KUCHING: Bandung serves as the best model for Kuching in its transformation into becoming a smart city.
The highland city of Indonesia, about a couple of hours’ drive away from Jakarta, was declared a smart city four years ago, said Assistant Minister in Chief Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs and Kuching North City Commission) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi.
“Bandung is a city that covers an area of 167.57 square kilometres and has a population of 2.57 million.
“It has managed to transform, from an old city into a modern one, and retained the local culture through creativity and digital innovation,” he said in a statement issued in conjunction with his visit to the Indonesian city, where he paid a courtesy call on the Governor of West Java, Mochamad Ridwan Kamil at the latter’s office in Gedong Sate, yesterday.
Deputy State Secretary Datu Dr Sabariah Putit was among the Sarawak government officials who accompanied Dr Abdul Rahman for the visit.
They were received by West Java Province District Secretary Drs Daud Achmad.
It is learnt that some of the officials are from the Sarawak government departments and agencies that would be involved in the transformation of Kuching into a smart city.
The Bandung working trip, which also included visits to Bandung Command Centre and Bandung Smart Planning Gallery, served as a knowledge-sharing platform and also the foundation for Sarawak and its community towards charting a lifestyle that would focus on digitalisation, creativity and innovation.
“There are many things that we can learn and share, especially in terms of building the information and communications technology (ICT) field, which has been successfully implemented in the smart city of Bandung,” said Dr Abdul Rahman.
The initiative to digitalise Sarawak has been carried out in stages, resulting in the launches of Sarawak ID app, Talikhidmat, Sarawak Pay app and other public training programmes run for the community at the Digital Innovation Hub.
Additionally, the ‘Old Kuching Smart Heritage’ (OKSHE) initiative is tasked with planning and executing smart infrastructure development projects and digital-based activities, in line with Kuching’s smart city vision.
The OKSHE is among the 47 strategic actions listed under Sarawak Digital Economy Strategy 2018-2020.
Meanwhile in his remarks, Daud assured the Sarawak delegation that the West Java administration would be ever-willing to assist the Sarawak government in making Kuching a smart city.