Monday, 19 January 2015

Meeting with MAHB to Review MBA and DBA Programmes, MAHB HQ, Sepang, 19 January 2015

Both MITRANS and the Arshad Ayub Graduate Business School (AAGBS) jointly run a MBA and DBA programmes with 'Airport Concentration' for our client, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB). For the last semester, core papers were being run under the stewardship of AAGBS as the postgraduates were being taught fundamental business subjects. Soon, the modules for the concentration will be taught by experts from MITRANS with the assistance and expertise of selected individuals.

The purpose of today's meeting was to review the way both programmes were being delivered and also the performance of the students after the exams. Thank you to MAHB for hosting the meeting at their beautiful headquarters at Sepang. The meeting room is in a 'bubble' like structure at the side of the main building. It has a futuristic design and the 'bubble' building is surrounded on the outside by a small moat.

The meeting was chaired by Pn Ir Suradini Abdul Ghani. Also present were Prof Dr Saadiah Yahya (Director of MITRANS) and Assoc Prof Dr Jaafar Pyeman (Director of AAGBS and former Head of Postgraduate Studies at MITRANS).

Other representatives from MITRANS were Assoc Prof Dr Jasmee Jaafar (Deputy Director), Assoc Prof Dr Sariwati Mohd Shariff (head of Postgraduate Studies), Assoc Prof Sabariah Mohammad (Head of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Malaysia Examining Body and Training Programmes), Pn Siti Haslinda Abdul Halim (Executive Officer in Charge of Postgraduate Studies) and yours truly (Head of Legal and Corporate Communications). Additional representatives from AAGBS included Dr Amina Josetta Ghulam Ahmad and Miss Norshidah (Executive Officer for MAHB Programmes).

Among the matters discussed include the progress of students in each module over the course of the semester, specific administrative matters for both the MBA and DBA programmes, academic matters such as teaching personnel, supervision of research papers and proposed seminars involving internationally renowned professors in the field of airport management. Some of the students have performed very well and are in the running for special academic awards. This is not surprising as these candidates are the best and brightest of MAHB, many of them being in high management positions within the corporation.

Friday, 16 January 2015

FELCRA Visits MITRANS, 16 January 2015

FELCRA Berhad is a holding company that has diverse businesses under its wing.  Arguably, it is most well for various aspects of the agricultural business. Recently, the company took a leap of faith and set up a new logistics company, popularly known as 'FELCRA Haulage'. As a first step, the company has decided to create ties with an academic institution in order to leverage on logistics expertise in MITRANS.

Tuan Amerul Azry Abdul Aziz, Manager, Haulage Department of Engineering & Mills Group of FELCRA Berhad, we hope that this is the start of a long and fruitful friendship.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Delegation from Thailand's Academia Visits MITRANS, 8 January 2015

A delegation comprising representatives from two universities in Thailand, Ubon Ratchathani University and Prince of Songkla University, visited MITRANS today. The delegation was headed by Dr Sittha Jaensirisak, an Assistant Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Ubon Ratchathani University, Warin Chamrap. Other senior members of the delegation included Dr Paramet Luathep, a lecturer with the Transportation Engineering Programme at Prince of Songkla University and Mr Charnpoan Nilprapaporn, a project specialist at AMP Consultants Ltd. Accompanying these three individuals were a number of postgraduates who were in the process of  conducting research in the area of transport planning.

The meeting proper started with the usual exchange of business cards.

After the exchange, both parties got down to the business of discussion areas of collaboration. Among the areas identified were:

1. Exchange of research students.
2. Co-supervision of research postgraduates.
3. Exchange of lecturers.
4. Joint consultancy work and joint research projects.

For this purpose, both sides agree that a memorandum of understanding (MOU) must be signed in order to put the relationship on paper, i.e. documenting it for posterity. The MOU will have to be a tripartite MOU as there will be three signatories.

After the meeting, both sides exchange gifts, little tokens of appreciation which serve as a remembrance for the event.

Just before leaving, we had to take the 'obligatory' group photo. As you can see below, there were multiple poses.

Thanks to Prof Saadiah, Dr Siti, Pn Farizan, Pn Azmin and Dr Juraidah (Head of Postgraduate Studies, Faculty of Civil Engineering, UiTM, Shah Alam) for making the event a success.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Advisory Council Meeting, 7th Floor, New Chancellery Building, 6 January 2015

The Advisory Council meets once a year to review what MITRANS has done for the past year. This exercise enables MITRANS to remain relevant to industry stakeholders for the year ahead as the majority of Council members are prominent members of the transport and logistics industry. There are members from those in operations, regulatory and auxiliary services.

Today's event began as usual with the various participants arriving for registration and breakfast. After coffee at the lounge downstairs, the council members made their way up to the top floor of the new Senate building for the meeting. This special meeting room has a corporate look and feel. Just next door is a small hall for signing ceremonies. The view from here is spectacular as one is able to command a panoramic view of Sections 2 and 7 outside the front gate of the university campus.

The meeting commenced with opening speeches from Prof Dr Hadariah Bahron (Assistant Vice Chancellor, Research), Director of the Research Management Institute (RMI) at UiTM. The learned professor was representing the Vice Chancellor, who was unable to make it for this meeting as he had committed himself to another engagement.

The meeting then proceeded with a presentation by Prof Dr Saadiah Yahya (Director) on what MITRANS has been doing for the past year. Further elaboration was also given by Dr Harlina Suzanna Jaafar (Deputy Director) on matters relating to halal supply chain.

After the presentations, the floor was open for discussion. Among the matter which arose were:

(a) The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the involvement of MITRANS in the ASEAN Transport Facilitation Working Group (TFWG);
(b) Public transport research;
(c) Postgraduate programmes, in particular Industrial Ph.D;
(d) Training programmes;
(e) Updates from various departments / centres in MITRANS;
(f) New council members from KFC International College and Northport Malaysia Berhad.

The Advisory Council meeting concluded with useful feedback from the various council members. All the suggestions are greatly appreciated as it provides pointers as to what lays ahead and therefore what must be done by MITRANS to stay in touch with the pulse of industry. MITRANS is grateful and thankful to all the council members for taking the time to attend this meeting despite their busy schedules.

To show our gratitude, MITRANS prepared goodie bags for the council members. This provided a memento of the meeting, especially for those who were attending the meeting for the first time.

After the meeting, council members and participants of the meeting returned to the lounge area downstairs for lunch. This is also where discussion continued on issues that were raised during the meeting.

Thanks everyone. Hope to see you again next year when we are going to report how the implementation of your suggestions panned out.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Presentation of Revenue Leakage Study to KTMB Board, 18 December 2014

A few months ago, Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) approached MITRANS with a grave concern. The railway operator believed that it was losing substantial revenue to those who did not pay for their tickets when travelling on board KTMB trains. MITRANS designed a methodology for measuring the leakage and set out to collect the data. The figures were then analysed and result generated.

Just a few days before the board meeting, Dr Siti Zaharah and her team from MITRANS visited Datuk Dr Elias Kadir (affectionately known as Datuk EK) to brief him of the results.

A few days later, the report was presented before KTMB's board of directors. It was then up to the board to adopt whichever strategy they thought was effective in dealing with the revenue leakage. Thanks to the board and Datuk EK for having faith in the expertise of MITRANS to delivers the goods when it matters.

Last Day for Practical Students at MITRANS, 18 December 2014

Almost every semester, there will be students from various faculties around UiTM who apply for a stint at MITRANS as part and parcel of their 'practical' requirements under their degree programmes. MITRANS usually hosts applicants from the business school who are registered in the Bachelor of Business (Transport) programmes. However, sometimes MITRANS also receive students outside the traditional field of transportation and logistics studies.

This semester, students from the Planning Department of UiTM descended onto MITRANS at the start of the semester. Over the course of the last three months, these awesome foursome have served as research assistants on various projects, thus increasing their practical exposure to the process of sample selection, data collection and data analysis. As today was officially their last day at MITRANS, lunch was held to say thanks and goodbye.

This is the happy foursome who have been working hard at MITRANS for the last few months:

  • Siti Nor Wahyu binti Nazri
  • Rahimah Nadia binti Lasiow
  • Siti Nadzirah binti Jamari
  • Mohd Zulfazly bin Abdul Ghani

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Asian Institute of Logistics Visits MITRANS, 17 December 2014

Mr Subra Arumugam (Executive Director) and Puan Che Zaiton Ismail (Director) dropped by MITRANS to discuss possibilities for collaboration. Areas of interest include development of human resources for the logistics industry, as well as certification or formal recognition for logisticians in industry. Competency and skill based recognition of human resources were areas of particular interest for both organisations. Matters which also arose during the discussions included developing training  programmes for trainers.

The Asian Institute of Logistics Sdn Bhd (AIL) is a company registered in Malaysia (Company registration number 977822-T). Its business address is at Suite 1020, Level 10, Block B2, Leisure Commerce Square, Jalan PJS 8/9, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Its parent company is PEMM Consultants Sdn Bhd (PEMM), an organisation specialising in consultancy relating to planning, economics, marketing and management. Both parent company and subsidiary have partnerships with various global partners, in particular professional training bodies in Australia. Many of the current trainers working with AIL and PEMM are from industry.

Representing MITRANS at this meeting were: Prof Dr Saadiah Yahya (Director), Dr Harlina Suzana Jaafar (Deputy Director) and Puan Azmin Faranaz (Executive Officer).