It’s thumbs up for the technicians as they bravely took up the CMA Technician Challenge 2012 and walked away with prizes, friends and renewed vigour for their jobs
It’s thumbs up for the technicians as they bravely took up the CMA Technician Challenge 2012 and walked away with prizes, friends and renewed vigour for their jobs

38-year-old technician, Li Lian Qing (李连庆), made a passport for the very first time when he came to Singapore for the CMA Technician Challenge 2012 last month. “I was very excited when I knew I was coming to Singapore. It’s a very well-known tourist destination. Now that I have been here, I guess I can say that my dream has been fulfilled,” said Li. In fact, his two other team members at the Grand Final, Wang Xiang Feng (王湘峰) and Peng Dian Long (彭殿龙), also travelled out of China for the very first time for the CMA Technician Challenge.

They were among the 10 technicians from CapitaMalls Asia (CMA) China who made it to the finals of the Challenge. Li made it this time because of his hard work and determination after failing at the preliminary rounds last year. His supervisor was also very supportive, giving him and his colleagues time to study. “I’ve always been someone who likes to learn new things. But I didn’t make the mark last year and was really disappointed. I saw other colleagues making it to Singapore for the Finals, so I was determined to make it this year.”

He not only made it to the Grand final, Li emerged the individual winner in the CMA Technician Challenge 2012. He was awarded S$10,000 in the form of a scholarship fund that will go towards a course related to his work.

The CMA Technician Challenge is an annual event started in 2011, jointly organised by team members from Engineering Design & Technical Services and Human Resource. “Our technicians play a crucial role in the company. The CMA Technician Challenge aims to raise the standards of our technicians to serve our retailers and shoppers better. Apart from technical training, we would also like to help our technicians understand CMA’s strategies and core values, as well as how, together with them, we can raise standards further,” said Mr Lim Beng Chee, CEO of CapitaMalls Asia.

This Challenge also presented an opportunity for the more than 700 technicians under CMA to network and bond. “This is not just a competition but more on creating awareness on the importance of technicians. We want to make sure technicians are well taken care of and also widen knowledge among the teams from different countries. CMA senior management also attended the Technician Challenge to show their support. Besides bonding, we hope that when the technicians come together, they can also share their skill sets with one another,” commented Mr Chow Chee Khang, Head of Engineering Design & Technical Services at CMA.

Let the Games Begin

Over 700 technicians from Singapore, China and Malaysia participated in the preliminary rounds of the Challenge, which comprised a written test.

Ten top-scoring technicians from China and five each from Singapore and Malaysia were selected to take part in a final written exam in Singapore, before the top three from each country took to the stage for the Grand Finals on 6 December 2012.

In true TV game show style, there were lights, cheers and action. Supporters from the three countries competed to support their respective teams as the nine participants took their seats on stage.

The Singapore team was represented by Dickson Leong, Mohammad Azmi and Sam Seow. Peng Dian Long (彭殿龙), Li Lian Qing (李连庆) and Wang Xiang Feng (王湘峰) formed the China team. The Malaysia team had Velayutham, Devan Simon and Patrick Jairaj.

No Mean Feat

The Grand Final of the CMA Technician Challenge was by no means a piece of cake. Eighty percent of the questions were on technical and operational issues, while the other 20 percent were based on CMA’s corporate culture and green journey.

The contestants had to answer three rounds of questions ranging from mechanical, electrical, structural loading and conversion of measurements to the latest version of the CapitaLand Green Building Guidelines and crisis management of shopping mall operations. A fourth and new round was also added to this year’s contest. “We have introduced a practical component. The team members, who are from different malls, have to work together to put a device to work. The first team to make the device sound wins!” explained Mr Chow.

Jairaj, who represented the Malaysia team last year as well, found the contest more intense this time round. “The questions were tougher and trickier than last year’s. I found it hard to answer them, especially with the time pressure,” he confessed.

The Spirit of Building People

After four enthralling rounds, the team from Singapore was named champions of the CMA Technician Challenge 2012, winning a trophy and an iPad each. The China team was runners-up, while the Malaysia team came in third.

“Our winning advantage is that we have hands-on experience,” Azmi said with pride. “We are also very grateful that our bosses greatly encouraged us and arranged for the five of us to train and study together,” added Seow.

The other technicians also agreed that their supervisors were indeed very supportive of their participation. They were grateful for this initiative by CMA, too.

“We know that the company has spent a lot of time and resources on organising such an event. We are deeply appreciative of their efforts,” related Peng.

China team member Wang, who used his free time to attend courses on technical services as well as human resource, rounded up the sentiments well. “I now have a better understanding of what our corporate culture means when it says it’s focused on building people. And therefore, I have a deep appreciation for what CapitaLand is doing for its staff. The company I worked for previously did not have such a well thought out programme of building and developing its people.”

CMA is indeed glad to continue to build and bring its staff and technicians to greater heights and proud that they are willing to take on that challenge.