Irda: Census data key to Iskandar Malaysia’s growth


  • Metro News
  • Thursday, 13 Aug 2020

Iskandar Regional Development Authority’s corporate headquarters in Danga Bay, Johor Baru.

JOHOR BARU: Data collected from a census by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) has been useful in developing Iskandar Malaysia since its inception on Nov 4, 2006.

Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) chief executive Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said this was reflected in the progress and development taking place in the country’s first economic growth region.

“We are focusing on economic, social and environmental aspects to transform Iskandar Malaysia into a metropolis of international standing by 2025,’’ he said.

Ismail said the data was collated and analysed through data analytics platform, Iskandar Malaysia Urban Observatory (IMUO), and churned out into more useful analysis relevant to Iskandar Malaysia.

He said census data such as age, gender, household income and work skills level would help Irda to understand the general situation of the population in the region.

Ismail said population age, for example, showed that 46% in the region were of the younger age group, below 40 years old.

He said with this information, Irda had engaged and reached out to the group to ensure they were well prepared and equipped to grow alongside the development in the corridor.

Ismail said various projects and initiatives were also implemented to achieve these goals, including provision for training and grants for youths, adding that other measures included development of regional and international youth hubs, creation of Johor Student Leadership Council, young entrepreneurship, volunteerism, leadership, sports and art and culture.

Ismail said analysed data on the population’s household income revealed that a group of villagers in the region needed help so they were not left behind in the region’s rapid development.

“We want them to participate and benefit from the economic activities and we have launched Kawan Iskandar Malaysia (KIM), a project for villagers from 14 villages,’’ he said.

Ismail said they were provided with the relevant training and grants to enhance their traditional economic activities such as fishing to a more dynamic and higher returns activity such as eco-tourism.He said household income and housing types analysis also helped the region to effectively plan for one of its biggest rakyat projects, the Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (IMBRT) routes throughout the region.

“The same analysis is also used to understand housing demand and supply, and again we came up with interventions such as the housing pricing policy for the different areas in Iskandar Malaysia,’’ said Ismail.

He said interventions were done using DOSM data to attend to the economic need of the population in the region by organising economic-related programmes.

Ismail said the programmes included the annual Iskandar Malaysia Employment Fair, Iskandar Malaysia HR Summit, various upskilling and reskilling programmes, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and providing entrepreneurship programmes and grants.

He said in terms of environmental preservation planning, IMUO analysis of river water quality and solid waste data helped Irda to understand the impact these have on the region’s environment.

“We can take the necessary intervention by creating a river monitoring and management system, water management system and solid waste monitoring system, among others,’’ said Ismail.

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