Why a Vacuum of Mid Range Senior Engineers?

May 21, 2008

A question asked often is (usually by me when a job I am doing is going pear shaped due to a rush), where are all the Malaysian mid-range engineers? By mid-range I mean those with about 8 -13 years experience.  Are they out there, lurking for the right time to reappear? I hope it isn’t when oil reaches USD 150 / barrel, and pay is given in liquid gold.

My theory is this: I think that when I returned from my studies, engineering was not a favoured career. Everyone wanted to go into finance, then IT, then anything but engineering.

So, let’s do the math. I came back in 1995. So people who entered uni then would leave around 1998-2000. So, they would have 8 years experience.

Allowing for engineers not interested in engineering due to the 1997 financial crisis (engineering projects having been cut back), then engineers would enter uni around 2000, graduate around 2003-5. These would now have 3-5 years experience.

So, us people who entered the engineering field when it was an unglamorous profession… we should be proud. Too bad pride is not a commodity we can sell.


BEM – Registration of Foreign Engineers

April 10, 2008

Many people have questions about how a foreign engineer can register in Malaysia as an engineer.

The answer lies in the Registration of Engineers Act 1967 (Revised 2002), Section 10A.

My interpretation of the Section is as follows:

  • Foreign engineers may only be registered as Temporary Engineers.
  • A foreign engineer may only be registered if:
    • he possesses the necessary qualification which is recognised for the practice of engineering as a professional engineer in the country where he normally practises; and
    • he possesses the necessary expertise and his physical presence is required in Malaysia for not less than one hundred and eighty days in one calendar year or he is a resident representative of the foreign component of a joint-venture.
  • The Board of Engineers may approve the registration of a Temporary Engineer for such period not exceeding one calendar year and may renew the registration as it deems fit.
  • For the purpose of this section “foreign engineer” means an engineer who is not a citizen or a permanent resident of Malaysia.

So, how do you get around this if you don’t meet the requirements of the Act? Call yourself a ‘consultant’, ‘specialist’, ‘MD’, and other non-aggressive titles. You get the same pay anyway.