Showcase of the ‘Iskandar Malaysia Urban Observatory’ or ‘IMUO’ data analytics platform demonstrates the importance of census data for the benefit of the Rakyat

Putrajaya, 7 July 2020 – Iskandar Malaysia showcase of its data analytics platform, ‘Iskandar Malaysia Urban Observatory’ or ‘IMUO’, at the launch of CENSUS 2020 today demonstrates the importance of census data in helping the relevant authorities to make better planning for cities development that will ultimately benefit the Rakyat.

“Census 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,” commented YBhg. Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, Chief Executive, Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA).

In Iskandar Malaysia, the census data provided by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) has been very useful in helping the economic region to achieve its goal of holistic development in the economic, social and environmental aspects.

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 DOSM 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.

Explaining further on the showcase, Datuk Ismail said that the Iskandar Malaysia Urban Observatory (IMUO) will analyze 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 Iskandar Malaysia.

Apart from using data from the DOSM, IMUO also collate and analyse data from Smart City application such as sensors and data harnessing through mobile apps.

In the recent effort to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, IMUO played an important role as a data analytics platform by analysing COVID-19 patients related data and providing a report on potential and anticipated new hotspots for COVID-19 breakout. This allows the relevant authorities to take quick actions on these hotspots to curb any potential breakout.

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.

“Clearly, data from the census is vital in helping the authorities to understand the Rakyat better and this can turn into an opportunity for the authorities to make better plans. As such, I urge everyone to participate in CENSUS 2020 so that we contribute towards better growth and development of the country,” said Datuk Ismail.

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