Developing smart cities in Malaysia with government partners

Trish Sunga Trish Sunga Australasia Press Office,Sydney
28 June 2021

A new Handbook which anticipates future needs of city users in Malaysia, also considers the importance of holistic ‘smart city’ planning alongside technology, innovation and partnership opportunities.

The Smart City Handbook Malaysia was commissioned by the UK Government in partnership with Arup and Think City. It is part of the co-operation between the two governments on smart city development to address economic, social and environmental issues.

With the Ministry of Housing and Local Government Malaysia leading initiatives to meet urban priorities and ensure a better quality of life through smart city development, the Handbook will support the Ministry and other key stakeholders in strategising, planning and implementing initiatives. 

The Smart City Handbook Malaysia outlines the current smart city landscape and suggests how the country can accelerate its digital development and adapt best practices from the UK. It also identifies the types of commercial and partnership opportunities that are available between the UK and Malaysian governments, private sector and research stakeholders.

Smart cities thinking can help urban centres thrive. The Handbook has been designed to guide decision-makers to find more sustainable solutions for smart cities as well as help capture incoming business opportunities. ” Andy Hodgson Arup Advisory Leader Singapore Andy Hodgson Australasia Regional Advisory Services Leader

“Arup has welcomed the opportunity to partner with the UK Government in producing this smart city handbook for Malaysia, providing our deep expertise in using technology to help cities develop for the wellbeing of their people,” Andy said. 

Malaysia has been home to a fast-growing list of smart cities projects in recent years including transport and commerce. At the launch of the Smart City Handbook Malaysia, YB Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin, Housing and Local Government Minister, said the Government is committed to turning Malaysian cities into smart and sustainable cities.

Smart cities have often been viewed from a technology lens. They can also be viewed from sustainability and liveability perspectives with digital tools used to address modern urban challenges like mobility, waste, flooding, welfare, health, air quality and inequities. ” Murali Ram Murali Ram Advisory Planning and Design Leader and Sustainability Leader, Malaysia

“In researching issues concerning Malaysian cities and modern solutions applied elsewhere, the team noted numerous opportunities to apply smart city principles locally,” Murali said. 

H.E. Charles Hay, British High Commissioner to Malaysia said the Smart City Handbook will be the catalyst for more partnerships between the UK and Malaysia particularly in smart city development. He said the UK is proud to have supported Malaysia through partnerships to develop smart and sustainable mobility systems in Melaka and Iskandar Malaysia, collaboration on disease prevention, development of green data centres, as well as digital standards and digital delivery capability building.  
The Handbook was commissioned by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FDCO) and the Department for International Trade (DIT) in partnership with Arup and city-making agency, Think City. The research complements existing collaborations under the UK’s Global Future Cities Programme in Malaysia. 

“I hope through this Handbook, Malaysia and UK will enhance collaboration and partnership that give mutual benefits to both countries, especially in future Smart City development, and improving Malaysian quality of life,” Minister YB Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said.