Minister says Ampang on verge of city status

Ampang could become Malaysia’s newest city next year.
Ampang could become Malaysia’s newest city next year.

AMPANG, Dec 14 — Ampang could become Malaysia’s newest city next year, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin.

She said that the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) has met the requirements of administering a population of over 500,000 people and recording a revenue of RM100 million from its 24 localities.

“Only one criteria that they have to qualify which is a university in the area, but the ministry is willing to look into it because there are so many private higher learning institutions in Ampang,” she told reporters after launching the Taman Dagang Community Hub here today.

Zuraida, who is also the Ampang MP, said she also set alternate goals for MPAJ and its chief, Datuk Abd Hamid Hussain, to meet.

These include introducing a trash-for-cash scheme and community hub projects in all its localities as well as a command centre at Pekan Ampang.

“If he can complete all that in the next year, I will grant the city status,” she said.

Currently there are 14 local authorities with city status in Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam, Alor Star, Johor Baru, Melaka City, Kuala Terengganu, Kota Kinabalu, Miri, Kuching North, Kuching South, Balik Pulau and the newest — Seberang Prai — which acquired the status in September.

On a related matter, Zuraida urged local councils and residents associations nationwide to engage in community hub projects that help to encourage creativity and improve quality of life, especially for the B40 group.

She said for now, Lembah Beringin and Taman Dagang have pioneered the programme, which establishes a community centre for the residents, especially mothers and the youth, to engage in healthy, creative and beneficial programmes.

“I would like to urge all NGOs and local councils to set up community hubs in their respective areas without having to wait for the ministry and they can seek our advice on how to implement it at any time,” she said.

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