Thursday, 26th April 2018,5:02:01pm

President's Speech

Outlook for PAM 2018: Bigger and Accessible to All

I wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year filled with happiness and good fortune. I hope you have started this brand new year in good spirit with family and friends. Perhaps it is not too late for us to reflect and to look ahead on what the year has in store for us.

When I took office in April 2017, I surprised many with my ‘no vision’ outlook as President. My intention then was to complete the outstanding tasks in line with the visions set by the past presidents and work my way from there. I am glad I took that route since it has dramatically shortened my learning curve to helm the Institute.
It was tough for me when I took the fast route to the leadership of PAM. With only a brief one year stint as Office Bearer previously, it left me with no choice but to work closely with our Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Secretary to continue working on the projects and programmes planned by the Past President and the previous council.

On the bright side, coming in fresh into the Presidency gave me the opportunity to relook into many of the Council’s operations from a different perspective. My first agenda was to pool our resources and redistribute the tasks accordingly. PAM Council Members were assigned tasks and portfolio according to their interest, and all Ordinary Council Members were assigned to chair at least one committee.

Contrarily, all the Past Presidents on Council and Office Bearers were not assigned to chair any committee. I have the view that Immediate Past President and Past Presidents on Council should be the advisors for PAM Council and not chairing the committees.

The Office Bearers are also not given the task to chair any committee as they are the core of PAM leadership to execute our policies and to monitor the progress of PAM Council. This leaves our Office Bearers with more time to focus on their secretarial and financial management duties in PAM. Instead of leading committees, Office Bearers should guide and assist any committee or sub-committee needing assistance. This approach has actually enabled the Office Bearers to have their input across various committees, hence, making way for faster decision making.

It is satisfactory to note that after nine months, the present Council has completed most of the outstanding tasks that we targeted to complete. With this new year, we plan to have a line up of new programmes to make PAM as the centre for architecture excellence. It is an investment PAM is willing make in order to lay the foundation that will benefit of our profession.

Apart from realising the need to reform PAM leadership, I also came to another realisation. I realise that members are not aware of the magnitude that PAM has grown since its inception in 1967. I discovered this based on the reaction of members when I presented PAM’s 30 years financial position at the briefing session to members in December last year.

Although PAM is a non-profit organisation, it carries much weight in society. It is after all an organisation comprised of one of the major stakeholders in the construction industry and of nation building. As major stakeholder, our voice needs to be heard by the higher ups in government. Our profession has always put the interest of the public at the fore. Thus, PAM needs to be visible and accessible to both the government and the people.

As a result of our active engagement with policy makers and members of industry, we have received better coverage in the media. We have also received more request from the government and industry players seeking our opinion and advice in many aspects. Most recently, a local authority and Persatuan Insurans Am Malaysia (PIAM) approached us to seek advice on preventive actions to reduce fire risk on buildings. I see this as an encouraging sign that Architects are once again a profession that the public looks up to.

Our investment in KLAF has also yielded a good income and proven beneficial to members. Free CPD lectures for all members and free DATUM:KL for new corporate members are the immediate benefits you can enjoy right away. Perhaps not so obvious, but yet even more beneficial, is the increased appreciation and value that the public have towards architects and architecture. Our ideas and advice are sought after by government and the people because we are now among them, and visible to them. They see us and they can approach us. This is what I want PAM to be in 2018 – bigger and accessible to all.

Ar. Ezumi Harzani Ismail
President, Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia