From a fishing village to city

JOHOR BARU: Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar has proclaimed Pasir Gudang as a city, the third in the state after Johor Baru and Iskandar Puteri.

Sultan Ibrahim signed the proclamation document before handing it over to Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad in a ceremony at Istana Pasir Pelangi here.

With the new status, the Pasir Gudang Municipal Counci (MPPG) would now be known as the Pasir Gudang City Council (MBPG), read a statement posted on the Sultan’s official Facebook page.

“Pasir Gudang was a former fishing village that has now transformed into one of Malaysia’s biggest industrial zones as well as a major contributor to Johor’s growth and progress.

“In line with its proclamation as a city, the municipal council president’s post will now be upgraded to that of a mayor, ” read the statement, adding that it was declared a municipality on July 1,2008.

Later, at the state administration centre Kota Iskandar in Iskandar Puteri, Hasni introduced former Mersing district officer Asman Shah Abd Rahman as the first Pasir Gudang mayor following the city status upgrade.

He said Pasir Gudang’s development as an industrial and port city, equipped with the necessary infrastructure and amenities to cater to the needs of the locals, fulfilled the requirements needed to be recognised as a city, after Johor Baru in 1994 and Iskandar Puteri in 2017.

“Spanning 35,957ha and covering Permas, Johor Jaya and some parts of Tiram, Pasir Gudang currently has 533,868 residents, with an annual revenue collection of about RM127.2mil from 90,758 taxpayers.

“As of October this year, RM160.3mil in collected revenue including taxes, non-taxes and non-revenue receipts were recorded while in 2019, the amount totalled RM182.7mil.

“With the status upgrade, the state government hopes the MBPG staff will carry on being competent in their tasks and services for the city’s continuous development, ” said Hasni.

He also thanked Zainor Adani, who helmed MPPG as president previously, for his efforts and assistance in getting Pasir Gudang upgraded into a city.

Asman Shah, 55, said among the matters high on his list as Pasir Gudang mayor was to address the industrial pollution that has been bogging the city, especially after the infamous Sungai Kim Kim toxic pollution incident in March last year.

“I am thankful to the Sultan and Mentri Besar for the appointment and their trust in me.

“I will do my best for Pasir Gudang to ensure the city folks have a clean, comfortable and sustainable environment to live in.

“Among my priorities is also to look into the council’s organisational structure and see where we can improve on, in terms of human resources.

“Aside from that, there are also 16 traditional villages left in Pasir Gudang and we need to work towards preserving them as well, ” said Asman Shah, who has been in the civil service for 25 years.

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