Iskandar Malaysia, 21 December 2020 – Johor Menteri Besar, Yang Amat Berhormat Datuk Ir Haji Hasni Mohammad, today launched the Iskandar Malaysia Urban Observatory (IMUO) microsite to mark the expansion of data analytics initiative across the stare of Johor.
“I can confidently state that Johor government is in full support of data analytics as a key item in the Johor Digital Agenda. The Johor Digital Agenda is the state government’s effort to accelerate the state’s economy, driven by the digital economy, taking into account the Covid-19 pandemic which has altered society’s survival. The agenda helps provide socioeconomic overflow to the people of Johor, where every government actions and policy from the lowest to the top level will be guided by data,” said Datuk Hasni.
5 local authorities within Iskandar Malaysia, Johor Bahru City Council, Iskandar Puteri City Council, Pasir Gudang City Council, Kulai Municipal Council and Pontian District Council are already on board of this IRDA-led data analytics platform initiative.
“Iskandar Malaysia Urban Observatory will analyse huge amounts of data from various sensors and sources to uncover patterns, get insights and extract valuable information that can be used to make appropriate strategic moves and informed decisions targeting sustainable economic growth and better quality of life for both the citizens and visitors to the region,” said Yang Berbahagia Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, Chief Executive of Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA).
Datuk Ismail added that IMUO is a globally recognised initiative and already has the support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its development and implementation.
According to Datuk Ismail, data such as age, gender, household income and work skill level help the authorities to understand the general depiction and situation of the Rakyat. When these data are collated and analysed through a powerful data analytics platform such as the IMUO and churned out into more useful analysis such as grouped by location or household income, these can help the authorities to make interventions quickly in critical areas, for example, providing economic or entrepreneurship support to youth or single mothers in a particular area.
Population age data, for example, showed that 46% of the population in Iskandar Malaysia are of the younger age group of below 40 years old. With this information, Iskandar Malaysia quickly engaged the youth group to ensure that they are well equipped to grow alongside the region’s economic development and are prepared to become future leaders for the region and beyond.
Various projects and initiatives were then drawn and implemented to achieve these goals including provision for training and grants, development of regional and international youth hubs, creation of the Johor Student Leadership Council and various others with a wide-ranging focus in the areas of entrepreneurship, volunteerism, leadership, sports, and arts and culture.
Analysed data on population household income in Iskandar Malaysia revealed a group of villagers in the region that needed to be ‘transformed’ so that they are not left behind due to the region’s rapid development and would also be able to participate and benefit from the economic activities. This translated into the ‘Kawan Iskandar Malaysia’ or KIM project where villagers from 14 villages were provided with the relevant training and grants to enhance their traditional economic activities such as fishing to a more dynamic and higher return activity such as eco-tourism.
The household income and housing type analysis also helped the region to effectively plan for one of its biggest Rakyat projects, the Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit or IMBRT routes throughout the Iskandar Malaysia area. The same analysis was also used to understand housing demand and supply, and again come up with interventions such as the housing pricing policy for the different areas in Iskandar Malaysia.
Using analysed data on unemployment rate and education level of the population in Iskandar Malaysia, interventions were done to attend to the economic need of the Rakyat by organising the annual Iskandar Malaysia Employment Fair, Iskandar Malaysia HR Summit, various upskilling and reskilling programmes, and, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and, providing entrepreneurship programmes and grants.
In terms of environmental preservation planning, IMUO analysis of river water quality and solid waste data helped Iskandar Malaysia to understand the impact these have on the region’s environment and take the necessary intervention by creating a river monitoring and management system, water management system and solid waste monitoring system amongst others.
The IMUO microsite, www.iskandarmalaysia.com.my/imuo, contains information about the IMUO data analytics platform and other similar platforms around the world plus a peek at the dashboards, analysis and insights that the platform currently offers.
Together with the launch of the IMUO microsite, the IMUO Forum was organised earlier in the morning, through a virtual platform, to provide first-hand experience to all the local authorities in the state of Johor on the capability and valuableness of the IMUO data analytics platform.