Smart cities: It’s now or never

James Tee qtcht

THE promise of smart cities has been an ongoing conversation in the nation’s digitalisation agenda for some time now as new technologies are constantly being integrated into communities, especially post the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, concrete efforts have yet to be launched due to an assortment of reasons which include the time and resources needed to build efficient smart cities.

“With the anticipated 5G roll out in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya towards the end of this year, we need to get started on Malaysia’s smart city journey.

“Work from home culture, edge computing and machine learning are already reshaping our daily lives and we should leverage these experiences to move the country and its citizens to the next level through the development of smart cities,” said Green Packet’s Smart City and Urban Tech chief executive officer Dr James Tee.

Tee, a firm believer of intelligent, seamless, smart communities, noted that a smart city can be attainable simply by starting with smart access for vehicles and people to facilitate ease of movement between spaces, followed with the enhancement of public safety and security through smart surveillance and remote monitoring systems to create a more seamless and intelligent community living through digital technologies.Pointing out that hyperscale data centres (HDCs) would be a crucial backbone for smart city development, Tee explained that HDCs are built to accommodate cloud service providers (CSPs) hosting hundreds of thousands of servers and virtual machines to store data – essential for Malaysia’s transformation into a digital economy.

He added that new products and services emerging from the rollout of the 5G network within the year would also be backed by HDCs.

“Focusing on the experience and benefits smart cities will bring for people, the public and private sectors can work in tandem to take advantage of opportunities from existing infrastructure and solutions.

“Working in collaboration could help the country become a regional HDC hub, alongside its smart city ambitions, in the shift towards digitisation.”

Tee, who spearheads the company’s developments in AI City, HDCs and thematic next generation technology parks, shared the six key areas to focus on when developing smart cities.

They include smart mobility (autonomous vehicles), smart logistics (drone technology), smart education, smart healthcare, smart city and last but not least, smart manufacturing which builds on Malaysia’s strength as a semiconductor manufacturing hub.

Besides the six key verticals, Tee said Green Packet’s guiding principle is the alphabet song.“As a technology provider, we have to keep in mind artificial intelligence (A), blockchain (B), cloud computing (C), Big Data (D), the Internet of Everything (E) and 5G (FG).“Incorporating these core technologies will transform intelligent city living, provide solutions to reduce energy consumption and broaden perspectives beyond sustainability and efficiency when developing smart infrastructure and projects.”

Tee was speaking at a panel session on “Building Smarter Cities of the Future, Today” at the recent Smart Gov & Public Services Live Virtual Conference from Sept 7-8, held in commemoration of Star Media Group’s 50th anniversary.

He emphasised on the need to hasten the country’s shift towards a digital economy - which HDCs, smart cities and cloud computing are part and parcel of.

“Cloud computing is a multi-decade mega trend that will transform businesses, data distribution and how things are done. Companies in more developed countries spend about 20% of their IT budget on cloud services, while we remain at the nascent stage – barely spending 1% or less than that.”

“The digital economy is expected to contribute one fifth to a quarter of the total economy in some countries in the Asean region, which translates into greater economic growth, job creation, development of talent pools, and will also attract investment into this region – all of which can improve the quality and standard of living,” said Tee.

Green Packet, according to Tee, hopes to bring more transformation through collaborations with the government, public private partnerships and government-linked companies or GLCs to demonstrate to citizens a new way of living and working.

Since its inception in 2000 as a technology solutions provider company, Green Packet has been discovering and creating impact to businesses and lives.

It continues its massive transformative purpose to ensure every human is able to thrive through life-improving digital innovations.

With a strong presence in over 70 countries as well as an international clientele of more than 100, Green Packet is entering into a new phase of growth this year – offering more Digital Infrastructure and Devices, Digital Services and Strategic Investments products.

Discover how Green Packet strives to create continuous digital growth opportunities and brings positive impact to help drive productivity, competitiveness, market access and convenience for our clients, customers, and communities. Connect with us via

Green Packet was a Gigabyte Partner of the Smart Gov & Public Services Live Virtual Conference. To rewatch Tee’s session, visit

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