A model for other cities in Sarawak to follow

Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) general manager Dr Zaidi Razak delivers his speech at the ceremony. Photo: Ukas

KUCHING: The Kuching Smart City Masterplan (KSCMP) details how to make Kuching a more liveable and prosperous city by 2025, with Kuching as a model for such endeavours in other cities in Sarawak.

Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) general manager Dr Zaidi Razak said a key concept in this masterplan was the Smart City Operating System — the first in Malaysia.

“This aims to deliver various system services to enable the service providers within the smart city ecosystem to participate together in innovating the city services.

“The KSCMP maps out the development of core smart city digital infrastructure platforms and essential shared smart city applications. The government agencies, private sector, and community could then package and deliver their services and products using the shared smart city applications.”

He added that with in-built application and data interfaces on the essential smart city apps, government agencies, private sector, and the community could even extend and expand the capabilities of the as-is shared smart city apps functions.

“They can package the new functions into their own end user applications, such as digital health, smart transportation, and smart tourism applications,” he said at the launching of KSCMP and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) exchange ceremony on Tuesday (Oct 5), held at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here and also livestreamed by Sarawak Public Communications Unit.

For example, Zaidi said citizens would be able to connect their cameras to security solutions built on the Smart City Operation System, eliminating the need for them to allocate high investment to set up personal or community CCTV surveillance system.

“For private security service providers, they could leverage on the Operating System’s capabilities such as intrusion detection, face recognition, and geo-fencing to provide innovative user-centric services and create limitless business opportunities.

“In addition, with interoperability and reusability architected natively into the Operating System, extending and expanding smart city services to other cities and towns will be swift and relatively effortless.”

He said one of the key outcomes that the masterplan seeks to achieve was for city planners to able to measure city competitiveness from accurate unified data. He pointed out that this had the propensity to attract twin city partnerships as well as generate investment and talent inflow and retention.

“Essentially, with the Kuching Smart City as an Operating System concept, innovation and development will not only depend on the government investment but also on the involvement of private, start-ups, and individuals. 

“The Kuching Smart City ecosystem also results in better optimisation of resources and enables trusted collaboration, resulting in sustainable accelerated growth of the Sarawak digital economy.”

Zaidi added that this would lead to job creation, vibrant industry, a safe and environment-friendly city, public services at the finger tips, and healthier living.

“With the economic and social needs of the citizen met, the Wellbeing Index for cities in Sarawak will also improve.”

He shared that in order to develop the KSCMP, SMA had carried out a comprehensive study last year.

“The study gathered responses of 632 citizens, 604 business entities, captains of industry, and government and non-government organisations representing various interest groups on issues facing Kuching and suggestions to transform Kuching into a smart city.”

He said from the study, five focus areas were identified, namely economic growth, smart living, clean environment, digital government, and digital infrastructure.

“A total of 38 actionable smart city initiatives within the five focus areas were identified and strategised for implementation from 2021 until 2025.”

Zaidi added that the initiatives were aligned with the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) and the state’s 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) objectives.

“We had earlier initiated the Miri Smart City pilot project and together with the eventual implementation of the more comprehensive KSCMP, we intend to create a stable, resilient, and sustainable operating platform for replication in other towns of Sarawak.”