Selangor Journal
Menara MBPJ in Petaling Jaya. — Picture via FACEBOOK/MBPJ

Calls for fund increase, sustainable development to mitigate densely-populated Petaling

By Amar Shah Mohsen

SHAH ALAM, Aug 31 — Lawmakers from the Petaling district are calling for increased constituency funding and a stop to unfettered development to ensure better welfare for its residents.

This is after the Statistics Department (DOSM) revealed that the urban district in Selangor has the highest population in the country with 2.3 million, based on data obtained for this year, apart from being the most densely populated with 4,783 persons per square kilometre.

Speaking to Selangor Journal, elected representatives said it is crucial that immediate measures are taken to curb the negative impact of the rising population.

Multiple studies have shown that living in metropolises with high densities tend to reduce the average happiness levels, a concern that these lawmakers share and say must be addressed accordingly.

Subang MP Wong Chen.

Subang MP Wong Chen lamented that it is difficult for him to serve a constituency as large as his without a fair and adequate allocation, pointing out that at present, all constituencies are given equal development funds, regardless of their population size.

For the record, the Subang parliamentary constituency, which is part of the Petaling district, has a population of about 480,000.

“To ensure fairness, I would suggest the government reconsider calculating the community funding and budget for a lawmakers’ office on a per capita basis,” Wong said.

“The irony is that in highly populated areas, the residents contribute more in taxes per capita than those in rural areas, yet the community support is lesser as a result of the sheer volume of the population.”

Wong said MPs and state assemblymen in the Petaling district are unable to perform their duties to the best of their abilities because of this lack of resources, citing his Subang parliament as an example.

“My office currently only has three officers because I can’t afford to hire more. They get so many phone calls each day from the public on various issues. We need at least seven or eight (officers) to cater to the Subang community.”

Petaling Jaya MP Lee Chean Chung.

For Petaling Jaya MP Lee Chean Chung, the key to ensuring residents in the district can live dignified lives is to press for more sustainable development.

He said unfettered development must immediately cease and be replaced by more public parks, community centres, better walkways, an improved public transportation system, and friendlier infrastructure for the elderly and children.

“We need to deal with the rising population, and there are cities that are dense but happy,” he told Selangor Journal.

“Better urban planning, governance and human-to-human interaction will help build a happier community.”

Separately, Lee said, with the deindustrialisation of Petaling Jaya, more high-quality jobs and high-value industries are required to ensure better prosperity for its people.

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