A new amendment will compel all state governments and agencies, except in Sabah and Sarawak, to seek advice from a Council on any development that takes place in the state.
This includes the construction of airports, seaports, inland ports, railway transportation networks, highways, power stations, dams and toxic waste disposal sites and any other infrastructure of national interest as determined by the Council.
The Council is not named in the amendment which comes under the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 (under the Act 172). It is expected to be tabled for second reading on Oct 19 at the Dewan Rakyat.
Under the explanatory statement of the proposed amendments, it states that the duty to seek advice from the Council is imposed because of the potential impact of the development particularly on the environment and social development of the state.
“At the national level, the Council will be able to give advice on the development proposals within the framework of the national policy. It is also for better coordination between states and optimisation of the use of natural resources and finance.”
It will also require all state governments to submit Social Impact Assessment reports to the Council which will enable it to give proper advice on the development.
State governments will also be required to include analysis of social impact and any other impact which takes into account the local population.