Malaysian

Subang Jaya Has Now Received City Status After 22 Years, But Will This Change Anything?

Subang Jaya recently made the news for having officially received city status, graduating from Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) to Subang Jaya City Council (MBSJ).

The Star quoted MPSJ president Noraini Roslan who said in the council’s full board meeting: 

“MPSJ received the consent of the Sultan of Selangor that the date of declaration for Subang Jaya City Council will be on October 20, 2020.”

According to the Edge Prop, Subang Jaya had been a municipality for 22 years since 1997. 

It’s Selangor’s third city after Shah Alam and Petaling Jaya received their status in 2010 and 2006 respectively.

But what’s the significance of graduation from being a municipal to being a city?

Cities & Municipalities. What’s The Difference?

There are two types of urban councils in Malaysia: city councils and municipalities. 

Cities are led by mayors, while municipalities are led by presidents. 

These mayors and presidents hold executive power within the areas of: 

  • Public health and sanitation, 
  • Waste removal and management, 
  • Town planning, 
  • Environmental protection and building control, 
  • Social and economic development and 
  • General maintenance functions of urban infrastructure.

Municipalities can be upgraded to cities once they satisfy the required criteria.

What Are The Criteria?

A shot taken from our office in Taipan.

Among the basic criteria for granting city status to a local government is that it has a minimum population of 500,000 and an annual income of RM100 million. 

While for a municipal status, the minimum population is 150,000 with an annual income of no less than RM20 million. 

According to the Subang Jaya City Council, the city recorded a population of 708,296 this year.

These are the latest criteria approved during the State Council Meeting for Local Government in June 2008.

How Do You Apply For City Status?

The application for city status is applied by the municipal president, and the approval process takes place in tiers.

It starts with presenting the application to the Selangor state government, where MPSJ received approval in August 2019.

Then, the proposal is presented to the Cabinet as required under Act 171, where a gazettement process will take place when the Cabinet gives their green light.

Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari announced in December 2019 that Subang Jaya would become a city.

This was after the state government had received approval from the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, as reported by Selangor Journal.

Finally, in June this year, Edge Prop announced that the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, gave his consent for the change in status to be implemented on October 20, 2020.

What Are The Benefits Of Having City Status?

In a 2014 article written by The Star, former MPSJ councillor Rajiv Rishyakaran said that receiving this status will not change much of the city’s budget. 

This is because MPSJ is already self-sufficient in terms of income which is generated through tax assessments.

“The benefit in attaining city status is that it will help their image,” he said in the same interview.

But according to theSundaily, Councillor Chang Kim Loong said in August 2019 that city status would give the council more authority in dealing with council matters.

“Currently, many roads within MPSJ’s boundary are under the purview of the Public Works Department,” he said.

With this new title, the ball will now be in the court of Subang Jaya’s appointed mayor, Noraini Roslan and her council.

For example, Noraini wants the USJ 8 drains which were hit by flash floods in August to be widened.

Subang Jaya was hit with a flash flood after heavy downpour / Image Credit: SJ Echo on Fabebook

The standard of living for residents in the area would also improve as the value of property prices would rise with its city status.

Great for those who already own properties there, not so much for those of us still looking.

Only time can tell the impact of this status change on the quality of life for Subang Jaya’s residents. 

Though I’m no resident myself, my hope for them is they’ll step up their game when it comes to sanitation works, especially for the pest situation in SS15.

  • You can read more Subang Jaya related articles here.

Featured Image Credit: Wikipedia, Fikri Yusof (Selangorkini)

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