May 2021

Teh Tarik with John: Innovate, or at least die trying!

May 2021

Stay vigilant of the emails in your inbox!

Copyright  © 2021

Stay vigilant of
the emails in your inbox!

Sheena Wong and Ivan Yeh

You receive an email that appears to come from a colleague or supplier. Asking to make an urgent payment but instructs you not to discuss the matter with anyone else. What would you do? 

Criminals are constantly devising new, convincing ways to solicit information and money. As we have become reliant on emails for business communication, it is also becoming a favourite tool for scammers. 

Business Email Compromise (BEC) is a real and widespread cyber threat in the form of disguised emails. Attacker impersonates as a contractor, vendor, creditor or even someone in the company to gain recipients’ trust and then deceive them into transferring money or even revealing their account information. 

These attacks are extremely difficult to detect because they will use various tactics such as spoofing, look-alike domains and fake email names to exploit human vulnerabilities through social engineering and escape the most common types of cyber defences. 

With just one email account compromised, the entire organisation will suffer far-reaching damage from paralysed servers to huge financial and reputational loss. Hence, it’s important that everyone in the company stays vigilant in preventing BEC.

May 2021

ERP – a critical backbone for data

Copyright  © 2021

ERP -a critical backbone for data

To unlock exponential growth

Sheena Wong  and Lim Wei Ling

Riding the waves of turbulence demands even more agility, speedy response and meaningful data insights to adapt to the rapid changes in our work.  

To optimise our business performance and streamline productivity, enterprise resource planning (ERP) is key to integrating processes and data across Gamuda Berhad, Gamuda Engineering and Gamuda Land. This has led to the important investment in SAP S/4 HANA as the ERP system for the Group. 

The ERP will connect project planning, logistics, contract management and supporting functions such as Finance and Human Resources across the Group on a single platform. Functioning like our backbone – it provides a single-source-of truth and breaks down the silos. 

Involving nearly 50 Gamudians, it took two months to harmonise the master data from various remote systems into a centralised data management system before we begin to design the critical connected processes in achieving cost visibility and revenue protection.  

The implementation of ERP is envisioned to improve our project margin by 1% and increase automation level at the back-office functions by approximately 40%. These improvements are possible as we have successfully attained good benchmarks following our SAP Ariba journey since 2018. 

Rise approached our newly-appointed Executive Directors who have been entrusted to institute rapid digital transformation across the Group. Each of them brings unique expertise in managing critical business data and driving digitalisation. 

Eric Foong Vooi Lin, Executive Director of Gamuda Engineering, stressed, “The lifeline of our business is essentially about project delivery and budgetary control. We need a robust system to monitor critical data such as order book, revenue, earnings, operating expenses, cash flow position and productivity ratio. 

“If a cost overrun is not flagged immediately, the immediate loss will accumulate until it is too detrimental to rectify. Similarly, there will be loss of opportunities in economical purchase if we do not have access to material requirement information of other business units,” he said. 

Eric is convinced that there are long term benefits of ERP implementation. With real-time cost visibility and having a single source of truth, informed decisions can be made easily because of data reliability and shared access. 

Time and cost management is crucial for a successful project delivery that usually spans over three to five years. Continuous tracking of cost data is vital as it serves as a benchmark for future tenders.  

The maturity of data usage in the construction sector as compared to other industries offers opportunities for us to address the challenges of this industry. Not only data can provide business insights, it is the binding factor to achieve ‘Connected Construction’. 

David Ng Kit Cheong, Executive Director of Gamuda Land, oversees finance and spearheads data management and market intelligence for data-driven product design. He outlined seven areas of focus in critical data – Efficiency, Product, Value Chain, Commercial Real Estate (CRE), Growth, Customer, and Industry Insights. 

David cited an example of centralising our data, “Collecting customers’ feedback will drive stronger customer relationships while mining the market intel of competitors to grow sales with the right product. As data grows in volume and variety, it became apparent that we need an integrated system for collaborative data management. 

“I urge Gamudians to have an open mind to move forward with technology and maximise the potential of ERP. Data analytics will give us further insights for a competitive differentiator,” he advised. 

Lim Hui Yan and Justin Chin Jing Ho are both the Executive Directors of Gamuda Engineering and also the next generation leaders. They offered insights into global work trends after the pandemic recedes, anticipating even more automation and redesigning of work processes. 

Hui Yan highlighted, “Digital transformation is no longer an option, but a necessity for business survival and sets the foundation for overseas expansion. We have to anticipate what’s coming to make quick, meaningful data-driven decisions. To achieve that, we cannot work in silos anymore. Taking ownership in adopting ERP and other digital initiatives will give us a solid footing together. 

“Digitalisation is not just about improving productivity. Beyond numbers, it is also to develop new capacity and upskill the people who are making this happen. In any business transformation plan, every employee’s involvement is required for success,” she added. 

Justin echoed the sentiment, “We have to take a people first approach in our digital journey by enhancing our capabilities in data management and upskilling of data literacy across the Group.  

“The strategic development of digital skills and digitalisation of our processes and business model are key tenets in our circular construction model where environmental, social and governance (ESG) will be central in all of our business operations moving forward. Only by bringing all of this together can we truly transform into a data-driven organisation with sustainability at the forefront,” he said. 

It is evident that the right technology applied correctly will cut transactional costs and drive out hidden expenses, while employees focus on business growth and revenue generating activities.  

Our investment in digital procurement has accumulated valuable supply chain data in the past three years. The next step is to connect those data to our ERP and data warehouse, and form our bespoke business insight to stay ahead of the competition.  

As with the implementation of SAP Ariba, every digitalisation journey is far from smooth sailing. We anticipate temporary disruptions to workflow when the SAP S/4 HANA starts running in August. Short term pain for the longer-term gain. 

May 2021

Crowdsourcing the best ESG ideas 

Crowdsourcing the best ESG ideas

Sheena Wong 

Think about it, why do we, mankind, run competition for all the things we do? We would host a singing contest to find the best vocals, or the Olympics games to pick the best sports players.  For some of us, setting goals alone is not compelling enough to motivate ourselves to do better, but beating someone else is. The pursuit of victory has always led us to discover breakthroughs.

As for myself, last year’s Gamuda English Writing Contest had pushed me to write about the topic that I have always wanted to. It does not matter if we win the game in the end. The lessons and experience that we gain during the course would stay with us for years. 

That is the intent of the Climate Action Change (CAC) Programme, to empower Gamudians for innovative solutions to our climate crisis. The best, feasible suggestion will even get a chance to shine as a new business model for the Group. 

It’s time that we think of integrating climate strategies as an opportunity to build resilience and future proof our businesses. We need convincing net-zero innovation and hence, building knowledge on the topic is critical.  

The CAC Programme is driven by the Group’s pursuit in environmental, social and governance (ESG). Rolled out in April, it prepares participants with a series of learning materials and quizzes based on Bill Gates’ latest book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster. 

Only when we are empowered with knowledge, we can design creative yet realistic solutions to address the problems that we face.  

The best thing about the CAC Programme – it gears up Gamudians on the understanding of climate change, so that we can invite the best of the best ideas. At the same time, we will identify and build a pool of ESG subject matter experts (SMEs) to drive various Group-wide ESG initiatives. 

Let’s face it – a competitive mindset motivates us to excel and accelerate our growth. It is also the same agile and competitive readiness when we compete in future project tenders.  

May 2021

Creating your personal sanctuary

Copyright © 2021 Gamuda Berhad

Creating your personal sanctuary

Yuevern Loh 

For the past year, all everyone could talk about was the COVID-19 pandemic. Wearing masks, frequently washing hands and staying home was (and still is) the new normal. As Malaysians, we have learned to adapt to this new way of life since March 2020. Rearranging our homes to acclimatise to remote working seems to be one of the most important factors. After all, we spent months on end cooped up at home during the MCO. 

With this in mind, Enso Woods took the lead in Gamuda Land’s post-pandemic design initiative – focusing on flexible and open layouts that are adaptive and multifunctional. Homeowners can arrange and use these spaces for various activities based on their lifestyle and needs. 

Coincidentally, minimalist style homes have been on an upward trend, even before the pandemic rained on our parades. Muji-esque layouts have been a target for younger demographics and Enso Woods embodies the Japanese lifestyle with the danshari concept, where less is more. 

Behind the scenes

Lim Chun Kuan, Inspector of Works @ Gamuda Cove commented, “We went through quite a few changes during the design process, such as the colour tone and landscape design. We had to match the Japanese vibe tastefully.” 

On challenges they’ve faced, Lim said time restraint was the biggest factor as they wanted to put this design out before other developers, thus branding Gamuda Land as a forward-thinking company that plans ahead for its residents.  

“Fortunately, we managed to pull it off in time,” Lim added.  

Ain Syafikah, Assistant Manager from the Product Management Unit (PMU), said, “We realised outdoor spaces are really important during this time. We aimed to combine living arrangements with convenient access to outdoor, sociable spaces, internet services and power sources that make a difference.” 

The only source of
knowledge is experience

A big part of Enso Woods was designed based on experience. Tan Zijin, Assistant General Manager (Marketing) said, “Enso Woods was designed during the first MCO when all of us were new to working from home and staying home 24/7 with our family members. A lot of design elements were based on our experiences and challenges that we faced during the lockdown.” 

Compartmentalised and multifunctional spaces proved to be an important aspect of homes during the pandemic, especially for households with children. This allows parents to juggle work while taking care of their children. The community pavilion is designated to enable residents to work near home and change scenery rather than working from their home office every day. 

The sky is the limit

The double volume design is one of the signature features of the homes at Enso Woods. This enables plenty of natural lighting and ventilation – another important feature during lock-downs. 

“We wanted to design a link-house that provides a lot of sunlight, and you won’t feel like you are enclosed in a terrace house,” said Sharon Khoo, Assistant General Manager of the Project Management Department. 

A decluttered space leads to a decluttered mind. With that in mind, the homes at Enso Woods provides well organised storage spaces to keep the house tidy. This not only makes the home seem more spacious but helps homeowners work more efficiently. 

Sharon concluded, “PMU team came up with many good ideas during the early design stages. This proves that you can’t go wrong if you put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and provide a design based on market needs.” 

Gamuda Cove’s Enso Woods embodies the Japanese lifestyle with the danshari concept, where less is more. 

May 2021

Be generous with thank you

Be generous with thank you

Sheena Wong 

I recount an instant relief to see our tea lady coming to clean the used glassware in our meeting room. It was certainly helpful at that moment as I had to run for another meeting.  Terima kasih kak,” was the only way I could extend my gratefulness. I’m sure this rings a bell as we have all been aided by security guards, cleaners and technicians in some ways. 

While getting up close and personal with a few general workers for this feature, I could tell that they were genuinely delighted whenever I expressed appreciation for their services. Let’s not underestimate the power of acknowledging their contribution, and being generous to thank our workers in the office. 

Wishing all Gamudians and our general workers, Happy Labour Day and Selamat Hari Raya! 

Mohd Sabri, a devoted senior technician from Terengganu has worked with Gamuda for more than ten years. It is common to see him carrying a ladder or toolbox, fixing light bulbs and leaking pipes. Little did I know, Sabri is expecting his precious newborn in late June! 



Sometimes, our building maintenance guys work as a tag team to perform safety checks and repairs – Ahmad Khairuddin, the maintenance supervisor known as Din (standing), and Mohd Romzy, a senior technician. As both of them are from Kelantan, try practising Kelantanese dialect when you run into them at Menara Gamuda. 



Yuliani Ningsih is an amicable and diligent cleaner and tea lady – a favourite among Southgate’s MGKT staff. Aini, as she is fondly known, comes from Surabaya, Indonesia. Beneath her jovial demeanour, Aini is longing to visit home since the pandemic.


Working alongside Aini is Faidatus Sholehah from Surabaya, Indonesia, who joined about a year and a half ago. The pandemic has increased the workload of our cleaners with an increased frequency of cleaning and sanitisation works. Yet, Faidatus is grateful for the privilege of working in a safe and fair environment.



Yogendra Bhattarai and Bhupal Shing Rai are among the Nepalese security guards at our new Quayside Mall. You will find them manning the mall entrance, diligently reminding patrons to wear their face masks and maintain social distances.



A peek at our security guards performing their daily roll calls at Jade Hills. Roll call is a routine briefing for our safety personnel to report outstanding matters, handover their duties to the next shift and reinforce stern reminders to comply with the COVID-19 advisories at all times. 

 Photo courtesy of Sheena Wong, Rahyu Waris and Niko Ng.

May 2021

The last mile – racing towards the Phase 1 Launch

Copyright © 2021 Gamuda Berhad

MRT Putrajaya Line trains being put through their paces during FFR testing near the Kampung Batu MRT Station.

The last mile – racing towards the Phase 1 Launch

Adam Anand Row 

As the race towards the Phase 1 launch of the MRT Putrajaya Line intensifies, multiple teams are hard at work completing the final rounds of testing and systems integration works. Key to these works are the testing & commissioning engineers who are overseeing the new electric trains and their control systems, in readiness for final certification by the authorities.  

Currently underway is the most challenging phase of testing for the new MRT Putrajaya Line trains, known as Fault Free Running (FFR) which involves completing fault-free operation over a set distance of kilometres (km). 

RISE caught up with Jayee ‘Jay’ Sreetharan, Senior Manager for Testing, Commissioning and Migration. He previously worked on constructing the MRT Kajang Line as a lead testing engineer. Jay helped to shed some light on the systems integration works his team is involved in during these final months prior to launch. 

“Systems integration works in a nutshell, involves testing of all the systems for the new line that includes signalling, communications and operations aspects among others, and ensuring seamless integration with existing MRT Kajang Line systems and operations. Since most major works have already been completed or are in their final stages, the focus is currently on completing FFR which is the final pre-operational testing phase of both the MRT trains and station platform systems,” explained Jay. 

“FFR sets a benchmark for reliability which matures and builds over time. This gives regulatory authorities the assurance that the new MRT Putrajaya Line trains and systems are safe for passenger use. Testing is definitely no cakewalk though, as the first train is required to complete a marathon 4000km of normal operation without any issues before it is certified. Subsequent trains are then required to complete 2000km of FFR testing successfully.  The catch is if there are any faults or problems on the run, no matter how much testing has been completed, the distance is reset to zero and the train is required to restart its run. As you can imagine, completing FFR for even one train takes some time, so we are currently running FFR testing 24-hour a day, both day and night,” he said. 

“We aim to complete FFR testing for a total of six trains before we enter what is termed as a Gradual Migration period before the Phase 1 launch. During this period, these new electric trains will begin running between Kwasa Damansara, Kampung Selamat and Sungai Buloh MRT Kajang Line stations which will become part of the new MRT Putrajaya Line post-launch. This transitionary period allows the MRT operators to get used to running the new Putrajaya Line systems and iron out any bugs or inconsistencies,” Jay added.  

“It’s all hands-on deck for this final push before the Phase 1 launch. As we have remained on schedule despite all the hurdles faced thus far, I am confident that the teams working on the project will complete their works on time,” he said. 


On a side note, congratulations to Farid ‘Ismat, the first runner up winner of the MRTC SHE Practitioner Recognition Programme for the Environmental Officer (EO) category. The award recognises SHE professionals with an excellent track record among all MRT work package contractors and is conferred based on a series of evaluations and interviews. 

Farid is an environmental officer at multiple sites of the Underground Package in the last five years. We are inspired by Farid’s specialist contribution to the environmental aspects in construction and hope to see more in this field like Farid. 

May 2021

May 2021 – Gamuda Rise Newsletter

Copyright  © 2021

Working seamlessly with
Gamuda Australia

Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) 

From the beginning, Gamuda’s plan in Australia has been to blend the best local talent with the Group’s  international subject matter experts. This provides a combination of global experience, fresh thinking, and local knowledge to the team.  

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the team members based in Australia and internationally took remote working in their stride. Using video technology to connect made working across borders much easier.  

The Australian team now has more than 50 members based in Sydney and is growing rapidly. We’ve hired experienced local team members who’ve worked on some of the biggest projects this country has seen, like Operations Manager Richard Petaccia, who worked on Sydney’s ANZAC Bridge and M5 East tunnel motorway, Melbourne’s Bolte Bridge and London’s Wembley Stadium.  

Another senior team member, Simon Hussey, is a Project Director who has extensive experience working on the Sydney Light Rail. This local talent is complemented by several Malaysian experts, like Geotechnical Director Dr Ooi Lean Hock and Project Manager Kenny Lim, who have current, expert knowledge of subject areas like tunnelling and rail.  

All our senior team members in Australia work closely with their fellow Gamudians in Kuala Lumpur, such as Gus Klados and Ng Hau Wei. Gus is one of the leading global tunnel builders with nearly 50 years’ experience in the industry. Hau Wei is our Deputy Project Director who has worked with Gamuda for the last 19 years and led the pioneering team that developed the first Autonomous Tunnel Boring Machine (A-TBM). Gus was also a crucial member of this team, providing the inspiration for the development of this system and its capabilities and advising and supporting the younger engineers as they delivered this revolutionary innovation. Both will play a key role in Gamuda executing the same level of world-class innovation in Australia as it has done overseas.  

On the topic of working collaboratively to submit tenders throughout the pandemic, Operations Manager, Richard Petaccia, said, “COVID-19 has presented all of us with new challenges, but it has also shown us how effectively we can work together, even when we are physically apart.”  

Project Director, Simon Hussey, echoes these thoughts. He said, “Remote working during the pandemic meant we each had to adjust to new ways of working. Communicating via digital tools became the norm for all of us and proved that the physical distance between our colleagues in KL and us means nothing.”  

Gamuda’s subject matter experts who have been working closely with our Australian team, participating in market soundings and tender interactives. 

In Australia, we have the best of highly experienced local talents with a blend of culturally diverse people.

This sentiment was also apparent in KL, where Gus said, “Naturally, due to the distance, we were already communicating virtually with the Australian team, but everyone is now more accustomed to this new way of working.”  

Hau Wei commented, “The whole team has embraced the challenge of submitting tenders throughout the pandemic. We have all been flexible, worked hard and leant on each other’s knowledge and expertise to deliver high quality outputs.”  

The pipeline of future projects is significant and there have already been some early milestones for the business. In April 2020, we were shortlisted to tender for the AUD$2.6bn M6 Stage 1 motorway project as part of a joint venture with BMD Constructions.  

In August 2020, a joint venture with fellow tier one contractor Laing O’Rourke was shortlisted to tender for the first stages of the AUD$20bn Sydney Metro West Project.  

In March 2021, a joint venture between Gamuda Australia and John Holland was shortlisted to tender for the Station Box and Tunnelling package for the Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport project.  

Gamuda Australia has also been working to build partnerships with local training academies. Creating jobs and providing training opportunities for local people is a fundamental aspect of our approach in Australia. Should our current tenders be successful, we will replicate our Tunnel Training Academy in Kuala Lumpur here in New South Wales, enabling us to upskill local workers for the benefit of the industry, communities, and country.  

Follow the Gamuda Australia company page on LinkedIn for regular news updates from the business.  

The last mile – racing towards the Phase 1 Launch 

As the race towards the Phase 1 launch of the MRT Putrajaya Line intensifies, multiple teams are hard at work completing the final rounds of testing and systems integration works.

Be generous with
thank you

I recount an instant relief to see our tea lady coming to clean the used glassware in our meeting room. It was certainly helpful at that moment as I had to run for another meeting.  

Creating your personal sanctuary 

For the past year, all everyone could talk about was the COVID-19 pandemic. Wearing masks, frequently washing hands and staying home was (and still is) the new normal.

Crowdsourcing the
best ESG ideas

Think about it, why do we, mankind, run competition for all the things we do? We would host a singing contest to find the best vocals, or the Olympics games to pick the best sports players.  

ERP – a critical backbone for data 

Riding the waves of turbulence demands even more agility, speedy response and meaningful data insights to adapt to the rapid changes in our work.  

Stay vigilant of the emails in your inbox! 

You receive an email that appears to come from a colleague or supplier. A, asking to make an urgent payment but instructs you not to discuss the matter with anyone else. What would you do?  

Teh Tarik with John: Innovate, or at least die trying! 

John Lim Ji Xiong enthuses on his passion
for all things tech and reveals an exciting development in Gamuda in the spirit of continuous progress as he leads GET
(Gamuda Excellence Transformation).