Malaysia's first animation theme park, the first in Asia as well - Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS), is due to start operations in Ipoh early next year.
In a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the theme park co-developer RSG MAPS Sdn Bhd and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, training and employment would be provided to students and graduates from Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara (IKBN).
The theme park will help develop local talents to run it once it opens.
Titled the “Student Adoption Programme”, RSG’s chairman Ramelle Ramli said the park would offer at least 40 internships as well as 20 full-time positions for students from the institute each year.
Aside from on-the-job training, Ramelle explained that those interning for three months would be paid a monthly allowance, while those who fulfilled the park’s job requirements would be offered full-time positions, with salaries five to 10% higher than market rates.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who with Ramelle oversaw the signing ceremony, said the agreement was part of transforming IKBN and creating closer cooperation with the private sector.
In his opening speech, Khairy pointed out that running a theme park stocked with characters from an international studio such as Dreamworks Animation required “world-class” staff.
He said this was one of a number of similar agreements signed with other multinational companies.
MAPS’s chief executive officer Darren McLean said that the first phase of the project would consist of the theme park with over 40 attractions, including 23 rides and live shows, at a cost of RM450mil.
McLean said the second phase, which is still in the planning and approval stages, would consist of the hotel and serviced apartment suites.
Some of the main attractions for the theme park will feature DreamWorks Animation characters such as Megamind, the Croods family, Casper the Friendly Ghost, while for live-thrills, a live car and bike stunt show to entertain a 2,000-seat arena.