Plan Malaysia Johor to draft guidelines for data centre development

JOHOR BAHRU — The state government in collaboration with the Town and Country Planning Department (Plan Malaysia Johor) is drawing up the Johor State Data Centre Development Planning Guidelines to coordinate and monitor data centre development planning.

Johor Investment, Trade, Consumer Affairs and Human Resources Committee chairman Lee Ting Han (picture) said the initiative is aimed at having a uniform guide and reference for local authorities (PBT) and agencies involved.

Lee, who is also the Paloh assemblyman, chaired the first meeting of the Johor State Data Centre Development Coordination Committee (JPPDNJ), yesterday.

“JPPDNJ members are made up of state and federal agencies including the Johor Economic Planning Division, Invest Johor, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) , Ranhill SAJ, Land and Mines Office, Environment Department and Plan Malaysia which acts as the secretariat.

“Among the functions of JPPPDNJ include assisting the state government and PBT to coordinate the development of data centres, providing advice on matters related to data centre development before applications are considered by PBT, considering and making recommendations for the development of data centres in existing or abandoned buildings and submitting reports related to data centre development to the State Planning Committee (if necessary),” he said in a post on his Facebook page.

Lee said the committee had decided that data centers in Johor should focus on the use of renewable technology in addition to saving electricity and water.

He said JPPDNJ will also take into account the efficient use of electricity and water based on ‘power usage effectiveness’ and ‘water usage effectiveness’ with references to industry best practices and other countries’ experiences.

“In this regard, the state government will continue its investment-friendly policy since the development of data centres is one of the main requirements in increasing the use of technology and digital as a result of the development of Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0) and Artificial Intelligence, which can increase productivity and competitiveness.

“Furthermore, the state government will work with federal agencies such as MIDA and MDEC to realise the potential of developing a wider digital ecosystem as well as attracting related and AI-based technology companies to Johor, while also creating job opportunities in the fields of technology, engineering, data management, infrastructure support for the people of Johor.

He said Johor became the focus of data centre development in the region due to a combination of factors such as strategic location, availability of utilities, infrastructure and human resources as well as an investment-friendly approach by the state and federal governments.

“A total of nine data centre projects have been successfully implemented with a total capacity of nearly 1,280 Megawatts (MW), so far.

“Meanwhile, six projects are currently under construction with a projected capacity of nearly 1,490 MW in addition to more than 30 projects that are at various stages of discussion and approval.

“Therefore, we have decided to take careful steps so that the development of the data centres can be planned carefully to really benefit Bangsa Johor,” he added. — BERNAMA