THE Selangor government’s proposal to establish a Greater Klang Valley authority to oversee the administration of four local councils has received mixed reactions from the local community.
During the tabling of Selangor’s 2024 Budget last Friday (Nov 10), Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said the state government would table a Greater Klang Valley Enactment and allocate RM2mil to start this project.
“It will oversea four local authorities, namely Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Shah Alam and Klang,” he said in his speech.
“It aims to create a smoother and more responsive administration for residents and the business community, including standardising processes and approvals for business and licence applications.
“It also aims to optimise government resources and reduce redundancy, oversee the rejuvenation process of matured cities and create a locality that is friendly to the elderly, disabled and children.
“It will also help authorities meet low-carbon city goals.”
Taman Sri Muda 2 Residents Association chairman Mogan P. Thangvelu is sceptical about the consolidation plan.
“The combined areas would be too big to manage.
“As it is, the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) has a difficult time managing areas within its jurisdiction,” he said, adding that his neighbourhood had not recovered completely from the devastating flood in December 2021 that submerged most of the houses in the area.
“Merging the administration would result in the regional authority having to cope with a population that is four times larger. When that happens, we fear that community problems will not be addressed swiftly.”
Mohan, who think the proposal would not be successful, said that the state government should instead allocate more funds for local councillors, as they were the ones handling community issues.
Sungai Buloh New Village chief Hoo Sook Wan is optimistic that a regional authority governing the four cities will benefit the people.
“The consolidation will bring a larger allocation that will benefit specific areas that need more urgent attention.
“Currently, a local council prioritises certain areas only, due to limited funds for upgrading.
“The consolidation of administration will also benefit areas that sit on the border of two local governments.
“Projects tend to get delayed if they are located under two different local councils so merging the councils under one umbrella would eliminate that problem,” she said.
Resident Alan Chan said based on his experience, having lived under the Auckland Regional Authority’s administration in New Zealand for four years, a consolidated administration was an effective way to streamline communities and reduce disparities.
“In some way, it reduces disparities between the urban and rural communities in terms of access to modern facilities and information technology,” said the chairman of Taman Tempua Residents Association, Puchong.
“Having a standard regional policy will also ease implementation and reduce confusion,” said Chan.
USJ3A Residents Association (RA) chairman Anwar Zaihan disapproved of the idea of merging four local councils under one administration.
“The government can’t even do a good job with one council, let alone a big one.
“There are still potholes not patched and overgrown trees that need trimming in Subang Jaya.
“Instead of a consolidation, the local governments should first undergo a revamp to improve their services,” he said.
Taman Puncak Jalil Residents Association chairman Zainuddin Zainal is open to the consolidated administration idea.
However, he raised concerns about the readiness of the affected local councils for such a transition.
“Subang Jaya City Council’s (MBSJ) current administration is not effective nor efficient. Will the work process improve if they become part of a bigger administration?
“If MBSJ is coming under a bigger administration, it will need to perform well.
“Is the city council prepared to meet ratepayers’ demands and needs?” he asked.
Sentosa resident Mohd Ali Jinnah, whose area comes under the purview of Klang Municipal Council (MPK), said the consolidated administration idea was good but there must be regular checks and coordination.
“There must be a mechanism to identify issues affecting the people and to address or resolve the matter within a reasonable period,” he said.
Selangor Safe Community and Environment Association ad hoc committee head Dr Elangovan Krishnan said the plan to combine administration services of four local councils to deliver services would augur well towards serving residents and reducing costs.
“Parts of Klang border with Shah Alam,” he said.
“Merging services will create a smoother and more responsive administration to better cater for residents and business communities in Klang and Shah Alam.”