Blog Program Bicara Negarawan: Day 4 (Part 2)

Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

In case you missed it:

Blog Program Bicara Negarawan:
Day 1 [link]
Day 2 [link]
Day 3 [link]
Day 4 (Part 1) [link]



Oh yeah, Tun Dr Mahathir was there some of the time with us too.

So read on for Part 2 of the fourth day of my unbelievable time with the program!

Day 4 (Part 2) – Monday, 29 March 2010

Where PROTON Makes Babies

Lawyers get new regulation safety gear // Image by Thara Zainal, UMS

From where I left off last, I’d just finished the closing ceremony. Now the lot of us were bundled into the JASA buses and off to the PROTON plant in Shah Alam.

Once we got there, we were greeted by a PROTON executive who provided us with an overview of PROTON’s operations within and without the country. Interestingly enough he also presented the EMAS concept car to us – the image of which elicited many “oohs” and “ahhs” from the many people there that afternoon.

With the presentation aside, we were divided into two groups to tour separate areas of the plant: the production floor where they manufactured the Exora models, and the Research and Development (R&D) office.

Those of us going to the production floor were given safety helmets. Naturally, everybody who wasn’t studying engineering immediately put them on and a jolly camwhoring session ensued. I couldn’t help but laugh at their child-like enthusiasm.

Manufacturing and Technology

Everybody's in their cute white helmets! // Image by "JR" Tey Jun Ren, UKM

The tour of the plant was amazing. Watching all those robotic arms automatically put together entire cars on the assembly line was a real nerd-gasm for me. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come in terms of technology, isn’t it?

We got to see practically the entire assembly line except where they do the painting of the body – the engineer wouldn’t let us in there because it was a “clean environment” (read: dust- and germ-free).

Not that we missed much though. Nearing the end of the assembly line, we watched workers put together the rest of the car: seats, doors, window panels, wheels, engines.

And at the end of it all the car was quality tested for handling, speed and braking before being taken off the floor for a high-pressure car wash! I felt sorely tempted to jump into the car wash myself, but judging from how hard the water was being shot out (ejaculated?) I’d probably be crushed against the walls of the wash.

Virtual Reality and 3D

Avatar in 3D? I wish! // Image by Sivananthan, UniKL

After that, we hopped back onto the bus for the tour to the R&D office. We were ushered into the Virtual Reality Presentation Room of the office, where we were given these giganto-saurus 3D goggles to wear. Again, cue much cheeky laughter and silly jokes.

PROTON treated us to a 3D presentation on the job scope of their R&D department. Apparently this particular room we were in was used to showcase and discuss new car models as they were presented in 3D – prototyping without having to build an actual prototype!

It’s been awhile since I last saw a movie in 3D, so I guess this kinda made up for it? And it was informative to boot!

We didn’t have much time to dick around after that though, cos we were due back at PROTON’s corporate office for tea break and our closing briefing.

Tea Break

The closing briefing was more of a Q&A session where we could ask about PROTON. A few of us took this opportunity to ask about the EMAS concept car; others asked about the discrepancy in pricing cars sold locally and internationally.

I asked about the significance of the EMAS concept car to PROTON’s overall strategic planning. The answer I got was PROTON was looking into completely redesigning the image of its upcoming models – similar to the sleek curves of the EMAS; building a production model of the EMAS targeted at small families; and overall improving its operational efficiency and cost reduction strategies.

We then adjourned to a brief tea break before returning to Impiana Hotel. I found out later that the other group that went to see the R&D office first missed out on the chance to see the production line – the factory closes at 5.00pm, and by the time they got there it was too late! I feel lucky to have been in the group that got to see everything as per the schedule.

And the Grand Event..

Me, JR and Haris caught in the flash! // Image by Sivananthan, UniKL

After enduring the horrifying bus ride back to the hotel – someone turned the TV on to show modern dikir barat songs performed by the most hilariously dressed male duo ever (I compared the music videos to watching cheap Indon porn flicks, LOL!) –  we had just enough time to bathe and rest a little before dinner at 8.00pm.

In that time, we all received the cash prize we’d been awaiting for days – RM500 for every participant, RM5000 for the top five winners and RM3000 more for the Best Overall Student.

Have you ever seen an envelope containing RM5000 in cash?


..and counting it out took awhile too.

That night we were free to roam Kuala Lumpur by ourselves. Those of us who stayed in the hotel could either rest in our rooms, while others could enjoy.. KARAOKE!

The superbly sweet and adorable Thara! // Image by Thara Zainal, UMS

Settled on "Hotel California" in the end! // Image by Yusuf Hashim, UTP

Even the babe-licious Hani Iryani got into the act! // Image by Thara Zainal, UMS

I can't remember what song this was! // Image by Thara Zainal, UMS

Haris Azman belting out a popular hit! // Image by Thara Zainal, UMS

Tuan Sayid gettin' jiggy! // Image by Thara Zainal, UMS

All this courtesy of Tuan Sayid. So frickin’ awesome, this dude. And to think I thought of him as a boring bureaucrat at the beginning of the program!

Sleep came easily enough.. at 3.00am. Spent the night before that chatting up my roomies, Vincent Ooi and J.R.! Awesome peeps yo!

But the next day was the last of our program, and as much as we needed sleep that night, we weren’t looking forward to the coming day..

[to be continued, stay tuned for Day 5!]


About Jared

I am all the awesomesauce you could ever want in a handsome, neat package, and you know it.
This entry was posted in Bicara Negarawan, Personal. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Blog Program Bicara Negarawan: Day 4 (Part 2)

  1. malvinder88 says:

    awesome as awesomesouce as always. Yes i did count RM 5000 before, lol in 100 notes. Congrats !

  2. giko says:

    Wow! Carrying RM500 or RM5,000 or RM8,000 and walking around in KL & at night too… it’s scary.

    What’s scarier is that JASA carried about RM40K cash to the hotel…

    Luckily there’s no info leak, or no money for you people…

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