Last year the Penang State Government launched an inclusive and holistic action plan, the Penang2030. It is an action plan that focuses on improving liveability, economy, civil participation and balanced development to achieve a “Family-focused, Green and Smart State”. It is my vision to raise the momentum of Penang to be constantly at the forefront as a state that inspires the nation following the momentous change in our country.
To precipitate Penang’s leap to smart city status, the four main themes which form the pillars behind vision Penang2030 encompass the smart and effective use of data, infrastructure, management and human talents. The main beneficiaries of Penang2030 will be none other than the citizens of Penang who will be the inhabitants of a smart city. It is, therefore, essential for the people to equip themselves with sufficient knowledge and skills to be the prime movers of this transformation of Penang into a smart city.
Penang has implemented several smart facilities and more will be expected to be completed in time to come. For instance, the State’s facial recognition CCTV has been implemented in stages since December 2017 and it was officially launched on 2nd January 2019 by the State Government as well as the PDRM. Infused with artificial intelligence (AI), the system is the first for Malaysia that is designed to not only combat crime and detect traffic violations but also to detect water levels as a flood mitigation measure.
The combined efforts of transforming Penang into a green and smart city include the rejuvenation of back lanes and making George Town Heritage area more user-friendly especially for pedestrians. This is in line with the Penang State Government’s direction to reduce our carbon footprint in order to have a greener environment for everyone. With the help of MBPP and the CSR initiatives by the private sector,we have completed the renovation of four back lanes and there will be more coming soon this year.
Part of the state’s green agenda is to encourage more people to cycle to work instead of driving. To-date, the council has put in place 39.9km of dedicated bicycle lanes all over the island. Also worth mentioning, furthermore, is the Green Building Index (GBI) rating tools that many buildings in the state are certified with. Penang has the third-highest number of GBI certified buildings in the country, totalling 14.9m sq.ft. In fact, the State will soon extend the GBI tool for heritage buildings.
Penang is also maintaining its status as the only state that did not touch even an inch of its permanent forest reserves. Additional green efforts include No Free Plastic Bags Policy, increased charges for plastic bags and No Single-Use Plastic Policy, to reduce plastic wastage and are in line with the federal government’s efforts to encourage eco-friendly products to substitute single-use plastics under the country’s “Roadmap Towards Zero Single-Use Plastics 2018-2030”. The state has also achieved a recycling rate of 42.69% in 2018 and we will strive to improve further especially when it concerns our Segregation of Waste At Source Policy.
This year, Penang Green Council (PGC), a state agency, is organising the annual Penang International Green Conference & Exhibition 2019 (PGIGCE) together with the Malaysian Green Building Confederation (MGBC) Northern Chapter. Our focus, apart from driving economic growth, is to enhance the quality of life through green and smart city planning as well as its execution in Penang. The theme for PGIGCE this year – Penang Green and Smart City – is about making the city sustainable, prosperous and future-inclusive for the people of Penang by effectively integrating physical, digital and human systems in the built environment.
We are more than happy to have Ubtech on board as one of our main sponsors as it blends in well with our theme for this year. Ubtech is a global leading AI and humanoid robotic company which designs, develops, manufactures and sells robots as well as related accessories and technologies. During the event, you will get to meet Cruzr, a cloud-based intelligent humanoid robot that provides a new generation with service applications for a variety of industries and domestic environments.
Also, throughout the event period, various activities will be prepared for the public to learn on green and sustainable solutions for our environment. In addition to that, we will be inviting experts in the field of green and smart cities to this year’s conference which will be a big part of the event, where they will be able to share their knowledge with everyone.
We, therefore, urge all of you to join us at this fun, interactive and informative event which will be held from the 27th to 29th September at Gurney Paragon Mall from 10am to 10pm. We would also like to invite local organisations and companies to join Penang International Green Conference and Exhibition 2019 as exhibitors. The booth space package is now available and we are now calling for interested parties to participate. Enjoy attractive 20% and 10% Early Bird discount rates when you register by 30th April 2019 and 30th May 2019 at www.pgigc.com.my
For more updates on the event, kindly like and follow us on Penang International Green Conference and Exhibition’s Facebook page, or call 04-250 3322 for any inquiries.
Thank you and looking forward to meeting you all there!
Chow Kon Yeow