Melaka Sustainable Cities Conference 2017: Speech by the Honourable Datuk Seri Utama Chief Minister of Melaka

OPENING SPEECH BY:

H.R.HON. DATUK SERI UTAMA IR IDRIS HARON

CHIEF MINISTER OF MELAKA

 – OPENING CEREMONY OF

THE MELAKA SUSTAINABLE CITIES CONFERENCE 2017 AND LAUNCHING OF SUSTAINABLE-CITY DEVELOPMENT IN MALAYSIA PROJECT 2017-2022.

HOSTED BY: STATE GOVERNMENT OF MELAKA

CO-ORGANIZERS: MINISTRY OF URBAN WELLBEING, HOUSING AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT (KPKT), UNITED NATIONS INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (UNIDO), MALAYSIA INDUSTRY GOVERNMENT FOR HIGH TECHNOLOGY (MIGHT)

02ND MAY  2017 (TUESDAY), TIME:1000 AM

AVILION LEGACY HOTEL, MELAKA

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BISMILLAHIRRAHMANIRRAHIM

ASSALAMUALAIKUM WARAHMATULLAH HIWABARAKATU

YBHG DATO’ DR TAM WENG WAH,

DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL, MINISTRY OF URBAN WELLBEING, HOUSING AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT (KPKT), REPRESENTING THE MINISTER, YB TAN SRI NOH HJ OMAR;

 

SPEAKER, EXCOS AND DEPUTY EXCOS; STATE SECRETARY;

 

  1. PHILIPPE R. SCHOLTES, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF UNIDO;

 

  1. XUEMAN WANG, GLOBAL PLATFORM FOR SUSTAINABLE CITIES (GPSC),  THE WORLD BANK;

 DATUK DR MOHD YUSOFF SULAIMAN,

PRESIDENT AND CEO OF MIGHT;

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, FRIENDS FROM THE MEDIA;

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;

 

SALAM SEJAHTERA, SALAM 1 MALAYSIA;

SALAM MELAKA MAJU NEGERIKU SAYANG;

NEGERI BANDAR TEKNOLOGI HIJAU;

MELAKA 755 TAHUN, MELAKA MAJU FASA KE-2;

BERKAT TEPAT CEPAT.

 

INTRODUCTION

 

  1. ALHAMDULILLAH TO ALLAH SWT, WITH HIS GRACE AND MERCY, HAS GIVEN US AN OPPORTUNITY AND GOOD HEALTH TO GATHER HERE AT THIS MOMENTOUS EVENT TO WITNESS THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE MELAKA SUSTAINABLE CITIES CONFERENCE 2017 AND LAUNCHING OF THE SUSTAINABLE-CITY DEVELOPMENT IN MALAYSIA PROJECT FOR 2017-2022.

 

  1. I AM VERY EXCITED TO BE PART OF THE CONFERENCE AND WOULD LIKE TO CONGRATULATE THE MINISTRY OF URBAN WELLBEING, HOUSING AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT (KPKT), UNITED NATIONS INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (UNIDO), MALAYSIA INDUSTRY GOVERNMENT FOR HIGH TECHNOLOGY (MIGHT), GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT FACILITY (GEF), THE WORLD BANK AND MELAKA GREEN TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION FOR THEIR PARTNERSHIP AND COMMITMENT TO ORGANIZING THE CONFERENCE.

 

  1. ON BEHALF OF THE MELAKA STATE GOVERNMENT, IT IS A GREAT PLEASURE FOR ME TO WELCOME ALL DELEGATES AND PARTICIPANTS FROM HOME AND ABROAD TO OUR BELOVED STATE, THE SMALL, CLEAN AND BEAUTIFUL MELAKA, THE CITY OF GREEN TECHNOLOGY AND THE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE.

 

KAPAL DAGANG DARI SEBERANG,

SARAT MUATAN KAYU MERANTI;

DARI JAUH TUAN PUAN DATANG,

KAMI DI MELAKA SENTIASA MENANTI.

 

 MERCHANT SHIPS FROM OVERSEA,

BRINGING TIMBER OF! SO PLENTY;

FROM AFAR YOU HAVE COME TO OUR CITY,

WE IN MELAKA WELCOME YOU WHOLEHEARTEDLY.

 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;

 

URBANISATION AND ISSUES

 

  1. THE WORLD IS URBANIZING AT A RAPID PACE. ACCORDING TO A GEF SURVEY, BY 2050 MORE THAN 2 BILLION ADDITIONAL PEOPLE WILL BE LIVING IN CITIES, A 50% INCREASED THEN THERE IS TODAY. THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE GROWTH WILL BE CONCENTRATED IN THE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, WITH NEARLY 90% OF THE INCREASE COMING FROM CITIES IN ASIA AND AFRICA.

 

  1. AS AN ENGINES OF ECONOMIC GROWTH, CITIES ALREADY PRODUCE 80% OF THE WORLD’S GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP) AND CONSUME OVER TWO-THIRDS OF GLOBAL ENERGY SUPPLY, THUS RESPONSIBLE FOR 70% OF GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS.

 

  1. CITIES ARE ALSO UNIQUELY VULNERABLE TO CLIMATE CHANGE WHERE 14 OF THE WORLD’S 19 LARGEST CITIES ARE LOCATED IN PORT AREAS.  CLIMATE CHANGE ADDS TO THE URGENCY OF SUSTAINABLE URBAN PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT AND TO THE AN ALREADY BROAD SET OF CHALLENGES FOR MANY CITY GOVERNMENTS REVOLVING AROUND PROVIDING JOBS, SERVICES AND HOUSING TO GROWING URBAN POPULATIONS.

 

  1. HOWEVER, IF WE MANAGED WELL AND COMPACT, RESILIENT AND INCLUSIVE, THUS WITH RESOURCE-EFFICIENT, I BELIEVE, CITIES COULD BECOME DRIVERS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, CONTRIBUTE TO BOTH LOCAL LIVABILITY AND GLOBAL PUBLIC GOODS.

 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;

 

GREEN TECHNOLOGY & SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 

 

  1. IN THE MIDST OF ECONOMIES EXPANSION, WE EXPERIENCE A GREATER LOCAL AND GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGE, A TREND THAT LOOKS LIKELY TO CONTINUE TO WORSEN IN THE COMING DECADES.

 

  1. TO ENSURE SUSTAINABLE AND RESILIENT ECONOMIC GROWTH ON A LONG-TERM BASIS, WE HAVE TO DECOUPLE THE ECONOMIC GROWTH FROM NATURAL RESOURCE DEPLETION.  SOME COUNTRIES HAVE BEGUN THE INITIATIVES INCLUDING MELAKA.

 

TRANSFORMATION OF MELAKA RIVER

 

  1. BACK IN THE 13TH CENTURIES, MELAKA WAS ONCE HAILED AS THE “VENICE OF THE EAST” BY EUROPEAN SEAFARERS. A PORTUGUESE HISTORIAN, TOME PIRES ONCE WROTE:  “WHOEVER IS THE LORD IN MALACCA, HAS HIS HAND ON THE THROAT OF VENICE”. IN SHORT, MELAKA DETERMINES THE SUCCESS OF VENICE DURING ITS GLORIOUS DAYS. 

 

  1. MELAKA WAS THEN A MAJOR PORT FOR THE SPICE-ROUTE.  ITS HARBOR BRISTLED WITH THE SAILS AND MASTS OF CHINESE JUNKS AND SPICE-LADEN VESSELS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD. MORE THAN 80 INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGES WERE SPOKEN AT THE RIVER MOUTH OF MELAKA. 

 

  1. AFTER A FEW CENTURIES, THE ONCE LUCRATIVE RIVER HAS BECOME ONLY A FISHERMEN’S JETTY. THE RIVER WAS DARKER THAN BLACK, THE FISHERMEN’S BOATS WERE OPENED WIDER THAN A SHOWER ROOMS AND THE WHOLE RIVER WAS FULL OF STINKING LOAD RUBBISH.  

 

  1. WE BELIEVE EFFORT IS IMPORTANT,  BUT KNOWING WHERE TO MAKE AN EFFORT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE. DUE TO THE GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBILITIES TO PRESERVE ITS HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL VALUES WHILE ENSURING THE WELLBEING AND VIABLE GROWTH, FOR THE PAST TWO DECADES, THE RIVER  HAS UNDERGONE A REHABILITATION PROCESS.

 

  1. AS A RESULT, TODAY THE RIVER HAS TRANSFORMED TREMENDOUSLY. EVEN MORE THAN ONE MILLION TOURIST  CRUISES ALONG ITS RIVER ANNUALLY.

 

EFFORT ON GREEN TRANSFORMATION PROGRAM

 

  1. MELAKA IS A FORERUNNER IN ADOPTING AND DEVELOPING A GREEN ACTION PLAN. IN 2011, WE ESTABLISHED A VISION TO BECOME A GREEN TECHNOLOGY STATE AFTER DECLARED AS A DEVELOPED STATE BY OECD IN OCTOBER 2010.  WE WERE ALSO INSPIRED BY THE PRIME MINISTER’S PLEDGE DURING THE CONFERENCE OF PARTIES (COP15) IN COPENHAGEN IN 2009 TO REDUCE MALAYSIA CARBON INTENSITY PER GDP BY 40%  IN 2020.

 

  1. WE ADOPTED THE MELAKA GREEN TECHNOLOGY BLUEPRINT AND PREPARED A LIST OF INDICATORS AS RECOMMENDED BY THE URBAN ENVIRONMENTAL ACCORDS (UEA) TO PURSUE GREEN DEVELOPMENT AND  FOR OUR NEXT GENERATION.   

 

  1. DAVID ROSS BROWER – AN AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTALIST ONCE SAID“We do NOT inherit the earth from our ancestors but we borrow it from our children.”  

 

  1. THUS, TO MARK OUR EFFORT TO STRENGTHEN A GREEN GOVERNANCE, WE ESTABLISHED THE MELAKA GREEN TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL AND THE MELAKA GREEN TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION TO OVERSEE AND ACHIEVE THE VISION.

 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;

 

IMT-GT GREEN CITIES INITIATIVES: GREEN CITIES ACTION PLAN (GCAP)

 

  1. THE GAME CHANGER FOR MELAKA GREEN AMBITION ARRIVED AT THE RIGHT TIME WHEN THE ECONOMIC PLANNING UNIT, PRIME MINISTER’S DEPARTMENT OF MALAYSIA HAS CHOSEN MELAKA AS THE PILOT STATE UNDER THE IMT-GT GREEN CITIES INITIATIVE ALONG WITH MEDAN AND BATAM IN INDONESIA AS WELL AS SONGKHLA AND HATYAI IN THAILAND.

 

  1. WITH THE COLLABORATION OF CENTRE FOR IMT-GT SUBREGIONAL COOPERATION AND ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK, THE GREEN CITY ACTION PLAN (GCAP) IS ESTABLISHED.

 

  1. THE GCAP PROVIDES A SET OF RECOMMENDATIONS THAT AIMS TO MAINTAIN MELAKA’S COMPETITIVENESS AS A POPULAR TOURIST AND INVESTMENT DESTINATION, KEEPING ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES TO A MINIMUM AND ESTABLISHED THE STATE AS A ROLE MODEL FOR LIVABILITY IN THE REGION.

 

  1. THE GCAP COVERS SIX THRUST AREAS, NAMELY WATER, ENERGY, TRANSPORTATION, WASTE, TOURISM AND URBAN FORESTRY-AGRICULTURE AND ENCOMPASSES 35 ACTIONS. THESE ACTIONS PROVIDE VISIBILITY TO THE INDUSTRY PLAYERS ON MELAKA’S FUTURE NEEDS AND GUIDED AREAS TO PARTNER WITH THE CITY AUTHORITIES.

 

  1. THE ACTION PLAN ALSO PROVIDES US WITH A CLEAR PATH AND DIRECTION TOWARDS BECOMING A SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY  IN THE COMING YEARS.

 

MIGHT PARTNERSHIP AS GCAP DELIVERY PARTNER

 

  1. THE MALAYSIA INDUSTRY GOVERNMENT FOR HIGH TECHNOLOGY (MIGHT) IS A KEY AGENCY IN THE PRIME MINISTERS DEPARTMENT.  THIS AGENCY HAS ASSISTED MELAKA AS THE GCAP DELIVERY PARTNER AND SMART CITY PROJECTS THROUGH PRIVATE SECTOR AND INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIP. AS THE RESULTS, VARIOUS  PRIVATE-PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP PROJECTS HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED IN ENERGY EFFICIENT BUILDINGS AND GREEN MOBILITY IN OUR CITY.  THANK YOU MIGHT.

 

  1. TO SUPPORT THE INTEGRATED APPROACH TO SUSTAINABLE CITIES, BIG DATA INTEGRATION AND ANALYTICS ARE THE KEY FACTORS FOR SUCCESS.  THUS, I AM PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT MELAKA IS THE FIRST STATE IN THE COUNTRY TO ESTABLISH THE STATE OPEN DATA POLICY.  

 

  1. WITH THIS POLICY, THE STATE GOVERNMENT BELIEVES IT WILL STIMULATE AND FACILITATE FUTURE CITY PLANNING AND NEW CITY INNOVATIONS BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR.  WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE NEWTON-UNGKU OMAR INITIATIVE BETWEEN THE UNITED KINGDOM AND MALAYSIA INVOLVING THE BRITISH COUNCIL, MIGHT, INSTITUTE SULTAN ISKANDAR (ISI), FUTURE CITIES CATAPULT AND MELAKA GREEN TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION FOR THE REALISATION OF THIS POLICY IN MELAKA.

 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;

 

PARTNERSHIP IN CLIMATE FINANCING;

GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT FACILITY

 

  1. I WOULD LIKE TO EXPRESS MY UTMOST GRATITUDE AND SINCERE APPRECIATION TO THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL FACILITY (GEF) FOR GIVING MELAKA THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE PART OF THE 27 CITIES IN 11 DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, NAMELY BRAZIL, CHINA, COTE D’IVOIRE, INDIA, MEXICO, PARAGUAY, PERU, SENEGAL, SOUTH AFRICA AND VIETNAM FOR THE GEF6: SUSTAINABLE CITIES INTEGRATED APPROACH PILOT PROGRAM.

 

  1. 28. THE  INVESTMENT MAY INVOLVED PLACING ADOPTION ON PROMISING NEW TECHNOLOGIES OR APPROACHES IN THE ANTICIPATED THAT WILL EMERGE AS A “GAME CHANGERS” AND “BEACON EFFECT,” SPURRING ADOPTION ELSEWHERE. THIS INVESTMENT IS WORTH USD2.75 MILLION IN FIVE YEARS TIME WITH THE CO-FINANCING EFFECTS WILL BE APPROACHING0 MILLION.

 

  1. THROUGH AN INTEGRATED APPROACH, THE PROGRAM WILL HELP COUNTRIES AND CITIES ADDRESS TWO TRENDS: THE RISING URBAN DEMAND OF GOODS AND SERVICES, AND THE RISING CONSUMPTION OF RESOURCES.  IN THIS WAY, IT WILL HELP REDUCE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION. ALL CITIES INVOLVED WILL ACT AS GLOBAL AMBASSADORS FOR URBAN SUSTAINABILITY PLANNING, WITH TANGIBLE BENEFITS AT BOTH LOCAL AND GLOBAL LEVELS. 

 

  1. I WOULD LIKE TO ANNOUNCE THAT WE ARE WILLING TO GIVE FULL COMMITMENT AND SUPPORT TO YB MINISTER AS WELL AS OUR COUNTERPART FROM UNIDO, GEF AND WORLD BANK TO MAKE THIS PROGRAM A HUGE SUCCESS.

 

  1. AS I HAVE MENTIONED DURING OUR DISCUSSION WITH MS XUEMAN WANG AND MS TONILYN, BOTH FROM WORLD BANK & UNIDO IN MARCH, “YOU MUST MAKE SURE MELAKA BE THE FIRST, IF NOT DON’T DO IT AT MELAKA”

 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;

 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROJECT; DANISH SOLUTION

 

  1. I WOULD LOVE TO INFORM THAT MELAKA HAS ALSO ESTABLISHED SEVERAL OTHER PROJECTS INVOLVING CLIMATE FINANCING.

 

  1. FOR EXAMPLE; MELAKA HAS APPLIED THE DANISH SOLUTIONS FOR THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAM WITH THE AIMS TO SAVE ENERGY IN NINE STATE-OWNED BUILDINGS.  THIS IS THE FIRST SHOWCASE IN THE REGION AND THE PROGRAM HAS BEEN STRUCTURED AS A PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP (PPP) MODEL.

 

  1. ALL BUILDINGS INVOLVED WILL REDUCE ENERGY CONSUMPTION UP TO 7.5 MILLION KWH/YEAR AND SAVE US FOR ALMOST RM3.5 MILLION/YEAR IN ENERGY COSTS. WE RECEIVED AN AMOUNT OF RM 20 MILLION INVESTMENT FROM DANISH CLIMATE INVESTMENT FUND (IFU).

 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;

 

100 RESILIENT CITIES

 

  1. MELAKA IS ALSO BEING ACKNOWLEDGED AND INCLUDED IN THE 100 RESILIENT CITIES PROGRAMME. THE ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION IS A FUNDER OF THE PROGRAMME.  A CHIEF RESILIENCE OFFICER (CRO) WILL BE HIRED AT THE STATE LEVEL TO DEVELOP THE CITY RESILIENT STRATEGY AND FACILITATE CLIMATE MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION PROGRAMS.

 

  1. I BELIEVE BEING IN AN EXCLUSIVE CLUB OF 100 RESILIENT CITIES WILL ENABLE MELAKA TO STEP AHEAD INTO MULTI-MILLION AVAILABLE CLIMATE FUNDER INTERNATIONALLY.

 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;

 

SMART LED STREET LIGHTING

 

  1. WE ARE IN A MIDST OF TRANSFORMING 120,000 UNITS OF STREET LIGHTS INTO SMART LED STREET LIGHTS BY USING  SMART CONTROL SYSTEM VIA INTERNET CONNECTED., THUS ENABLE THE STATE TO REDUCE ENERGY SIGNIFICANTLY. 

 

  1. LAST YEAR IN JULY, WE SIGNED A PARTNERSHIP WITH THE ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK FOR A SCOPING STUDY ON IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INITIATIVE THROUGH SAVING MODEL AND ZERO CAPEX FROM THE STATE GOVERNMENT.

 

  1. THIS PUBLIC-PRIVATE-PARTNERSHIP (PPP) INITIATIVES ENABLE US TO FINANCE PROJECTS THAT COST APPROXIMATELY RM200 MILLION RINGGIT OR EQUIVALENT TO USD 50 MILLION DOLLAR.

 

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;

 

CONCLUSION;

 

  1. I HOPE TO DEVELOP MORE COLLABORATION WITH PRIVATE AND DEVELOPING NATIONS TO COMBAT THE CLIMATE CHANGE AND HELP US TO FUND THE GREEN TECHNOLOGY.   AGAIN WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO MORE FUNDING FROM THE GEF & WORLD BANK TO FINANCE OUR CLIMATE INITIATIVES IN MELAKA.

 

  1. ALLAH SWT CITES IN THE HOLY QURAN, CHAPTER AL-BAQARAH, VERSE 269:

 

 

“HE GIVES WISDOM TO WHOM HE WILLS, AND WHOEVER HAS BEEN GIVEN WISDOM HAS CERTAINLY BEEN GIVEN MUCH GOOD.  AND NONE WILL REMEMBER EXCEPT THOSE OF UNDERSTANDING.” (CHAPTER AL-BAQARAH, VERSE 269).

 

CLOSING

 

  1. TO CONCLUDE, ONCE AGAIN, CONGRATULATIONS AND THANK YOU TO THE ORGANIZER FOR THE AUSPICIOUS CEREMONY.  LET US TOGETHER USE THIS PLATFORM TO CREATE A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE THROUGH GREEN GROWTH THAT PROVIDES A BETTER FUTURE FOR US AND THE WORLD. 

 

  1. AS THE HOST, I WISH ALL DELEGATES & PARTICIPANTS, AN OUTSTANDING AND KNOWLEDGEABLE CONFERENCE.  PLEASE SPACE YOUR  SCHEDULE TO EXPERIENCE AND VISIT THE OLD AND MODERN CITY OF MELAKA.   

 

  1. WITH BISMILLAHIRRAHMANIRRAHIM, I AM HAPPY AND PROUD TO OFFICIATE THE MELAKA SUSTAINABLE CITIES CONFERENCE 2017 AND LAUNCH THE MALAYSIAN SUSTAINABLE-CITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS FOR 2017 – 2022.

 

  1. LET US PRAY TO ALLAH SWT THAT OUR GATHERING HERE TODAY WILL BE BLESSED AND OUR DEPARTURE THEREAFTER WILL BE PROTECTED.

 

WITH THAT, I THANK YOU.  TERIMA KASIH.

 

WABILLAHITAUFIK WALHIDAYAH WASSALAMUALAIKUM WARAHMATULLAH HIWABARAKATUH.

 

-END-

 

 


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