Study Visit to the State of Johor
The Competency Enhancement Centre (CEC) and Diploma in Diplomacy (DiD) 2020 participants organised a study visit to Johor from 12 to 14 September 2020. The delegation was led by YBhg. Dato’ Mohd Zamruni Khalid, Director General of IDFR.
The study visit commences with an interactive session with Ms. Nor Baizura Basri, Johor Bureau Chief, Malaysian National News Agency (BERNAMA). During the interactive session, participants were briefed on the role of BERNAMA’s Johor Bureau Chief in covering both national and international news in Johor. She also highlighted the need for diplomats to be knowledgeable, resourceful and possess good communication skills in handling the media. She urged the participants, who will one day serve at Missions abroad, to continuously engage with Malaysian media so that reliable and accurate information could be presented to Malaysian public.
On the second day of the study visit, the DiD participants received briefings from the Johor Petroleum Development Corporation (JPDC) on the functions and future expansion of the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC). As one of Malaysia’s mega-projects development in Johor, the PIPC spans over an area of 80 km2 and houses oil refineries petrochemical plants, liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and others. Participants also visited the PIPC general areas of DIALOG, PETRONAS complex and few other facilities.
On the final day of the visit, the DiD participants visited the office of the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) to further understand the development project of Iskandar Malaysia. The briefing session was held by YBhg. Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, Chief Executive of IRDA and his team whereby the DiD participants had exchanged views and posed questions on Iskandar Malaysia development project. One of the key highlights mentioned was Iskandar Malaysia’s feat in attracting RM16 billion in investments in the first half of 2020 despite challenges faced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The visit was concluded with a study visit to the Johor State Secretary Office. The delegation was received by YB Dato’ Dr. Badrul Hisham Kassim, Johor Deputy State Secretary (Development) and his team. DiD participants were briefed on the state governance including the Johor Sustainable Development Plan 2019-2030. The briefing by the Johor State Economic Planning Division and the National Security Council have broadened the participants’ views on how the state manages and utilises its resources in carrying out the state’s economic plan and addressing the border security issues.
Besides briefings and interactions, the participants also toured the landmarks of Johor Bahru such as Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque, Johor Craft Complex, B5 Johor Street Market, and Sultan Ismail Building. The representative from the Johor State Tourism Department provided a briefing on the tourism industry in Johor.
Overall, the study visit to Johor was a meaningful visit and had provided the DiD participants with new insight on the administration and management of Johor. It certainly fits the objective of the programme which is to provide exposure to the participants on the importance of economic diplomacy as Malaysia develops the state of Johor into its southern economic and development corridor.
Johan Arief Jaafar
Competency Enhancement Centre