This is a list of cities of Malaysia. In Malaysia, there are 18 areas granted city status (bandar raya) by law. However, there are also highly urbanised and populated areas that do not have city status but are sometimes colloquially also referred to as cities. City status is granted to a place within a local government area. Other populated areas which do not have city status are legally categorised as municipalities or towns.
Cities of Malaysia
The following is a list of places in Malaysia in order by the date they were granted city status.
|George Town||Penang||Penang Island City Council||1 January 1957||708,127||Jurisdiction expanded in 2015 to encompass the entirety of Penang Island|
|Kuala Lumpur||Federal Territories||Kuala Lumpur City Hall||1 February 1972||1,588,750|
|Ipoh||Perak||Ipoh City Council||27 May 1988||657,892|
|Kuching||Sarawak|| Kuching North City Hall
Kuching South City Council
|1 August 1988||325,132||Kuching is officially made up of two local government entities|
|Johor Bahru||Johor||Johor Bahru City Council||1 January 1994||497,067|
|Kota Kinabalu||Sabah||Kota Kinabalu City Hall||2 February 2000||452,058|
|Shah Alam||Selangor||Shah Alam City Council||10 October 2000||641,306|
|Malacca City||Malacca||Melaka City Council||15 April 2003||484,885|
|Alor Setar||Kedah||Alor Setar City Council||21 December 2003||405,523|
|Miri||Sarawak||Miri City Council||20 May 2005||234,541|
|Petaling Jaya||Selangor||Petaling Jaya City Council||20 June 2006||613,977|
|Kuala Terengganu||Terengganu||Kuala Terengganu City Council||1 January 2008||337,553|
|Iskandar Puteri||Johor||Iskandar Puteri City Council||22 November 2017||529,074|
|Seberang Perai||Penang||Seberang Perai City Council||16 September 2019||818,197||Seberang Perai was accorded city status on 16 September 2019|
|Seremban||Negeri Sembilan||Seremban City Council||1 January 2020||620,100||Seremban and Nilai were merged to form Seremban city.|
|Subang Jaya||Selangor||Subang Jaya City Council||20 October 2020||708,296||Subang Jaya was accorded city status on 20 October 2020.|
|Pasir Gudang||Johor||Pasir Gudang City Council||22 November 2020||46,571||Pasir Gudang was accorded city status on 22 November 2020.|
|Kuantan||Pahang||Kuantan City Council||21 February 2021||427,515||Kuantan was accorded city status on 21 February 2021|
- Former city within Malaysia
|Singapore||Singapore||Singapore City Council||22 September 1951||Expelled from the Malaysian Federation on|
9 August 1965
George Town became a city on 1 January 1957 by a royal charter granted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, becoming the first town in the Federation of Malaya to become a city (Singapore became a city in 1951). The royal charter stated that :
"... the said Municipality of George Town shall on the First Day of January in the year of Our Lord One thousand nine hundred and fifty-seven and forever after that be a city and shall be called and styled the CITY OF GEORGE TOWN instead of the Municipality of George Town and shall thenceforth have all such rank, liberties, privileges and immunities as are incident to a City."
However, local government elections were abolished by the federal government in 1965, and the functions of the City Council were transferred to the Chief Minister of Penang in 1966. A Municipal Council for the whole of Penang Island, the Penang Island Municipal Council, was set up between 1974 and 1976.
Although the city status of George Town was never officially revoked, George Town's existence as a corporate entity was in doubt, let alone as a city. This is similar to the position of the former city of Rochester in England, the site of England's second-oldest cathedral, which had been a city from 1211 until 1998 when it was merged with a neighbouring borough. As the new council was not granted city status, and the city, through oversight, failed to appoint charter trustees to inherit the city charter, the city ceased to exist.
Most residents disagreed with this view, who held that as George Town's city status has never been revoked, it remains a city to this day. According to lawyer Datuk Anwar Fazal, George Town "legally has been and is still a city because the City of George Town Ordinance 1957 had not been repealed". As city status is a matter of law, the actual legal position will depend on an analysis of the City Council of Penang (Transfer of Functions) Order 1966 and the Local Government Act 1976.
On 1 January 2015, the Malaysian federal government upgraded the Penang Island Municipal Council into the present-day Penang Island City Council, thereby expanding the city limit of George Town to encompass the entirety of Penang Island, as well as a handful of surrounding islets.
The royal charters for Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Shah Alam, Malacca City, Alor Setar and Miri were from the Malaysian head of state, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, while Ipoh, Johor Bahru, Iskandar Puteri and Subang Jaya were granted by their respective state sultans. Malacca City was declared a "historical city" prior to being granted city status in 2003.
Kuala Lumpur, the largest city, is the national capital and a federal territory, but as of 2012, most government ministries have relocated to the new administrative capital of Putrajaya.
Among the latest (2008) basic criteria for granting City status on a local government is that it has a minimum population of 500,000 and an annual income of not less than RM 100 million.
Locations of cities
Kuala Lumpur is by far the largest urban area as well as the largest metropolitan area in Malaysia. George Town, the capital city of Penang, is the second-largest city in Malaysia and the heart of Malaysia's second-largest conurbation. To the south, the twin cities of Johor Bahru and Iskandar Puteri form the core of the third-largest metropolitan area in the country. Other metropolitan areas with a population of more than 500,000 include Ipoh, Kuching, and Kota Kinabalu.
The following table shows the largest cities by population in Malaysia.
1. Kuala Lumpur
3. Subang Jaya
4. George Town
6. Shah Alam
10. Johor Bahru
12. Kota Kinabalu
13. Alor Setar
14. Kuala Terengganu
17. Pasir Gudang
- List of capitals in Malaysia
- List of cities in Malaysia by population
- List of cities and towns in Malaysia by population
- List of local governments in Malaysia
- Cavina Lim (25 March 2015). "Penang's First Mayor A Woman". The Star. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
- "George Town meliputi 'pulau', jelas Datuk Bandar" (PDF). Buletin Mutiara. 1 May 2015.
- "Seberang Prai achieves city status". The Star Online. 16 September 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
- "Subang Jaya Is Finally Turning Into A City In 2020". The Rakyat Post. 27 June 2020. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
- "Johor ruler proclaims Pasir Gudang a city the third in the state". The Star Online. 22 November 2020. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
- "Kuantan dimasyhur sebagai bandar raya Ahad ini". Sinar Harian. 19 February 2021. Retrieved 20 February 2021.
- "Sultan of Johor launches Mersing Harbour Centre". NST Online. 2017-09-10. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
- "Criteria Status for Local Authority". Local Government Department. 30 June 2011. Archived from the original on 15 July 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
- Map at Archive.today (archived 2013-01-05)
- Population of cities in Malaysia from World Gazetteer at Archive.today (archived 2012-12-09)