Is Malaysia ready to implement IoT tech for the smart city industry?

Posted on
Share this article   

191795528_l_normal_nonea

Contributed by Ahmad Shahir Mohamad and Mohd Khairolden Ghani

In recent years, there have been heated debates on the quality of life experienced by people. In Malaysia, as of 2023, the population has surged to over 33 million from 24.74 million in 2003, raising concerns about the need for a strategic approach to address urban challenges such as traffic congestion, rising crime rates and pollution. According to McKinsey Research, the adoption of smart city initiatives can enhance quality-of-life indicators by 10% to 30%, with Asean megacities already demonstrating notable awareness and utilisation of modern technology. Reflecting on this, Internet of Things (IoT) technologies have emerged as crucial in integrating key components for establishing smart cities, particularly in Malaysia where urban demands are on the rise. The implementation of smart city strategies aids in improving the transportation sector, digital equity and infrastructure while enhancing public utilities through data analytics and smart sensor technology.

Nonetheless, despite all the great functionality and advantages of how smart cities can transform life and services in the area, there lies a great barrier that hinders the progress of this impeccable idea of technology.

Singapore, for instance, began its journey back in 2013, focusing on wireless technology, smart products and building a smart nation. According to the Malaysian National IoT Strategic Roadmap, IoT opportunities are enormous, with the Gross National Income (GNI) expected to increase from RM9.5bil in 2020 to RM42.5bil by 2025. This growth is attributed to the high mobile penetration, a large number of internet users, and significant social media penetration within the country itself. Despite an encouraging trend and a strong starting point to facilitate IoT in the domestic market, several challenges need to be addressed to fully harness the potential of IoT in enabling the connectivity of smart city components.

Current applications

Tons of data are collected by IoT sensors to monitor weather conditions, soil quality, and crop growth progress. This data is then utilised to track the productivity of machinery, staff, and equipment. Through initiatives led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAFI), this data helps in better planning for future food production and modernising the agro-food industry through the utilisation of IoT and automated technology-driven concepts.

Initiatives undertaken by Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) in implementing smart grid technologies include automated monitoring and control, data analytics, and distributed energy resources. The two-way communication between utilities and consumers has yielded positive and significant results in reducing the use of carbon-intensive paper documentation, while also effectively saving costs associated with power generation, distribution, and consumption.

In a nutshell, the system involves cameras and IoT sensors embedded into the parking spots for vacancy detection. Any vacancies on the spots will be sent to users' smart parking apps through a cloud system for the end user's application. This has helped users reduce the time taken to park cars, reducing pollution as well as providing real-time parking analytics for the city.   

Key challenges

For the smart city industry to operate efficiently, a vast amount of data needs to be collected and managed intelligently. This data, which includes Geographic Information System (GIS), infrastructure and utilities data and IoT sensor data, must be integrated into third-party applications before it can be utilised by end users. The challenging aspect lies in integrating all this data to make it easily understandable for end users. Precise crossovers, probabilities, matches and decision-making processes are necessary to provide detailed outcomes on the screens of end users.

Data such as infrastructure and public utilities data are crucial for the development of a smart city. The government plays a vital role in disseminating this data while ensuring confidentiality. This underscores the need for better communication, clarity and transparency from the sector. Collaboration among different departments within the sector is essential to overcome boundaries and prevent data security issues, which are critical for IoT applications.

As thousands of devices communicate simultaneously, there is a heightened risk of cyberattacks, typically stemming from denial-of-service attacks and bots devised by hackers. Despite ongoing concerns about preventing cyberattacks in Malaysia, user awareness remains low. Consequently, security issues persist as the primary challenge in deploying IoT globally.

Another challenge posed by IoT technologies in the smart city industry is the sheer volume of data and the scalability of infrastructure. The substantial amount of data generated by companies and individuals continues to increase, necessitating big data solutions. Big data offers an alternative to conventional database and analysis solutions by enabling real-time processing. However, given the current infrastructure's scalability limitations, integrating the vast amount of data, which comes in various formats, poses significant difficulties.

The application of IoT has gained widespread use in Malaysia as the country transitions towards becoming an advanced model in digital transformation. The role of IoT in developing smart cities is significant, facilitating key components within the smart city industry itself. While the readiness of Malaysia's IoT technology remains to be fully uncovered, the response from users has been solid, providing the government with a strong foundation to further develop the system for the industry. The challenges highlighted in this article undoubtedly present significant obstacles for smart city development currently in progress. The potential of IoT must be recognised by all stakeholders to uphold and support the development of smart city components, contributing to the creation of a better nation.

Ahmad Shahir Mohamad (left) and Mohd Khairolden Ghani (right).

Ahmad Shahir Mohamad (left) and Mohd Khairolden Ghani (right).


Stay ahead of the crowd and enjoy fresh insights on real estate, property development, and lifestyle trends when you subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media.

Want to contribute articles to StarProperty.my? Email: editor@starproperty.my
Related News

Fresh from the news oven

10:03 AM
News & Articles
14:02 PM
News & Articles
Latest News

Stories and news that might pique your interest

10:06 AM
Property News
17:06 PM
News & Articles
10:06 AM
News & Articles
14:06 PM
News & Articles
18:06 PM
News & Articles
18:06 PM
News & Articles
10:06 AM
Property News
17:06 PM
News & Articles
10:06 AM
News & Articles
14:06 PM
News & Articles
18:06 PM
News & Articles
18:06 PM
News & Articles
10:06 AM
Property News
17:06 PM
News & Articles
10:06 AM
News & Articles
14:06 PM
News & Articles
17:06 PM
Property News
13:06 PM
News & Articles
10:06 AM
Property News
17:06 PM
News & Articles
10:06 AM
News & Articles
14:06 PM
News & Articles
17:06 PM
Property News
13:06 PM
News & Articles
11:02 AM
Home & Living
09:08 AM
Home & Living
10:07 AM
Home & Living
12:07 PM
Home & Living
14:07 PM
Home & Living
22:06 PM
Home & Living
01:05 AM
Featured Dev
01:05 AM
Featured Dev
01:05 AM
Featured Dev
01:05 AM
Featured Dev
00:05 AM
Featured Dev
19:05 PM
Events
18:05 PM
Awards 2024
16:05 PM
Events
15:05 PM
Events
00:04 AM
Events
00:04 AM
Events
09:04 AM
News & Articles
16:03 PM
News & Articles
10:02 AM
News & Articles
11:11 AM
News & Articles
11:09 AM
Featured
17:04 PM
News & Articles
11:11 AM
Investment
16:06 PM
Featured
16:06 PM
Investment
15:06 PM
Investment
12:07 PM
潮樓產業
14:07 PM
潮樓產業
10:07 AM
潮樓產業
16:07 PM
潮樓產業
14:07 PM
潮樓產業
12:07 PM
潮樓產業