The first time a Malaysian city ever got an award since LivCom Awards - endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme - was launched in 1997.
Anyway, I was in Perth, Western Australia for the CHOGM assignment last week. I stayed in a regular hotel in the city - about a five-minute walk to the Perth Convention and Exhibition centre where the summit was held and the venue of the media centre.
A few close friends of mine arrived a few days later, also for the summit. They were not in the media delegation so they were staying elsewhere -- far from the madding crowd.
And where were they staying, these friends of mine?
"Ooh...some place called Jundelup or something," one replied.
As it turned out the place was called Joondalup. The name sounds strange to a non-Australian but certainly not to Aussies -- aboriginal words and names are all part of their psyche and culture.
To me, it was musical...Aussie aboriginal names are not unfamiliar to me.
Joondalup is an aboriginal word , (according to wikipedia to possibly mean "place of whiteness or glistening".)
For a bit of time, that word tickled us. They kept mispronouncing it, or pretending to.
I asked them how the place was.
"Oh...somewhere far...isolated. There's nothing here," was the very early description, on their arrival there.
A day later, they found the place to be "not so bad for a faraway place".
Later on, the place probably grew on them because they kind of liked it.
"We found some really nice restaurants...."
I decided to check out the place. A 30-minute train ride from Perth.
Although I arrived there about 8pm, I was impressed by the little that I saw. From the train stop, I walked into a nice shopping centre which was not too large. I past several restaurants, a supermarket and so on. Outside towards my destination, I walked along a row of shops, and I thought "this is a nice small town".
It was well-designed.
Well, it is not "just a small town" -- it is a city. And a very nice one too.
While I was there, I read in the papers that Joondalup was listed the most liveable city in the 150,001 to 400,000 population category, at the LivCom Awards held this year in Songpa, South Korea.
Read it here, here
Some small town!
The awards recognize communities with the best lifestyle for its’ residents.
Kuantan, as I have mentioned, got third billing after Joondalup and Nansha.
The news report read:
"WA cities have been voted among the most liveable places in the world, winning five medals at the United Nations-backed Livcom Awards.
In the competition's largest ever pool, Joondalup was named the most liveable city with a population of 150,000-400,000.
It beat second-place Nansha, in Guangzhou province, China and Kuantan, Malaysia."Not bad. Not bad!
Way to go!