Chief minister of Johor YAB Dato’ Mohamed Khaled Nordin officially launches Smart and Healthy City and Community Programme at Taman Seri Austin.
Iskandar Malaysia’s vision as a green and sustainable metropolis received an added boost over the weekend thanks to the fresh injection of funds from Putrajaya.
According to YAB Dato’ Mohamed Khaled Nordin, the chief minister of Johor, the federal government has allocated RM1.5 million to upgrade and provide cycling lanes and pedestrian pathways in Iskandar Malaysia.
Speaking at the launch of cycling lanes, pedestrian pathways, and two recreation parks in Taman Seri Austin, Johor Bahru over the weekend, Dato’ Mohamed Khaled said this is inline with the vision of Iskandar Malaysia as a green metropolis.
“The State Government has also allocated RM100,000 for this initiative, which is one of the many carried out under the Smart and HealthyCity and Community Programme,” he said.
The two parks are believed to be the first of such parks in Iskandar Malaysia that has been gazetted as smoke-free parks.
Under the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) environmental blueprint, the custodian of this special economic zone has specifically set out plans and goals to ensure Iskandar Malaysia will be a bustling yet green metropolis guided by principles of sustainable development.
These include biodiversity and habitat conversation, air quality management, climate change management and even green economy to reduce carbon footprint.
In line with a more eco-friendly Iskandar Malaysia, IRDA said the programme is aimed at enhancing Johoreans’ quality of life, and “to achieve a sustainable economic and technological ecosystem that would ultimately create smart, connected and inclusive communities.”
“I believe programmes like this will encourage the rakyat to lead a healthier lifestyle and get involved in fitness activities such as jogging and cycling,” said Dato’ Mohamed Khaled.
Meanwhile, IRDA chief executive Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said that the programme is a translation of IRDA’s objective of developing Iskandar Malaysia as a smart, healthy and green metropolis.
He also said that focus group discussions involving local community members and cyclists will be held today to gain feedback from the users on the effectiveness of the programme.
“We look forward to hearing from the participants as to how we can help improve the programme and in making it sustainable for the community,” said Datuk Ismail.
Taman Seri Austin was the first urban community to be selected for the Smart and HealthyCity and Community Programme.
Apart from cycling and walking for 10,000 steps, participants at the event received free ear, nose and throat checks, and dental treatment provided by the State Health Department.
There was also an exhibition on Smart and Healthy City and Community held during the launch.