ALOR STAR: Kedahs state capital is set to be the next town to be accorded city status.
Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Syed Razak Syed Zain said the Cabinet has given its approval.
If all goes well, we hope to declare Alor Star as a city this year, he told reporters after giving out land titles to 88 Felda pioneers in Lubok Merbau, 63km from here, yesterday.
He said the state government was now waiting for the official letter of the elevation in status from the Cabinet.
Alor Star is the administrative centre for the Kota Star municipality, which covers an area of 666 sq km.
It was reported last July that the municipality had a population of 407,735 of whom about half lived in Alor Star which is 92 sq km in size.
On another development, Syed Razak said the Home Ministry has gazetted Durian Burung as the second border gateway to Thailand from Kedah.
A Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex is being built there.
Changloon serves as the border town at present.
On homes for the hardcore poor, the Mentri Besar said the state government would try to complete 3,000 homes by next year.
He also said more than 2,000 applications for land titles on state-owned land were still pending, adding that the state government hoped to give out the titles to successful applicants by this year.
He said most of the land applied for were less than 0.4ha in size each and had been planted with fruit trees, rubber, rattan, oil palm and other crops.