PM: Strengthen feedback system and align policies for sustainable growth

This would ensure a better integration and cooperation on policy matters

by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

ALL government-related entities at the federal and state levels must align their policies to ensure the country’s sustainable growth.

Prime Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (picture) said one of the key mechanisms to achieve the mission is by strengthening the bottom-up feedback system in Malaysia.

He said this would ensure a better integration and cooperation on policy matters, as well as improving the coordination of action plans to reduce mismatch between real needs and plans in urban areas.

This effort is also in line with Malaysia’s vision to be a Sustainable Urban Nation in the next decade, fulfilling the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030.

“All these, undoubtedly, require concerted efforts by ministries and agencies at the national, state and local levels to work together to align our policies and strategies to ensure our future growth will take place in a more responsible, integrated and sustainable manner,” he said at the Malaysia Urban Forum (MUF) 2020 themed “The Transformative Pathway and Actions To Deliver The Sustainable Agenda” in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Also present was Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin.

Muhyiddin said as a fast-developing nation, it is important for the government to understand the needs of the various groups of people in the country.

“With just 10 years to achieve the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, we should not only address the challenges and aspirations mentioned, but we need to report and show our action plans, progress and efforts towards the achievement of the SDGs in view of the vision for Malaysia to be a Sustainable Urban Nation,” said Muhyiddin.

One of the challenges Malaysia is currently facing is the growing population in urban areas.

It is expected that 80% or 26 million people are forecast to live in urban areas in 2030 from the current 77%.

With such a large population in the cities, Muhyiddin said it will be even more challenging to provide for the needs of urban societies in the next decade.

Among the challenges are waste management, increasing traffic problems, air pollution, providing affordable homes, ensuring sufficient access to water, uninterrupted power supply, providing quality access to public transportation and telecommunication, as well as overcoming severe flooding in the cities.

Muhyiddin said Malaysia must be prepared to manage its healthcare sector accordingly in light of the growing ageing population.

The demographic change will see Malaysia becoming an ageing society by 2045 with 14% of its population being 65 years old and above.

“This will bring about new challenges in health service needs and physical environment,” Muhyiddin said.

“Hence, our cities and urban environment must be aged and gender-friendly as we prepare ourselves for this change in social profile.

“It is time we address the ageing society in our national development plans and relook at our planning and physical development in order to meet the needs of the elderly community,” he added.

The formulation of Malaysia SDG Cities as the key outcome of KL Declaration 2018 at the World Urban Forum 9, which Malaysia hosted in 2018, is an action plan roadmap framework for cities.

“This is timely and important as Malaysian cities need to address local challenges and set their own pathways and targets guided by the SDG and aligned to our national policies on sustainability,” Muhyiddin said.

The PM said cities should also cater for the needs of the disabled and provide good quality public spaces for communities to gather, strengthen social cohesion and highlight their local cultural identity

At the event, Zuraida said over 20,000 people have registered for MUF 2020. The participants will present physically and virtually as for the programmes amid Covid-19 outbreak.

She said there are more than 10 organisations under the UN that are taking part this round, while up to 50 organisations and agencies in Malaysia including representatives from the states will be joining the three days event.

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