review of Operations SG. BULOH Ipoh Kuala Lumpur BUKIT LANJAN BUKIT RAJA SUBANG FHR2 BATU TIGA NORTH-SOUTH EXPRESSWAY NEW KLANG VALLEY EXPRESSWAY FEDERAL HIGHWAY ROUTE 2 (UNDER PLUS) NORTH-SOUTH EXPRESSWAY CENTRAL LINK (ELITE) MALAYSIA-SINGAPORE SECOND CROSSING (2ND LINK) PENANG BRIDGE STATE CAPITAL Bukit Kayu Hitam Gurun Alor Setar Georgetown THAILAND G. Semanggul PENINSULAR MALAYSIA Bukit Gantang Ipoh G. Tempurung Tapah Sg. Buloh Kuala Lumpur Sg. Besi Shah Alam Pedas Linggi Seremban Pagoh Melaka Ayer Keroh Johor Bahru Johor Bahru Causeway SINGAPORE Driving Along 848 km of Excellent Service Experience the journey with PLUS Expressways, your safer and more convenient choice. overview PLUS operates and maintains 848km of expressways comprising the 797km North-South Expressway (NSE), 35km New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) and a 16km section of the Federal Highway Route 2 (FHR2), from Subang to Klang. The three expressways represent approximately 69% of the total length of Malaysia’s toll expressways in operation. PLUS also operates 67 toll plazas and 78 interchanges as well as a range of ancillary facilities that serve to enhance the convenience of the expressways. These include two overhead bridge restaurants, 18 Rest and Service Areas (RSAs), 44 lay-bys and three vista points. The lay-bys and RSAs are located at intervals along the expressways of about 30km and 60km, respectively. Travelling along PLUS’s expressways, one cannot help but be impressed by the grandeur of this immense engineering accomplishment. Recognised as a Malaysian landmark, PLUS’s expressways have transformed the socio-economic landscape of the western corridor of Peninsular Malaysia. Inter-urban travel in the country today has come to be regarded as a pleasant and comfortable experience and we at PLUS Expressways are committed to delivering total customer satisfaction. Moving forward from the listing exercise completed in July 2002, PLUS Expressways has set its sights on being the Model Expressway Group, setting the benchmark for others to follow. With a responsibility to the nation, our stakeholders and the public, we will strive 56 PLUS Expressways Berhad to provide ‘Excellent service and facilities PLUS optimal returns’. This is the promise enshrined in our Mission Statement. Achieving these goals will be a challenge, but PLUS Expressways is up to the task. In this respect, every division within PLUS has been moving in cohesion throughout the year 2002 to continuously improve the Company’s overall operating and financial performances. toll collection During the year under review, Malaysia’s broad-based economic recovery continued to have a positive impact on the operations of PLUS. Annual traffic volume on the expressways amounted to 11,131 million passenger car unit kilometers (pcu-km) in 2002, an increase of 2.3% from the 10,877 million pcu-km recorded in 2001. For the year 2002, PLUS recorded a total of 310.5 million toll transactions, with an average of 850,548 vehicles plying the expressways daily. In terms of toll receipts, this translates to some RM1,376 million, an increase of 12.5% from the previous year’s collection of RM1,223 million. Some 88.2% of the traffic volume consisted of Class One vehicles (primarily passenger cars) while the remaining 11.8% consisted of commercial and other vehicles. Cross-border traffic to Thailand in the north and Singapore in the south, accounted for RM22 million or 1.6% of toll receipts for the year. To ensure a smoother traffic flow and to improve throughput at the toll booths, customers have the option of paying toll using the electronic toll collection (ETC) system as an alternative to cash. During the year, efforts were focused on promoting the Touch ’n Go and SmartTag products. Over a promotional period from 20 August to 31 October 2002, more than 30,000 SmartTag units were sold, translating into a 20% increase in SmartTag lane utilisation. traffic management and safety The comfort and safety of our customers remain a top priority for us and we maintain a commendable traffic safety record with 63.0 accidents per 100 million vehicle km travelled. In providing assistance to motorists in distress, PLUS operates a 24-hour vehicle breakdown and accident service known as PLUSRonda, provided free of charge to our customers. As at 31 December 2002, the total available resources comprised 83 PLUSRonda teams with 248 employees on patrol duty, 73 PLUSRonda Patrolling Vehicles (PRPV), two vans and 27 patrolling motorcycles distributed among the three operating regions. 2002 Annual Report 57 83 PLUSRonda Teams Our vehicle breakdown and accident service patrols work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to ensure your safety and assist you on your journey. In 2002, PLUSRonda responded to a total of 102,070 breakdowns, of which 92.1% were attended to within the established compliance level of 30 minutes. The coming year will see several improvement initiatives aimed at reducing the response time to within 20 minutes. These will include increasing patrolling loops, installation of global positioning system (GPS) vehicle tracking devices, and the addition of new patrol vehicles and motorcycles. Customers in need of assistance in the event of a breakdown or other distress incident can call PLUSLine 03-2692 0000, our 24-hour customer care line. maintenance highlights PLUS’s maintenance policy is to preserve the level of safety as well as the structural and functional condition of the expressways while complying with relevant maintenance obligations under the Concession Agreement. Towards this end, daily and periodic inspections are carried out to assess the expressway condition and establish the maintenance programme. The maintenance programme involves a combination of routine, curative and preventative works. In addition, as pavement forms a major asset, periodic pavement condition survey and structural evaluations are carried out for planning and budgeting purposes. 58 PLUS Expressways Berhad Using the Total Expressway Maintenance Management System (TEMAN), our maintenance team is able to access inventory, condition and maintenance information about the expressways. Further details on TEMAN are included in the section headed Information Communication Technology. During 2002, nine pavement structural overlay projects were implemented at priority areas identified. Various techniques were employed including Hot-in-Place Recycling, Cement Bound Macadam and mill and pave. Other pavement works carried out during the year included thin overlay and porous asphalt treatments for preventive maintenance at specific locations along the expressways. Preventive methods used to improve and preserve slope condition included Erosion Protection Mat (EPM) and Terra Control, which are erosion control methods for difficult slopes having depleted nutrients for vegetation growth. Flood mitigation studies were also carried out at various locations along the expressways. Other works carried out to ensure serviceability and functionality of ancillary structures included replacement of bridge deck joints and repair of drainage structures. 67 Gateways to a Smooth Journey We make it our business to ensure that every transaction at each of our 67 toll plazas is handled efficiently and reliably, whether at entry or on exit. PLUS believes that with an effective expressway maintenance management system and through continual innovation in maintenance techniques the prime objectives to minimize expenditure for maintenance and to maximize returns on allocated funds will be achieved. construction of new interchanges New interchanges will provide improved access and spur economic growth with the potential of generating additional traffic volume on the expressways. The new Nilai Interchange, located at km 283.5 of the Kuala Lumpur-Seremban stretch of the NSE, was completed and opened to traffic on 31 October 2002. It replaces the old interchange which was unable to cope with increasing traffic volumes. The new toll plaza features 12 toll lanes, including four Touch ’n Go and SmartTag lanes, a customer service centre, surau and toilet facilities. In addition, there are two other interchanges under construction. The construction of the interchange at Kota Damansara by Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS), located at km 19.75 of the NKVE, is ongoing and is targeted for completion by mid-2003. When completed, the interchange is expected to relieve traffic congestion at the Sg. Buloh and Damansara toll plazas. The Pendang Interchange, previously known as the Kota Sarang Semut Interchange, located at km 63.4 of the Alor Setar-Gurun stretch, is one of the deferred interchanges to be constructed by PLUS under the Concession. The construction of this interchange is currently in progress. The interchange will improve access to the NSE and is expected to serve as a catalyst for economic development within the Pendang district. 2002 Annual Report 59 upgrading and improvement works In living up to our vision as the Model Expressway Group, upgrading and improvement works are continually being carried out to provide better service to our Customers. RSA AND LAY-BY PLUS’s approach with respect to upgrading the RSAs and lay-bys is to provide additional and improved facilities within a spacious and aesthetically pleasing environment for the comfort and convenience of our Customers. The plan is for each RSA or lay-by to have its own unique Malaysian theme and identity, to offer our Customers a wide range of attractions as well as to attract tourists. Substantial work was undertaken at Tapah RSA, one of the most highly patronised facilities along the NSE. Improvement works involved providing a new restroom complex based on an open concept with a Landscaped Central Courtyard. Other significant features include the creation of segregated parking facilities for heavy vehicles. before PLUS has upgraded the Sg. Buloh lay-by to cater specifically for the convenience of truckers. In addition, all eight lay-bys between Senawang and Tangkak have been upgraded with new restrooms and wakaf. A major upgrading project is also underway at the Bukit Gantang lay-by where a thematic concept based on a tropical fruit village theme has been implemented. after 67 Reasons to Take a Break Take a break during your journey and experience Malaysian culture at each of our 67 rest and service areas and lay-bys, designed with your comfort and leisure in mind. 2002 Annual Report 61 859 Surveillance Cameras We’ve installed CCTV cameras at strategic locations to monitor traffic conditions and provide round-the-clock surveillance at toll plazas for enhanced security. 62 PLUS Expressways Berhad TOLL PLAZA Eight toll plazas were upgraded to accommodate increased traffic volume. At the Kuala Kangsar, Juru, Seremban and Senawang toll plazas, the project involved toll lane extension and equipment upgrades. For critical toll barriers at Jelapang, Sg. Besi, Sg. Rasau and Skudai, semi-permanent staggered toll booths were implemented to ease traffic flow. In addition, lane channelisation initiatives, which involve separation of cash customers from those utilizing ETC, were introduced at the Sg. Besi and Batu Tiga toll plazas to help improve traffic management and allow for more effective traffic dispersion. CCTVs were installed at selected toll plazas for effective traffic monitoring and to improve security surveillance. CARRIAGEWAY In anticipation of the projected increase in traffic volume, PLUS has prepared a third lane widening proposal to improve the level of service at priority areas. In addition, PLUS has also proposed the implementation of through traffic from Kuala Lumpur to Penang via improvement of the existing configuration of the expressway between Ipoh (Selatan) and Jelapang. Initiatives completed during the year include the installation of streetlighting at the Senai-Johor Bahru stretch, while upgrading of cabling works at the Subang-Jalan Duta stretch is in progress. PLUS has also introduced Variable Message Signs (VMS) at certain locations to disseminate traffic information for our customers’ convenience. Other major projects in progress include pavement raising works at Alor Pongsu, Tikam Batu and Bukit Beruntung for flood mitigation purposes. PLUS’s ISO efforts are complemented by other quality initiatives including the setting up of Quality Control Circles or Quality PLUS teams (QPts) to pursue continual improvement. In a more unique facility adoption programme, every rest and service area and several lay-bys have been assigned to selected employees at PLUS Headquarters for them to take responsibility to improve the overall service quality of these facilities. During the year, PLUS initiated a customer satisfaction survey to determine our Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI). Knowing the customer’s perception of our service quality we have established Action Plan for continual improvement. the Quality initiative Since 1997, PLUS has embarked on a journey of continual improvement towards excellence as encapsulated in the ISO 9000 System of quality management. By 31 December 1998, all functional units in PLUS had achieved certification under the ISO 9002:1994 series. Since then, the Company has consolidated its ISO certifications to reflect changes in the organisation structure. To date three out of the current five Divisions and two of the three Regional offices have upgraded their certification to ISO 9001:2000. As an organisation that shares the public’s growing concern for the preservation of the environment, we are also in the final stages of establishing an environmental management system and achieving ISO 14001 certification. 2002 Annual Report 63 Driving Environmental Awareness We embark on continual improvements to reduce air, water, noise and soil pollution. We’re driving environmental awareness for a better tomorrow. our commitment to health,safety and At PLUS, health, safety and the environment (HSE) have the long formed an integral part of our corporate business philosophy. In our endeavour to be one of the best expressway companies in the world, we take pains to ensure that our activities and operations do not compromise on aspects of HSE. This is a challenge we have taken upon ourselves: to continually strive towards the highest HSE standards. It is a commitment we owe not only to ourselves and our employees but also to the millions of our Customers who use our facilities. As a guiding principle, PLUS’s Occupational Safety and Health Policy Statement explicitly spells out that “It is the policy of PLUS to provide a safe and healthy environment for all employees, customers and contractors.” The statement serves as a constant reminder to all employees that HSE is a collective responsibility. Every employee is directly involved in a group-wide concerted effort to prevent accidents and occupational health hazards, whilst preserving the quality of the environment in which we conduct our business. While every reasonable precautionary measure has been taken to protect the health and well-being of our employees, there are procedures in place to remind all employees to exercise caution at all times and abide by such procedures. 66 PLUS Expressways Berhad Environment PLUS’s philosophy and the practices governing its environmental To mitigate the problem of noise pollution, PLUS takes a management system are encapsulated in its Environmental Policy: proactive stance in adopting remedial measures, such as erecting “It is the policy of PLUS to provide expressway products and noise barriers at the Sg. Buloh overhead bridge restaurant and services that are environmentally friendly. In implementing this planting more trees to serve as a buffer. Even in the choice of policy, PLUS will embark on continual improvements to reduce plant nutrients, we use organic composts in preferences over air, water, noise and soil pollution in compliance with legislative chemical fertilisers for landscaping purposes. Wherever possible, requirements and international standards while promoting the PLUS considers environmentally friendly methods, such as the conservation of the environment”. planting of shrubs on hill slopes to prevent soil degradation and the implementation of accepted erosion control methods such as Since its inception, PLUS has invested considerable effort and grassing and hydro-seeding. funds to ensure that the benefits of its operations are not negated by any adverse impacts on the environment. In preserving air The success of PLUS’s environmental programme depends on the quality, PLUS is among other things, promoting the use of ETC competency of its employees. Necessary training and guidance transactions to maintain congestion-free toll plazas at all times. The are provided to our employees. All policies, objectives and ETC system allows a higher throughput of 550 vehicles per hour, procedures regarding HSE matters are regularly communicated to compared to cash transactions that typically achieve a throughput ensure commitment to the programme. PLUS encourages active of only 240 vehicles per hour. It helps to reduce the impact of participation from all levels of employees on environmental vehicle emissions on air quality. A ventilation system operating 24- preservation. hours a day has been installed at the Meru-Menora tunnels. The system is inspected periodically and preventive maintenance are regularly carried out to ensure reliability at all times. 2002 Annual Report 67 Human managingour assets People drive an organisation in meeting its business goals. One of PLUS’s key human resource objectives is “to attract, motivate, retain and reward quality employees by providing competitive compensation and benefit packages”. We aim to effectively utilise our human resources and to cultivate a performance oriented workforce using the best human resource management (HRM) practices and programmes. With respect to HRM, we aim to provide best in class service to support the attainment of both corporate and individual goals. At PLUS, we believe in teamwork. Over the years, both management and employee have forged strong ties with one another, working closely together and sharing innovative ideas. It is a relationship built on trust and mutual understanding towards the achievement of common goals. Through motivational and performance management programmes, we are able to encourage employees at all levels of the organisation to share responsibility towards meeting PLUS’s business goals and objectives. Creating a conducive work environment and promoting industrial harmony for about 3,000 employees is a key priority of HRM. In this regard, PLUS has put in place various schemes and programmes for the benefit of its employees and their families. PLUS enjoys a healthy relationship with its two in-house unions. In the year 2002, meetings between Management and the Unions were held periodically to address issues for the benefit of both the Company and our employees. 68 PLUS Expressways Berhad To reinforce the good relations between management and employees, several social and sporting activities have become regular features on PLUS’s calendar. These include carnival, inter-section and inter-region games as well as Family Days. Caring for our employees’ welfare also extends to the families of employees in certain job functions who have passed away in the course of performing their duties. PLUS has “adopted” 14 children as part of its welfare programme. maximising the human potential PLUS is committed to training and human resource development. In 2002, the Company spent an equivalent of 2.3% of the total salary payroll on training development and each employee benefited from an average of three training man-days. Structured training programmes in key functional and development areas were designed to equip employees with relevant skills and knowledge. Various motivational and behavioural training programmes were also identified to enable the employees to enhance their performance and realise their full potential. Given the customer-centric nature of PLUS’s business, the training focus during the year was on enhancing customer service. In August 2002, PLUS embarked on a specially tailored customer service programme known as “Titian Mesra” aimed at all levels of employees. PLUS is continuously developing multiskilled employees adept at handling a variety of tasks. Job rotation and special job assignment, whereby employees from headquarters are assigned to assist the operations staff at toll plazas and RSAs, are some of the initiatives taken towards employees attaining this goal. Succession planning to ensure operational continuity and to minimise work interruptions are being practised in PLUS. 2002 Annual Report 69 Cutting the edge Investment in Research and Development (R&D) is essential to the long-term success and future of PLUS Expressways. It is one of the key imperatives to drive the Company forward to achieve its vision of being the Model Expressway Group. Through R&D, we aim to improve the performance of our expressway network, boost productivity and efficiency, enhance safety and meet the growing expectations of our Customers on the quality of the services and facilities provided. Our current R&D programmes and efforts are focused on several key areas: achieving high performance pavement surfacing material Pavement maintenance takes up a major portion of PLUS’s maintenance budget. Maintenance works such as resurfacing, are generally required to maintain the functional aspects of the expressway such as riding quality and skid resistance. These works incur high costs and affect the flow of traffic. As such, PLUS realizes the importance of achieving efficient designs, by using innovative techniques in construction methods and materials. PLUS is now embarking on a collaborative effort with Universiti Putra Malaysia and Scott Wilson Pavement Engineering Sdn Bhd, in association with the University of Nottingham, to carry out research on High Performance Pavement Surfacing Material. It is envisaged that the research would bring potential benefits such as long-term cost optimization on pavement maintenance expenditure, improved riding quality and reduced traffic disruptions due to maintenance works. development of multi-terrain mini inspection vehicle PLUS carries out periodical inspections of the expressways as part of its maintenance obligation. We are continuously on the look-out for ways and means to improve existing inspection methods and equipment. This includes the development of a multiterrain Mini Inspection Vehicle (MIV), for which talks on a joint development effort have been initiated with academicians from the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Universiti Sains Malaysia. The MIV is specifically intended for the inspection of PLUS’s underground drainage facilities and spaces which are not easily accessible to the maintenance team. The use of the MIV, among other benefits, will facilitate the inspection process and enhance the efficiency of technical inspection resources. This joint development work with Universiti Sains Malaysia is expected to commence in 2003. silvicultural and horticultural techniques PLUS provides extensive landscaping along its expressways, comprising both ornamental and timber plant species. Apart from environmental, aesthetic and functional purposes, some timber species, for example teak, have been introduced for greening the expressway as well as for potential commercial benefits. Appropriate silvicultural and horticultural techniques, as well as site-specific land preparation protocols and cost effective maintenance procedures, are applied to facilitate healthy plant growth. To further enhance PLUS’s current efforts, discussions are underway to establish a research and development collaboration with the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia. 2002 Annual Report 71 Communication information technology Almost every aspect of life in today’s world is driven by technology. The business of operating and maintaining expressways is no different. Information Communication Technology (ICT) is increasingly in use in modern expressways. ICT helps to improve productivity, cost-effectiveness, and more importantly, the comfort and safety of customers. intelligent transport system (ITS) Among the key improvement initiatives PLUS has embarked upon is the introduction of an intelligent transport system (ITS) for application on its expressways. The ITS integrates the three core elements of an expressway system – human, road, vehicles – using leading edge information and communication technologies. The objectives of the ITS are three-fold. First, it helps to enhance safety by providing information to reduce traffic accidents, alleviating accident damage and preventing secondary accidents 72 PLUS Expressways Berhad from occurring. Second, it facilitates a smoother traffic flow by improving transport efficiency, facility usage and more effective management of traffic demand. Third, it can lead to an improved environment by reducing traffic congestion and pollution. The components of the ITS for PLUS’s operations, include communication control centres for improved traffic management coordination, closed circuit televisions (CCTV), variable message signs (VMS) and automatic vehicle detection systems (AVDS) set up at strategic locations. The Regional Control Centre (RCC) at Subang has been upgraded with ITS features and works are still on-going at Bertam and Yong Peng. All 597 lanes at PLUS’s toll booths and 17 bridges are equipped with CCTVs to monitor traffic flow. In addition, CCTV is used to monitor mainline traffic and disseminate information via VMS facilities installed along the Bangi and Tanjung Malim stretches. PLUS also utilizes mobile and portable VMS units, which can be deployed at specific locations as and when required. ITS will play an increasingly important role in enhancing PLUS’s expressway operations. Plans are in the pipeline to expand the use of VMS and AVDS at sections of the expressways located in the Klang Valley. total expressway maintenance management system (TEMAN) TEMAN is essentially a decision support tool with sophisticated capabilities for the retrieval and analysis of information pertaining to the maintenance of PLUS’s expressways. TEMAN currently consists of four sub-systems: • • Pavement Maintenance Management System (PMMS) Expressway Slope Maintenance Management System (ESMaS) Bridges Maintenance Management System (BMMS) Drainage Maintenance Management System (DMMS) GIS-based applications A geographic information system (GIS) is a computer-based tool that facilitates the integration of common database operations with the unique visualisation and geographic analysis benefits offered by maps. Presently, there are three applications at PLUS that utilise the GIS basemap. • Following completion of system roll-out in 2001, the PLUS maintenance team has already experienced the benefits of having easy access to asset inventory information that is readily available in the TEMAN system. Through on-going efforts to update inspection and other maintenance records in the TEMAN database, it is expected that sufficient historical data will be collected to facilitate improvements in the planning of future maintenance activities. Total Expressway Maintenance Management System (TEMAN) The GIS is a key component of TEMAN as it allows the maintenance team to visualise the expressways in the form of a seamless map as well as locate and display the position of features and events such as bridges, slopes and flood prone areas. • PLUS Interactive Map First published on the PLUS website in September 2001 the PLUS Interactive Map allows visitors to view the PLUS expressways in a seamless mapping environment and to navigate the map using GIS navigational tools. By 2004, PLUS hopes to complete an additional three modules covering tunnels, buildings and road signages. • MAAP The Microcomputer Accident Analysis Package (MAAP) is a software application used to capture and analyse traffic accident information. GIS technology provides a tool for such information to take on new dimensions and significance when visualised in the form of maps. • • 2002 Annual Report 73 Driving Tourism We’re making tourist attractions more accessible to local and foreign visitors. With new destinations to explore, we’re driving tourism to promote the splendour of Malaysia. Out. . . reaching caring for our Customers PLUS Mesra Campaign In line with the Government’s call to the private sector to upgrade and improve its services, PLUS launched a courtesy campaign at the Sg. Buloh Overhead Bridge Restaurant. Running for six consecutive months from January 2002 – June 2002, the PLUS Mesra campaign helped to inculcate a more customer-friendly work culture among its employees especially frontliners such as toll tellers, customer service assistants and PLUSRonda personnel. Customers participated by filling-up feedback forms giving comments on the quality of service provided by PLUS employees. PLUS – FIAT Brava Competition To reward Customers for their loyalty, a contest offering a Fiat Brava as the grand prize was initiated through PLUS’s official newsletter, Rangkaian PLUS. A total of 16,000 readers took part in the onemonth long competition, and the award ceremony was held at the Sg. Buloh Overhead Bridge Restaurant. Safety Campaigns In conjunction with major festive seasons, school holidays and national celebrations, safety campaigns were held to increase awareness and remind Customers to take extra care on their journey home. The campaigns included free vehicle and tyre inspections, distribution of safety leaflets, exhibitions at key Rest and Service Areas and safety talks. caring for our Employees PLUS Grand Final QPt Convention On 23-24 October 2002, the PLUS Grand Final QPt Convention was held at Renaissance Palm Garden Hotel, Putrajaya. The convention’s main objectives were to enhance service quality, co-operation and team work among employees. Each region was represented by two team finalists in this inaugural convention. PLUSRonda New Uniform 1 April 2002 marked the date of PLUSRonda’s new look. Launched at the Central Region Office, Subang, PLUSRonda personnel were given new uniforms to reflect their Auxilliary Police Authority. 76 PLUS Expressways Berhad caring for our Community PLUS Street Soccer Challenge 2002 Running from June-August 2002, the tournament took place at selected RSAs in the north, south and central regions. Targeted at promoting a healthy lifestyle among youths and building a better relationship with residents in nearby communities, the tournament attracted overwhelming response including teams from Singapore and Thailand. Road Safety Educational Programme On 19 August 2002, a Road Safety Educational Programme was held at Sekolah Menengah Ibrahim Sg. Petani, Kedah. The objective of the programme was to create awareness among students on road safety. PLUS Merdeka Carnival In conjunction with the National Day celebrations, PLUS held a month-long carnival in support of the Government’s call to the private sector to celebrate the event on a grand scale. Minister of Works, Dato’ Seri S. Samy Vellu officiated the PLUS Merdeka Carnival by raising a giant flag at Sg. Besi Toll Plaza. Among the activities held were distribution of mini flags to Customers at Sg. Besi Toll Plaza, a “Best Decorated RSA” contest, a Spot-the-sticker contest in which lucky Customers won SmartTAGs and Touch ’n Go cards, exhibitions on Independence Day, birthday celebration for Customers born on 31 August, and a Merdeka Carnival Day on 1 September 2002 at Ayer Keroh OBR which included a colouring contest, Best Brass Band and Best Decorated Car competitions, traditional games and a Mini Concert by local artistes. PLUS Cooking Competition Held at Ulu Bernam (Southbound) RSA on 19 October 2002, 20 teams comprising PLUS’s stall operators and members of the public took part in the event. It aimed to promote local delicacies as well as creativity in food presentation amongst stall operators. PLUS GIS Day 2002 Held on 2 November 2002 at Sg. Buloh OBR, this was the second time PLUS participated in this initiative to educate more people around the world about the importance of geography and GIS technology. The theme for this year’s event was “I Love Geography and The Environment”. The main highlight of the programme was a contest in which participating students were asked to present a speech based on the theme. Toys For Joy Campaign The Toys for Joy Campaign which ran from 11 November to 10 December 2002, was aimed at collecting toys for cancer children at the Paediatric and Oncology Ward of Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM). PLUS also donated RM30,000 to “Friends of HUKM”, a voluntary body that also looks into the welfare of the children’s parents. 2002 Annual Report 77 Driving Trade Connecting distant plantations to urban processing plants. Facilitating export to and import from global markets. We’re driving trade for the nation.