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Penang Island City Council and tech firm ink smart city deal

Image Credits: Malay Mail, News Report

The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Malaysian branch of a multinational computer hardware company.

The aim is to develop and implement cloud computing infrastructure for the local authority.

The MoU will see the tech firm advise, consult and provide technical expertise on cloud computing, artificial intelligence, blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) technology for implementation in the MBPP’s smart city plans.

The Mayor of Penang stated that the agreement was aimed at integrating technology into administrative processes and infrastructure to provide better services for ratepayers.

This initiative has a profound impact on the MBPP’s information management standard and contributes to strengthening Penang’s huge industrial chain. The collaboration will transform local government administration and accelerate economic growth by offering better services to ratepayers and businesses in Penang.

This is not the first time the tech firm has collaborated with MBPP. Last year, the tech giant and it’s business partner set up an intelligence operation centre for the MBPP to address issues related to governance, mobility, social engagement, economy and environment.

To date, IBM has delivered solutions to tackle traffic congestion, mitigate flash floods, as well as improve preparedness and response time to incidents.

It has also come up with solutions to provide city data to executives and operational decision makers for timely decisions.

It was noted that the firm will advise on the suitable AI technology that can be applied to achieve higher levels of productivity and efficiency to empower MBPP’s workforce to provide better quality public service.

He added that MBPP will explore how blockchain technology can be developed and implemented to enhance transparency and efficiency in transactions and its core services.

With regards to the data generated by the IoT technology, this could be employed to better understand how to prepare for unexpected events and allocate resources effectively.

According to the Managing Director of the tech giant’s Malaysia branch, the collaboration with MBPP is part of the firm’s commitment to supporting the local government’s agenda to transform the city into an accessible and dynamic community.

Technology enables local systems and infrastructure to function in a smarter way. In addition, it creates benefits directly related to improving the quality of life for all in a cost-effective way.

Tech trade to continue as planned

According to another report, Malaysia aspires to be E&E hub despite the US-China tech war. The International Trade and Industry (MITI) Minister noted that despite the ongoing tech and trade war between the two countries, Malaysia will remain neutral and continue to aspire to be the hub for E&E as well as other businesses.

Malaysia is still in a positive trend as proven by the increase in investments in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors.

The minister explained that investment data for the first quarter of 2019 (Q1 2019) by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) showed an increase of 3.1% to RM53.9 billion from RM52.3 billion recorded in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the Penang state government has urged local E&E players to explore the opportunities arising from the ongoing trade dispute.

The special investment adviser to the Chief Minister of Penang stated that local companies should see it as an opportunity for them to fill the vacuum.

It is in Malaysia’s best interest that the tech war stays at bay and does not affect the local E&E sector.

In terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) the InvestPenang Director said that despite stiff competition from neighbouring countries such as Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, Malaysia, in general, has not only the environment needed but also the global supply chain connection, infrastructure and human resources that suit the needs of multinational corporations.

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