By Batrisyia Jay
19 June 2018 began a brand-new era for Selangorians as they heralded a new Menteri Besar for Selangor. The successor to Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali was revealed to be a young and vibrant candidate by the name of Amirudin Shari, the second youngest candidate to ever hold the position of Selangor Menteri Besar.
With an easy-going and laidback demeanour, the people have come to know Amirudin as an approachable and receptive individual ever since he clocked in as the new Menteri Besar for the state a year ago.
To commemorate his first year in office, Selangor Journal decided to shed more light on the man now helming the golden state of Malaysia with much success.
A Walk Down Memory Lane
Amirudin Shari began his career in politics at the tender age of 18 after having discovered his passion for politics amidst the twists and turns Reformasi ’98, a movement that he diligently followed and kept abreast throughout his student years.
The then-18-year-old entered UPM to pursue his degree and decided to join several student movements, where he met people who shared the same interest in politics. “My first taste of politics was with [Keadilan Youth Movement] Angkatan Muda Keadilan (AMK), where I was elected as the EXCO of AMK in charge of the student affairs bureau,” said Amirudin in an exclusive interview with Selangor Journal.
In 2007, Amirudin, who by then had risen up the ranks in AMK, was elected as the Vice Chief of AMK. He rose further in the political scene to the position of Executive Secretary of Parti Keadilan Rakyat Selangor two years later. Currently, the father of six and husband to Masdiana Mohamad is a member of the party Central Leadership Committee. Therefore, continuing the legacy from the previous administration has always been the focus for the Selangor Menteri Besar.
Amirudin revealed that there are five main areas he intends to focus on to ensure the state’s continuous growth. These are providing affordable homes, an effective transportation system and an integrated health care system for the people of Selangor, creating an environmentally-friendly state, and, last but not least, creating quality high-income jobs for the people.
“I believe that these are the main areas which will help boost economic growth and ensure the well-being of the state and that its people are well taken care of,” he said.
Ever since he was elected as the Menteri Besar of Selangor a year ago, Amirudin has been diligently following up on the growth thrusts in order to further improve the mechanisms of the state.
Amirudin’s achievements and triumphs as the Selangor Menteri Besar in his one year in office:
Increasing Job Opportunities and Maintaining a Stable Economy
On August 2018, developer Central Spectrum (M) Sdn. Bhd. announced that furniture retailer IKEA will be investing RM 908 million to set up a new regional distribution and supply chain centre in Pulau Indah, Selangor.
From then on, construction of the biggest regional DC (Distribution Centre) in the Asia Pacific region commenced, and the centre is expected to be open in September 2020. The aforementioned centre will supply the Southeast Asian and Indian markets, IKEA said in a statement on 29 January 2019.
In other words, IKEA’s new regional distribution and supply chain centre in the Pulau Indah Industrial Park will lead to a positive spillover effect and accelerate the socio-economic development of the area.
Central Spectrum (M) Sdn. Bhd., the developer of the centre, is hopeful that the centre will open up at least 500 job opportunities. “We believe with IKEA’s establishment in Pulau Indah, many foreign investors, namely from China, Korea and Japan will also follow IKEA’s footsteps and set up their business in Pulau Indah,” said General Manager (Development) Noor Azhuril Adnan.
Amirudin agrees with the notion, adding that these vacancies will involve and be opened to those with a specific and qualified talent as the ability to influence and bring in foreign investors is always a good sign in any business. “Although it is a large logistics hub, some of it involves automation or robotics and the rest of the skilled manpower and is open to graduates to fill in these kind of job vacancies,” he said.
On 29 January, the Selangor Menteri Besar had inaugurated the ground-breaking ceremony of the IKEAS’s DC in Pulau Indah. With so much potential and opportunities on hand, the development is sure to further boost the investment industry in Selangor and Malaysia in general.
Ensuring Selangorians are Homeowners
Gifting Selangorians with an affordable housing scheme has always been the topmost priority for Amirudin. Thus, he was happy to report that a total of 24,869 units of Rumah Selangorku will be fully completed by 2025—proving that the State Government is committed to ensuring the well-being and socioeconomic position of the people of Selangor through owning their own homes. As such, regular monitoring is often carried out to ensure developers comply with various requirements concerning the construction of Rumah Selangorku units.
“As I have stressed before, the state government will not hesitate to cancel the approval if the developer does not cooperate even though the negotiations have been made for 18 months after the approval has been granted. In fact, the state government believes that the problem of affordable housing can be overcome with the construction of Rumah Selangorku units,” said Amirudin.
With strong support from the Federal Government, Amirudin is confident the implementation of the National Housing Policy 2.0 and the Affordable Housing Policy can be realized. He feels that these policies will solve many issues related to housing, such as the loan approval process, in addition to balancing the ratio of affordable housing and independent pricing today.
It has been reported that construction of Rumah Selangorku units has surpassed the initial target of 15,000 units set in 2018, with 28,639 units built as of 31 August last year, and 3,770 units delivered.
As of September last year, there are a total of 204 approved projects offering 104,460 affordable homes to eligible buyers, thus proving that the Rumah Selangorku scheme introduced five years ago has met with a good response.
On 6 April 2018, the state government launched the Rumah Idaman Rakyat Selangor scheme. Implemented by Selangor Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI), this scheme aims to further boost the construction of affordable housing in the state.
“The Selangor government, through the Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI), Permodalan Negeri Selangor Berhad (PNSB) and the Selangor Housing Estate Board (LPHS), has developed a strategy to provide the best residential property solutions for the people of Selangor,” said Amirudin on the housing scheme at the launching of the Rumah Idaman Abadi units and ground breaking ceremony at Bandar Teknologi Kajang on 6 April.
“Today, the Selangor government has introduced a comprehensive solution to affordable home ownership that will revolutionize the country’s housing industry,” he added.
The Rumah Idaman project is a smart partnership between the Selangor Government and the private sector using high technology innovation and close collaboration with financial institutions.It offers a residential area of more than 1,000 square feet, three bedrooms, two bathrooms and two car parks with a net price of only RM 250,000. What makes it all the more unique is that each unit of the Rumah Idaman houses is supplied with television sets, refrigerators, TV cabinets, kitchen cabinets, air-conditioning in every room and a water heater in the bathroom.
The project will be developed in Kajang, Bangi, Ampang, Shah Alam, Cyberjaya, Dengkil, Setia Alam, Klang, Bandar Saujana Putra, Bandar Salak Tinggi and North Kuala Langat. The state government is currently targeting the construction of 30,000 units of affordable housing within the next five years.
A Triumphant First Belanjawan Selangor
On 23 November 2018, Amirudin revealed a state budget of RM 2.56 billion based on six main thrusts in infrastructure, economy, education, social and rural development, and health while prioritizing physical development.
In presenting his inaugural budget for the state at the State Legislative Assembly, Amirudin stated that the budget was equally divided between operating and development expenditures, with each receiving an allocation of RM 1.28 billion.
Improving Selangor’s IPR Programme
The Inisiatif Peduli Rakyat (IPR) Programme has been created in order to ensure the livelihood of Selangorians all over the state is in good hands. After 10 years of introduction to the public, Amirudin decided to further improve the programme and focus on empowering the people’s lives. He noted that although the state government is still providing assistance to target groups, a paradigm shift should be made so that the people will not rely solely on such contributions but will have the initiative to strive for a better life.
“We are doing some studies to see how far the IPR programme has managed to change lives and keep the people out of poverty. We need to see whether the people rely solely on the state government’s assistance,” said Amirudin on the matter. The Selangor Menteri Besar stated that even though it is the government’s responsibility to help, the ultimate aim is for people to be empowered. Hence, he intends to focus on this aspect.
“Our task is not only to give cash directly to the people but to also ensure that their skills and potential are sharpened for the better.”
A total of RM 3.2 billion has since been spent by the state government since 2008 to implement the Inisiatif Peduli Rakyat (IPR) programme by distributing state revenue through a special livelihood assistance for the lower income group in Selangor.
According to Amirudin, the administration’s ability to professionally maintain Selangor’s progress as a developed state since 2005 has also contributed to the applauded programme’s implementation.
In a special interview through the Politics Talk programme titled ‘Selangor Roadshow 2019: Progress Along’ on TV1, Amirudin was quoted as Selangor would prove to have a capable group, and that is Pakatan Harapan (PH) who will “govern, manage and maintain the state’s advanced status and bring prosperity to the people”.
Amirudin explained that the re-alignment of the IPR—as set out in the Selangor Budget 2019—does not mean that the state is halting the assistance provided. Instead, it now aims to empower and increase the recipient’s skills and potential, thus gifting the people of Selangor with a better quality in life.
Support and Love from the People
To further commemorate Amirudin Shari’s first year in power, Selangor Journal asked Selangorians what they had to say about our Dato’ Menteri Besar:
“I am surprised with how diligent the new MB is. Being a reader of the paper I am constantly updated with the whereabouts and latest activity carried out by the MB, and I’m happy to see that he is addressing most of the issues faced by the people within the state and has come up with solutions to combat it such as the affordable housing issue. Keep up the good work MB!”
Muhd Amir Aziz | 26
“The new MB, Amirudin Shari, heeds the people of Selangor’s concern on water issues and seems to be very responsible about it. This comes as a relief, especially to those like me as a housewife with four children, as the lack of water or water disruption can be very troublesome for us. Just the other day I saw how quick the MB was to reach and help the citizens over a burst water pipe incident, and this proves my point. I think he is on the right track in becoming a great MB for the state.”
Nurdiana | 37
“For me, I am impressed with the MB’s ability to ensure that the people of Selangor are given an affordable housing scheme. With the economic issues we are currently facing, this is exactly what the people need. The features of the units are extremely beneficial to the buyers and I read that more units are to be built in different areas around Selangor. I’m very happy with the progress and the opportunity that is given to the people of Selangor.”
Edmund Lim | 32