Batu Pahat now the place to be

NST Online reporter, Syed Umar Ariff interviews the Batu Pahat Municipal Council president.
Read about what the Municipal Council plans for BP. It will be nice to finally see the BP Waterfront!

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From NST Online:
http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/JohorBuzz/Thursday/MyJohor/20080716153914/Article/index_html

Batu Pahat now the place to be
Interviewed by Syed Umar Ariff

THE first thing I did when I took over the Batu Pahat Municipal Council as president was to streamline the council’s operations to improve its efficiency.

One of the things that took place was the establishment of a close rapport with government departments. Previously, the council and the departments, were usually at odds on several issues.

Another was filling the vacancies of various positions. We have to fill them as the staff at the council are the lifeline of the organisation.

We have managed to overcome most of the shortcomings in terms of operations within three months.

And as recognition of our efforts to provide the best services to the people and the efficiency of our operations system, the council was awarded the MS ISO 9001: 2000 quality certificate by the Bureau Veritas Certification Malaysia in February.

The certificate is only valid for three years, so we must work hard to retain and improve standards in managing and dishing out services to the people.

So far, everything is going well in Batu Pahat. For example, you can see housing projects mushrooming around the district.

This is especially good when the population of Batu Pahat has risen to more than 400,000.

Batu Pahat has become “the” place to be.

Shopping malls are also a great addition to the town. We have the Batu Pahat Summit, Batu Pahat Mall and Carrefour, which now has an additional building being built to cater for more customers

Judging from the abundance of shopping centres in this once backwater district, we can conclude that the people here have high spending power which reflects Batu Pahat’s vibrant economy.

But many would not have thought so. The affluent residents here, most of whom are businessmen, do not have the tendency to flash their wealth.

Most of them would usually drive normal cars and wear inexpensive clothing. But they make RM20,000 to RM30,000 in a month!

Batu Pahat is also fast becoming an education hub. Other than Tun Hussein Onn University, now we have the Mara Poly-Tech College, a nursing college in Parit Raja and the Tun Hussein Onn Teachers’ Institute among others.

The council is working on a plan to redevelop the Batu Pahat riverside, where the wet market is located.

We are planning to build a waterfront there, which stretches for about two kilometres and a new business centre for the wet market.

The council has been planning to redevelop the area for a long time.

If you make a visit there, you’ll be surprised to see how dirty and unkempt it is.

If the waterfront is completed, then the people in Batu Pahat will have something to look forward to.

They will also have a new place for wholesome family recreational activity.

We have also recently engaged a private consultant to do research for a landscaping project for areas under the council’s jurisdiction such as Parit Raja, Senggarang and Rengit.

The research will take a year.

Upon completion, the consultant will recommend suitable trees, shrubs or flowers that can be planted in a specific area.

There is so much in store for the people on Batu Pahat. Let us hope that everything goes as planned.

• Amran Abdul Rahman, 44, was appointed as the Batu Pahat Municipal Council president in August 2007.

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