Thursday, 18 April 2019

A showcase of Malaysian firms’ capabilities

On Sunday, the Malaysia Autoshow 2019 closed it curtains for the fifth time – signalling its continued presence in promoting latest technologies for the last half decade since it was introduced in 2015.

Since its introduction, the autoshow has not only grown in size, but there has been new elements and concepts continuously infused into the show, adding a uniqueness and new angles that bring it closer to the high standards of global and regional autoshows.

Along with more than 100 latest models and variants from the origanal equipment manufacturer in Malaysia, for the first time at the show, the public was introduced to the Perodua X-Concept car.

We hope that more such displays will be added to future autoshows, allowing Malaysians a showcase that rivals the great motor shows of the world.

The autoshow also hosted the International Auto Modified (IAM), a custom car display that signalled international participation of aftermarket showcases at the Malaysia Autoshow.

In line with the Autoshow’s theme – “Mobility for All” - the most significant twist to the show was in the MARii Mobility Hall.

Visitors were given a first-hand account of the entire value chain of the automotive industry at the MARii Mobility narrative, from automotive styling all the way to the aftermarket sector.

I was very happy to see that many, young and old, were able to see and touch a life size clay model for the very first time.

The Mobility narrative closed with a glimpse into the technology of the future, showcasing connectivity of the mobility sector that will be seen in our homes, schools, retail experience as well as law enforcement.

Most importantly, the narrative showcased the breadth and depth of the capabilities of Malaysian companies - not only throughout the current automotive value chain, but also the potentials in the evolving mobility sector.

This showcase was a culmination of the various talents and businesses within the Malaysian ecosystem - a showcase by the industry as an investment in the future.

While most businesses operate on a business-to-business (B2B) platform, their investment in a public display such as this serves to create interest of our society in science, engineering and technology.

This investment is long term and would hopefully come back to us through the generation of a critical mass of Malaysians with a passion to build the future mobility ecosystem on their own.

The best part was that many of these companies are local small and medium enterprises that took a great risk in plunging into the Internet of Things sector, seeing the potential of the future, but venturing head first into the unknown, purely based on passion.

I feel extremely proud and humbled that they were able opened the eyes of attendees to potential of the automotive sector to contribute to the country's economic future.

The MARii Activity Arena was a new experience for me, as much as it was for many of the visitors to the Autoshow.

It marked the first time we got to see robots - built by our own youth – face off in head-to head combat.

Visitors to the show were also able to experience robot programming, skills demonstrations, STEM playgrounds and e-sports competitions - adding a vocational angle to the learning process in line with the Technical and Vocational Education and Training initiatives.

Overall, I hope that the new dimensions brought to this year's autoshow would attract more interest into Malaysia's connected future.

I would like to take this opportunity to convey my gratitude to everyone that made this year's show a success. See you at Malaysia Autoshow 2020!

The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii).

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