SDGs crucial for urban and rural development

Dr. Sim (fourth from left) and Alias ​​(fourth from right) give a thumbs up as they pose for a group photo with recipients who received the MURNInets manual. Also with them is Antonio (third from left). – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (October 13): The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) play an important role in the development of urban and rural areas, Deputy Prime Minister Dato Sri Dr. Sim Kui Hian has said.

He said that with urbanization, resulting in growth concentrated in urban areas, this would ultimately lead to changes in lifestyle and the environment.

“I am very pleased that Datuk Seri Reezal Merican of the (Federal) Ministry of Housing and Local Government has launched the Livable Cities Agenda by defining the Malaysia Quality of Life Index (iDAM) to be applied by local authorities in the country.

“As we move forward, it’s the key way to measure what’s livable, and it’s part of the SDGs by 2030,” he said while chairing the National Urban and Rural Indicators Network. Malaysia for Sustainable Development (MURNInets) here today.

On MURNInets, Dr Sim, who is also Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government, said he will provide an improved smart platform to strategize on the types of development in a particular area while being able to measure its effectiveness through the rakyat’s participation in surveys.

“It’s very comprehensive coverage of economics, sustainability, health, community, land use, efficient infrastructure, transportation, etc.” he said, noting that government agencies can relearn and redesign the products and services they offer, based on feedback.

He said, however, that this cannot be achieved without close inter-agency cooperation when some data is held by other agencies.

He therefore called on local authorities to ensure that the data that fall within the scope of their respective domains make the necessary contribution.

“We need everyone’s cooperation. We already have the interface and now we need the inter-agency cooperation to do the job so that we can have it all,” he said.

He said the use of MURNInets will ensure that Sarawak is guided when considering improving the quality of life in its local authority areas.

Also present were the Permanent Secretary to the Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government, Datu Antonio Kahti Galis, and the Director General of the Department of Spatial Planning, Dr Alias ​​Rameli.

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