Building a community requires a strong support ecosystem
i-City’s humble journey to become a golden triangle icon
By Joseph Wong
Only a handful of people are aware that i-City established a public-private partnership (PPP) with the Selangor State government in the early 2000s. A first-of-its-kind PPP was formed where i-City would build and fund the development on its own while the state government can benefit from foreign direct investments (FDI) into Shah Alam as a result of the development.
It was at the time when Selangor wanted to establish a creative digital hub at its administrative centre, Shah Alam which is also its capital city, and i-City wanted to establish a Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Cybercentre, but unfortunately, the MSC corridor then focused on the main nodes of Kuala Lumpur and involved mainly government-funded developments.
The then Menteri Besar of Selangor Datuk Seri Dr Mohamed Khir Toyo set up a steering committee headed by Selangor EXCO in charge of Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) Datuk Ch’ng Toh Eng to oversee the development and ensure that the objectives are met. The committee reports to Majlis Tindakan Ekonomi Selangor (MTES).
Among others, the first task was to spearhead the application to MDeC for the MSC Status for i-City.
Being part of the PPP allowed i-City to present its vision and development concept to the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah which led to the Ruler endorsing i-City as an International Zone, where cosmopolitan family lifestyle activities such as cinemas, family-oriented leisure and entertainment activities were permitted.
On this note, the recent appointment of Tengku Datuk Seri Ahmad Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah as chairman of i-City Selangor is aimed at continuing the Sultan of Selangor’s vision of i-City as an International Zone and to further develop its full potential of attracting more international investors to Selangor to further contribute to its economic growth as Selangor is deemed as a Golden State with the highest economic contribution of nearly 25% to the nation in terms of Gross Domestic Product in 2021.
A change in the state administration in 2008 enhanced the partnership with a tripartite Management and Development Agreement (MDA) between the Selangor State government, Shah Alam Municipal Council (MBSA) and i-City. The MDA boosted confidence in the international community and despite political changes, there was a continuity of interest and objective.
Today, i-City is home to global brands such as Hilton Worldwide, Thailand’s Central Pattana, Best Western International and Maybank Group, thus elevating the image of Shah Alam, the capital city as a golden triangle of Selangor.
i-City is in an excellent position to strive forward and play a pivotal role as a nucleus within the state ecosystem and a key economic driver for Selangor. Also to deploy new technologies to support the Smart State Selangor vision.
Value Creation in i-City Finance Avenue
The i-City Finance Avenue is a prime location in i-City and it comprises Mercu Maybank, DoubleTree by Hilton, newly open for sale – BeCentral serviced residences, premium retail and office space and an international convention centre ready by the end of 2023. And each component is connected to the Central i-City mall via dedicated walkways.
With the presence of global and multinational companies here, it is evident that i-City Finance Avenue was designed to support high value-added industries. This will also add value for BeCentral home owners as they will also enjoy the enhancements and convenience within, catering to their psychological and social needs to ease their lifestyle.
BeCentral is the latest serviced residential project in i-City. Priced from RM440,000, this modern urban living freehold project is located next to DoubleTree by Hilton, Central i-City Mall and Mercu Maybank.
Beyond features such as a 5-star hotel drop-off lobby with face recognition, 50m Olympic-length infinity pool, hot jacuzzi, artificial intelligence (AI) door lock-set, futsal and basketball open court and many more, it definitely appeals to young professionals.
As i-City constantly deploys new technologies when they are rolled out, offerings like autonomous vehicles, super AI network connectivity and even 5G connectivity are a given. This will certainly add value for the home buyers and also create a pool of quality tenants.
5G leads to a new wave of technologies that have the potential to disrupt our daily lives. Autonomous vehicles can communicate while on the road in real-time, advanced digital wallets, smart homes, appliances for a better-connected lifestyle and more. Telemedicine will become more commonplace as bandwidth expands.
i-City is building a community
The community that i-City is building is where dwellers can enjoy technology-backed world-class amenities at their homes or workplace and around them – a fusion of technology and real estate.
All of us have our own needs and we prefer locations where it caters for our physiological needs, job security, self-actualisation and self-esteem, among others. It is undeniable that today’s technology is used to solve these basic human needs.
Underpinning the business and social activities of the community living, working and visiting i-City has Super AI and dual-fibre network connectivity, artificial intelligence features, smart security and also a Tier-3 certified data centre on-site. This also made i-City an attractive 5G rollout location.
From 100 times the speed and 1,000 times the capacity of the current day mobile networks, 5G technology reduces energy usage under a single network to provide a variety of heterogeneous services like AI, extended reality (XR), edge computing and the Internet of Things (IoT).
i-City is identified as a sustainable information and communications technology (ICT) growth area under the Selangor Structure Plan 2035. Upon completion, this RM10bil Malaysia No 1 Technology City is expected to be home to some 25,000 residents and 30,000 knowledge-based workers. And that foreseeable future is closer with each passing day.