KUCHING, Nov 7 — The Sarawak government’s Kuching Smart City Master Plan for low carbon mobility and smart city infrastructure here will be extended to other urban areas in the state, said Datuk Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.
The deputy premier said the master plan will balance environmental sustainability and urbanisation, safe and liveable city, with a holistic urban planning.
“(This will be) taking into consideration the needs for housing, sewage and waste management, irrigation and drainage system, parks and greens, as well as recreational facilities, including educational and public amenities. It also addresses issues relating to urban poverty and traffic management,” he said when launch the Malaysia Urban Forum (MUF) 2023 on behalf of Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg today.
Awang Tengah, who is also second minister of natural resources and urban development, said the Sarawak government is committed to a Net Zero Carbon Future.
As the region’s hub for clean energy, he said Sarawak has assumed the lead in several clean energy initiatives that will serve as the cornerstone of a robust and sustainable economy.
“In our ambition to become a net zero and low carbon economy, Sarawak is also looking at various options in Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage or CCUS as well as natural solutions.
“Sarawak government is persistent in advocating for more ambitious and all-encompassing climate policies, investing in renewable energy sources, and embracing sustainable practices in every aspect of our lives,” he added.
He further said the Kuching Urban Transportation System (KUTS) project utilising the hydrogen fuel cell-powered Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) is being implemented to minimise traffic congestion on the city’s roads while spurring productivity and economic growth.
On the MUF 2023’s theme “Catalysing Transformative Action for Sustainable and Resilient Urbanisation”, Awang Tengah said the theme is very appropriate because enormous opportunities can be created if this rapidly urbanising world is managed well.
He said these opportunities include allowing innovations and new ideas to emerge, energy savings, land and natural resources conservation, and reducing the risk of disasters.
For Sarawak, he said the state government has launched its ambitious and game-changing plan — Post Covid Development Strategy (PDCS) 2030 with the aspiration that Sarawak will be a thriving society by 2030 driven by data and innovation where everyone enjoys economic prosperity, social inclusivity, and sustainable environment.
“The core objectives of the PCDS 2030 are to change the economic structure, to modernise and increase efficiency, to increase household income to gross domestic product (GDP) share and to place environmental sustainability in the state’s recovery effort and long-term economic growth.
“Thus, environmental sustainability is an intrinsic aspect of Sarawak’s development plans, relating it with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and promoting balanced economic growth via responsible use of our natural resources. This is to ensure a clean and healthy environment for current and future generations,” he said.
He also pointed out the Sarawak government has prioritised sustainable practices in its agenda by developing the Sustainable Sarawak Blueprint in tandem with Malaysia’s Fourth Industrial Revolution, which will address issues about biodiversity protection, natural resource management, climate change mitigation, and the building of an enabling environment with contemporary infrastructure.
“Sarawak has already embarked on Southeast Asia’s first integrated hydrogen production and re-fuelling facility, which will largely manufacture hydrogen using renewable power. Plans are in the way to begin large-scale commercial production and export of hydrogen by 2027,” added Awang Tengah, who is also minister of international trade, industry and investment.
Among those present were federal Minister of Local Government Development Nga Kor Ming; state Deputy Minister of Utility and Telecommunications and MUF 2023 organising chairman Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi; Deputy Minister for Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datuk Len Talif Salleh; and Deputy Minister for Energy and Environmental Sustainability Datuk Dr Hazland Abang Hipni. — Borneo Post