A balanced society? The planning must start now


Penang aspires to be an international and intelligent state, and is developing fast with ambitious plans. But first, let’s plan the planning.

Malaysia follows a plan-led development system, with top-down multilevel plans ranging from the National Physical Plan to State Structure Plans and Local Plans; within Local Plans, there are also the Special Area Plans (SAPs).

With so many structures and plans in place, why does it often feel like there is no plan?

In part, this is because of a bureaucratic planning system and the length of time it takes to prepare plans. But mainly this is because of the lack of flexibility the planning system offers. While our planning processes occur as per the guidelines, the pace of actual development runs far ahead of our planners.

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