September 15, 2023
PETALING JAYA – A proposal to reunify Kuala Lumpur with Selangor has brought mixed reaction, with some lawmakers saying it has potential, while others say it could be very challenging, even impractical.
There were also those who felt the focus should instead be on creating a sustainable plan for the Klang Valley.
Subang Jaya assemblyman Michelle Ng said Petaling Jaya MP Lee Chean Chung’s proposal to merge Kuala Lumpur with Selangor to create a “mega metropolis” was a good idea in principle, but there would be huge challenges in implementing it.
“Kudos to him for thinking of something ambitious in order to solve development issues,” she said, adding that there would be many challenges to overcome.
“It would involve merging governments, budgets and administrations as well as legislative changes. For example, Selangor has two tiers of government – state and local governments, while Kuala Lumpur has only Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
“How do you deal with that? Do you absorb DBKL as part of the local councils in Selangor?
“That would mean changes in terms of administration and legislation. DBKL would have to cede a lot of power,” said Ng, a second-term assemblyman who is also a lawyer.
She said it would take longer than one or two years to negotiate the terms of the merger and transition to a “mega metropolis”, should such a proposal go through.
Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng said the suggestion, although interesting, needed to be further studied.
“The views of all parties, especially the Selangor Ruler, as well as the state and federal governments, must be taken into account,” he said.
However, Taman Medan assemblyman Dr Afif Bahardin disagreed with the proposed reunification.
“Instead, a joint committee between the authorities is more viable. Come out with a more sustainable plan for the greater Klang Valley region.
“This could be done with digitalisation, data and science,” the Perikatan assemblyman said.
Similarly, Umno’s Titiwangsa MP Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani found the suggestion unrealistic due to the unique role of Kuala Lumpur as Malaysia’s capital city.
“Each country has its capital. If Kuala Lumpur is returned to Selangor, what will be our country’s new capital city?
“The proposal should not be entertained,” he said.