SEPANG is the youngest district in Selangor, but is probably the most well-known place in the state, if not the country.
This is because the KL International Airport (KLIA), the Sepang F1 circuit and Cyberjaya (Malaysia’s Silicon Valley) are all located here.
The formerly sleepy district, is in the southern-most part of Selangor.
Popular spot: The Bagan Lalang beach near Sungai Pelek will witness even more commercial development, elevating this once sleepy district to the forefront of tourism in Selangor
Sepang, covering 612sq km, is slightly smaller than Singapore, which is 700sq km.
As of 2010, the district’s population is 212,050.
Sepang was only “born” in 1975, through the merging of Dengkil in the Hulu Langat district, and Sepang as well as Labu, which were then under the Kuala Langat district.
During its early days, its administrative centre was situated in Sepang town. However, following the development of KLIA, the administration headquarters was moved to the nearby Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi, which has now acquired the moniker of Airport City. The Sepang Municipal Council moved into a spanking new building in Cyberjaya in April 2008.
Agriculture remains the mainstay of Sepang even though the construction of KLIA took away nearly 100sq km of land.
Oil palm is the major cash crop, and many palm oil mills can be seen in the area. Prior to the Nipah virus outbreak in 1999, Sepang was also home to the highest number of pigs in Malaysia, and at the peak of the industry, the pigs easily outnumbered humans in this district.
There were allegations that the pig farms contributed to the severe pollution of the Sepang river, which forms the border between Selangor and Negri Sembilan.
After Pakatan Rakyat took over Selangor in 2008, the state reiterated its support for modernised pig farming that will have reduced environmental impact on a proposed development around Tumbuk estate (near Tanjung Sepat) that is said to cost RM100mil.
Of course, right now, KLIA is the most prominent feature in the district. A brand-new low-cost terminal, also known as KLIA2, is expected to be completed in June.
Currently, over 200 multinational companies are located in Cyberjaya, which is also known as the Information and Communication Technology Nucleus.
Not surprisingly, it has also been touted as the “Intelligent City of the Future” that is meant to serve as a model for the rest of the country.
Cyberjaya was developed to help put Malaysia on the path towards a knowledge-based economy. With a land area of 2,832ha, the Cyberjaya Flagship Zone is a self-contained township supported by extensive IT infrastructure, low-density urban enterprise, as well as commercial, residential, enterprise and institutional developments.
On account of KLIA, Cyberjaya, and Putrajaya, Sepang is now criss-crossed by a good network of roads.
From a difficult-to-access backwater, the district is now easily reachable via the North South Central Link (Elite Highway), the South Klang Valley Expressway, the Damansara-Puchong Highway, the Maju Expressway, as well as the upgraded B15 state route. More roads will continue to be built, and in a few years, there will be a new link from KLIA to Seremban.
The Pakatan Rakyat administration object vehemently to the presence of automated mechanisms to keep speedsters in check. Sepang is the location of a recent legal battle to remove automated speed cameras, which ended up with a High Court verdict affirming that the Sepang Municipal Council (MPSp) does not have the right to dismantle or halt the operations of these cameras installed on two Federal routes.
With open access to the Straits of Malacca, Sepang has always been a seafood paradise. The district is also full of potential for tourism, both large as well as smaller scale.
The homestay industry has been around for more than 10 years, centered around traditional Malay villages that dot the area. One of the most well-known homestay areas is called Banghuris, which is an amalgamation of three villages: Kampung Bukit Bangkong, Kampung Hulu Chuchuh and Kampung Hulu Teris. This homestay site, which is about 35km from KLIA, is surrounded by oil palm, rubber trees and orchards.
But the most ambitious mass tourism project would be the Sepang Gold Coast development, located at the Bagan Lalang seafront. The beach was already a popular picnic and camping spot long before the mega development projects took off in Sepang.
Consisting of 366 units of high-end chalets, the Gold Coast site takes up 102ha, part of which was former state land.
More development is expected to take place in Sepang if the requests by landowners for land status conversion are approved, with the bulk of applications proposing to change the land status from agriculture to residential, or from residential to commercial.
Politically, the Sepang parliamentary constituency is aligned to Barisan Nasional, which was returned with a clear majority in 2008 despite the electoral tsunami that swept the rest of the country. Other than the parliamentary seat, it also has three state seats, namely Tanjung Sepat, Sungai Pelek and Dengkil.
As expected, the three incumbent assemblymen were replaced with fresh faces after Barisan announced its Selangor line-up on Tuesday.
Former Tanjung Sepat assemblyman Datuk Dr Karim Mansor, did not reveal much disappointment after learning that he will not get a second term.
“Personally, I am ready to serve for another term,” he told The Star in a phone interview.
Karim was replaced by Nisman Yusof, 54, special assistant to Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed, the incumbent Sepang parliamentarian who will be recontesting his seat.
Sepang MCA chief Ng Chok Sin 45, was brought in to replace Yap Ee Wah, 51, at Sungai Pelek. Born and bred in Sungai Pelek, Ng is a special assistant to Deputy Home Affairs Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong.
The Sepang Umno division treasurer, Shahrum Mohd Sharif, 42, was picked to replace Datuk Marsum Paing in Dengkil.
Shahrum is the vice-president of Konsortium Sepang Bhd, a trading and property development company, as well as a special assistant to Mohd Zin.
Shahrum’s father was a former Dengkil assemblyman, Datuk Sharif Jajang.
PKR is fielding businessman Borhan Aman Shah as its new face in Dengkil. The 50-year-old was surprised at being picked as he was already the state election director for PKR.
Borhan confirmed that PAS will take on Barisan for Sepang as well as the Tanjung Sepat state seat, while DAP will contest Sungai Pelek. These two candidates are expected to be announced today.
Mohd Zin has his hands full as the Selangor Barisan election deputy director. The coalition had promised a Selangor-specific manifesto in its bid to recapture the state, and indications are that the manifesto will focus on value-added developments that will improve the well-being of the people.
“We will also propose new developments along the coastline, from Port Klang to KLIA, themed on a knowledge-based economy,” he told the media last week.
Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will announce the Selangor manifesto this week.