Be on same page in Kampung Baru plan

MY grandmother carried me, boarded the train and brought me to Kampung Baru when I was just two weeks young. I was her first grandchild and my father was being posted to Brunei then. And the rest is history.

I grew up in Kampung Baru. Our house was sort of a community centre when the May 13, 1969 riots struck and also during the January 1971 Kuala Lumpur floods.

New evidence shows that Umno has its origins at the Sultan Sulaiman Club in Kampung Baru, which also played a central role in the Reformasi protests of 1998.

There have been numerous plans to develop Kampung Baru over the years and many residents are now tired of responding to surveys about more plans because they think nothing will happen.

The Federal Territories Minister explained that the people there preferred to have the government develop the area and assured that Kampung Baru would remain a Malay enclave.

Historically, the land was bestowed by the Sultan of Selangor to the settlers more than 100 years ago and it is enshrined in the agreement, “As long as there is a moon and stars in the sky, the land ownership will remain in Malay hands.”

The Kampung Baru Development Corp (KBDC) was established in 2012 to facilitate the development of the area but there have been no major changes since.

The redevelopment project spans over 20 years under the Kam­pung Baru Detailed Develop­ment Master Plan that was launched in 2015.

There are over 5,000 landowners holding 1,355 lots, but there are issues pertaining to ownership, titles and even valuation. Land is usually jointly owned by members of the family and any owner has a say or veto in the matter of the whole piece of property.

While I welcome the new plan, I hope the following are given due consideration.

> Form a working group comprising all stakeholders and experts so that decisions will be acceptable to all.

> The project’s viability is key, hence transparency must be paramount.

> Create a township with tourism in mind. It should be a smart, green and a low-carbon city and a model Malay township for all Malays worldwide.

> Obtain a fair market value for the land so that owners can also share the profits from the development of the area.

> Stop politicians who play with emotions and say things like “the Malays are going to lose their land” without offering alternative ideas.

> Do not rush; lots of communication and patience will be needed to explain the full economic benefits to the landowners.

> Use good quality products and adopt a strong maintenance culture to ensure properties there can continuously command good prices.

I also hope this plan by the minister has been accepted not only by residents but also the assembly person of that area. If not, it will be like the case of Taman Rimba Kiara where the assembly person is not on the same page with the minister. I may not live in Kampung Baru now but if this plan succeeds, I will carry my grandson, board the MRT and take him there for a visit.

SALEH MOHAMMED

Kuala Lumpur

Sumber: The Star Online