Great leaders play a big role as our catalysts, propelling Fajarbaru towards greater heights.
Mr. Toh Teong Hock, Chief Operating Officer of Construction- Infrastructure & Civil, represents the backbone of KTMB's major railway rehabilitation project that stretches from Mentakab to Gua Musang. His leadership has been instrumental in ensuring that we continuously drove towards success as we embarked on this journey.
Read more about his experience managing a massive railway project in the midst of a pandemic.
Fajarbaru is a diversified company with more than 40 years of legacy. How has the pandemic impacted the way Fajarbaru operates?
Fajarbaru has no doubt been met with major obstacles as the gravity of the pandemic became more prominent. It is indeed a global health problem calling for global solutions. However, I am confident that Fajarbaru is in good hands when it comes to handling the curveballs that we are faced with, through the effective leadership of our Group Executive Director, Dato’ Sri Eric Kuan.
Fajarbaru successfully completed railway rehabilitation works for Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) along the Mentakab and Gua Musang stretch. What were the lessons learnt during the project that helped with current processes, especially throughout the pandemic?
Since its commencement in June 2016, the Project Team has definitely endured its fair share of trials and tribulations while facilitating the project from start to finish. Ultimately, it has made us a stronger team, as it taught us the ways to navigate through formidable organizations and their people, who deserve their hard-earned success.
How was this project different from the other projects under your oversight?
Railway construction represents a niche service whereby specialized resources (i.e.: manpower, machinery, and materials) are required to seamlessly execute the project, and competition is limited in Malaysia due to the niche skills requirements. Backed by Fajarbaru’s reputable expertise in railway construction that we have garnered over the years in the industry, being one of the few companies out there who are fully equipped in rail infrastructure knowledge and services, we will always welcome the opportunity to explore more railway projects in the future.
What were Fajarbaru’s key strengths coming into this project?
Fajarbaru has always been ambitious in our plans for the future. I think that has been the driving force for us to maintain a strong will to continue to deliver on our projects. Furthermore, I think it is crucial to trust and have confidence in the staff, the team and the work that they do. I truly believe that Fajarbaru has the upper hand for this project due to our full-fledged expertise in railway construction.
What are the key lessons learned from the project?
Every project is truly unique in its own way. Although there is no secret formula to success, the key attributes are more or less the same– management support, teamwork, perseverance, courage, communication; and to remain strong-headed, committed, result-oriented and focused from start to finish.
With the MCO in 2020 and recently, has it impacted the work progress and how did you and your team overcome the issues (seeing that the operations were in a remote location)?
The first MCO in 2020 and the subsequent MCO in 2021 have definitely left an impact on the progress of on-site works. However, the health and safety of the workmen are always at the forefront of our minds. Keeping that in mind, we were quick on our feet to draft and implement Covid-19 SOPs for their protection. Thankfully, we found it easy to keep our on-site workmen socially distanced due to the project’s remote location and the fact that the team was working on a 200km stretch of railway tracks.
There’s a saying, crisis often leads to opportunities; what opportunities do you foresee arising from this pandemic?
I foresee that the industry will receive an overwhelming demand for goods and services after the pandemic subsides. It will surely be something exciting to see it unfold later.