Penang Island City Council, IBM ink deal for smart city tech

Opalyn Mok
Penang mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang (left) and IBM managing director Catherine Lian (right) at the MoU Signing Ceremony between Penang Island City Council and IBM at Komtar in George Town June 14, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, June 14 — The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with IBM Malaysia today to develop and implement cloud computing infrastructure for the local authority. 

The MoU will see IBM advise, consult and provide technical expertise on cloud computing, artificial intelligence, blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) technology for implementation in the MBPP’s smart city plans.

Penang mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said the agreement was aimed at integrating technology into administrative processes and infrastructure to provide better services for ratepayers.

“This initiative has a profound impact on the MBPP’s information management standard and contributes to strengthening Penang’s huge industrial chain,” he said at the signing ceremony. 

He said the collaboration will transform local government administration and accelerate economic growth by offering better services to ratepayers and businesses in Penang.

This is not the first time IBM has collaborated with MBPP. Last year, the tech giant and its business partner, Sophie Automation, had set up an intelligence operation centre for the MBPP to address issues related to governance, mobility, social engagement, economy and environment. 

To date, IBM has delivered solutions to tackle traffic congestion, mitigate flash floods, as well as improve preparedness and response time to incidents. 

It has also come up with solutions to provide city data to executives and operational decision makers for timely decisions.

“IBM will advise on the suitable AI technology that can be applied to achieve higher levels of productivity and efficiency to empower MBPP’s workforce to provide better quality public service,” Yew said.

He added that MBPP will explore how blockchain technology can be developed and implemented to enhance transparency and efficiency in transactions and its core services. 

On data generated by the IoT technology, he said this could be used for better insights on how to prepare for unexpected events and allocate resources effectively.

According to IBM Malaysia managing director Catherine Lian, the collaboration with MBPP is part of the firm’s commitment to support the local government’s agenda to transform the city into an accessible and dynamic community.

“Technology can make the local systems and infrastructure smarter and create benefits directly related to improving the quality of life for all in a cost-effective way,” she said.

IBM has provided technology consultancy to improve public services in Almere in Netherlands, Lyon in France, Nuremberg in Germany, Parma in Italy, Salerno in Italy and Zhenjiang in China. 


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