Friday, March 6, 2009

National Physical Plan 2

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.


Anonymous said...

hi,since you're preparing highlands study for Sabah and sarawak states and know their many decision makers, as consultants or learned layman talk to them and convince them of the importance to be included in the National Physical Plan movement. NPP is blind on politics. there are many areas separated Peninsular malaysia and east malaysia, such as forestry, land matters etc. by the way decision makers prefer to blur citizens on these matters

Anonymous said...

Hi, yes, should be called Peninsula PP instead. This document has nothing to do with Sabah and Sarawak, although indeed useful fro west malaysia. Typical Government WM thinking. TCPA does not apply to Sabah either as you correctly pointed out. Anyway, you guys proposed ESA but this has no power as a tool to protect areas. The 'Environmentally Sensitive Area' designation is just that - good in name but the areas still get developed no matter what class they are. I like the idea but how can we make this stronger in the protection of areas? What would ERE suggest? Your ESA has no teeth guys!