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Malaysia has new plans for smart city development

Malaysia has new plans for smart city development
Malaysia has embarked on a journey of smart city transformations, and among all the projects, Putrajaya and Bandar Meru Raya are the latest in a lineup of cities on track to modernization.

Bandar Meru Raya, a new township set to house over 10 government buildings, is being planned to become a smart city, a government official just announced.

The township is ripe to become a smart city because it is already a Multimedia Super Corridor, which is similar to a Special Economic Zone.

The smart city project will get started “very soon,” said Hasnul Zulkarnain Abd Munaim, chairman of Malaysia's state communications, multimedia, non-governmental organisation and cooperatives development committee. “The infrastructure is already there, and we only need a bit of added value,” he said.

The smart city project may entail smart parking systems, cashless business transactions and a lifestyle facilitated by the Internet technology, Hasnul explained.

The focus will be on digital technology, and Hasnul is encouraging companies with this expertise to establish headquarters in Bandar Meru Raya.

Putrajaya, on the other hand, is a planned city and Malaysia's third Federal Territory. The recently inaugurated city governor Datuk Aminuddin Hassim said earlier this week that he will turn Putrajaya into a smart city with world-class services. He will reportedly focus on improving the city's public transportation.

Putrajaya is part of Malaysia government's Low-Carbon Cities initiative, and as such, walking and cycling are encouraged modes of transportation, supported by energy-efficient hybrid or electric vehicles when motorized transport is required.

More Cities Indicated Interest

Malaysia is on track to realize its smart city vision, as many people are already using their mobile phones to pay for parking, says NEC Corporation's managing director Chong Kai Wooi, according to local media Malay Mail.

Smart city is about integrating the information and communication technology with other services like waste management, healthcare, energy production, Chong noted.

Up to 55% of the world's population lives in cities, and the proportion is predicted to grow to 68% by 2050. Malaysia is among the countries witnessing this trend, as Kuala Lumpur, Georgetown and Johor Bahru have all experienced rapid population growth. The need to elevate a city's capabilities in all levels, including transportation, waste management, retail, etc. is therefore growing.

Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Selangor and Melaka have demonstrated interest in smart city solutions, according to Chong.

Public Transportation Focus

NEC general manager Dennis Low also pointed out that the government of Malaysia is moving the smart city initiative forward by strengthening the development of public infrastructure.

The nation is planning to introduce the myBAS transportation system that utilizes AI and IoT technologies to provide scheduled trips for commuters while ensuring security. myBAS will be rolled out in Kangar, Seremban, Ipoh and Kuala Terengganu.

“We are in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, and with the help of biometric technology, we would be able to provide the real time analytics and video streaming via our surveillance cameras for relevant authorities to deter any potential crime,” Low said, according to the Malay Mail report.

Emerging Economies to See Fastest Growth

The proliferation of smart city projects in emerging economies is an emerging trend in this market space. Developed economies in the Americas and Europe have been working on developing smart cities for a decade and have already implemented many projects. Emerging economies are still in the planning phase and are launching many pilot projects, says research company Technavio.

Smart city infrastructure help end-users respond faster to challenges associated with urban settlements. Hence, the number of smart cities in emerging economies is expected to grow rapidly until 2022.


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