Record Participation for IRDA’s 6th FIMAC

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The 6th Futuristic Iskandar Malaysia Advisory Council Forum (FIMAC-06) saw a higher participation than previous forums with over a hundred attendees from the private sector, State and Federal government agencies, local councils and planning authorities and universities

Initiated by Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), FIMAC began in 2016 with its inaugural meeting in November that year.

According to its website; www.fimac.org, FIMAC is an initiative to “bring together all relevant and key stakeholders related to any futuristic initiatives such as Smart City, Sustainable City, Green City, Future City, Connected City, Healthy City and so on within Iskandar Malaysia.”

IRDA Chief Executive and FIMAC Co-Chairman, Datuk Ismail Ibrahim in welcoming the participants said that FIMAC “is gaining from strength to strength since its first meeting and hopefully we will all together be able to realise the ambition of Iskandar Malaysia into a metropolis of international standing.

“As of today and since 2006 we have secured committed investments of RM263.95 billion mainly in the manufacturing, services and real estate,” said Ismail.

This already represents 69% of the RM383 billion targeted for 2025 when Iskandar Malaysia achieves maturity.

“Mostly importantly as we continue to grow we will continue to benefit the people of Johor and Iskandar Malaysia in particular and the country in general.

Six presentations and a panel discussion, themed Industry Revolution 4.0 was held at FIMAC 06.

True to form, the presentations leaned heavily towards technologies that have been either planned in stages of proposal, or already implemented not just in Malaysia, but also around the world.

The representative from MIMOS for instance presented how major cities around the world are turning themselves into Smart Cities featuring Dubai,UAE, which won a Smart City award last year, including Barcelona, Moscow and even Tel Aviv.

In his closing remarks, Ismail highlighted his own three key ‘take-aways’ from the all-morning forum, namely Analytics; the analysing of massive amounts of data and information available and how this ‘big data’ is to be used for decision making processes; Visibility; he is concerned that “as much as we have been able to deliver all the 12 years of our existence, we have fallen short of not being able to make ourselves visible enough in the sense that our successes have not been transmitted to the others for them to consider implementing in their own projects.”

“Sometimes these would remain on the shelves, sometimes these studies, findings and innovations are not even acknowledged.

“So let’s make sure that we gain traction by some kind of promotion, ensuring that the message gets across, that it cascades down to the people who would benefit,” he added.

“The other key take-away from this forum is ‘Disruption’.

“One of the speakers presented the idea that for progress, there must be Disruption and how automation of manufacturing and other technologies will cause disruption in the work place where people will no longer be able to do their work as they had always done because it has been taken over by technology.”

“Youth is disruptive,” said Datuk Ismail much to the amusement of the attendees and he cited the example of one of the speakers Feng Lim of AT20s (M) Sdn Bhd, who presented Start Up Johor which according to its website, is “hyper-local social enterprise dedicated to building the startup & entrepreneurial ecosystem in the southern region of Malaysia.”

“He is just 25 years old and already in the business of helping start-ups; so those of you thinking of going away for a few years had better think again,” he added to much laughter and perhaps even eliciting some personal disquiet amongst some of the older attendees.

FIMAC Co-Chairman Professor Amran Hamzah of UTM was immensely happy with the turnout.

“When thought of initiating FIMAC in 2016 we were not sure what the take up would be with the stakeholders of Iskandar Malaysia; both from the government as well as from the private sector.

“But as an informal platform we have grown with every succeeding year when we started with 30 at our inaugural meeting in November 2016, and today there are over a hundred attendees,” he said.

“It’s a wonderful sharing, networking and collaborative platform and valuable for us to help shape and meet the targets for Iskandar Malaysia,” he added.

FIMAC 06 ended on a high note with three winners of a lucky draw worth RM100 each for them to spend at the nearby supermarket, even though a participant, Dr Mohd Azlan b Ab Jalil of Usahawan Johor expressed his concern about the how ordinary people of Johor, are to have access to or benefit from the technologies available now or coming, “Because if they are not benefiting or are even disadvantaged by the technologies that will surely effect them, they will be opposed to the impending change,” he said.