26 more local authorities set to join MURNInets next year

Dr Sim with all the 29 local authority representatives at event on Oct 13, 2022.

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Oct 13: Twenty-six local authorities (PBT) in Sarawak are set to take part in the Malaysian Urban-Rural National Indicators Network for Sustainable Development (MURNInets) programme by 2023.

Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government Sarawak Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian said this will help to improve the livability of the participating local authority’s areas through measures such as planning for the building of affordable housing, management of public parks, efficient waste management and more.


Introduced by the Town and Country Planning Department (PLANMalaysia) under the federal Ministry of Housing and Local Government, MURNInets will not only assess levels of sustainability but also to measure levels of urban sustainability in Malaysia.

Dr Sim, who is also the Deputy Premier of Sarawak, said the State is progressing in developing its technology, becoming more advanced and increasing the use of information technology efficiently to reduce operating expenses and deliver services to the people effectively.

“This is definitely a step considered important to adapt to digital transformation and turn Sarawak into a high income State with a thriving society, driven by data and innovation where everyone enjoys economic prosperity, social inclusivity and sustainable environment.

“After two years of the Covid-19 pandemicm we have come to accept that the adoption of digital technology has helped us in one way or another, to prevail over the worst case scenario,” Dr Sim said at the launch today.

He explained that through the efficient virtual meetings held by the State Disaster Management Committee, riding on the already solid intranet and Internet networks, Sarawak managed to plan counter measures to battle Covid-19 and coordinate sustainable service delivery to the people both in lockdown and semi-lockdown circumstances.

As such, he asserted, it reflects Sarawak’s digital readiness in devising data-driven solutions and action plans to optimise the effectiveness of the government’s decisions and also service delivery machinery.

“MURNInets has proven it will provide an enhanced intelligent platform to strategise the types of development in a particular area while being able to measure its effectiveness through the rakyat’s participation in surveys.

“This will help to reduce wastage, leakages and furthermore, government agencies can relearn and redesign the products and services they give, based on feedback,” Dr Sim said.

However, he warned that scoring well on these sustainability indicators cannot be achieved without close interagency cooperation especially when some data are owned by other agencies.

This is because the authorities use all the information to make decisions as well as to improve. Thus, Dr Sim urged all PBT to make the necessary input.

He also disclosed that MURNInets is being implemented throughout Malaysia and will be used for the benefit of the government and people as results shall be accessible online via the MURNInets mobile application.

Meanwhile, according to PLANMalaysia director-general Prof Dr Alias Rameli, MURNinets was initially introduced to Sarawak in 2012.

However none of the PBT here joined the programme until in 2019 where Kota Samarahan Municipal Council, Bintulu Development Board and Sibu Municipal Council joined in.

Throughout 2020 and 2021, the remaining PBT in Sarawak could not participate in this programme due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Realising the effectiveness of MURNInets in promoting sustainability and urban well-being, a meeting between the ministry and PLANMalaysia was held on Aug 19 for the other 26 PBTs in Sarawak to participate in 2023.

“This year, a total of 127 PBTs consisting of 98 in Peninsular Malaysia, 3 in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan; and 26 in Sabah have joined MURNInets,” Alias said. — DayakDaily