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Accelerating Malaysia’s Smart Cities Aspirations

Accelerating Malaysia’s Smart Cities Aspirations

01 Nov 2022

Have you ever sat in traffic and wondered why a road that was usually free-flowing is now congested all the time?

Or ended up being late for an urgent appointment because you couldn’t find a parking spot?

Worried about walking back to your car after work because the streets were completely dark?

These are some of the common challenges that city dwellers face as workplaces, offices and schools reopen their doors and are once again impacting their way of life.

With the majority of Malaysians now having experienced how digital innovations make life simpler – be it remote working options, ecommerce, online orders or direct deliveries – the momentum to leverage technology to solve urban challenges has also picked up pace.

As most of the Malaysian population and businesses are based in or around the nation’s main cities, digital solutions will help address key issues such as traffic congestion, utilities management and public safety, and encourage more efficient urban planning by states, real estate developers, municipalities and local councils.

The digitalisation of local authorities will enable public sector growth and raise the efficiency of public services – as envisioned by the MyDigital Blueprint and “Liveable Malaysia” aspirations.

Smart cities, smart industries

Over the last two years, TM One – the enterprise and government business arm of TM – has intensified its efforts to become the total end-to-end business solution partner for these local councils to support the transformation of their cities.

By understanding their needs and challenges, we have put together an array of solutions for smart cities and smart industries, and brought forward the power of AI, IoT, big data and analytics, as well as 5G.

So how are these smart solutions and technologies making our cities smarter?

For one, TM One’s smart cities solution includes using multiple IoT sensors that detect and mitigate traffic challenges and the environment such as haze, flooding, soil erosion and congestion. These sensors also power TM One’s smart street light systems – improving public safety while being energy efficient.

In Kuching, the state government is addressing community concerns by implementing TM One’s smart street lighting and analytic surveillance – enabling the authorities to assess and address Darul Hana community challenges more effectively.

While these poles are also being used as automated street lights currently, they can provide various other features in the future – such as environmental sensors, electric vehicle charging stations, digital billboards, or outdoor WiFi.

To help local councils detect and respond to any incidents quickly, all of these features can be managed at an integrated control centre, supporting the efficiency of public services.

TM One has also used AI, smart services and 5G to set up smart security and surveillance systems (CCTVs) throughout the country, and worked with the Housing and Local Government Ministry to bring this solution to 25 local councils by helping them improve the safety of their population, reduce crime rates and provide faster assistance during emergencies.

Recently, TM One worked with the Kulai municipal council to upgrade their surveillance facilities at targeted areas.

To ease parking woes in big cities, TM One innovated its Smart Parking System (Sparks). Using AI and mobile applications, users can easily search or book a parking space even before they arrive. The solution helps local authorities to maximise the use of public parking lots and improves revenue collection.

Aside from parking, congestion remains one of the biggest issues for road users in the nation’s cities.

If you had driven along Jalan Sultan Idris Shah in Ipoh a year ago, being stuck in non-moving traffic would be a common occurrence during peak hours.

Over the past seven months, however, TM One has helped the Ipoh city council to reduce traffic flow by 51%, using TM One’s Smart Traffic Analytics and Recognition System (Stars).

The solution helped to decrease carbon emissions by 7,500kg per month, supporting the local council’s goal to make Ipoh a low-carbon city by 2030.

Drones and wireless connectivity such as 4G and 5G were important in surveying and delivering supplies to at-risk communities during the pandemic.

These continue to play an important part in how effectively local councils respond to an emergency or crisis.

In addition to local councils and facilities, smart cities also rely on the transformation of industries and businesses to bring new technological capabilities to its citizens.

In Johor, real estate developers are looking at ways to promote security and digitalise residential premises.

Working with these developers, TM One has integrated smart premises apps and IoT universal hubs, WiFi cameras and smart door sensors into smart residential designs across three cities.

In the Klang Valley, established shopping centres leverage TM One retail analytics, people behaviour and tracking solutions and target location campaigns to improve their customer experience and loyalty – a predictive effort to encourage more customers to physically return to these malls.

Solutions for smart farms

Beyond city limits, smart applications have found their way into the agricultural industry.

TM One is helping farmers and the agriculture industry of all sizes across the country to use smart agriculture solutions that employ IoT sensors, AI, CCTVs and cloud to monitor humidity and soil moisture – to improve their nutrient mixes for healthier crops with greater yield.

This suggests how technology will transform the country’s food ecosystem in the future – bringing new meaning to the term “from farm to table” which innovates the way producers can keep up with demands from their own and urban communities.

Supporting all of these smart solutions is TM One’s robust and secure digital connectivity and infrastructure – formed by cloud, data centres, cybersecurity and smart services.

These elements enable the smart city vision, and beyond, to grow from blueprint to execution and implementation that will raise the lives of citizens, communities and business to the next level and towards achieving the Smart City Index.

Shazurawati Abd Karim is executive vice-president of TM One. For more information, go to

Source: The Star