Malaysia is looking forward to its 2030 ambition of becoming a Digital Nation and multiple goals are currently being laid by all ministries, stakeholders, agencies, and infrastructure planners.
Among the goals is to turn some of the cities into smart cities but what does a ‘smart city’ mean. The Smart City Council defines them as one “that uses information and communication technology (ICT)to enhance liveability, workability, and sustainability. All definitions have one element in common, they agree that at the core it’s about leveraging new and disruptive technologies to address a broad range of urban problems.
“The latest report from the government shows that close to 80% of Malaysians live in an urban city. So, we need to have smart and better conditions for the people, particularly for those living in flats, condominiums and high-rise buildings.
AFES or Alam Flora Environmental Solutions Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alam Flora Sdn Bhd (Alam Flora), under Malakoff Corporation Berhad (Malakoff), aims to be the country’s urban problem solver in areas of waste, energy and green initiatives be it for a city of today or smart city of the future.
According to Chief Operating Officer Nazar Abdul Raof, AFES is all geared up to support the country’s smart city agenda and development through its facility management business. For instance, smart environment and smart living, are found to be the two important factors for smart city. Here, AFES fits the role in providing services like monitoring services for sustainable resource management, building disaster-resilient cities and, contributing towards cleaner environment.
The smart environment includes green technology, waste-to-energy, disaster management system and integrated waste management. Whilst Smart Living, is about community urban farming, safe city, smart grid, digital healthcare and integrated CCTV. As part of Malakoff group, AFES has the advantage to leverage Malakoff’s capabilities in creating a smart grid solution for smart city developments.
As for smart city development, this is where AFES shines, according to Nazar, it’s here where the company can provide holistic services and facilities to all be placed in one city.
The building management solution, Centralised Monitoring Management System (CMMS), Centralised Monitoring System (CEMOS), Modern Waste Management (collection of domestic waste, scheduled waste and recyclable waste), treatment processes, waste segregation, anaerobic digesters, urban farming, incinerators and landfills, are the solutions the company already offers which ensures any development functions for future sustainability.
AFES can mobilise all these smart solutions needed for comprehensive development, by utilising its state-of-the-art tools currently being actively mobilised in urban settings.
Nazar said that CEMOS can be linked to a computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) and every work order can be accessed through mobile which is highly useful and convenient.
Creating more sustainable initiatives for a better tomorrow
Additionally, he also shared that AFES is growing and currently initiating new sustainable projects which include, automatic housing bins, anaerobic digester system, bio-mass, waste recovery facilities, marine and scheduled waste recovery facilities and many more in the pipeline.
“So, we do it differently here and we are always creating new projects in line with the current trend towards sustainability.
“As such, we hope to become the pioneer in Malaysia to initiate the movement,” he expressed.
Smart Solution During Crucial Times
The pandemic highlighted many areas that became challenging when a lockdown or physical contact was not an option, this situation needed ‘out of the box’ thinking for utility and urban management company like AFES. Operations need to continue and added roles of safety and sanitization, are a must. Nazar highlighted that during the pandemic, AFES were among the first companies in Malaysia, to play a bigger role in the hygiene industry and has since collaborated with government and corporate organisations for sanitisation of their buildings.
Rest assured, AFES is well-equipped with a professional sanitisation team and equipment. We use environmental-friendly and certified chemicals to execute the sanitisation and disinfection procedures,” Nazar adds.
AFES' facility management business currently focuses on Peninsular Malaysia; however, the company is set to enter Sabah and Sarawak, in the future as it already has the right solutions to execute them.
Apart from Malaysia, the company is also looking into the international market, and AFES had submitted proposals to offer its expertise to other Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Brunei.