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Competition to pool ideas for Malaysia’s ‘Dream Bamboo Super Hybrid Car’

on 24 Mei 2010.

By THO XIN YI
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COULD there be a day when we get to see Malaysian cars made of bamboo and running on sustainable energy?

Malaysian Association of Creativity and Innovation (Macri) president and founding member Datuk Ghazi Sheikh Ramli believed it was not an impossible dream.

To get things started, Macri organised the Malaysia’s Dream Bamboo Super Hybrid Car competition together with University Malaysia Sarawak, Yayasan Inovasi Malaysia (YIM) and Sirim Bhd.

The competition, supported by the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, is calling dreamers in the country to lend a touch of creativity to the interior, exterior or the power system of a super hybrid bamboo car.

Innovative: The makeover for the Bambu cost about RM50,000.

The ideas submitted in this competition (in the form of a written description accompanied by illustrations) will then be put together into one national project and hopefully a motorcar manufacturer will make it into a real car.

It seems like a far stretch of the imagination but Ghazi thought otherwise, especially when many Malaysians have the Malaysia Boleh spirit in them.

After a great deal of research, he was astonished to find out that bamboo is stronger than wood, and timber can be replaced with bamboo in all the former’s applications but not otherwise.

“The tensile strength of the fibres of a vascular bundle could be up to 12,000kg per square centimetre, almost twice that of steel.

“It is also one of the fastest growing woody plants in the world, one of the most sustainable resources and does not require the use of pesticides and chemicals,” Ghazi said.

Coincidentally, he was shown a magazine article by a seminar participant on Malaysians coming up with ideas to find an alternative for petrol as fuel for cars.

This encouraged him more and Ghazi knew he was on the right path to inspire the people to transform their dreams into reality.

To provide an example of what can be done, a prototype car that had undergone a makeover with bamboo — aptly named Bambu — was unveiled at the opening ceremony of the third Creativity and Innovation Week 2010 in April.

The car’s floor mats, gearshift knob, steering wheel, seat cover, wheel rims, side panelling, licence plate and the Bambu logo were made of either bamboo or its fibre fabric and the makeover worked out to about RM50,000.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili, who launched the event, said the competition was a great way to pool ideas that may lead to potential commercial applications.

He also challenged the organisers to work together and develop the top winners of each category by producing various prototype cars and showcase them at the Innovative Malaysia 2010 Festival in November.

“The showcase of these prototypes should reflect the innovative capacity of Malaysians on a product very near to everyone’s heart,” he said.

Ghazi appealed to the private sector to contribute towards the project as a corporate social responsibility, and he was optimistic that the project would take Malaysia far.

Citing the Tata Group as an example, he said it has made it into the list of 2010 Bloomberg BusinessWeek annual rankings of world’s 50 most innovative companies.

Big idea: Bambu’s floor mats, gearshift knob, steering wheel and seat cover are made of bamboo or its fibre fabric.

Part of the group, Tata Motors, had launched the cheapest production car in the world, at about US $2,500.

“At the back of my book Purple Beach, I printed a list of the top 20 innovative companies in the world. Hopefully one day, a Malaysian company will make it into the list,” he said.

The Malaysia’s Dream Bamboo Super Hybrid Car competition is open to all Malaysians and the closing date is at 6pm on July 15.

There will be three top prizes and five consolation prizes for each category (Interior Design, Exterior Design and Energy/ Power System) with prize money ranging from RM500 to RM5,000.

Competition entry forms can be downloaded from http://www.macri.com.my/designcompetition/ and winners will be announced at the Malaysia Innovative Festival 2010 in November.

Arkib Berita

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia Telephone: +60 82581000/+60 82581388, Fax: +60 82 665 088, Email: corporate@unimas.my
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Tarikh terakhir kemaskini: Khamis 28 Januari 2016.

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