National Physical Plan (NPP) is a long term strategic plan for the period until 2020, that contains written statement formulating strategic policies for the purpose of determining the general directions and trends of the physical development and conservation of Peninsular Malaysia, accompanied by indicative plans. NPP has been prepared under the provision of Section 6B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 (Act 172). NPP has been approved by the Cabinet on the 20th April 2005 and by the National Physical Planning Council (NPPC), chaired by the Prime Minister, on the 26th April 2005. This approval means that from now on the NPP is to be the national physical planning guideline and to be implemented by all the states in Peninsular Malaysia, and consequently :
c. NPP proposals shall be the basis for the formulation of the Five Year Development Plan programs and projects.
NATIONAL PHYSICAL PLAN
Through its system of Five-Year Plans, Malaysia has successfully applied economic planning to guide the development of the country from an economy of agriculture and mining to a largely industrialised one. Now, with its sights set on attaining the economic level of a fully developed nation by 2020, the planning system must be made even more efficient and focused. It must ensure that every investment made in the country, whether public or private, yields not only a maximum returns but must directly contribute towards creating the desirable objective of a strong, modern, internationally competitive, technologically advanced, post-industrial economy. The country must focus on securing a credible share of the lead sectors of the globalised economy. It must make itself fit and conducive to these sectors. The country must also be fully aware of the enormous competition it faces in a region with rapidly expanding and modernising economies, all contending for the same pool of potential international investments.
The NPP recommends the adoption of ‘Selective Concentration’ Development Strategy, where urban development will be concentrated in selected cities that have high growth potential and can offer a high quality of living environment.This strategy also aims to avoid random spread of investment to areas with little growth potential, that will result in a net loss in terms of finance and resources.Four conurbations that is Kuala Lumpur, George Town, Johor Bahru and Kuantan are to be the prime centres for international and local investments, to provide the vehicle for Malaysia towards a strong position as a trading nation to compete in the global arena, while encouraging balance regional growth whereby Kuantan is designated to fulfil this function. Besides the four main conurbations, development is to be focused at selected urban growth centres that are state capitals - Ipoh, Melaka, Kota Bharu, Kuala Terengganu, Alor Setar, Kangar and other selected towns such as Temerloh-Mentakab, Lumut-Sitiawan-Manjung, and Muar-Batu Pahat-Kluang.
LEVEL OF URBANISATION
Rapid urbanisation has resulted in an increased level of urbanisation in Peninsular Malaysia from 27.6% (1970) to 65.4% (2000), and it is estimated to rise to 75% in the year 2020. This situation calls for better management of these cities in order for them to be the economic catalyst, liveable and are able to provide a quality living environment.