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Malaysia reveals new state-level smart city project

Highly integrated urban spaces and smart cities will a key factor in supporting the businesses of tomorrow. Going digital will become less of an effort and more part of their DNA.

The core concepts of sustainability and efficiency will give support to these urban landscapes. Data collected through sensors will feedback information enabling analytics programs to optimize transport and energy systems.

While the vision painted by smart cities can seem like a utopian dream, the reality is, in Asia, they are already becoming a reality.

For example, Malaysia recently revealed the groundwork for its next smart city project in Johor.

The Head of State Government said that the smart city concept not only ‘nice to have’, but it also enables the integration of technology in public spaces which is key to improving public safety and quality of life.

To that end, Johor will be developing its use of Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, big data, advanced analytics, autonomous vehicles, and 5G technology.

While the initiative is an ambitious undertaking and will take a while before this technology is ready for deployment, the government official stated that these technologies, when used together, will enable a move towards smart waste management, dynamic public transport systems, efficient water treatment cycles, energy-efficient buildings as well as cashless communities.

The project laid out for Johor is in line with the 12th Malaysia Plan 2021-2025, which focuses on economic empowerment, environmental sustainability, and social re-engineering.

In achieving those key areas, the development will entail the dimensions of smart governance, smart economy, smart environment, smart mobility, smart people and smart life.

One of the most important players in the development process is the Iskandar Malaysia Comprehensive Development Plan.

In a speech, the representative pointed out that given that there are many students in Iskandar Malaysia, the government also needs to look at the definition of Smart City from this point of view as its way of thinking and implementation to achieve Iskandar Malaysia’s vision in 2025.

Other Malaysian states’ smart city projects

Malaysia’s Johor is not the only state that is pursuing smart city development projects.

Previously, two other states, Sabah and Sarawak, have been promoting consistent smart city efforts by improving their public services and management systems using digital solutions.

It is expected that more urban areas in the country will emerge, especially with the rollout of 5G. Businesses that are looking to expand and grow their operations should keep Johor’s smart city as well those in Sabah and Sarawak in mind.

This is because these smart cities can extensively stimulate economic growth and provide the necessary infrastructural support for the deployment of advanced, intelligent and connected digital solutions.

In addition, OpenGov Asia reported earlier that the government of Sarawak introduced a state-exclusive online identity to the citizens.

Over 290,000 citizens have adopted the identity to receive access to the digital services offered and enabled an e-payment solution called Sarawak Pay.

In November 2019, Sarawak Pay, used by 10,000 merchants and 150,000 consumers, had completed transactions worth over US$ 24 million.

There are also plans to implement a smart traffic light system in Kuching to elevate the overall efficiency of traffic management and transportation system.

Highlighting the fact that 30 percent of travel time would be reduced through the initiative, the government spokesperson said that they have identified 140 junctions in the Greater Kuching area for the installation of the smart traffic lights.

The state government is particularly motivated to make several neighbouring cities in Sarawak smart cities as well through the smart traffic light system.

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