Buletin Pemikir Negara Edisi ke-2, 2018


Buletin Pemikir Negara ini merupakan edisi kedua selepas edisi pertama dilancarkan pada Jun tahun lepas.

Buletin pada kali ini memaparkan aktiviti dan program yang dianjurkan MPN bermula pertengahan tahun 2017 sehingga awal tahun 2018 dengan kerjasama pelbagai pihak.

Pada masa sama, buletin ini menjadi platfom kepada ahli MPN untuk mengetengahkan isu-isu strategik negara untuk dikongsikan kepada semua.


“Alignment” of University Courses to 4 IR

By: Prof Dr. Zuraidah Mohd Zain

When the term “Forth

Industrial Revolution

(4IR)” was first talked

about in UniMAP, it was

in the context of the changing

landscape of future jobs, and

how important it was to prepare

students to work and thrive

in an environment where new

technologies would be fused in

a way that was unlike anything

anybody had ever experienced

before. No one took much notice

at the newly coined term per

se, because in UniMAP, a future

scenario such as this was the

basis upon which our syllabus was

designed, our courses formulated,

our programmes organised, and

our research aligned. In essence,

it was nothing surprising. Rather, it

was something that was expected

as the ‘natural progression’ of

the current turn of technological

events, and hence was being

prepared for accordingly.

Some months must have passed

before the 2016 Council of

Presidents meeting of the Global

University Consortium (GU8) was

organised, of which UniMAP is a

member-university. During the

meeting, 4IR was explicitly put

forth by a representative of the

German Fraunhofer Institute for

Factory Operation & Automation

(IFF), which has research links

with another GU8 memberuniversity.

It was during this time

that “Industrie 4.0”, which is the

name given in a program under

the German government’s high

technology strategy, was discussed

at length. The discussion was

geared along the lines of how

GU8 member-universities could

work hand-in-hand with the IFF in

“interconnected manufacturing”


By 2017, the terms 4IR and

Industry 4.0 managed to make

their way to almost every nook

and cranny of the world of the

academia. Talks, conferences,

seminars, forums, introductory

remarks, programme book

foreword pages, keynote speeches,

even convocation speeches

contain, at the very least, some

common 4IR keywords such

as “big data”, “data analytics”,

“system integration”, “augmented

reality”, “cyber-security”, and

a host others. Of course, there

is always the Bahasa Malaysia

issue of the translation of some

of the names. For a name such

as the “Internet of Things”, the

translation, “Objek Rangkaian

Internet” may sound acceptable

by the lay reader. But what of

“cloud computing”, of which the

translation is “pengkomputeran

awan”? It takes some time for

one to come to terms and get

comfortable with these weird new


Terms aside, the readiness of

universities in the light of the 4IR

“onslaught” remains the prime

issue of discussions everywhere.

But there is no need to get

over excited. Perhaps it has to

be reiterated that, be it 4IR or

Industry 4.0 (strictly speaking,

these two are not one and the

same), the technology and

engineering curriculum offered in

most if not all of Malaysian public

universities are, by virtue of the

Education Ministry’s insistence on

university-industry partnership,

already appropriately “aligned”

to 4IR expectations. Unless,

of course, if the curriculum is

not frequently reviewed, or if

the committee reviewing the

curriculum does not involve

members of the industry. If so,

then the related courses should not

at all be offered by the university,

regardless of whether or not there

are such “brandings” called “4IR”,

“Industry 4.0”, or others that are

likely to be created in the months

and years to come.

School of Manufacturing

Engineering, Universiti

Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP).


Majlis Profesor Negara