Sunday, September 02, 2012 - 11:18
Location: JOHOR BAHRU
THE opening of the Legoland Malaysia theme park in Iskandar Malaysia here has offered new creative outlets and job opportunities for Malaysian youths, especially in Johor, say company officials.
Helping construct the Lego brick models in Legoland Malaysia, local model builders have not only been given the opportunity to make a living from their creative abilities, but are now also able to forge a unique career path, especially since Lego model buildings are to become Malaysia’s latest exports to other theme parks around Asia, they said.
Their skills would continue to be in demand with other existing Legoland parks, said Siegfried Boerst, General Manager of Legoland Malaysia.
"We are trying to hire more model builders here because we are very happy with the results. They learn very quickly and they have built fabulous (Lego) models so we want to use the existing model shop to provide models for our other existing Legoland parks and in the new Legoland parks we hope to build in the near future.
"We are looking at two sites in Asia right now. No fixed date has been set yet, but we want to open a new Legoland park every three to four years," he added.
For model builder, Ahmad Radhi Abdul Rahman, 25, from Johor Baru, working on Lego models was a chance of a lifetime as it allowed him to remain in Johor. He holds a degree in chemical engineering from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in Skudai.
"My ambition has always been to be an architect but when I heard there was a model builder job here in Johor, I applied for it," he said.
"Initially, family and friends thought I was playing around with Lego, but as time went on, they came to understand what the job entailed. They support what I am doing and encourage me all the time."
Saying that the job was interesting and challenging, Ahmad Radhi added: "Unlike Lego that is sold commercially in boxes where the designs have already been decided on, a Lego model builder can recreate anything from reality. There is no limit to what we can create.
"In terms of career prospects, I could move on with my career path here and become a designer, a project manager or a project co-ordinator working on another Legoland development."
Another employee, Noor Amyee Suratman, 25, from Kota Tinggi, said the job allowed her to indulge in her creative interest.
"From a young age I liked art, drawing and colouring, so I feel it’s my sort of work. I am very fortunate.
"My parents and siblings are happy for me in securing this job because they know I’m interested in creative arts," said Amyee who has a diploma in photography and creative imaging from UiTM Malacca.
She is especially happy that in this new field, women can advance without limits to their achievements.
"There’s no need to think that a job like model building is strange or is just fun and games because you can go far in this field.
"You can improve your capabilities only by as much as you are willing to try. I want to work hard and build the models as best as I can."
Thirty-seven year-old Lee Khai Yuen from Kluang, who supervises the almost three dozen model builders at Legoland Malaysia, said there is strong demand for their skills and three recruitment exercises had been undertaken so far.
"There are only five Lego model shops around the world. As Legoland expands, there are more opportunities for model builders.
"Meanwhile, the construction of Legoland Hotel also means more jobs for model builders as there are going to be Lego models featured throughout the hotel and in the rooms," he added.
Legoland Malaysia is set to open on Sept 15 which will feature more than 40 rides, shows and attractions.
The centrepiece of the 30-hectare theme park is Miniland, which recreates several Asian landmarks by using more than 30 million Lego bricks, built mostly by the local model builders at Iskandar Malaysia.