The Malaysian Water Association (MWA) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) to mark the long-established partnership and cooperation in numerous water-associated program and activities. The memorandum was signed by Prof. Datuk Ir. Dr. Wahid Omar, Vice Chancellor of UTM and Datuk Ir. Abdul Kadir Mohd Din, President of MWA.
Water is invaluable to all economic sectors and is regarded as one of the strategic resources that plays an important role in facilitating environmental sustainability towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Over decades, both water and energy systems have been taken for granted and the perceived values are greatly felt when these resources are slowly depleting affecting human needs and the environment. Water disasters and disruptions in Malaysia metamorphosed into crises inducing critics and attention of the entire nation when water rationing seems to have become not an uncommon occurrence in some part of the country.
Since its establishment as an NGO in 1988, MWA has more than 1400 members representing a cross-section of water industry from water operators, consultants, engineers, academia to researchers. With this large pool of expert and experienced resources within her membership, this has greatly enable MWA in contributing and facilitating the transformation of the water sector by consistently infusing a spirit of advocacy, technical expertise and capacity building in several areas of the industry that still needs urgent attention for sustainable solutions and betterment of water in Malaysia. We do this by working collectively and collaboratively with multiple stakeholders and government in policy direction, technical support, training and research, among others. The signing ceremony marked the instigation of several cooperation between MWA and UTM on the cusp of translating academic credentials into industry-driven certifications for water practitioners. Through the memorandum, UTM that was represented by the Faculty of Civil Engineering (FKA) and the Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT) announced their commitment to contribute to the development of human resources, employment and training, promotion of science and technology, collaborative research and knowledge transfer to support sustainable growth of water industry in Malaysia. The meaningful partnership was formed based on the recognition of MWA as the voice for water industry in this country. Realising the importance of linkages between industries and academia, MWA through the Malaysian Water Academy (MyWA) aims to create a coherent academic program with UTM that advocates professional qualification for water managers and practitioners. With an appealing water-oriented academic program by FKA and flexible learning approach such as the Certified Professional Training (CPT) program pioneered by MJIIT, UTM feels proud to be involved with MWA in the joint effort to provide industry-driven certification for water practitioners. In the long run, the conduct of water-related academic program would be tailor-made to accommodate the needs for water professionals in enquiring CPT certification by professional bodies such as the National Water Services Commission (SPAN).
As Governing Member of the International Water Association (IWA), MWA has convened numerous conferences, seminars and activities with UTM since 2000. The first conference on membrane technology was conducted in Johor Bahru back in 2001, which gathered renowned experts and professionals from Sweden, South Africa and United Kingdom. In between seminars and symposiums, UTM under the auspices of IWA and MWA hosted the IWA Young Water Professionals Conferences in 2010 and 2015. Inspiring young professionals from various countries gathered in UTM since 2012 to benefit from the IWA-UTM International Publication Workshop Series, aims to encourage a more vibrant and dynamic scientific communication and engagement in water sciences. The fifth workshop was jointly organised by MJIIT and MWA to commemorate the 7th IWA-ASPIRE Conference & Exhibition, which was attended by more than 800 participants at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in September 2017. During the conference, UTM hosted renowned Professors and keynote speakers of whom were also IWA Fellows and Visiting Professors of UTM.
Following the signing of memorandum, MWA aims to tailor the existing Master of Engineering and CPT program at UTM as certification mode for water operators. The memorable signing is witnessed by Prof. Dr. Khairul Anuar Kassim, Dean of FKA, Prof. Dr. Ali Selamat, Dean of MJIIT and Dr Hapidah Mohamad, Executive Director of MyWA.