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Speech by YB Dr Ong Kian Ming at the First National Symposium on Marine Technology 2018

10 Nov 2018

A very good morning and Salam sejahtera,

1. First of all, please allow me to thank the organisers, both Technology Depository Agency (TDA) and UniKL, for inviting me to deliver the keynote address in this inaugural National Symposium on Marine Technology (NSMT) 2018. It is my pleasure to be able to address the Marine industry community at this Symposium. Well done, TDA and UniKL for organizing this Symposium, and congratulations.

2. The theme chosen for the Symposium “Competitiveness of shipbuilding through design” is fitting to describe Malaysia’s aspiration to be a competitive nation in the marine industry. This Symposium marks a significant milestone in transforming the Malaysian shipbuilding sector into a competitive industry.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

3. The significance of the marine industry to the Malaysian economy can be seen from its contribution in supporting the development of Malaysia’s global trade as 90% of the world trade is done through sea transport. The marine industry also supports the development of other strategic industries such as the Oil and Gas Industry.

4. The shipbuilding and ship repair industry in Malaysia is a subset of the marine industry and currently employs over 15,000 people and recorded a total trade of RM6.1 billion in 2017 of which RM1 million is from the export of marine related products. Malaysia is now ranked the 18th largest shipbuilding country and captured 0.05% of the world’s shipbuilding market.

5. As you are aware, the Malaysian SBSR industry is mainly driven by local players with the capabilities to cater for the naval and commercial sectors. There are around 100 shipyards in Malaysia with majority of them (68) in Sabah and Sarawak while the remaining (31) are in Peninsular. There is still plenty of opportunity for the sector to grow particularly in the parts and components manufacturing, system integration and other marine equipment production.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

6. Developed economies have invested a lot on design capabilities and have continued to do so with a significant edge over developing countries. Competition from large shipbuilding economies like China, Korea and Japan is inevitable. Therefore, in order to remain in the business, Malaysian shipbuilders must focus our resources in developing and enhancing our knowledge and core competencies in strategic areas of the sector.

7. One of the key opportunities in transforming the Malaysian marine industry is by developing ‘design capability’. Our lack of design capabilities, specifically in the ship and marine design sector has created a strong dependency on foreign design capabilities and loss of market opportunities. Currently, ship designs for almost all naval and enforcement vessels are obtained from overseas. If this situation continues, it will affect the development of the marine industry, components manufacturing and the generation of knowledge-based industry.

8. The need to fully equip the marine industry with design capabilities is of utmost importance. This would then facilitate initiatives to build deep design capabilities, pursue technology development in emerging growth areas and create new jobs.

9. Therefore, the initiative to have a design center that will become one of the Centre of Excellence in Maritime – AMDeC in UniKL, in partnership between the Government, industry and academia, is the right strategy for us to adopt.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

10. I would like to congratulate DESTINI SHIPBUILDING and ASIA MARINE DESIGN CENTER (AMDeC) of Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) for initiating a strategic collaboration for the design of several classes of patrol vessels and specialized craft for the consumption of local and export market.

11. I am glad that I have been given the opportunity to officiate the First National Symposium in Marine Technology 2018 (NSMT2018). I am positive this effort will drive the productivity of the industry, encourage innovation and address the industry’s needs. It is an excellent example of how Government agencies and universities can collaborate to transform the industry. I would like to encourage all of you to take the opportunity to network during this programme.

12. As we are all aware, most industries are inevitably being transformed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution driven by the digital revolution and the Internet of Things in line with the current global modernization. To ensure Malaysia remains competitive in the global arena, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) is encouraging and promoting adoption of the latest technology through Industry 4.0 in all sub-sectors of the manufacturing. I am happy to announce that YAB Prime Minister will be launching the National Policy on Industry 4.0 on 31 October 2018 in MITI. This Policy is also an outcome of collaboration between Government, industry and academia and envisages to take our industries to a higher level.

13. To conclude, I would like to once again congratulate UniKL and TDA for the excellent effort in elevating the domestic marine industry. This initiative will directly benefit the national industry and indirectly be of support to other major industries.

14. I trust that this Symposium will provide a good platform for a two-way conversation between the industry stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.

15. I wish you a successful conference and a productive day ahead. Thank you.

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