PwC says KL needs revamp to be competitive city

By Lee Wei Lian
June 07, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — The city needs to improve its hard and soft infrastructure to compete with global commerce and culture capitals, says Andrew Chan Yik Hong, PwC Malaysia’ executive director in charge of capital projects and infrastructure.

This comes after PwC released a report ( this week predicting the trajectory of 26 select cities based on a wide range of criteria such as intellectual capital, transportation, health, economic clout, liveability and lifestyle assets.

Kuala Lumpur did not make the list.

New York topped the list, followed by Toronto, San Francisco, Stockholm and Sydney. Singapore was the top-ranked Asian city, finishing ninth on the list, ahead of Hong Kong (10) and Tokyo (14).

“For Malaysia to be competitive, especially Kuala Lumpur, we need to improve the social, educational and technological indicators, as well as the hard economic indicators like economic clout, transportation and infrastructure, and cost,” said Chan in a media statement.

He said the government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), which includes the ambitious twin goal of making Kuala Lumpur one of the top 20 most economically dynamic cities and top 20 most liveable cities by 2020, appeared to be on the right track as it focused on some of the same indicators as used by PwC’s study, such as health and public transport.

Chan said the most compelling takeaway from the study for Kuala Lumpur was that a broadly positive quality of life might serve as a foundation of both a resilient economy and lasting global success.

“Simply stated, the most globally competitive cities are almost always those in which its intellectual capital is offering professional and personal surroundings that can reasonably ensure their health and safety,” said Chan.

“This is important for individuals looking for not just a place to work, but also a place to live, build families and invest in the future.”

The report, titled “Cities of Opportunity”, said the most resilient societies were those in which citizens felt they had a stake — economically, politically, socially, and even emotionally — with seven out of 11 cities scoring least in life satisfaction also landing at the bottom of the overall rankings.

It noted also that the cities in the top 10 shared a bond of “depth” in economic infrastructure, law, commercial protection, educational and cultural foundations, civic organisations and social security.

The Alpha cities such as New York and London were also being challenged by their smaller rivals such as Stockholm, which ranked first in intellectual capital and innovation, health, safety and security, as well as demographics and liveability.

Singapore was ranked first for alleviation of traffic congestion, and third for air quality.

The report was prepared by PwC and the Partnership for New York City, a non-profit membership organisation comprising a select group of 200 CEOs from New York City’s top corporate, investment and entrepreneurial companies.

In a ranking last year of the world’s most global cities by international management consulting firm AT Kearney, Kuala Lumpur dropped eight spots to 48, behind Bangkok (36) and Taipei (39) but slightly ahead of Manila (51), Jakarta (53) and Ho Chi Minh city (61).

Kuala Lumpur also ranked 79th out of 130 cities in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2010 ranking of easiest places to live, and was stagnant at 75th in the Mercer study of best places to live from 2006-09.

The city also failed to make the list of the top 100 most innovative cities with strong cultural and human infrastructure and global links as assessed by Australian innovation consultancy firm 2thinknow.

Initiatives planned for Kuala Lumpur under the Economic Transformation Programme to make the city among the top 20 most economically dynamic and liveable by 2020 include a new MRT system to enhance public transportation.

Other initiatives include rehabilitation of the city’s polluted rivers, more green space, a high-speed rail link to Singapore, improved pedestrian linkages, and a more vibrant and seamless shopping belt.

It is hoped that the better conditions will help attract top talent to live in the city, whose population is expected to soar to 10 million in 2020 from the present six million.

  1. #1 by donng55 on Tuesday, 7 June 2011 - 3:06 pm

    It looks like we are going down the drain for good. What a big shame!

  2. #2 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 7 June 2011 - 6:38 pm

    WHAT!? KL did not make d list but Sg is in d list
    Betul ke? UmonB will ensure dat heads will roll
    If I were Andrew Chan YH, I would firmly grab my head

  3. #3 by Ordinary on Wednesday, 8 June 2011 - 6:42 am

    See country list of millionaire:

    Singapore has the most number of millionaire!

    Big talker like Mahahtir is wrong again. Media should shut his comment: no constructive at all.

  4. #4 by Ordinary on Wednesday, 8 June 2011 - 6:45 am

    Learn from our neighbour Singapore: no citienship given out to illegal immigrants lah!

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