MIT endorsement for Malaysia

EFFICIENCY and decisiveness by local authorities convinced the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to pick Malaysia as its Asian hub for logistics and supply chain management.

MIT Centre of Transportation and Logistics director Prof Dr Yossi Sheffi said MIT’s meetings with Government and Bank Negara officials went well despite negative reports.

“The perception was that Malaysia was bureaucratic and slow and we were afraid of this,” he said in a press conference after the opening of the Global Supply chain SumMIT at the Shah Alam Convention Centre, on Tuesday.

“However, our experience showed us the opposite and they were extremely efficient.”

This, he said, convinced MIT to set up the Malaysian Institute for Supply Chain Innovation (Misi) in Shah Alam despite interest from Singapore and local governments n China.

Dedicated to postgraduate supply chain education and research, Misi will serve as MIT’s Asian hub in the university’s international network of centres, which is known as the Global SCALE (Supply Chain and Logistics Excellence) Network.

The other centres in the network are the MIT Centre for Transportation and Logistics (MIT CTL), the Zaragoza Logistics Centre in Spain and the Centre for Latin American Logistics Innovation in Colombia.

Prof Yossi said that Misi was now hiring faculty members and plans were on course o have its first Master’s students in August 2012, with its PhD programme to follow a year later.

He added that each professor who was hired would spend time at MIT before they started teaching and doing research at Misi to ensure the quality delivery of programmes.

“Some of our leading researchers will also be moving to Malaysia and for the first two years, we (MIT) will be running the centre here. Some of our leading researchers will also be moving to Malaysia – as early as next month – and at least for the first two years, we (MIT) will be running the centre here by bringing in more faculty members,” he said.

“MIT’s philosophy is not to create an institution which will depend on MIT forever.

“We want these institutions to one day compete with MIT and be our colleagues,” said Prof Yossi.

Higher Education deputy director-general (private higher education institutions) Prof Datin Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir and Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation chairman Tan Sri Dr Zulkefli A. Hassan were also at the event.

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