It was the afternoon of the 13th of April 2016. And the university students gathered here were truly excited. It was the much-awaited moment and climax that the five finalists of the 2016 MSSA/CIDB Open Ideas Competition (OIC) themed Iconic Tower in Steel had all been looking forward to: the announcement of the winners who would walk away with a cheque for RM10,000 as well as the MSSA Challenge Trophy. These students had spent three intensive months tirelessly sweating out on their group project for the Competition.

The Competition which had provided the participating architectural and structural engineering students with the unique opportunity to collaborate in a building design that employs steel as the main structural and finishing material had been initiated by Tan Sri Omar bin Ibrahim and Dato Sri Judin in 1999. Now in its 10th year of conception, the MSSA/CIDB Competition aims to bridge the gap between the teaching of architecture and structural engineering by getting students from the two schools to appreciate the importance of project team consultations and collaborations with each other in realising a building project.

As one of the main sponsors for the Competition, the Malaysian Steel Structural Association (MSSA) which was formed 18 years ago, is most interested to promote the growth of the structural industry by way of steel to be used as a construction material as well as to be the primary building material of choice. With engineers, fabricators, contractors, architects, designers, surveyors, as well as academicians and students from several tertiary institutions throughout the country under its helm, MSSA hopes to redefine the industry. Its aim is to elevate the standard of the industry with the provision of the necessary industry leadership, as well as in improving construction practices at building sites on the use of structural steel.

As a statutory body under the Ministry of Works Malaysia, the Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia (CIDB) established in 1994 represents the other main sponsor for the Competition. CIDB aspires to improve the quality of life by enhancing the construction industry with its emphasis on professionalism, innovation and knowledge.

Bina Puri Holdings Bhd, a public listed company on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia Berhad, with 38 years of work experience in civil and building construction both locally and internationally, is also another sponsor for the Competition. With diverse business activities ranging from investment holdings, civil and building engineering management, property development, highway concessionaire, quarry operations, manufacturing of construction materials, polyurethane system house, utilities and hospitality management, Bina Puri has successfully completed several projects namely, roads and highways, bridges and interchanges, waterworks, land reclamation works, residential and commercial buildings, hotels, hospitals, airports and government complexes. Since its global expansion in 1995, Bina Puri currently has operational offices in Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Thailand.

Founded in 1982, Ann Yak Siong Hardware Sdn. Bhd. is yet another sponsor for this Competition. With more than 30 years of experience in the steel trading business, this company has established itself in both Malaysia and the region.

The 2016 Open Ideas Competition saw 216 students and 16 supervisors from 7 universities collaborating in designing the iconic Malaysian tower. To qualify for ranking in today’s final judging, competition participants had to go through two rigorous preliminary stages of an initial selection by their respective universities; followed by being shortlisted by a panel of external judges. The panel of judges which comprised of academic experts in the field, professionals and industry experts also included an independent specialist from the creative arts and designs field. Heading the panel of judges was Pn Amna A. Emir. She was ably assisted by Dr Farzad Hejazi from UPM, Mr Tony Liew Voon Fun of Taylor’s University, Ir Hj Mohamad Sobri bin Abdul Ghani and Ir Low Chin Yen from Jurutera Perunding Meinhardt Sdn. Bhd.

The Awards Ceremony which finally began when the Master of Ceremony had completed with the salutations, began with the reading of the Welcome Address of Y. Bhg. Dato’ Sri Ir Dr Judin Abd. Karim (MSSA President) by a MSSA Council member representative. Y. Bhg. Dato who was tied to an earlier commitment, was not able to be present. In his welcome address, Y. Bhg. Dato acknowledged the timely addition of six new universities with the Association to total seventeen member 
universities altogether. 

For Y. Bhg. Dato, this Competition was essential in helping to prepare the students as the second echelon innovators for the construction industry. By testing their ability to work as a team on a structured system, it provided the students with the inevitable experience and bonus of undergoing processes that further helped them to evolve towards achieving ultimate excellence since the constructed tower also required them to include a creative perspective into its feature. 

Participating in the Competition, required the contestants to create an iconic Malaysian tower that although not habitable, would house a myriad of activities which are a natural consequence of the tower location. In doing so, the Competition enabled the contestants to both meet the demands of a complex project, as well to develop their commitment towards the industry.

On congratulating the Competition winners, Y. Bhg. Dato’ is of the opinion that the students’ submissions were highly creative in reflecting both their talent, and also their commitment to the demands of the Competition.

The winners for the Competition were:

1st PRIZE 
Supervisors : Assoc Prof Ar Faridah Adnan & Dr Hazrina Mansor

  • Muhammad Yasin Ramadhan bin Zahari (Team leader)
  • Muhammad Aiman Zhafri bin Fauzi
  • Megat Zawirul Asyraf Samsudin
  • Mohammad Amirul bin Mani
  • Tuan Afif bin Tuan Azman
  • Ariff bin Hasan


Supervisor : Ar Hong Lim Foo

  • Yeow Yann Herng (Team Leader)
  • Tuan Farhana binti Tuan Mohd Marzuki
  • Vynotdni A/P Rathinasamy
  • Kim Zhao Wei
  • Ong Soo Khai
  • Phuah Lin



Supervisor : Assoc Prof Ar Faridah Adnan & Dr Hazrina Mansor

  • Nurul Farhana  binti Abdullah  (Team leader)        
  • Nurul Huda binti Mohd Mohsin
  • Seri Najwa Abd Nasir
  • Mohd Fikhrie bin Zakaria
  • Muhammad Azeem bin Azlan
  • Fatihah binti Kamaruzzaman


Supervisors : Assoc Prof Wan Mariah Wan Harun & Assoc Prof Dr Fatimah Denan

  • Najwa Harzani bt Ezumi Harzani (Team leader)
  • Mohammad Firas bin Azmi
  • Nurul Juliyana binti Dinail
  • Ong Zhi Jia
  • Nur Izzati bt Ismadi
  • Muhammad Ikhwan Mohd Aripin



Supervisors : Assoc Prof Wan Mariah Wan Harun & Assoc Prof Dr Fatimah Denan

  • Mohamad Yusuf bin Mislam (Team leader)
  • Siti Fairuz binti Zulkefly
  • Nur Syafiqah binti Saiful Azmi
  • Sharvin A/L Poovaneshvaran
  • Norazilah binti Mohamed Paid
  • Zafira Nur Ezzati bt Mustafa


It took everyone present some time to settle down once the announcement was made and the prizes handed out for the closing ceremony to commence. In representing Prof Dr Azlan Adnan, Chairman of the OIC Committee and also Council member of MSSA, Asst. Prof Dr Srazali Ariffin began his speech by conveying the remarks and comments he had gathered in his interaction with the panel of judges. He believed this feedback is important for further improvement and inspiration for future competition participants. 
The judges’ consensus was that while only a few of the entrants had presented good detailing in architecture, most of the contestants had revealed good understanding of the competition brief. Generally creative in their design entries, contestants displayed many ambitious ideas that however offered few innovative solutions. The outstanding projects, according to the judges, clearly demonstrated good collaboration between the architectural and engineering students working in tandem with each other to combine both their creative and critical skills. The challenge for the studen