PIARC First Delegate for Malaysia seeks participation of road industry’s corporate sector in related institutions / associations

Dato’ Sri Ir. Dr. Roslan Md Taha, in his capacity as PIARC’s First Delegate for Malaysia and Vice President of Road Engineering Association of Asia & Australasia (REAAA) cum Director General of Public Works Department, Malaysia moved swiftly to touch base with the Malaysian road engineering fraternity by way of a briefing session on 16 January 2016 to encourage its active participation in related local and international institutions and associations. This enlightening session drew some 70 attendees comprising road concessionaires, consultants, academicians, contractors, suppliers and service providers.

Dato’ Sri Ir. Dr. Roslan in his welcoming address said that the objective of the session was to highlight the mutual benefits that could be accrued by the Malaysian road industry through its participation and commitment in the activities of Permanent International Association of Road Congress (PIARC), Road Engineering Association of Asia & Australasia (REAAA), Road Engineering Association of Malaysia (REAM), Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) Malaysian Branch, Intelligent Transport System Association of Malaysia (ITS Malaysia) and International Road Federation (IRF). He then invited the representatives of some of these associations to brief the attendees on the respective activities.

The PWD Director of Road Facility Maintenance Branch Ir Zulakmal Sufian who has over the years being the coordinator of PIARC activities for the First Delegate explained briefly the formation of PIARC and Malaysia’s involvement in its activities. He highlighted that Malaysia was the second Asian country to be bestowed the honour of playing host to the 21st World Road Congress (WRC) in 1999. This meet in Kuala Lumpur was a resounding success for having attracted the largest ever number of delegates and exhibitors as a result of the road industry’s public and corporate sectors working in harmony. This followed an enhanced collaboration with PIARC with some 10 Malaysian experts serving in various technical committees of PIARC. He invited the corporate sector to nominate its officers to serve in these committees. He concluded by informing that Malaysia is pitching to host the 23rd WRC in 2023.

Ir. Dr. Che Haasandi Abdullah, Senior Director, PWD Centre of Engineering Excellence & Technology (CREaTE) and the Honorary Secretary General of REAAA said the association was established on 15 June 1973 when some 300 participants from 19 countries attending the conference on road engineering in Asia and Australasia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, unanimously resolved that the REAAA be formed with a permanent secretariat in Kuala Lumpur. He said that the main objective, among others was to promote and advance the science and practice of road engineering and related professions. REAAA today has six (6) chapters, viz. Malaysia, Australia, Brunei, Korea, New Zealand and Philippines with close to 1,100 members and some 400 individual members worldwide. The members of the local chapters are automatically members of REAAA. The presidency of REAAA is rotated among the presidents of the chapters once every 3 – 4 years. The current president is from the Indonesian chapter and the 15th REAAA Conference in Bali, Indonesia in March 2017 will see the official handing over of the presidency to the Philippines chapter. He invited participation from the Malaysian road engineering community as delegates and exhibitors in the above forthcoming conference.

The REAM Honorary Secretary General Dato’ Ir. Dr. Ashaari Mohamad said that REAAA (Malaysian Chapter) was the forerunner of Road Engineering Association of Malaysia (REAM) and that the name change was made in 1997 towards meeting national aspirations. As REAM members are automatically members of REAAA, it has the largest membership in REAAA. To date there are over 800 members in REAM’s register. REAM also doubles as PIARC’s national committee. REAM members had and continue to serve in PIARC technical committees. REAM has also been given complimentary membership by IRF. Over the years, REAM has updated and produced some 21 road related guidelines, specifications and manuals for sale at cost to the industry players.  It had and continues to organise numerous technical events such as conferences, seminars, workshops etc. of interest to the road industry in collaboration with PIARC, ITS, CIHT, IRF and other associations. The most recent collaborations were the hosting of the PIARC International Seminar on Slopes, Road Foundation Drainage and Stormwater Management alongside the 9th Malaysian Road Conference in November 2014 and the jointly organised 2nd IRF Asia Regional Congress & Exhibition in October 2016 in Kuala Lumpur. Both these efforts culminated in a resounding success. REAM has been organising delegations to technical events worldwide, focusing in particular events organised by PIARC. In 2015, REAM organised a 100-strong delegation to the 25th World Road Congress in Seoul, Korea. REAM is currently organising three overseas delegations, the 15th REAAA Conference in Bali, Indonesia in March, World Transport Convention in Beijing, China in June and 23rd Belgian Road Congress – Road Networks Operations in Brussels in October 2017. He expressed hope that those present will support REAM’s efforts to organise sizable delegations to these events.

The attendees responded positively to the invitation to support by way of participation in all forthcoming activities relating to roads. They agreed to address the request for nominations to serve in the PIARC technical committees with their respective organisations. However, they were of the view that organisers should ensure information on their activities reaches the target audience, provide guidance on the submission of technical papers for presentation at events and to look into the possibility of tax waiver on the cost involved for participation. 

From left (clockwise) REAM President Datuk Ir. Haji Adanan Mohamed Hussain, REAM Honorary Secretary General Dato’Ir. Dr. Ashaari Mohamad, PIARC First Delegate for Malaysia Dato’ Sri Ir. Dr. Roslan Md. Taha, PIARC Coordinator Ir. Zulakmal Haji Sufian and REAAA Honorary Secretary General Ir. Dr. Che Hassandi Abdullah