The Town & Country Planning Department has commmenced the formulation of the National Physical Plan 2 (NPP2). My colleagues and I at ERE have been roped in to handle the environment and natural resources sector. Many of you may recall that ERE did most of the environmental work for the NPP1 (all the ESA mapping, policies including the proposal for the Central Forest Spine).
The NPP2 is going to be exciting. It is a good time to look back and evaluate if the 1st one has been effectively translated and/or implemented. Sure, the NPP1 has been critised for many reasons and I agree that there are many weaknesses in it. But to TCPD's credit, NPP1, for the first time in Peninsular Malaysia, attempted to look at national development holistically. NPP1 is also very pro-environment. Many of the environmental proposals have been well-received. In particular, the Central Forest Spine is an exciting venture and TCPD must be lauded for venturing into a subject that's outside its traditional planning sphere.
The one ax that I got to grind is the title of the Plan. It covers only Peninsular Malaysia... and therefore should not be called "National" Physical Plan. I am sure folks at Sabah and Sarawak are not very pleased with this either. This is a recurring problem in many government initiatives - Sabah and Sarawak are simply ignored or conviniently forgotten. Yet we keep wondering why there is no regional integration.
[Sabah and Sarawak have different planning laws - so the Town & Country Planning Act does not apply]
If you have any new ideas for the NPP2, do leave a note.