Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi delivers his key note address at the 2nd Asia-Pacific Forum On Urban Resilience and Adaptation at Equatorial hotel in Malacca. Pix by RASUL AZLI SAMAD

MALACCA: Issues concerning urban resilience and adaptation have now become a new challenge to the world as a result of rapid urbanisation.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Malaysia is ranked among East Asia's more urbanised countries and its urban population has continued to increase rapidly from 27 per cent in 1970 to 74 per cent in 2014.

He said rapid urbanisation in Malaysia is an inevitable process as the country progresses towards high-income nation status by 2020.

"Speaking of urban resilience and adaptation, as a developing nation Malaysia firmly believes that national efforts are crucial in achieving sustainable development and a resilient economy," he said in his keynote address at the 2nd Asia-Pacific Forum On Urban Resilience and Adaptation, here today.

Also present was Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron.

Zahid said urban resilience and adaptation should also address poverty eradication and inequality, two issues that are generally associated with urbanisation.

He said the government has decided on developing competitive cities as one of the game changers in the 11th Malaysia Plan.

"Among the strategies that have been identified include developing a city competitiveness master plan for the four selected cities namely Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.

"The master plan will take into account each city's competitive advantages such as geographic, labour, infrastructure and economic size, social perspective and inclusivity” he said.

Zahid said the government would continue to take Malaysia to greater heights and strive to consistently deliver sustainable and inclusive development for all.

"We need to culturalise the green agenda in all aspects of our lives and in our nation's life," he said.

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