoshow. Around 3,000 vacancies are available to those interested to join the industry.

Additionally, The SoundValley Festival will also be held in conjunction with the Malaysia Autoshow. SoundValley Festival 2017 will feature eleven local and internationally renowned bands from Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and England.

This combination will provide a lively ambience for all visitors to the Malaysia Autoshow 2017

The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute

The Autoshow That Is Designed for All


Malaysia Automotive Institute takes a step further this year by taking the Malaysia’s largest annual autoshow to a whole new level. Malaysia Autoshow 2017, with the theme of “Smart, Safe and Sustainability Mobility” will take place on the 9th to 12th November from 10am until 9pm at the Malaysia Argo Exposition Park, Serdang (MAEPS).  MAEPS will be the nation's largest autoshow venue, will be the first autoshow in Malaysia to feature a symposium and music festival.

 

The Kuala Lumpur International Automotive Symposium (KLIAS) and SoundValley Festival 2017 will be held concurrently with Malaysia Autoshow 2017, in the same location. 

 

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Malaysia Autoshow 2017

Malaysia Autoshow 2017 brings in more excitement this year, with a total of 170 exhibitors coming to showcase a wide range of automotive elements, providing motor enthusiasts to gain an insight of the products and services that are being offered by their favourite brand.

 

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This is a must-attend event where visitors are allowed to test drive different models of cars from different brands, in search for the ideal car. The test drives take place on a 3 km test route, so visitors can truly experience the models they are testing.

 

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For those who love speed, Karting Slalom is one of many outdoor activities during the event on 11th and 12th of November from 9AM to 6PM. Introduced by the International Karting Commission of the Federation International de l’Automobile (FIA), this event is specially catered for visitors who have never competed in motorsports.

 

Karting Slalom is available not just for adults but also for children from 8 years old and above. Vouchers worth RM2,000 of BHP fuel will be given to winner, RM 1,500 of BHP fuel for second-place and RM 1,000 for third-place.  All qualifiers will also receive a fuel voucher worth RM 30 from BHP. For more details check-out www.autoshow.com.my/kart-slalom/

 

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Besides this, visitors should also grab the opportunity to experience Super Car Taxi Ride. This is an activity by Medan Quantum Sdn Bhd, to provide visitors with a golden opportunity to gain a premium and pleasurable experience of riding Bentley Bentayga or Ford Mustang GT 5.0 for a distance of 3km around the event location for only RM30.

 

bentleyford

 

A Peugeot 208 PureTech worth RM89,888 will also be given away to a lucky participant who purchased the Malaysia Autoshow 2017 ticket.

 

 

Vehicle Inspection is an important aspect of road safety, and car owners need to know the requirements of a car that is fit for safe use on the road. For this reason, Car Care Week will continue to feature at this year's Malaysia Autoshow 2017. All visitors will be given an opportunity to enjoy a 39-point car inspection, for free, during the event.

 

Other than that, a total of RM 30,000 car tint film vouchers will be given away to 15 lucky winners everyday day. Each winner will be able to bring back the car tint film voucher worth RM 500.

 

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Visitors can purchase tickets through airasiaredtix.com or during the event day at the price of only RM10. Children below the age of 12 are allowed in for free!

 

Kuala Lumpur International Automotive Symposium (KLIAS 2017)

The Kuala Lumpur International Automotive Symposium (KLIAS 2017) is the meeting of automotive minds, exchanging of ideas and knowledge, understanding of policy directions, networking and business matching in the automotive industry. Industry players from diversified sectors include transport, automotive, technology, legal and insurance are welcomed to the event.

 

KLIAS 2017 will take place in conjunction with Malaysia Autoshow 2017, from 8th to 12th November in Hall D2, MAEP Serdang from 9:30AM to 5PM.

 

kliaswebsite

 

KLIAS 2017 is an annual meeting in Malaysia of global automotive professionals and players. This event also nserves as a platform for the market experts to gather and share the latest trends, technologies, advancements and policies in the automotive industry. The gathering is an opportunity to connect foreign and local industry players.

 

Employment opportunities are an important feature KLIAS 2017. The KLIAS Career Fair takes place on 11th and 12th November from 10am to 6pm. An estimated 3,000 vacancies are available for those interested to join the automotive industry.

 

For symposium fees and other information, please visit www.klias.com.my

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SoundValley Festival 2017

 

Malaysia Automotive Institute and RSVP Media Sdn Bhd is presenting a one-of-a-kind combo, integrating the Malaysia Autoshow 2017 with SoundValley Festival. 

 

The music festival will take place on 11th and 12th November from 2pm until 11.30pm and will be a new experience for visitors where motor enthusiasts and music fans come together in a common platform to share their interests. 

 

SoundValley Festival 2017 will be featuring eleven local and internationally renowned bands from Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and England. The bands are Bloc Party, Bunkface, Hujan, Barasuara, and The Otherside Orchestra who will be performing on the first day.

 

Another group of bands including Loudness, Wings, May, Metalasia, FiftyOne50 and Cassandra will be performing on the second day of SoundValley Festival 2017.

 

The two-day music festival offers different musical experiences through diverse music genres. This combination will provide a lively ambience for all visitors who visit Malaysia Autoshow 2017.

 

Visitors with SoundValley Festival 2017 tickets will be given a complimentary ticket to Malaysia Autoshow 2017, providing them the best of both worlds.

 

Ticket purchase is available through airaisaredtix.com and outlets at The Gardens; Mid Valley, Sungei Wang, Amcop Mall, Gurney Plaza and Queensbay Mall in Penang.

 

For more information log on to www.soundvalleyfestival.com

 

soundvalley

 

TRANSPORT INFORMATION TO THE MAEPS DURING THE AUTOSHOW

By car:

Visitor parking is available at RM5. Shuttle trams will ferry visitors to the Exhibition Halls througout the day. Just follow the directions of the parking marshalls!

Public transport:

1. We are providing FREE bus shuttle from KTM Serdang station to Malaysia Autoshow 2017!

RapidKL busses will be available every hour from 8:30am – 9pm at KTM Serdang on the weekdays and there will be 4 busses on the weekend operating from 8:30am – 12am! RapidKL Bus will drop you off at the public parking area, GATE 1 while the shuttle service will be available every 15mins at the public parking area, GATE 1 to take you directly to the exhibition halls.

2. An RM8 discount is given to visitors using GRAB CAR. The promo code is AUTOSHOW 

 

INFORMATION FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES: 

Most of the areas in and around the exhibition spaces are accessible to those in wheelchairs. We also provide parking space close to the exhibition halls for persons with disabilities (PWDs). Just identify yourself to the marshals, they will guide you to the parking space near Hall B.

Malaysia Autoshow 2017

Website: http://www.autoshow.com.my/

Ticket: airasiaredtix.com

Contact Person: Mohd Norazli Mohd Salleh

Contact No.: 013- 860 0582

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Kuala Lumpur International Automotive Symposium (KLIAS 2017)

Website: www.klias.com.my

Contact Person: Dato’ Alex Lye

Contact No.: 012-3333108

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Contact Person: Datin Lorela Chia

Contact No.: 012-2783899

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

SoundValley Festival 2017

Website: soundvalleyfestival.com

Ticket: airasiaredtix.com

Contact Person: Roslan

Contact No.:012-2988446

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact Person: Sue

Contact No.:017-6886312

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

 

MAI-UniSA PhD Research Programme is now open for application!

Interested candidates who have Master Degree in the field of Engineering with a high GPA (>3.00), should submit their resumes at the link below.

The deadline to submit your CV is on 10 December 2017.

Please confirm your interest by filling in the following online form and uploading your resume (in doc or pdf format): 

https://goo.gl/forms/xTrasDsGzFzf6HE32

We will contact selected candidates for an interview and briefing session on the 19-20 December 2017 at MAI, Cyberjaya. 

If you have any inquiries, feel free to contact:

Dr Ahmad Zainal Abidin 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

019 814 9457 

  

Bakri Hj Alias 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

017 3655765 

Facebook: Send a private message at www.facebook.com/MAIautomotive

Send your resume in today!

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The MAI-UniSA PhD Research Programme is a research based post-graduate studies recently launched under the Automotive Innovation Centre (AIC). Researchers work directly with the industry to develop novel solutions ascertained from current trends and demands of the automotive sector. 

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The AIC, based in MAI, Cyberjaya is a collaboration platform between Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) and University of South Australia (UniSA) to promote advance research in Nano or molecular engineering of functional surfaces and new disruptive manufacturing technology, Supply Chain Management and Market development for export opportunities.

The AIC provides a research and development platform for a wide range of automotive engineering issues. 

AIC is seeking innovative and highly motivated research candidates with backgrounds in engineering fields related to mechanical, electrical, mechatronic, manufacturing, and materials as well as information technology and business to join the scholarship programme. 

Upon completion of the research program, researchers will be awarded a Doctor of Philosophy from University of South Australia (UniSA).

         FAQ

1. What is MAI-UniSA Automotive PhD Research scholarship program?

This is a collaborative program initiated by Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) and University of South Australia (UniSA), Adelaide, Australia. This program offers scholarship to candidates to do PhD studies (full time basis) on issues of Malaysia automotive industry at UniSA.

2. What are the areas of research identified to be conducted?

The areas of research  include nano or molecular engineering of functional surfaces, new disruptive manufacturing technology, supply chain management and market development for export opportunities.

3. Do I have to find projects myself?

The research project is identified by MAI and the industry and students only need to choose which is the most suitable according to one’s interest and capability.

4. Can I propose projects from the company I work for now?

Yes you can and as long as the proposed project is on automotive and agreed by MAI.

5. Who owns the project after completion?

The project will be jointly owned by the MAI and UniSA. However, depending on the commitment and contribution of the industry the project might also be jointly owned. A formal project agreement between all parties will be drafted and agreed upon.

6. How do I apply?

Send in your resume, MAI-UniSA will evaluate and call you for an interview.

7. What is the minimum qualification for entry?

MAI-UniSA requires minimum CGPA 3.0 in engineering, business or management. However, if you have working experience related to the research you would like to do and your CGPA less than 3.0 can be considered.

8. How long is the PhD study?

The term of the study is full time 33 months.

9. Can I do my PhD while working (part-time)?

This PhD study is a full time program and students are expected be fully committed to the work all the time.

10. When is the starting date?

The research will start upon official enrolment of the candidate with UniSA and approval of student Visa from Australian Government.

To know more on University South Australia click this link: https://www.unisa.edu.au/

The government's attitude towards federal spending has changed significantly over last few years.

Firstly, there was transformation in the way government revenue was generated through the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax in 2015.

Despite numerous polemics, it is one of the lowest rates for value-added tax in the world, with a high number of zero-rated essential goods and services.

Compared to the previous Sales and Services Tax, revenue increase more than twofold. This increase was due to the introduction of a tax model that allowed for a broader tax collection base, reducing loopholes through more accurate tax reporting and improved measures to combat tax evasion.

Secondly, the age-old subsidy model gradually evolved to allow better targeting of those who really needed them. Along with fuel subsidy restructuring, the government introduced numerous cash returns to the bottom 40 per cent household income group.

However, the impact of this additional government revenue was offset by the appreciation of the US dollar against the ringgit in 2015. It was clear that the nation was highly dependent on imports and the domestic economy, and higher value economies needed to be generated that spurred import substitution.

To add salt to the wound, the drastic drop in oil prices further offset government revenue.

It is therefore significant that a large portion of the 2018 Budget continues the allocation for long-term development goals, with key focus on digitalisation, Industry 4.0 and national transformation by 2050.

For example, RM46 billion, or 16 per cent of the budget, has been allocated for development expenditure. Education received RM61 billion, or 21  per cent, which is much higher compared with countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, which ranges between two and 17.6 per cent. Ten per cent of the 2018 Budget goes to healthcare, examplifying our world-class public healthcare system.

Naturally, the benefits of the above do not manifest themselves immediately. It is also rare to be excited about benefits that will come in the future. Not many say they are excited about going to school, but know they must go in order to secure a future of high value. Long-term planning is never sexy. Yet, without it, our upward mobility and competitive edge would definitely be lost.

This year's budget will allow more development enhancement within the automotive industry, in line with Malaysia Automotive Institute's (MAI) four pillars - job creation, career enhancement, business opportunities and business enhancement.

Next year, MAI aims to create 5,000 semi-skilled jobs in line with Technical and Vocational Education and Training. Another 1,730 skilled jobs will be created through MAI's career enhancement programmes focusing on digital engineering, quality management and advanced process design.

More than 300 parts and components manufacturing will undergo enhancement in line with Industry 4.0 in key areas of product design, smart manufacturing and automation capabilities. Futhermore, 1,000 automotive workshops will be enhancement to boost the performance of the after-sales sector.

These programme and the continuation of the National Automotive Policy are geared towards further improving import substitution and exports. Next year, we are aiming to increase localisation to RM11 billion from RM9.5 billion this year, and exports of automotive products to RM13 billion from RM12 billion.

November is that time when businesses start detailing their internal budgets, and it is also when we look at ways to enhance our careers for next year. I invite you to speak to us on further enhancing ourselves to brave the new frontiers of 2018. Speak to us now, and we can get started immediately.

The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute.

The story of modern powered vehicles began in the late 19th century, when the four-stroke cycle engine was built in 1876, with Karl Benz starting the first commercially produced motor vehicles a decade later.

At the time, the vehicles running on internal combustion engines were subject to the same challenges we face today with alternative powertrains - there was a distinct range anxiety and refuelling options.

Perhaps many are also unaware that during this time, the internal combustion engine faced competition with two other powertrain designs - the steam engine, as well as the electric vehicle (EV).

At the time, internal combustion engines shared a similar market share with electric vehicle, with the rest dominated by steam powered engines.

However, the next few decades saw the demise of electric mobility, as internal combustion engines won the battle in overcoming the anxieties of motorists - it was modestly priced, easy to maintain, travelled long distances and ran on a readily available source of energy.

EVs required bulky batteries, had short storage life and could run less that 100km. The mass production of petrol vehicles by Henry Ford further closed the chapter for EVs - as fuel costs and environmental concerns have resulted in uncertainty in the viability of fossil-fuel based transportation.

While more efficient internal combustion engines made way into the market to address the issue of fossil fuel dependence - alternative powertrains, in particular electric vehicles, are increasing in popularity as a solution to future mobility modes.

Many carmakers took large risks in developing such technology, as the development of EVs are not just subject to consumer range anxiety - the key reason for its historical demise - but also the infrastructure and power grid issues.

A century ago, it was about a few people wanting to move as fast and as far as posible. Today, however, it is about billion of motorists searching for the solution to sustainable mobility.

At least we are clearer about the EV direction than we have ever been.

Numerous cities around the world have set targets for zero vehicle emission within the next one or two decades. This will definitely come with the commitment of improved and more environmentally-friendly power generation and distribution technology in the near future.

While battery technology has improved in terms of weight and energy storage capacities, new breakthroughs are also seen in charging capabilities - charging times are now reduced, and on board charging technology, such as fuel cell and regenerative braking, are gaining traction.

Understanding and adapting to these developments are of high importance, especilally for a car-producing nation such as Malaysia. It is for this very reason that energy-efficient vehicles emerged a core feature in the National Automotive Policy 2014 (NAP2014).

More importantly, the electrification of transportation is not just about powertrains.

This version of electrification now comes with an added twist of "electronification". Simply put, today's electric mobility solutions that complement electric powertrains, such as autonomous driving, advanced sensors, data connectivity and integration with intelligent urban transport systems.

The NAP2014 will be reviewed from time to time to ensure that it stays relevant to the capacity enhancement needs of the domestic industry. I look forward for feedback from all stakeholders on how we can create an industry that can respond to disruptions within the global automotive markets.

The writer is the chief executive officer of Malysia Automotive Institute

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