Towards a Smarter Malaysia

Date: 18–19 October 2016
Company Name: Knowledge Group of Companies

With cities becoming increasingly dense, the 2nd Smart Cities Asia Conference and Exhibition was held to prepare Malaysia for the future. More than 150 industry leaders and civic leaders—including 25 experts from the industry—gathered at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) to discuss about policies, urban design and technologies for the creation of future proof cities from 18 to 19 October 2016.

This year’s conference hosted twice more delegates and 12 additional speakers. Compared to last year’s three themes—smart mobility, smart sustainability and smart development—the organiser removed the smart sustainability theme and added four new themes—smart energy, smart water, smart waste and smart citizens. In total, there were seven keynote speeches, two panels and 18 breakout sessions across all themes. Participants learned how to solve various urban issues such as waste, water, energy, development and mobility, as well as create smart citizens.

Smart Cities Asia 2016 started each day with a series of keynotes that were chosen either to provide an important broad theoretical background, showcase a specific city example or highlight an industry perspective. While last year’s conference covered only two in-depth smart city case studies of Barcelona, Spain and Toyota, Japan, this year it featured Kamitkatsu, Japan; Taipei, Taiwan; and several city projects in Selangor state, Malaysia. It also provided specific examples of energy-efficient building renovation or transit-oriented design in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Petaling Jaya, Malaysia; Jakarta, Indonesia; Singapore; and Hong Kong, China.

This event also witnessed the Memorandum of Agreement Handover between Kiwitech and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), formalising their collaboration to build the first Smart Cities Industrial Lab in Sarawak. The cooperation and laboratory activities will allow sharing of expertise and knowledge between both parties and eventually boost the technology that could be implemented in sites identified for smart cities projects.

The conference concluded with an expert panel discussion on what is expected to happen on the smart cities scene in Malaysia and globally in the coming year. The experts agreed that while there is not enough activity taking place in Malaysia at the moment—with notable exclusions of Smart Selangor, Iskandar Smart City and Malacca Smart Sustainable Cities—there will be exciting developments in the near future. In order to show commitment towards the journey of Malaysia’s transformation towards smarter cities, Smart Cities 2017 Jesse Chooi, Head, IOT Strategy, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) will be held from 2 to 3 October 2017.