Sunday, 18th February 2018,12:24:43am

President's Speech

28 May 2016

Ar Mohd Zulhemlee An

By the grace of the Almighty, I have been elected as the PAM President for the second term. I’m truly honored that members have given me this trust and mandate, and I promise to do my best to serve members and work together with the new PAM Council to elevate the profession to a higher level. I believe that the last term was a successful term, and I would also like to thank all PAM council members and committee members who had volunteered their time for PAM, and to all pam past presidents who have given me their advice and guidance for me during the last term.

It is with great pleasure that I welcome and thank our guest of honor Yg Behormat Datuk Dr Abu Bakar bin Mohamad Diah, Deputy Minister of MOSTI for taking time off to be with us this evening. Also many thanks and appreciation to the Chairman and committee of the PAM Annual Dinner and PAM Secretariat for making this event a success.

PAM Council delegates paid a courtesy visit to MOSTI and shared with YB Minister that architecture is a part of the creative industry, and that architecture plays a very big role in creating quality built environment and quality of life for the public. We also shared that the creative industry in Malaysia has a very big potential to be developed as a major contributor to the country’s economy.

I’m very happy to share with everyone this evening that MOSTI under the current Minister Datuk Seri Madius Tangau is now working on advocating design and innovations to turn both into a national agenda. Design and innovations are the intrinsic parts of the creative industry and are very influential and effective medium to achieve quality of life. I would like to applaud MOSTI for taking the initiative and would like to offer PAM’s assistance to MOSTI to achieve this objective as we truly believe in the power of good design.

There need to be continued research and innovations in the construction industry, and we need the support of the government to come up with new materials and better solutions to the issues facing the industry such as poor quality of works, rising cost of construction, dependency on foreign labors, site safety issues and many more. There is still a lot that needs to be done and together with MOSTI and the other creative professionals we are committed to turn design and innovations into a national agenda.

A PAM Past President once said to me that the architecture profession is about trust. Clients will appoint architects that they trust. Trust that we will provide our best services for the Client. Trust that our design will meet the functions and requirements of the Client or end users. Trust that the quality of design and construction workmanship will be of the quality acceptable to the Clients.

Some clients will be entrusting their lifetime savings to build their dream homes, to the architects. Corporate clients will be entrusting the architects with hundreds of millions RM worth of projects. That trust has to be earned. As architects we must be able to deliver good and quality design for the whole public so that everyone get to work and live in better workspaces and homes regardless of the type and cost of the projects. We need to proof that architecture is inclusive and not only for the privileged. To quote award winning architect Marlon Blackwell, one of our DATUM: KL speaker last year “Architecture can happen anywhere and at any cost”.

At the same time we must show to society that in any projects and developments, the cultural, heritage and the natural environment will be protected for our future generations. Our culture and heritage are the two elements of our identity without which we will lose our place in the world. Our identity gives us the strength and we want our future generations to have the strength, courage and wisdom of our forefathers to take on the world in the current globalized world. We have to continue to design and build responsibly so that we contribute to the improvement of the natural and built environment, and leave our country and environment as a better place for our future generations. I believe this is how we earn the trust of the whole public.

As such it is very important that we architects protect and uphold the trust and responsibilities given to our profession by both the industry and the public. We have to maintain our professionalism, abide by our code of ethics and live with integrity at all times. As professionals we have to treat others with honesty, respect and honor. The profession can’t afford to lose the trust given by the public and we must protect that at all cost.

This will be another exciting term for PAM. We are looking forward to moving into our permanent home, the new PAM Center by September this year. We will have more space for our programs and activities in our new home. The soft launch of the new PAM Center will tentatively be on the 29 th July 2016. You are all invited to the event. I want to take this opportunity to thank Ar Haji Hussein Hamzah, Ar Dr Tan Loke Mun, Ar Chris Yap, Ar Tan Sri Chan Sau Lai, Ar Amzar Ahmad, Ar Heikal Hassan and the team of consultants and Ar Sze Toh Kok Yin and all donors either in cash or kind for their contributions for our new PAM Center.

What are my plans for this year? My first priority will be to address the issue regarding our professional fees. Just like any other businesses architecture practice depends on cash flows. PAM needs to work closely with LAM to devise a mechanism for architects to get paid on time for work done and to be paid according to the scale of minimum fees. We architects must be united as a profession to get what is rightfully ours. If we don’t do it now, I fear that the profession will lose its relevance in the future as it will be seen as non-rewarding, albeit the heavy responsibility and its big contributions to nation building.

In view of the various issues and challenges facing the construction industry including competition from foreign architects, it is critical that architects continue to upgrade our knowledge and skills and become business savvy. Projects are getting bigger and more complicated. The Clients and Contractors have been improving themselves over the years to keep up with new technologies and to remain competitive. Similarly architects have to update ourselves with new skills and knowledge to continue our role as the leader of the construction industry. This will be the other priority which I would like to concentrate on this term. I’ve already had the initial discussions with a few senior practitioners to conduct an advanced professional training program which will include contract administration, site management and business management for our members. I truly hope that members will support the program to improve the way that we practice and conduct our business.

Finally I would like to end my speech with paying tribute to my late partner Allahyarham Dato Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anwar bin Wan Ahmad who lost his life in the tragic helicopter accident in Sarawak. Allahyarham together with his wife are two of my biggest supporters ever since I joined PAM as a Council Member. Allahyarham was a true gentleman, a loving father, and had taught me the meaning of commitment, sacrifice and had given me the encouragement to continue when I was facing a difficult period recently. I want to share with everyone a video in paying tribute to Allahyarham Dato Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anwar bin Wan Ahmad which was prepared by his 4 sons. Before we start the video I would like to request that we observe a moment of silence, and for our Moslems friends to recite surah Al Fatihah for Allahyarham Dato Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anwar bin Wan Ahmad. Thank You.