KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 — Kampung Baru, in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, which is 118 years old, should have its identity retained and be developed gradually in tandem with the economic strength of the Malays in the area, said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.
He said that due to the fact that the Malays in the area were not ready, rushed development would only risk the Malay historical enclave in the capital to disappear into the hands of the non-Malays.
“In order to maintain the Malay land status, I will recommend that development be implemented in stages or to be developed if it is appropriate for the time and situation as the purpose of this development is also to benefit the Malays.
“If we want to extract the value we can, but we need time, it can’t be done now because this requires cooperation from the land owners and residents,” he said when met by reporters after the K-Sharing ‘Sirkulasi Kampung Baru 118 Tahun’ event here, today.
However, Johari, who is also Member of Parliament for Titiwangsa, said the development of the land on an area of about 9.5 million square feet (88 hectares) with an estimated value of RM130 billion should also be implemented eventually as Kampung Baru symbolised the identity and strength of the Malays in the country.
“Currently, Kampung Baru has experienced mixed development such as offices, hotels, shops and homes, if we want to emulate the concept similar to KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre), it will make the land disappear as a result of control of foreign investors and others,” he said.
The K-sharing programme, organised by the Malay Agricultural Settlement (MAS) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) was also attended by former Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Dr Suleiman Mohamed and MAS’s Honorary-Secretary of Kampung Baru, Shamsuri Suradi.
The event, which was held in conjunction with the 118th anniversary of Kampung Baru MAS’ establishment celebration, explores the history of Kampung Baru and the setting up of MAS as well as discussions on the area’s physical and management planning.
Meanwhile, Suleiman, who was involved in Kampung Baru issues when he was the Titiwangsa Umno division chief for 23 years, said the development of the area would be an ongoing issue.
He also hoped that the Malay enclave in the heart of Kuala Lumpur that has turned into a modern Malay village, could be retained indefinitely while being developed. — Bernama