AUTO UNIVERSITY TO COMPLEMENT INDUSTRY
Thirty years after Malaysia undertook to produce its own national car, under the brand name Proton, the country’s automotive industry can now boast of a full-fledge university that complements industrial demands and intensifies efforts in research & development (R&D).
Established under the same parent company which now owns Proton, DRB-Hicom Berhad spent RM350 million for the first phase of the development of DRB-Hicom University of Automotive Malaysia, or fondly known under its acronym DHU, in Pekan, Pahang.
DHU is the first of such university within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Speaking at the official launch of the University on February 21, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak sang praises of DRB-Hicom, saying it was rare for a private company to set up its own higher learning institution and investing in human capital development for the automotive industry.
“I am proud when a private company is willing to invest a large sum of money to fulfil the needs of the automotive industry, locally and on the international level,” he said.
“I understand there will be a second phase of building a R&D facility at the cost of RM150 million.”
Najib said the establishment of the university was rather timely, and the official launch also marked his 40th year in politics as Member of Parliament for the Pekan constituency.
He added he was proud that Pekan and Pahang now have two universities – the other being Universiti Malaysia Pahang.
The launch was followed by the installation of DHU first chancellor, the Regent of Pahang, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah. Also present at the installation ceremony were the Prime Minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor; Pahang Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob; Higher Education Minister, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh; and DRB-Hicom Group Managing Director, Tan Sri Mohd Khamil Jamil.
Previously known as the International College of Automotive, DHU was accorded university status by the Ministry of Higher Education in October 2015.