ALOR GAJAH: The Works Ministry will introduce the Smart Highway Sandbox programme nationwide under the MyJalan campaign, said its minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi.   

He said the initiative was an innovative platform to enable the integration of technology in the implementation of road construction and maintenance in an inclusive manner.

“The Works Ministry welcomes the involvement of local and international industry players as well as government agencies to turn the programme into reality, in line with the government’s aim to empower the Industrial Revolution 4.0 with the use of high precision and efficient technology.  

“We are still at the stage of gathering ideas from all road construction industry players in order for this programme to have a positive impact on all parties and also benefit the 33.4 million Malaysians who use the country’s roads,” he told reporters at the Centre of Excellence for Engineering Technology (CREaTE), here today.   

He said this after launching the 2023 Works Department Technical Competency Certification programme, which was also attended by Works Ministry Chief Secretary Datuk Seri Hasnol Zam Zam Ahmad and Director-General Datuk Ahmad Redza Ghulam Rasool.

He elaborated that the effectiveness of existing knowledge and expertise among the Works Ministry and related agencies’ staff can be tested through the programme.  

Prior to this, the programme’s pilot project was implemented by Plus Malaysia Berhad in collaboration with the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre, the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox and the Construction Research Institute of Malaysia.

Commenting earlier on the Technical Competency Certification, Nanta said it was hoped the programme would strengthen the department's reputation as a premier government technical agency. 

He added that the programme was started eight years ago and has generated 2,513 highly specialised officers in the technical field.  

The programme covers various disciplines, such as engineering, architecture and building material surveying, he said. 

He said any details of the proposed HSR financing model need to be scrutinised to ensure that it benefits Malaysia since most of the project's tracks are located within the country.

Elaborating, Loke said once the RFI process is completed, the proposal for the construction of the HSR will be presented to the Cabinet for approval prior to discussing the matter with Singapore.

“Even though the initial agreement has been terminated, any decision still requires the approval of the neighbouring country, as the agreed-upon principle for the construction of the HSR is that it connects the two nations,” he said.

Meanwhile, responding to an interjection from Abdul Latiff Abdul Rahman (PN-Kuala Krai) on a viral message saying that vehicle owners who fail to comply with the regulations on the use of tinted windows will be jailed, Loke said the claim was untrue.

“I have confirmed with the JPJ (Road Transport Department) that vehicle owners who have committed such an offence have never been brought to court, let alone sentenced to prison.

“It is actually a basic regulation; any party that has been issued a compound and refuses to pay it can be brought to court and fined up to RM2,000 or sentenced to six months in jail,” he said.

In response to the suggestion by Khairil Nizam Khirudin (PN-Jerantut) on the use of weigh-in-motion cameras on the road to monitor lorry drivers carrying excessive loads, Loke said it is currently in the tendering process.