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Foreign experts applaud ETP

KUALA LUMPUR: Foreign experts who gathered in Kuala Lumpur for an international convention on structural steel recently have applauded the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) launched by the government, particularly the Greater Kuala Lumpur / Klang Valley (KL/KV) Plan.

They said Malaysia is on the right track provided the ETP is implemented effectively and efficiently. However, they cautioned that the implementation must focus on sustainability and adding value, and not just building superstructures.

Andrew Colling, a registered architect who specialises in project management and design of major sports facilities and venues including the coming London 2012 Olympic Stadium, said Malaysia has enormous untapped potential that require motivation, innovation and new solutions to be realised.

“The ETP masterplan is a superb idea and the steel and steel-related industries can play a big role in its implementation and the industry should use this to its advantage. Sustainability must be the main agenda to ensure that our future generations are not on the losing end,” said the Australia-based Principal of Colling-IPS architectural firm.

Another speaker, Prof Ir Dr Mick Eekhout of the Netherlands argued that the current situation in Malaysia allows time for the government and industry players to think and consult each other.

“The whole industry should be encouraged to question each other’s role and study the impact of what others have done within and beyond Malaysia. That way Malaysia will be propelled to produce a liveable and workable built environment,” said the President of Dutch-based Octatube International who is also a professor of architecture at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

Colling and Eekhout were among the invited speakers at the Malaysian Structural Steel Association (MSSA) International Convention held at the Putra World Trade Centre here on Nov 2. About 250 delegates attended the one-day event organised by MSSA.

Other speakers included Prof Sheng-Jin Chen of the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology; Keiji Ando of Nippon Steel Corporation, Japan; Prof Mingxuan He of Baosteel Metal, China; and Bernard Chung of Tata Steel International, Singapore.

The Director-General of Works Datuk Seri Judin Abdul Karim had earlier in his keynote address at the convention called on steel and steel-related industry players to partake in the identified projects under the ETP especially the Greater KL/KV.

“With the support and initiative provided by the Government, the industry should be united and look at the opportunities available and join forces as we march towards the goal of making the country a developed nation by 2020.

"With various key projects identified, players in the steel industry too will benefit in the ETP by contributing to projects like the Greater KL/KV,” Judin had told the convention.

The ETP is a comprehensive roadmap that aims at transforming Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020, and Greater KL/KV is one of its key impetuses.

The Greater KL/KV vision is to make Kuala Lumpur among the world's Top 20 cities in terms of liveability and economic performance by attracting dynamic international and regional companies to locate their global or regional headquarters here and growing its population to 10 million by 2020 through internal and external immigration programmes with a focus on higher-value jobs.

Under the Greater KL/KV plan, intra-city connectivity will be improved with a mass rapid transit (MRT) system. Gaps in basic services will also be addressed to ensure a well-functioning and liveable city, including establishing a comprehensive network of pedestrian walkways within the KL city to boost tourism and commercial potential.
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