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Smart city, smart village proposals progress as Malaysia's global advisory council meets

Sustainable, high-value and inclusive projects under the Smart City-Smart Village initiative of Malaysia's recently-formed Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council (GSIAC) were identified by leaders of international and local companies convened Oct. 27-28 in Kuala Lumpur.

Originally mooted at the inaugural GSIAC meeting, chaired by the Prime Minister in New York in May, the Smart City-Smart Village initiative aims at balancing development in urban and rural areas, focusing on the use of green and Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) that will help advance Malaysia's Vision 2020. Based on the Digital Malaysia Paper of Malaysia's Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), the Smart City-Smart Village initiative is a flagship project being implemented through the GSIAC.

Malaysia is banking on innovative science and technologies to help more than double per capita income from USD$6,700 to USD$15,000 in just nine years. As growth and urbanization continues at an unprecedented pace, the country hopes to stay ahead of the crowd by being a pioneer in the wide-scale deployment of ICT through urban and rural areas. The goal of the Smart City-Smart Village initiative is to improve everything from energy use to healthcare, education, traffic and shopping by doing it "smart" with the help of ICT.

In a written message to participants, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Tun Razak said initiatives such as these "excite us as they allow Malaysia to accomplish Vision 2020 by meeting many of the objectives outlined in the Government and Economic Transformation Programmes. From creating high income jobs to improving the health and wellbeing of the Rakyat, the Smart Communities initiative has the potential to create the revolutionary change in Malaysia we desire."

Emeritus Professor Dato' Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister, Joint Secretary of GSIAC and co-chair of the workshop, echoed the Prime Minister's enthusiasm committing to early quick-win projects reflective of the New Economic Model's tenants of sustainability, inclusiveness and high-income growth.

"The group shares a common view that Smart Communities must be focused on the wellbeing of the Rakyat," said Zakri.

"The workshop reflected the value of sharing global and local science and technology experiences bringing unique capabilities to projects aimed at closing the socio-economic divide and bringing sustainable and inclusive high-income growth to Malaysia," he added.

"This week's workshop advances a project that will enhance the quality of life for the Rakyat, creating a safe, secure and conducive environment to live, work, learn and innovate," said Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman, President and CEO of the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT), which shares the Joint Secretariat with NYAS.

The workshop was meant gather input on the implementation of Smart City projects in Malaysia, which could contribute up to RM95 billion and 310,000 jobs to the economy by 2020 and Smart Village projects that could create some 130,000 additional jobs.

"The integration of ICT in areas such as energy management and healthcare will increase Malaysia's efficiency, advance its human capacity, and bolster an atmosphere in the country that promotes entrepreneurship and innovation," added Ellis Rubinstein, President and CEO of NYAS and Joint Secretary of GSIAC.

GSIAC coordinated this multilateral initiative with the additional experience of local and international organizations such as, PEMANDU, PwC and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) from India.

"The sharing of best practices among local and international participants contributes an immense amount of value for the Smart City-Smart Village initiative," said Rubinstein.

"This kind of collaboration helps accelerate economic and productivity growth across the value chain through connectivity, information and knowledge sharing," he added.

Participants included top management from international companies including Philips, Verizon, IBM, Cisco and General Electric and corporate leadership from local companies such as Iskandar Investment, UEM Land and Sime Darby Properties.

The Prime Minister, who chairs GSIAC, has endorsed this program with a vision to benefit and transform the living standards of the Rakyat. Smart community projects are expected to empower and connect communities with an inclusive socio-economic approach to growth based on the New Economic Model and Vision 2020 agenda.


Contact: Joshua Brown
Malaysian Industry‑Government Group for High Technology

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