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S'kan Council upgrade from July
Published on: Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The Sandakan Municipal Council will be upgraded to Sandakan City Council effective July 1, said Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.

He also said once upgraded, the existing President of the Sandakan Municipal Council will be known as a "Mayor" just as in the case of a city. Sandakan was the State Capital before the war when Sabah was known as British North Borneo.

"The State Cabinet has decided to call it the Sandakan City Council…it is different from Kota Kinabalu City Hall," he said, after a talk on local government at UMS, here, Monday.

It was made to understand that there can only be one City Hall in a state, for example Kuching City Hall and Miri City Council in Sarawak.

The Kota Kinabalu City Hall is under the purview of the Chief Minister's Department while Sandakan City Council will still be under the Local Government and Housing Ministry.

Hajiji said there are certain requirements for a municipal council to be upgraded into a city council, and "Sandakan has fulfilled these requirements."

"With the upgrade, the local authority must also enhance their service delivery to the people.

"They have to do many things to obtain the status of Sandakan City Council."

Meanwhile, apart from Tongod District Council which came into operation on Jan. 1, the government has also approved Telupid District Council as the 26th local government in the State.

"I hope Telupid District Council will start its operations by the end of this year.

"One of the main purpose (to establish Tongod and Telupid District Councils) is to provide a better service to the local communities," he said.

Telupid, he said, is a strategic East Coast-West Coast route.

"As such, it is sensible to give the district council status to Telupid…previously it was under the jurisdiction of Beluran District Council but Telupid is quite far from Beluran."

On the talk organised by the National Professor Council UMS Chapter, Hajiji hoped the participants will gain more information on the duties and responsibilities of local governments.

"It is a good opportunity for me to provide explanation on the matter," he said.

Also present were Permanent Secretary to the Local Government and Housing Ministry, Datuk Ginun Yangus, UMS' Humanity, Arts and Heritage Faculty dean Professor Dr Ismail Ibrahim, and National Professor Council UMS Chapter chairman Professor Datuk Mohd Hamdan Adnan. - Ricardo Unto

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