There are too many smart city players working in silos, thus hindering the smart city development as a whole, said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said to overcome the issue, the Housing and Local Government Ministry has introduced the Malaysia Smart City Framework, comprising all three tiers of government as well as private sector participation to streamline and coordinate the development of smart cities in Malaysia.
Dr Mahathir said the emphasis towards turning Malaysian cities into smart cities would be one of the highlights in the Twelfth Malaysia Plan.
“Smart City specifies a city’s capability to respond as promptly as possible to the issues and challenges of its citizens, it has existed for nearly 30 years but still is an ongoing topic as the development of smart cities is crucial and constantly changing with new technology and inventions.
“Thus, we envision smart cities that are integrated with sustainable technologies in the cities’ services such as 5G connectivity, cashless community, autonomous public transport, drone delivery, energy-efficient buildings, smart treatment of water and waste management that can improve the public safety and the quality of life of our citizens,“ he said.
Mahathir said this in a video recording in the opening ceremony of Cities 4.0 Conference and Exhibition 2019, which was officiated by Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin in Kuala Lumpur today.
He said the government is fully supportive in laying the foundations to build smart cities as reflected by the recent launch of the Kembara Digital Malaysia Programme that would enable Malaysians to enjoy high quality and affordable digital connectivity where ever they were.
"Leveraging on the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan, I aspire to see Smart Cities grow efficiently to become Smart Region," he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said public transportation is one of the major concerns of Malaysians that need to be dealt with.
“My aim is to address these pain points by implementing Smart City initiatives. We may deploy digital city solutions to develop functional, resilient and efficient mobility system but we must remember the goal is still about the prosperity and wellbeing of the rakyat,” he said.
For the record, Selangor and Penang are two states to implement smart cities while Kota Kinabalu (Sabah), Kuching (Sarawak), Kuala Lumpur, Iskandar Johor and Kulim (Kedah) are the cities under development.