LAHAD DATU: District Officer Zulkifli Nasir said it is impossible for Lahad Datu to achieve municipality status next year and it is only expected to become one by 2015.
He said it will take several years for the District Council to meet certain criteria set by the Local Government Ministry for Lahad Datu to become a municipality.
The criteria cover population and settlement pattern, transportation network, education and health establishments, commercial and recreation facilities, telecommunication and postal services, public utilities and security, he added.
Zulkifli was commenting on a local newspaper report that the District Council will be upgraded to a Municipal Council next year.
He said the mistake was probably the result of misinterpretation of his statement by a reporter.
“My office is always open to the public, particularly reporters, so if they got any inquiries, they are welcome to see me, as reporting a statement incorrectly could confuse the public,” he added.
Zulkifli said the council is looking to the Palm Oil Industrial Clustre (POIC) to provide the impetus towards the fulfillment of the criteria.
“In fact, 2011 is the year where we and POIC will set up committees for each of the criteria, planning and overseeing the implementation to meet the requirements,” he said.