First community policy draft ready in August

By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / Pic By TMR File

The government is expected to finalise the first draft of the national community policy by the end of August, as the country looks to find ways to shape its community amid rapid urbanisation.

Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government (KPKT) deputy secretary general Dr Mary Wong Lai Lin said the policies will outline guidelines, action plans and the list of programmes that are due for implementation relevant to the department and agencies.

“This will be used as a basis towards empowering a community. We will be having a number of presentations with relevant stakeholders and hope to finalise this policy by the end of August this year,” she said at the launch of Malaysia 100 Year Cities (100YC) programme yesterday.

She added that there will be a few available sessions for the public to join in the policy planning.

“This shall be part of our aspiration to pledge our commitment to the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and New Urban Agenda (NUA),” she said.

The NUA is a framework that provides efforts around urbanisation and development such as local fiscal systems, urban planning, and basic services and infrastructure, while the SDGs are expected to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

In line with the pledge, the Malaysia 100YC programme was launched yesterday.

It is a design-based research that calls on universities to crowdsource their ideas and suggestions, while focusing on areas such as innovative technologies, green open spaces, urban mobility, affordable living, community governance and smart infrastructure.

Urbanice Malaysia CEO Norliza Hashim (picture) said there is no format for the entries that the universities may enter with.

“We have not set any strict format for their suggestions as to what they can provide, so we’re giving them complete creativity in however they want to submit.

“Once the programme is over, there will be an exhibition of the entries and they will be compiled into a print format for us to work with and review,” she said.

The 100YC programme will run until February 2019 with workshops and special studio sessions taking place.

Submissions are expected to comprise of ideas, solutions and concepts to address the challenges of future urban living, which includes practices and case studies from professional bodies and industry leaders in the areas of technology, architecture and town planning.

The United Nations (UN) Human Settlements Programme ED Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif said among her concerns are the lack of revision for syllabus among architecture students.

“This programme might be where we can change and let universities design modules that may help make their studies more relevant by addressing urban challenges, so that we have capable graduates,” she said.

UN has projected that Malaysia will have an urbanisation rate of 85% by 2040, by which its population is expected to hit 41.5 million people.