State Planning Council to replace Central Board
Published on: Friday, November 22, 2019
By: Sherell Jeffrey
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KOTA KINABALU: The Town and Country Planning (Amendment) Enactment 2019 Bill which enables the government to accelerate the approval of development plans without compromising the quality of development through the abolition of authority to the local authorities was passed unopposed, Thursday. 

Deputy Speaker Datuk Ahmad Abdul Rahman announced the passing of the Bill after it received unanimous support from members of the August House.

Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Local Housing and Government, Datuk Dr Jaujan Sambakong, when tabling the Bill said the Town and Country Planning Central Board will be replaced with a new entity, the State Planning Council, which will be chaired by the minister responsible for town and country planning. 

He explained that the role of the State Planning Council is to formulate high-level planning policies in Sabah’s physical development. 

The local authorities, on the other hand, functions as local planning authorities where all powers to process and approve development plans will be implemented in accordance with the rules set by the government. 

He said amendments proposed in the Bill is to improve the current position and to place the subject of land development in the State as an agenda that is well received by the Head and Member of the State Administration. 

“Through the amendment of the Bill, the shortfall in the effectiveness of land development in Sabah will be overcome and will soon be able to jump to a more effective and dynamic level in line with the State Government’s goal,” he said. 

The State Planning Council consist of those from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Industrial Development, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment, among others. 

Only two assemblymen stood up to debate the Bill, one was Paginatan Assemblyman Datuk Abidin Madingkir who said it was high time for the proposed amendment to take place. 

He said his seven years’ experience in chairing the Central Board has exposed him to its many shortcomings, and thus hoped the amendment will reduce bottleneck and bureaucracy issues associated with it. 

The other to debate the Bill was Tamparuli Assemblyman Datuk Jahid Jahim who wanted to a timeframe to be included for every department to provide feedback upon submission of a proposed development plan. 


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