02 June, 2010

60:40 Kampung Baru Redevelopment

I personally have an attachment to the said place. In fact part of my childhood took place in that area, to be specific my great grandparent's house. Honestly then the place petrified me. The busy wet market and the numerous loitering drug addicts in the late 90s kept me pretty much occupied indoors.

Now this I hear that the government wants to re-develop that area. Into what it has been proposed and into what in the end it will be I have my sincere doubts. But re-development does not mean it is for the good for sure. The many plots of land are now owned by second and some even third generation descendants from the original owners.

So imagine the many plots that have been subdivided amongst siblings. Some to 2 while on average 5 co-owners per plot. From what I gather the plots of property is worth millions. So one can imagine that there are tussles on whether to sell off or to wait for the price to be offered up by unscrupulous parties who sees Kampung Baru as a diamond in the rough.

Honestly I am no Malay extremist. Nor do I really care much on what they do to Kampung Baru. But if family values is to go by this 60:40 scheme of joint redevelopment is indeed causing a bit of a headache. It is after all Malay Reserved land. Which means apart from the high value Kampung Baru holds a much bigger agenda in the stench of the wet market.

Some cry foul over the proposal of joint development between Malays and non-Malays. Some thinks that Kampung Baru is in desperate need for refurbishment partly to clean it's image and revitalize the commerce activity of that area. Honestly for such a small stretch of road it is causing such a commotion.

Families will be forced to sell their property because the value is so premium. Developers wants that pie so bad because they know it is a gold mine. I could smell dirty politicians plotting their schemes to make a lucrative buck, not to mention cunning businessmen hooking pinky finger with politicians.

For whatever the reason it may be Kampung Baru should be redeveloped. One it is full of history. It is iconic, and it sticks to many hearts of those who grew up in that area. The disputes of to sell or not is not really in an observer's hands. Malay reserve was and I repeat was a right and on top of that a privilege. But times have changed and money seems to be the cause and root of all change. Land owners have their right to sell but for heaven's sake keep in mind Kampung Baru is filled with history good and bad. Perhaps turning it into a heritage site would be good for everyone.

1 comment:

Helen said...

I can understand your nostalgia towards Kg Baru. I'm Chinese but my family used to stay in Kg Baru too. (few houses before the Pizza place and is now where the new building stands)

You and I no longer stay in Kg Baru so it's easy to envisage maintaining the place as we fondly know it in the name of heritage site. The fact is, many of the families still residing there would probably love to let go and get a good price for it. Afterall, price of land near the Ampang stretch near KLCC has skyrocketed beyond their wildest dream. If selling a piece of land could provide a better life for them and family, why not?

I bet the landowners would welcome good compensation for their piece of land. Outsiders would have to ask themselves what will we do if we're in their shoes... heritage site or better life? :-)