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Tuesday, 14 November 2017 | MYT 12:00 AM

City status spurs council’s ambitions

JOHOR BARU: The Central Johor Baru Municipal Council (MPJBT) hopes to increase its revenue next year by at least 5% to RM300mil.

Its president Adib Azhari Daud said the council had collected more than RM280mil so far this year.

“We collected more than 90% because our taxpayers pay on time,” he said during the launch of a carnival in conjunction with MPJBT being upgraded to city council status .

The council will now be known as Iskandar Puteri City Council (MBIP).

Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar is expected to declare the council’s new status on Nov 22.

At least 36 programmes have been lined up in conjunction with the upgrading, including town hall sessions, competitions, mass wedding, marathons, treasure hunts as well as lucky draws.

Adib added that MPJBT was presently overseeing an area of about 40,000ha.

“This involves a population of about 750,000 people,” he said, adding that 41% of its area was yet to be developed.

He stressed that by 2025, with the rapid development taking place, the council would be able to collect at least RM350mil annually.

Adib added that the council would have to deal with mega projects being carried out within its area, including the High Speed Rail project, Bus Rapid Transit and the many development projects in Iskandar Puteri.

“With the upgrade, the Public Services Department has also allowed us to increase our staff strength from 700 presently to 1,100 people,” he said, adding that a complex to house the council would also be built in Iskandar Puteri by 2020.

Adib said the upgrade of MPJBT was historic and thanked all those who have been working towards it for the past year, including the state and Federal Government.

He said Nov 22 would always be special every year, not only due to the creation of MBIP but also because it was in conjunction with Sultan Ibrahim’s birthday.