THREE district councils in Selangor, the Kuala Langat District Council (MDKL) , Hulu Selangor District Council (MDHS) and Kuala Selangor District Council (MDKS), have submitted applications to the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry to be upgraded to municipal councils.
The three councils submitted their applications to the ministry in October last year stating they have fulfilled the criteria to be elevated to municipality status.
If these three district councils are successful in their bid to become municipalities, it will leave Sabak Bernam District Council as the sole district council in Selangor.
Currently, Shah Alam and Petaling Jaya are city councils while Subang Jaya, Klang, Kajang, Selayang, Ampang Jaya and Sepang are municipal councils.
All three district councils have an annual income above RM60mil and claim to have met the seven main requirements to be upgraded to municipality status.
StarMetro spoke to the three council heads about their aspirations
Kuala Langat District Council
MDKL president Mohd Azhar Mohamed Ali said the council sent its application to upgrade to a municipality in February last year.
“In fact, MDKL made its first application in 2007 but it was rejected as the council did not fulfil seven conditions.
“On Feb 24 last year, we endorsed the application for municipality status during the MDKL full board meeting and forwarded the application to Selangor State Economic Planning Unit (UPEN).
“Later, we sent the application to UPEN again on Oct 27 last year and have yet to receive a reply.
“MDKL had an income of RM87.791mil in 2014. We have 407 staff serving the council.
“Kuala Langat is also known as Klang Valley 2 with a population of 220,214 as at 2014,” he added.
Though MDKL is only a district council, it has a higher population compared to municipal councils such as Sepang Municipal Council, Manjung Municipal Council, Batu Pahat Municipal Council, Alor Gajah Municipal Council, Temerloh Municipal Council and Port Dickson Municipal Council.
“We still have 70% land area for housing with more than 3,106 ha and 19.12% (847.34ha) for commercial and 4.9% (217.47ha) for industrial,” said Mohd Azhar.
The townships in the MDKL include Bandar Rimbayu, Bandar Tropicana Aman, Bandar Saujana Putra, Bandar Peranginan Seri Bayu Morib, Morib Gold Coast and Kota Seri Langat,
The tourism spots in the area include Istana Bandar, paragliding in Bukit Jugra, the Mahmeri tribe in Pulau Carey, Morib beach, Morib Water Theme Park, Paya Indah Wetlands and Boh Tea plantation at Bukit Cheeding and Morib Gold Coast.
As for highways, Mohd Azhar said the area is connected via the South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE) stretching 31.3km, Elite Highway (23.5km) and the soon to be constructed West Coast Expressway.
During the national local government awards ceremony in 2013, MDKL received four stars with a total score of 84.06% and was rated 13th best in the country.
Hulu Selangor District Council
Hulu Selangor District Council (MDHS) president Mohd Zain A. Hamid said apart from the seven main criteria considered for upgrading to a municipality; there were also sustainable urban indicators which were proposed by the Malaysian Urban Indicators Network System (MURNInet).
The urban indicators include 36 areas such as economic growth, poverty, private investment, environmental quality, risk management, residences, community facilities and recreation, quality of life, safety, demography, changes in land use and urban development.
Also included are housing, heritage conservation, agriculture and tourism, utility efficiency, solid waste management, transportation, sewage management, delivery system, strengthening institutions and enforcement and monitoring.
“We have 103,684 businesses with an income of more than RM86mil annually.
“The population in MDHS is about 300,000 with high concentration in the southern part of the council in Serendah, Bukit Beruntung, Bukit Sentosa, Bandar Sungai Buaya, Batang Kali and Antara Gapi.
“We have the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) passing through MDHS.
“There are also four KTM train stations at Serendah, Batang Kali, Rasa and Kuala Kubu Bharu here.
“I feel that we have a good chance to be upgraded to a municipality as we have a good transportation system, high income, growing population and sustainable development,” said Mohd Zain.
Kuala Selangor District Council
Kuala Selangor District Council (MDKS) secretary Azahari Sairin said the council was looking forward to attaining municipality status as it would allow them to hire more staff to serve its ratepayers better and give more focus on becoming an industrial hub.
“At present, we have 407 staff in MDKS.
“With more manpower, we can focus on placing more workers in improving the cleanliness of the area.
“We also want to set up more industrial areas to create more job opportunities for the local community.
“If MDKS is upgraded to a municipality; we can have more factories and that would help us a higher income.
“Factories would have to pay high assessment rates compared to households for collection of wastes and cleaning.
“We would also give priority to industrial park management, youth and sports, women entrepreneurship, licensing and public cleanliness,’’ he said.
Azahari added that Kuala Selangor is an expansion of Greater Kuala Lumpur where development would extend to the outskirt areas.
“We have good road network links such as the Latar highway, Jalan Kapar, Jalan Rawang and Jalan Kuala Selangor connecting to Kuala Selangor.
“Kuala Selangor was the first capital of Selangor back in 1766.
“There are a lot of tourism spots such as Bukit Melawati, the Kampung Berembang Fireflies and Pasir Penambang seafood restaurants,” added Azahari.