ZARINA ZAKARIAH [email protected]
KUALA LUMPUR: While spatial information is vital for policy development, it must be translated into a format that policymakers can understand and use, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Speaking at the launch of the 25th International Federation of Surveyors’ Congress today, Najib stressed on the importance of surveyors’s expertise in providing tools for the government to address challenges it faced.
“In this new age, information is currency, and comprehension – the ability to understand and interpret data is power. Few industries have escaped untouched.
“Spatial information is vital for policy development whereby it clarifies our approach to everything from urban planning to emergency service response.
“It also plays a key part in the fight against environmental degradation and runaway climate change,” said Najib, adding that the development of the country depends on good spatial development.
“Infrastructure plays an important part in our national development plans from the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system to the Pan-Borneo Highway in East Malaysia.
“All these developments are dependent upon an understanding of how space can be efficiently used to deliver economic benefit,” he said.
On the flooding, landslides and weather-related events which had left a significant impact on the nation, Najib said with the spatial information available, the government can produce effective policies, efficient programs and better outcomes from the policies implemented.
“In an era of big data and open-source policymaking, the challenge for surveyors is to ensure that information sharing practices evolve at the right pace and that knowledge gathered is put to productive use.
“The existing information infrastructure should be improved, including spatial data infrastructure.
“We should also ensure that spatial data is reliable, accessible for re-use, and can be easily integrated into collaborative environments,” said Najib to about 1,000 participants comprising surveying and land professionals at the congress themed ‘Engaging the Challenges, Enhancing the Relevance’.
Najib also touched on the importance of the United Nations Resolution on Global Geodetic Reference Frame, which would be made later this year.
“This resolution seeks to encourage enhanced global cooperation and open data access policies in surveying. Malaysia welcomes and supports this development,” he said.
The congress, which began on Monday at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, will conclude on June 21.