Plans to improve local rail industry under way, NRCOE rebranded as MRDC, says MOT

KUALA LUMPUR: Plans are being drafted to improve the rail industry, which will include a procurement policy that will prioritise quality and qualified local companies to undertake projects, says Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

"This is timely because the development of rail projects in the Asean region is rapidly developing and we need to seize the opportunity to penetrate the Asean market," said Dr Wee.

Towards this end, Dr Wee said the Cabinet has agreed in principle to rebrand the National Rail Centre of Excellence (NRCOE) as an organisation known as the Malaysian Rail Development Corporation (MRDC).

According to Dr Wee, the Transport Ministry's Land Division, together with MRDC, is currently drafting plans to improve the rail industry roadmap holistically, where the procurement policy will emphasise quality and qualified companies in the local rail industry.

Dr Wee said the MRDC will fall under the purview of the Transport Ministry and it will act as an integrated and planned coordinating body to develop the rail industry.

"The MRDC will be developing professional, skilled and semi-skilled talent in the rail industry, improving standards, quality assurance as well as coordinating rail technology studies and research by higher learning institutions or academia through collaboration with local industry players in order to keep up with the needs of the industry," said Dr Wee.

Dr Wee was speaking during his speech at the launch of the Rail Technology Expo (RTX) at KL Sentral on Thursday (Aug 11) afternoon.

Dr Wee also said MRDC will be a company limited by guarantee (CLBG), where it will function with the support of Putrajaya.

Noting that the international rail industry has begun implementing carbon footprint reduction measures, Dr Wee said it is time for local industry players to implement similar measures, so that the local rail industry will not be left out from development.

"It (carbon footprint reduction measures) will also help the country achieve an unconditional 45% reduction in carbon intensity of the gross domestic product by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2050," said Dr Wee.

"I hope in future, local industry players will support the maintenance and repair programme of rail assets and increase the lifespan and operability of rail assets to up to 30 to 40 years, so we can reduce the outflow of money from the country and provide savings to the government," he added.

Meanwhile, Dr Wee said the RTX that began on Aug 11 (Thursday) saw the participation of 55 companies consisting of government agencies, local and international companies, as well as higher learning institutions.

According to Dr Wee, 12 companies are involved in the "Mini Career Carnival" in RTX, which will take place from Aug 11 till 14.

"The Transport Ministry is aiming to attract 3,000 visitors consisting of government officials, the private sector, university students and the public, who will participate in various events throughout this four-day event," added Dr Wee.

Dr Wee said the RTX event was to allow the public to better understand rail technology and to involve them in efforts to develop the rail transport sector through brainstorming sessions, businesses matching activities, and various seminars.

Dr Wee said the RTX, which was the first exhibition of its kind, was a success, and it will be held once every two years.

"I'm confident that the RTX will be bigger and livelier in 2024," added Dr Wee.

The RTX is a four-day rail technology exhibition event from Aug 11 to 14, organised by the Transport Ministry in collaboration with the NRCOE, the Malaysia Rail Industry Corporation and the Technology Depository Agency (TDA).

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NRCOE , Dr Wee Ka Siong , MRDC


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