The Malaysia Association for Trenchless Technologies (MATT) has been established to have a body truly representative of all stakeholders from the sector throughout the country, to promote trenchless technologies and methods, represent the interests of its members, provide an important forum for exchange of knowledge and expertise nationally and internationally, and offer a platform for professional training and educational programmes.
Faizal Othman was elected President of MATT at its inaugural AGM. During his tenure as CEO of IWK, Faizal has advocated the wider use of trenchless technology not only for construction work but also as an enhancement of IWK’s operational practices.
Matt becomes official
The use of trenchless methods and technologies are important and effective tools, technically, environmentally, and economically, in construction, management and rehabilitation of a wide variety of assets including water, gas and oil pipeline infrastructures, for Malaysia and the wider region.
MATT was officially registered with the Malaysian Register of Societies (ROS) in December 2018 and is proud to have joined the ranks of ISTT in July of 2019. MATT’s Mission Statement is ‘To advance knowledge, awareness and use of Trenchless Technologies and methods throughout Malaysia, in the public interest’. Above all, MATT’s stated aim is to advance knowledge, awareness and use of Trenchless Technologies and methods throughout Malaysia.
This encompasses representation from Government ministries and departments, utilities and infrastructure assets managers, private contractors and consultancies and other professional organisations. MATT maintains an open-door policy to all interested parties to become members of the Association and participate in its events and activities. In line with this, MATT has held several events to benefit members and trenchless technology practitioners in the country. In July 2019, MATT held its first Trenchless Technology Seminar at the Pantai Sewage Treatment Plant. MATT was also proud to send delegates to the ISTT Board meeting and NoDig 2018 in Florence Italy.
Provide a platform for education and training of Trenchless professionals
Four of the six stated aims of MATT either directly emphasise the importance of education and training, or indirectly acknowledge its impact, in contributing to the wider stated objective of promoting the use, application and understanding of Trenchless technologies. This echoes ISTT’s own mission statement:
“To advance the science and practice of trenchless technology for the public benefit, and to promote education, training, study and research in the said science and practice for the public benefit, and to publish the useful results of the same.”
MATT aims to create a forum for knowledge exchange and sharing of expertise relevant to all aspects of Trenchless Technologies and methods, nationally and internationally.
We all have the shared experience of pre-pandemic plans and ambitions being frustrated, delayed, or put on hold over the last 18 months, due to the restrictions imposed locally and across the globe. This, however, has not stopped new channels and opportunities opening.
MATT was pleased to sign a memorandum of understanding with JBP Consultancy Services Asia Sdn. Bhd, one of its founding members, through which JBP will support the society, as its training partner, with training programmes and in assisting MATT to achieve its stated aims as a platform for education in the sector.
JBP, between June and August of this year, successfully trained 50 engineers and technicians in sewer pipeline condition assessment, the majority of whom were from Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) – Malaysia’s national sewerage company, and one of MATT’s founding members. JBP was able to overcome national COVID restrictions still in place, using its recently launched on-line platform for trenchless training.
Promote the use of Trenchless Technologies and methods in Malaysia
IWK has itself launched an initiative to develop its training facilities in Kuala Lumpur, as a regional hub for training programmes.
Rebranded as ASTRICE – Asian Sewerage Training, Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence, its aim is to be a venue to facilitate that all important exchange of knowledge, training and research within the trenchless sector. JBP has an MOU with IWK, to support this aim, and MATT looks forward to its cooperation with IWK and use of the ASTRICE centre for future training and events for its members.
Frank Reilly, Director, Trenchless Training Programme & JBP Consultancy Services Asia Sdn. Bhd. (MATT Corporate Member) commented: “MATT and its members are now looking forward to 2022, with optimism and excitement and anticipation at the return of the sector’s premier event in the region – Trenchless Asia, after the frustrating but understandable postponements of the last 18 months. In preparation for Trenchless Asia next July MATT will play its role in networking with all the key stakeholder, to ensure maximum support, attendance and importantly the impact of Trenchless Asia in the promotion of the use of trenchless technologies in Malaysia and more widely across the region. The society looks forward, in the months and year ahead, to co-operation, networking opportunities, and sharing of knowledge and experience, with our colleagues in ASEAN regional societies in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and throughout the international community of ISTT affiliated societies, to continue its focus on educating and informing all interested stakeholders on the importance and benefits of Trenchless!”
Paul Harwood, Managing Director of Westrade Group, Publisher Trenchless Works and organiser of Trenchless Asia, reflected on his long term affiliations with Malaysian officials and why he is excited for their future: “Malaysia has taken great strides in the past few decades in adopting more and more trenchless solutions to meet its infrastructure challenges. There are great trenchless opportunities in the immediate, medium and long-term future in Malaysia, especially as trenchless meets many of the Green objectives embedded as a priority in much of the government’s infrastructure development agenda. Jurutera Ir. Mohd Zuki Muda – Head of Capital Works at Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) said it best when he remarked about the beginning of new thinking that Trenchless Technology is a Green and Low Carbon Footprint construction practice.”
The establishment of MATT represents a significant step in the evolution of the trenchless sector in Malaysia, since Trenchless Asia was first hosted in Kuala Lumpur in 2016.
Paul continued “There is also recognition of the importance of training and knowledge transfer, to raise standards and improve use and application of Trenchless. MATT has received its formal confirmation of recognition from Malaysia’s Registry of Societies (ROS) as a national association for the representation, recognition and promotion of all aspects trenchless, nationwide. I am personally excited about the commitment from MaTT to bring an increase of government representatives and contractors alongside an increased media coverage that I feel will be beneficial to all participants. I fully expect their membership to gain a significant increase through their participation and promotion at Trenchless Asia 2021 and am excited about working with them for the first time on Trenchless Asia.”