Kuantan, 23 July 2020 - More systematic road construction planning taking into account the importance and overflow to residents and related parties, especially in terms of infra stability and future maintenance costs are among the resolutions discussed in the East Coast Rail Link project development roundtable conference (ECRL): Socio-Economic Impact on Pahang State Population Organized by Pahang State Government and Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP).

Also discussed is to minimize the impact on the environment, especially involving basic resources to humans and the whole of life as well as the proposal to study the impact and potential on the area between one to two kilometres from the road to the local station.

A total of four main clusters namely Physical Development (infrastructure, buildings, roads, rail), Human Resource Development (employment opportunities, education, welfare), Entrepreneurial Development (entrepreneurs, contractors) and Governance (governance, integrity) are discussed in the ongoing dialogue at Astaka Hall UMP, Gambang Campus recently.

Present to officiate the dialogue was the Chairman of the Basic Facilities, Public Delivery and Innovation System (KASPAIN) Committee, Dato' Sri Norol Azali Sulaiman.

Also present was UMP Chairman, Dato' Sri Ibrahim Ahmad who chaired the dialogue and UMP Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ir. Dr. Wan Azhar Wan Yusoff.

According to Dato' Sri Norol, all the information discussed in the roundtable conference which will be named as 'Pahang Dialogue' will be refined to identify appropriate actions.

“The organization of this program will also be expanded by focusing on other topics in the future.

“Several economic fundamentals in the state such as forestry, agriculture, mining, and tourism need to be worked on and added value to reduce the negative impact including the development of ECRL projects shared in cyber and social media.

"In ensuring that this project can contribute significantly, all views and ideas can be thrown so that this project can contribute not only in the transportation sector but also the overflow of development enjoyed by the people on the East Coast," he said.

He hoped for the involvement of all parties in the process of national development and policy making, especially from the aspect of brainstorming to the relevant parties so that improvement actions can be utilized with the people in the state.

Other topics are also discussed in order to hear independent views from various parties and not just involving political perceptions.

It also involves expertise, collection of information and data so that action can be taken well in ensuring a comprehensive impact on society.

According to Professor Ir. Dr. Wan Azhar, on the other hand, the organization of this conference is generally based on the deep awareness of the UMP management to position this university as one of the main strategic partners of the Pahang State Government in the context of brainstorming ideas, expertise, research, innovation, and intellectual capital, constructively for the advancement of Pahang state.

“In the 18 years since the establishment of UMP in 2002, the cooperation relationship between UMP and the Pahang State Government has been established through various programs and initiatives.

"The UMP Strategic Plan 2021-2025 which will be launched in October 2020 also focuses specifically in the context of the role of UMP as a key thinker partner to the Pahang State Government," he said.

With a population of 1.62 million people, perfect networking, increased trade value, and interest of foreign investors as well as the overflow of natural and mineral wealth owned by the state of Pahang has always had great potential to move forward, especially with high-tech transportation facilities such as ECRL.

The organization of this conference also provides an opportunity for academicians to study, think, and create with various disciplines of knowledge, technical, and scientific expertise predominated by academicians and researchers at this university.

The panel members this time are the Director of Infra Project Malaysia Rail Link Sdn. Bhd., Nor Rizan Mohd Akhir, Chief Executive Officer of DreamEDGE Sdn. Bhd., Datuk Khairil Adri Adnan, Chief Operating Officer of MRT SBK Line Rapid Rail Sdn. Bhd., Kumpulan Prasarana, Azmi Mohd Zain, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International) UMP, Professor Ts. Dr. Mohd Rosli Hainin and lecturer of the Faculty of Built Environment and Surveying, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Associate Professor Dr. Muhammad Zaly Shah who specializes in logistics and transportation planning.

Other members of the Board of Directors of UMP (Community Representative), Dato’ Sri Md. Sharif Shamsudin, Chairman of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) East Branch, Ir. Kua Jit How (NGO/Industry Representative) and Vice-President II of the Malaysian Treasury of Nature Preservation Organization (PEKA), Sophine Tann (Environment).