By Danial Dzulkifly
SHAH ALAM, Sept 21 — The federal government has been urged to set up a special fund to help revitalise matured yet deteriorating urban centres.
Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari said the fund would be able to help state governments breathe new lease of life into developed but decaying cities, highlighting the urgent need for such effort.
Using the well-established Petaling Jaya as a case in point, Amirudin shed light on the challenges the state administration currently faces with such urban satellites.
“In the Petaling Jaya Old Town, for example, there are numerous properties whose leasehold statuses of 99 years are set to expire starting this year,” he said in his opening remarks during the Budget 2024 Roadshow dialogue at the state administration building, here, today.
“While the value of these properties is at least RM1 million per lot, the businesses there may not be able to sustain or align with these valuations when taking into account their economic activities.
“This is a matter we need to consider, in terms of property valuation, economic activities and the capacity for businesses to maintain these properties.”
Amirudin said there is also a need to also establish policies to support the rejuvenation of older cities and towns.
He cited areas like Pandan, Ampang, Gombak and Cheras as examples where development models from the 1970s and 1980s are no longer suitable to current needs.
“We can advocate for new policies to develop these areas. Typically, developing these areas requires the permission of 100 per cent of land owners or homeowners.
“So, if there is funding available to facilitate this, it would be a positive move. Without it, these areas may stagnate, leading to a decline in their economic value over time, despite once being significant assets,’’ he said.
Among those present at today’s pre-budget dialogue was Deputy Finance Minister II Steven Sim Chee Keong.
The nationwide roadshow provides an opportunity for the Finance Ministry to garner feedback and suggestions from the respective state administrations.
These will then act as a guide in drafting and finalising the Budget 2024, which is set to be tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Parliament on October 13.