Friday, 11 May 2018

New dawn arises with fresh synergy for Malaysia

Malaysians have now made its decision. The time for campaigns and promises is over, and now would be the time for implementation – there is still a long way to go, many obstacles to overcome, and many issues to indulge in that require sustainable solutions.
Where ever you are on the political divide, where ever you stand on issues – policies must be framed, affirmed, and unified towards the common goals of making Malaysia a competitive country; after all that is the end that we are all looking towards, and this goal transcends ethnic, social or political divide.
Malaysians has felt the heat of this election. Whether you’re a candidate or voter, this has definitely been a whole new experience, especially as policies, outcomes and ideas have been immensely discussed, defended and justified. It is a clear sign of an ever maturing democracy spreading throughout our country.
As an advocate of global competitiveness of the automotive industry, there was no escaping the different perspectives from many stakeholders that were all in solidarity towards progress, yet had differing views on its approach.
While there has been an unprecedented level in the diversity of views, I believe there is room for improvement in allowing deeper conversation on issues, and more avenues to be created so that substantiated argumentation based on facts and analysis take centre stage, and preconceived bias and sentiment to be separated before judgements are made.
The glass half full approach always leads to solutions to problems, instead of focus on problems without solution.
For me, dialogue is a healthy process. Despite the romanticisation of the “lightbulb of ideas”, the best ideas are often a product of the amalgamation of thoughts and discourse – as long as we are set on moving forward, different perspectives build on each other and evolve into something progressive, effective and inclusive for all.
As we move on to the dawn of a new term – let this discussion and dialogue continue on, and let them lead to new achievements and milestones. Policies must remain consistent in principle, especially for an industry that builds over a longer time span, decades in fact.
The nation must resume its development now. The world is moving on its continuous progress towards the future, not waiting for us to reconcile through an election process that has just completed.
This week, Malaysia proved without a shadow of a doubt that democracy prevails. The fact that our views have been expressed, debated and analysed more than ever, show that our democracy is continuously maturing.
With that said, let us move forward with the decision that Malaysia has made, and work with the government that has been mandated. Let’s move forward with acceptance of this decision, and develop frameworks that construct, and not destruct. Anything else will halt the progress that we have created – political divide is not an excuse to burn bridges that we have worked hard to create as an industry and economy.
As the nation moves towards the formation of its new government, we are sure that our leaders – old and new – will all work towards the continuous enhancement of our economy.
As we reconcile and sink into the historical moment, we hope that the tremendous milestones that we have reached – a collaboration of ideas, foresight and efforts between government bodies, research institutions, industry players and public participation – continues on over the long term.
Today, there is no mentality that can replace the passion and drive to compete, continuously innovate, and bring consumers what they demand. This applies both within and outside our borders.
I hope the automotive industry will continue its traditions of dialogue, building ideas and intellectual development of Malaysia’s talent and entrepreneurship. I also believe that as an industry that often spurs the technological penetration of many economies, it continues to move forward to elevate the country to a global level, an inspiration for the people of Malaysia.
Let’s forget what we have missed, appreciate what we have done, and look forward for what to do next.
The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

A leap for the industry, a leap for the nation

Last week, the government announced the Malaysian automotive industry’s leap into the future.
It is an initiative that would take Malaysia into the next technological phase, spurred by Connected Mobility at the core of the industry – redefining the automotive sector as the Mobility Industry.
Connected Mobility is Malaysia’s new direction in our industrialisation process. In a nutshell, it is the amalgamation of the various transport modes, be it private or public, into an integrated system of systems.
As transportation becomes autonomous – i.e. navigation of vehicles are all digitally controlled – they create new spaces for different forms of lifestyles to exist.
Your car, bus, or any commute can also be your board room, dining hall, shopping mall, hotel room or whatever autonomous technology will allow.
All these elements transmit data, and such data must be transmitted and shared across the many mobility elements that will peruse them for their own decision making. Functions such as navigation, alerts, optical recognition, and machine learning all consume data that are processed into knowledge and decision making at human or machine levels.
This makes connected mobility not only a technological breakthrough, but also a breakthrough in societal evolution. This requires rethinking in almost all aspects, technologically or otherwise. Businesses, careers, education, finance, commerce, legal and government structures all must evolve along with this new transformation of human endeavour.
On a grander scale, mobility technology also opens up technological possibilities across the various non-automotive sector. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, for example, open up avenues for ground mapping in agriculture, logistics in remote areas, weather forecasting, or even law enforcement.
With the National Automotive Plan 2018 (NAP2018) currently under its consultation process, it is now time for us to start discussing the way forward for the automotive industry.
In a previous column, I presented my case for taking such a leap now – early mover advantage will have its privileges. Achieving this point of privilege is, of course the most difficult part, but it is key that everybody is willing to discuss taking this leap.
This government’s vision of connected mobility is expected be the centrepiece of the NAP2018, with key focuses on artificial intelligence, next generation vehicles, mobility-as-a-service (Maas) and Industrial Revolution 4.0 with the data as a driving force behind all initiatives and enablers of the connected mobility vision.
The implementation of such a vision is expected to span across government, industry and academic spheres in way that are unprecedented, and will require all specialisations to break out of past isolations to combine into multi-disciplinary working groups with a common goal. After all, it is called Connected Mobility for a reason, it must connect us in all sense of its meaning.
With that said, I implore all stakeholders, both public or private, to contact us and discuss your ideas, thoughts and possible contributions to this future. Your feedback is key to ensuring that this tall order towards the next phase of the nation’s industrialisation is realistically created.
Before us now lies a clearer vision from the current government – it is not something that we plucked out of thin air, but one that is in line with global trends that we will formulate to our own identity.
Through NAP2014, we proved as a nation that the automotive industry is more resilient than ever. Competition was celebrated, and better choices in technology and safety made our automotive market better for our consumers.
There is no doubt that this new vision of connected mobility will have its paths of resistance. Let us make sure that this resistance is not a product of our own self doubt.
After all, sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith. Make that leap into the blue ocean of connected mobility.
The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute.