Urban planning expert tipped to be deputy mayor


Selangor Economic Planning Unit - Local Authority Section deputy director Johary Anuar said local councils must be active on micro-blogging like twitter or even have a Whatsapps group for certain neighbourhoods to disseminate information in an effective manner.

AN EXPERT in urban management at the Selangor Economic Planning Unit (EPU) is likely to be Petaling Jaya’s new deputy mayor.

The unit’s deputy director for the local authority section, Johary Anuar (pic), 41, is said to be the chosen one to lead Petaling Jaya’s planning officers in the city’s urban planning efforts.

He is expected to fill the post earlier held by Puasa Md Taib, who has been promoted to Sepang Municipal Council president.

According to state government officials, Johary, who is known as Jo by colleagues and friends, said he would be a good sidekick to Petaling Jaya mayor Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain, who took office on April 1.

Johary, a father of five, has a master’s degree in urban management from the University of Technology, Berlin in Germany.

He believes in engaging the public face-to-face or via social media to obtain feedback and is thus the breath of fresh air needed in the city’s hurried development.

Urban planners, chartered surveyors and property developers, who are supportive of sustainable and green living, feel Johary is the right person for the job.

According to an engineer who did not want to be named, Johary, a Manchester United fan, is a fun person when it comes to football but is “strict with work”.

“I believe this is good as it assures Petaling Jaya folk that guidelines will be followed when it comes to Bukit Gasing’s hillslope development and even the preservation of Taman Jaya’s green environment. We can’t have a fast food restaurant at the Taman Jaya carpark,” the engineer added.

Johary previously served as a programme coordinator with the National Institute of Public Administration’s Centre for Urban and Environment Management.

Recently, he called on all 12 local authorities in Selangor to engage the people via social media.

“Any form of engagement, be it face-to-face or on social networks, must be balanced, truthful and collaborative so that plans reflect the community’s aspirations to obtain their support,” he said.

When asked by StarMetro what he would do if he was appointed deputy mayor, Johary replied in jest, “I will have free screenings of the live telecast of EPL matches at public parks”.

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