Penang island gets city status

The state government’s application for the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) to be upgraded to a city council has been approved by the Cabinet.

The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) will be formed to replace the MPPP.

State Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow, who disclosed this yesterday, said the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry had approved the request in a letter dated Dec 10.

“The letter stated that the Cabinet approved the application on Nov 7. The ministry also approved extra posts required by MBPP, which could come up to several hundred for officers and staff.

“Another approval concerned the revision of the boundary of administration of the new city council, which will include reclaimed areas.

“Any future application for development will come under the city council. This was previously handled by the state town and country planning department,” he told a press conference yesterday.

Chow said further details would be revealed after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong proclaimed the status elevation.

The state government had applied for MPPP to be upgraded to a city council in 2010.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had said then that the MPPP should be upgraded as George Town was awarded the Unesco World Heritage City status.

George Town was the first town in the country to achieve city status when Queen Elizabeth II conferred it the status in 1957.

But when the George Town City Council merged with the Penang Rural District Council to become the MPPP in the 1970s, it lost the city status.

Talks to upgrade George Town’s status had been going on since 2001 under the then Barisan Nasional administration before a formal application was submitted by the Pakatan state government. - By Royce Tan (The Star)

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