PUTRAJAYA, June 13 — The federal government has approved the proposal to establish the Gedong District Council in Sarawak, thus bringing the number of local authorities (PBT) in the country to 156.

Announcing the matter, Housing and Local Government Minister Nga Kor Ming in a statement today said the proposal to establish the Gedong District Council was agreed upon in a Cabinet meeting.

The Gedong District Council will administer the entire Gedong district, in line with the Sarawak government’s decision to implement the re-demarcation of the new administrative area of the Gedong district effective March 1, 2022.

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Currently, the Gedong district is located in the administrative area of the Simunjan Distict Council. The Gedong district, with an area of 612 square kilometres (61,200 hectares) used to be part of the Simunjan district in the Samarahan Division.

The number of residents of the Gedong district that will be governed by the Gedong District Council is 14,424 people. Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg is the Gedong state assemblyman.

Meanwhile, Nga said among the criteria emphasised by the ministry was the need for the Gedong District Council to provide PBT services at an excellent level as well as the provision of infrastructure and public utility facilities that the people in the district can enjoy.

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“The emphasis on the criteria is to ensure that the establishment of the Gedong District Council can meet the hopes and wishes of the Malaysia Madani government and aspirations of the people as well as contribute to the local economic growth, improve the country’s competitiveness and people’s quality of life,” he said.

He also said it is hoped that the Gedong District Council will help the government in its implementation of various projects and programmes in the Samarahan Division which will be decided through the Integrated Regional Samarahan Development Agency (IRSDA).

“It is also expected to further stimulate the socioeconomic growth of the people and development in the Gedong district in particular,” he added.

Nga hopes that through this approval, the Gedong District Council can provide the best PBT services to ensure that the benefits of development in the Gedong district can be enjoyed by the people in line with the Unity Government’s desire to build a society based on Malaysia Madani. — Bernama