News: ECRL Project Needs More Local Skilled Labour

Jun 7, 2019

For it to be successful, the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) will require coordinated planning and a scale-up of skilled local labour. Detailed planning and research should be undertaken to ensure that the investment and resources placed by Malaysia into the mega project would achieve maximum benefit, according to Professor Mohd Idrus Mohd Masirin, President of Malaysian Academic Associations Congress.

He believes that the project would translate into the growth of jobs for graduates of Malaysia’s institutions of higher learning, reported Bernama.

Institutions of higher learning, including vocational and technical training institutes, all had a major supporting role in the project, according to Mohd Idrus, a professor at the Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty at Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM).

He noted that four institutions, had a vital role in ensuring that there is a steady stream of skilled graduates for the infrastructure works at the ECRL project.

These institutions are Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP), Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) and Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM), all of which are under the Malaysian Technical University Network.

Mohd Idrus said a significant measure of the project’s success would be the benefits it bring to the public.

This would require coordinated planning between the local authorities, the parties developing the systems, the operator of such systems and those involved in the development and construction of the project.

Read: Best Places To Live Near MRT Stations 

He believes that the transit-oriented development (TOD) concept, long used in countries like Korea, China and Japan, should also be adopted for the ECRL project.

This comes as the adoption of the concept would make more people want to commute via the ECRL, which in turn would contribute towards the operations’ viability.

As such, the plan to develop the 20 cities selected to house an ECRL station should be undertaken early.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced on 12 April that the project would be continued at a lower cost, following a supplementary agreement between China Communications Construction Company Ltd and Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd.

The PMO stated that the construction costs for the project’s first two phases had been reduced to RM44 billion from RM65.5 billion.


Image source from Kosmo


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