Malaysia Targets Five Smart Cities by 2025 as Part of 12th Malaysia Plan


Malaysia is setting its sights on designating at least five smart cities by 2025 as part of its ongoing efforts outlined in the Mid-Term Review (MTR) of the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP). This strategic move aims to accelerate the transformation of urban areas into smart cities, focusing on enhanced service delivery and attracting more investments.

The plan involves adhering to the Sustainable Cities and Communities-Indicators for Smart Cities (MS ISO 37122:2019) standard. This commitment to smart city development is expected to empower local authorities to provide improved services and create an environment conducive to increased investments.

In addition to this, the Malaysian government will emphasize the adoption of the Environmentally-Friendly Drainage Master Plan (PISMA) to address flooding issues in urban areas prone to floods. This initiative will align land use planning in state structure plans and local plans with PISMA, ultimately enhancing the drainage systems in urban zones and reducing the occurrence of major floods.


The MTR document highlights the importance of addressing the challenges posed by rapid urbanization and climate change, particularly in urban areas. Efforts will be intensified to promote sustainable urban development and create resilient cities that can withstand the impacts of climate change.

The emphasis in the remaining 12MP period will be on building resilient cities and enhancing the well-being of urban communities. These measures are expected to contribute to an improved quality of life in urban areas in line with the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Furthermore, the Malaysian government is committed to unlocking the economic potential of rural areas. The plan includes identifying suitable land in rural regions for community-based modern agricultural activities under the Agro Entrepreneur Initiative (INTAN). Rural farmers’ income will be increased through initiatives such as durian, avocado, and pineapple cultivation, with support provided in the form of seeds, fertilizers, and advisory services.

Additionally, incubators for start-ups will be established, offering a supportive ecosystem that includes mentoring, research and development facilities, and shared business resources. The preservation of natural landscapes, biodiversity, cultural heritage, and traditional rural lifestyles will be prioritized to promote rural tourism, creating more job opportunities and increasing the income of rural communities.

The implementation of these multifaceted initiatives is expected to have a positive impact on both urban and rural areas, contributing to the overall development and prosperity of Malaysia.

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