Yesterday, on (21st September) I had a chance to attend the Malaysian government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) Open Day at PWTC. This event is organized by PEMANDU, a body to oversee implementation and assess progress of the government transformation programme. The open day is opened to brief the public about the plan and progress of ETP that is expected to bring Malaysia forward and achieve a high-income economy by year 2020.
There are many key economic areas identified from Financial Services, Business Services, Healthcare, Agriculture, Education and so on. But what brings me here is tourism-related key areas: ‘Tourism’ and ‘Greater Kuala Lumpur’ (Greater KL). I was just keen to know what government had planned for tourism industry in Malaysia, and Greater KL is something that is important to know as I lived in this city.
Below are some notes that I have taken from Greater KL breakout sessions during lunch hour. I will share another note on ‘Tourism’ in later post. Of course it’s not complete details but just few points that I thought are worth sharing:
Greater Kuala Lumpur (Greater KL)
- Malaysia wants to achieve Top 20 rank in the world in terms of GDP and liveability
- Kuala Lumpur current population is 6.5 million people. Our target is to have 10 million people by 2020 to facilitate the city’s rapid growth. In relation to this, an estimate of 1 million homes will be built
- A great city always have 4 characteristics: a liveable city, great people, great connectivity, and best quality of service
- To grow GNI contribution from RM258 billion to RM650 billion per year
- Focus will be given on attracting foreign talent base from 9% to 20%. This task has been given to TalentCorp
- Great city needs great connectivity. Our answer is MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) system that is similar to any other big cities in the world. This MRT will connect Greater KL with Singapore
- The new MRT system will cover North-West and South-East corridors of Kuala Lumpur. 66% traffic of Kuala Lumpur is presently coming from these corridors. When completed, we will have 96 MRT stations (including the undergrounds), this will put us on par with Singapore, to say the least
- To make Kuala Lumpur a liveable city, 10.5km long waterfronts will be created off the Klang River. To do this, the river must be treated and cleaned-up. Klang River is currently graded as Class-3, which means any body-contact with the water should be avoided. The plan is to upgrade it to a minimum Class-2. The waterfronts will create the path to other commercial developments, retail centres and more green spaces, hence attract more potential tourists
- Solid waste management: to increase waste recycle rates among the citizens to 20% from the present 11%. This target is still lagging behind other nations such as Singapore at 57%. A proposal has been studied to charge the citizen of the amount of waste that they generate (be prepared for another monthly bill ).
The breakout session for Greater KL was ended after 45 minutes. There are other details and interesting figures presented that I missed. Generally, the Greater KL plan did sounds good on paper and there are sense of optimisms this time around from Malaysian government. However, some fractions are still skeptical and express their doubts about the holistic approach to the plan. What they feared are the real and classic problems and challenges that may hinder the efforts to achieve the plan.
For me, this is a great first step that we need to take to bring our nation forward. We can’t just sit back and keep on talking about our frustrations on the current system. Our Kuala Lumpur needs to be transformed into a great city for our kids, if not for us. What do you think?
*More details about the Economic Transformation Programme or Greater KL can be found at PEMANDU’s official website.
25 Oct 2010: A high-speed train from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore is proposed to use ‘magnetic levitation’ technology, the same technology used for Shanghai’s Pudong airport that links to it’s financial district.
21 Dec, 2010: The MRT project will start in July with the first line running from Sungai Buloh to Kajang through the centre of Kuala Lumpur, covering 60km with 35 stations. [source: StarMetro]