by Afiq Harraz
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Dato' Seri Amirudin Shari officiating SDEC 2023

Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari (center) officiating the 8th Selangor Smart City & Digital Economy Convention (SDEC 2023). Also present were (from left) Sidec CEO, Yong Kai Ping, Selangor State Secretary, Dato’ Haji Haris Kasim, Selangor Exco for Investment, Trade & Mobility, Ng Sze Han, and Invest Selangor Bhd CEO, Dato’ Hasan Azhari Haji Idris

The 8th Selangor Smart City & Digital Economy Convention (SDEC 2023) was officiated by the Selangor Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre today. As part of the 7th Selangor International Business Summit, this year’s SDEC arrived with the theme, “Revolutionizing the Digital Landscape with AI, Net Zero, and Biotech”, as the highly-anticipated four-day convention aims to accelerate and unlock opportunities in digitalisation and sustainability, in alignment with Selangor’s vision to achieve Smart State status by 2025.

Having welcomed over 4,200 visitors on its opening day alone, SDEC 2023 is expected to receive more than 15,000 visitors over the next two days. The 8th edition of SDEC kicked off yesterday with the SME Digitalization Summit: Driving Million Dollar Growth in the Digital Era featuring reputable speakers and panelists from a diverse range of industries, among them were Rizal Nainy, the chief executive officer of SME Corp, Chai Kien Poon, the country head of Funding Societies Malaysia, and Danny Chua, Touch n’ Go’s chief commercial officer.

“Our dedicated focus on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and their integration of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices highlights their potential to drive sustainable and inclusive growth in smart cities. At least five cities are targeted to be recognised as smart city early adopters by the year 2025. With SDEC we aim to speed up the progress enabling the nation as whole to attract more investments,” said Yong Kai Ping, chief executive officer of the Selangor Information Technology & Digital Economy Corporation (Sidec), the agency under the Selangor state government mandated to transform Malaysia’s richest state into ASEAN’s digital hub.

The second day provided a lineup of notable speakers in areas such as ESG and supply chains as SDEC 2023 continued with the SME ESG Summit: Accelerating Sustainable Transformation in Retail Supply Chains. “For today’s summit, we have experts from renowned brands like Mydin, Zus Coffee and 7-11, who will delve into the latest ESG trends, fostering dialogues aimed at propelling sustainable transformation in retail supply chains,” said Selangor Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari, in his speech officiating the 2023 edition of SDEC this morning.

Amirudin speaking at the opening ceremony of SDEC 2023

Amirudin speaking at the opening ceremony of SDEC 2023.

Amirudin also plugged Selangor as the perfect test bed to gather, learn and analyze data for the inevitable data revolution, “Our 4 main cities, from Petaling Jaya, running to Subang Jaya and Shah Alam, before arriving in Klang, present the best opportunity as far as test beds come, along with the highest per capita income in the state.” Overall, more than 60 speakers from global tech giants and local industry leaders will share their thoughts, experiences and visions for the future throughout the first three days, particularly with the convention’s third day offering a summit that focuses on artificial intelligence (AI), net zero and biotechnology.

The opening ceremony also witnessed the unveiling of Selangor’s new data portal, the Selangor Government Data Exchange Portal (SelGDX). Developed by the state’s Information Management Division (BPM) in collaboration with TM One, SelGDX is aimed at streamlining data exchange between government departments, enhancing efficiency, and boosting digitalization efforts, marking a significant step towards Selangor’s ascent towards becoming a digital leader in the region.

Amirudin launching the Selangor Data Exchange Portal

Amirudin (center) launching the Selangor Data Exchange Portal (SelGDX). Also present were (from right) Ng, Selangor Exco for Islamic Affairs & Acculturation of Innovation, Dr Fahmi Ngah, and other state officials together with TM representatives.

“With SelGDX, we’ll be able to collate information quicker and automate various processes and updates, be it weather reports, air pollutant index, high tides and other relevant data. As one of the many key initiatives under the First Selangor Plan (RS-1) 2021 – 2025, we believe this game changer is set to elevate the state to a higher level of growth, specifically in the digital economy sector,” said the Selangor Menteri Besar.

Sidec also unveiled two game-changing initiatives, the Demand-Responsive Transit (DRT) and the Selangor Mobility Lab (SML), in an effort to enhance the transportation infrastructure, improve connectivity and foster eco-conscious, tech-savvy mobility in the region.

The DRT, being part of the rebranding of the Selangor public transportation efforts under Selangor Mobility, is an app-based service that complements the Smart Selangor Bus in a smaller scale to reduce congestion and has the potential to resolve the first and last-mile connectivity issue within Selangor. A collaboration between the state government, Asia Mobility Sdn. Bhd. and Badanbas Coach Sdn. Bhd., the DRT is expected to address the affordability issues and the longstanding challenges in providing efficient public transportation in the state, particularly in low-density areas and during off-peak hours.

Amiruding launching the Selangor Mobility Lab (SML)

Amirudin (center) introducing the Demand-Responsive Transit (DRT) and the Selangor Mobility Lab (SML), together with Haris, Ng, and representatives from Asia Mobiliti Sdn. Bhd. and Badanbas Coach Sdn. Bhd.

Meanwhile, the SML is targeted at addressing mobility issues to reduce congestion, promote eco-friendly transportation, and ensure efficient transit systems. By establishing a robust AI platform designed for large-scale machine learning and visual analytics, SML aims to harness the power of data-driven intelligence to address pressing transportation challenges, emphasizing on real-time traffic anomalies detection and improved pick-up points accuracy.

This year’s convention will close on October 22, with the Selangor Accelerator Program Demo Day where 20 innovative startups will pitch their way to the top 10 spots that offer a total prize package worth RM200,000. Currently in its 6th cohort, the Selangor Accelerator Program has nurtured more than 150 startups in the country with its intensive training, coaching and mentoring by industry experts that has seen 7 out of last year’s top 10 startups receiving funding after graduating from the accelerator.

Organized by Sidec, the convention has witnessed a significant expansion, both in terms of its scale and its outreach, drawing a more extensive range of participants from diverse sectors such as technology specialists, decision-makers, innovators, and scholars. Hosting over 120 exhibitors for the 8th edition, this growth has turned SDEC into a vital platform where industry leaders, startups, SMEs, and both public and private stakeholders convene to discuss the evolving landscape and emerging trends of digitalisation and sustainability.

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