PUTRAJAYA (Jan 20): Pengerang in Johor has been targeted to become a smart city in five years, said Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin.

She said a 121ha area in the south of the district had been set aside as a smart city zone whereby its early development must comply with the guidelines of the Malaysia Smart City Framework which was launched by the government in September last year.

Other than Pengerang, which had been upgraded to Pengerang Municipal Council (MPP) on Nov 11 (2019), five other cities which were listed as pioneer cities to achieve the Malaysia Smart City Framework were Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Johor Bahru, Kuching and Kulim, Kedah.

Compared to Pengerang, Zuraida said the changes of the other cities towards becoming smart cities would be implemented in stages to take into account the existing infrastructural situation in the cities concerned such as the road and traffic light systems.
‘’Compared to other cities, Pengerang was drafted through strategic planning as a new development area towards becoming a smart city beginning with the provision of infrastructure. Work on the 21 ha area was extensively planned,’’ she told a media conference after flagging off two electricity-powered cars for the use of MPP here today.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, when launching the Malaysia Smart City Framework, was reported to have said that the importance of turning Malaysia into a “smart city” was among the items of priority under the 12th Malaysia Plan (RMKe-12).
According to the Prime Minister, the vision for smart cities was integration with sustainable technology in city services, which will improve public safety and the quality of life of the people, including 5G connections, cashless communities, efficient public transport, energy efficient buildings, water treatment and smart waste management.

On the electric car, Zuraida said its use was in the pioneering effort in turning Pengerang into a smart and sustainable city under the Smart Pengerang, Green Initiative and Low Carbon City initiative.
As for the public transport, she said MPP would use electric buses to ferry passengers in the municipality and it would be provided by Perisind Samudra Sdn Bhd, the company responsible for building the municipal infrastructure.
In another development, Zuraida said the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) had not received any request from the local authorities (PBT) for the RM1 million funds provided by the ministry to build special smoking areas in public places.
She said the local authorities would probably carry it out according to their respective creativities and did not need to apply for the funds.

KPKT was previously reported to have allocated RM1 million to 155 local authorities nationwide to build special smoking areas in public places with each requesting local authority to be allocated RM5,000 after the construction site was identified.