Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Paradox of Kg. Baru Redevelopment

The redevelopment of Kampung Baru will proceed soon. DBKL is pushing ahead with the project and will spend RM236mil to upgrade the pedestrian walkways.

Thereafter, the development will encroach into the Malay heartland and the people within will be influenced to accept the change - destroy the old, and built a new cityscape; destroy the original, and replace it with a modern cityscape.

(Former) Titiwangsa MP Datuk Seri Suleiman Mohamed insists that Kampung Baru must move with the times to progress and modern development would help upgrade the lifestyle of the residents.

“Traditions and sentimentality are fine, but the residents must understand that for Kampung Baru to progress, the residents must embrace change,’’ he said.

Change is imminent; but will it be a change for the better or worse? This is the dilemma!

The Malays in Kampung Baru have to think carefully, think deeply and think broadly about this change which once it is agreed upon and contract is sign and works begin, then if any risk event takes place which are not foreseen at this stage the outcome may be insurmountable and fatal.

Ponder, Ponder, Ponder!
Risk, Risk, Risk.
Reward? Reward? Reward?

Development is surely good and once Kg Baru is redeveloped the land will fetch a high premium. The current price of land there may be valued around RM30-RM50 per sq ft. Once developed with a new city skyline the land price may shoot up to RM1,000 per sq ft. But, by then, the people of Kg Baru would not be the owner of the land anymore; it would probably be acquired by DBKL or the private developers and it is they (the new owners) who would reap all the benefits and reward of the new land price. The Kg Baru residents would probably have opted to trade-in their land in exchange for a condominium and some cash (sufficient for them to buy furnitures and renovate their new home). They could only stand and stares at the land and say to their grandchildren: "Dulu tanah ini hak Tok. Sekarang sudah tak da." The grandchildren would then asked: "Kenapa Tok jual tanah yang molek ini? Sekarang kami tak sanggup beli balik hak ini lagi."

Once development gets underway, the bungalows and shophouses would be demolished and highrise buildings and skyscrapers will be the new skyline.

The cost of redevelopment and the cost of procurement of the rights to the redevelopment would be more than RM1 billion. Who could afford to pay such sum? The big time guys! Who are they? The Chinese and the foreigners!

With such massive investments, the developers must get sufficient buyers for those properties. The price of the properties will not come cheap; each apartment or each condominium units, each office lot or retail space will cost RM700,000 and above; it could even be as high as RM2mil for each strata title. Who could afford to buy them? The residents would have opt out of the land or would have acquired a condominium unit in exchange for the land. But the residents are a small population as compared to the vast development. The development needs a lot of buyers; anyone who can afford to invest and buy them; anyone.

As such, people from outside will have to be lured to buy the properties. Investors, speculators, foreigners and non-Malays would be lured to own a property there.

What would then become of Kampung Baru, the Malay heartland? So, what then happens to a Malay heartland?

It will no more be Kampung Melayu. It would most likely become "Bandar Cina dan Mat Salleh", because it has being turned into a metropolitan city.

By then, it would be too late and the Malays will have to cry "Kami Hilang Ketuanan" and cry "Kami di serang oleh pendatang"; they have then lost the last bastion of control in the city.

It must be noted that, for without the investors and buyers, the redevelopment will fail. Look at South Johor Economic Region/ Iskandariah Development Zone (Gelang Patah) - without the Singaporeans the development is a standstill; but with Singaporeans, the Johor Malays will cry "invasion". Mahathir had warned about the risk of "invasion".

So, the people of Kampung Baru is in a paradoxical position - develop or remain?

My opinion? Remain; developed and Kampung Baru becomes Bandar Cina campur Orang Putih.

But if the Malays can accept the change, and are able, capable and competent to deal with globalization and liberalization and capitalism, then redevelopment is acceptable and good. Please remember: Don't blame the Chinese; the mooters of the redevelopment are the Malays themselves. You take your own risk and blame only yourself. I am of the opinion that Kampung Baru should remain as the Malay heartland. But that is only one man's viewpoint and carries no weight.


Read more about it below:

Star Metro: RM236mil to upgrade Kampung Baru

Star Metro: DBKL prefers landowners to develop area on their own

Residents worried development will spell death for heritage



Anonymous said...

Titiwangsa MP is Dr Lo Lo Ghazali and not Suleiman Mohamed

Anonymous said...

Sebagai anak kampung baru. Saya sukakan kemajuan. Bagaimanapun saya bimbang dengan pihak2 yg tampil utk membantu. Banyak yg tampil lebih berminat untuk mengambil untung atas angin sahaja. Cakap berdegar2 nak tolong orang melayu, macam kami ni bodoh dan buta semuanya. Yg kami dapat sebagai empunya tanah hampir sama banyak dengan yg mereka dapat sebagai orang tengah. Kami tak mahu ditipu lagi. Lebih baik kami sedekahkan tanah itu kepada BaitulMal. Sekurang2nya duit itu berkat. Harta dunia, sampai kemana sangat.

Maverick SM said...

Anon 3:48pm,

You are correct. The statement made by Suleiman was when he was the MP. I forget to put ex-MP. thanks for the correction.

Anon 4:10pm,

Say setuju dengan pendapat awak. memang orang tengah ni nak cepat kaya dan orang kampung kena tipu.

moo_t said...

Most countries, lots of people willingly felled to a monster, name as "development".

Maverick SM said...


Without development a nation remains stagnant and backward. Development is a phrase in economic prosperity. the problem with some development is it resembles burglary.

Purple Haze said...

This is a tough call of heritage vs development.

No doubt without some proper planning, this area is going to be choked with traffic (which is already the case). But this "kampung" is also unique in its own way.

Is there a middle ground ?

Maverick SM said...

Purple Haze,

Middle ground? Each resident be compensated RM2 million and ask the residents to move back to Kampung away from KL where they can live the rest of the life with financial freedom.

Another way is for the residents to group into sectors and develop themselves the projects using their land. But this way, they need financing and banks won't lent them money unless they are able to get buyers for the properties. Should that be so, then the land ultimately be sold to outsiders and non-Malays.

I still think it would be best to stay put and the govt helps to improve the infrastructures and facilities.

noris helmi nordin said...

Bro Maverick,
I always believe in a proper way of doing things. This Kg Baru is so special that it is the only Malay land which has its own by-laws and enactment under Malay Agricultural Settlement Rules 1951. The main administrator for the whole area of 221.5 acres under the enactment is Board of Management which is now known as Lembaga Pentadbiran (Malay Agricultural Settlement) Kampong Baharu Kuala Lumpur (LPMAS). Notice the old official spelling of Kampong Baharu. Which consist of 7 village head that makes Kg Baru. (there are 7 kampungs in Kg Baru)

If you refer to Dewan Rakyat Parlimen Kesebelas Penggal Ketiga Mesyuarat Kedua - DR.27.6.2006, the enactment is still valid under the law of today.

Inshort, since the official caretaker of the place is LPMAS, any development be it deraf pelan, proposals or anything you name it that you want to do in Kg Baru, have to abide by the enactment and consultation with the LPMAS is a must.

LPMAS have been sideline in any major effort or decisions in the development Kg Baru. Funny isn't it? Example like you want to marry a girl but you didn't ask the father for consent and permission, as if no protocols. Same goes to Kg Baru.

If we and the leaders upheld the Rukun Negara - Kedaulatan Undang-Undang such situation wouldn't have happen. We should respect the laws, more over the law of Kg Baru which have sustain its existence in our city for the past 108 years protected under the enactment as a total Malay own land as long as theres moon and the stars.Thats the beauty of the land.

I would suggest friends who are keen on this unique land, go get the enactment, maps, written history (1941) on the formation of Kg Baru from the LPMAS office in Jalan Haji Hashim, Kg Baru. 03 2692 5220. You will be amazed as i did. Such a gem being neglected and chuck away just for the sake of development.

They want development. I believe it shall be within the guidelines of the enactment. Improvised and have and open mindedness in the development within a Malay community scope and requirement. It can be a major and unique tourist hub, if we refurbish the old kampung house like we used to have 'PAK ALI HOUSE" in Gombak which is now gone. It is the heart of the Malay in the city.

So in a nut shell, any tom, dick and harry who wants to do 'marvelous' things in Kg Baru, go and meet the 'father' first and understand the rules and bylaws that the 'father' has been uphelding it for more that 100 years old. Thats the basic. Long Live Kampong Baharu!!!!!!!!!

Maverick SM said...

Noris Helmi Nordin,

Thank you for the information and it is informative. I would seek those details soon. Thanks.

I agree with your points raised.

Cupin the Great said...

The current price of land there may be valued around RM30-RM50 per sq ft. Once developed with a new city skyline the land price may shoot up to RM1,000 per sq ft.

Bro, the current price last time i check is RM350 - RM 400 per square ft. If land in puchong is around RM60 - RM 100 per sq ft takkan la prime area pun sama harga. Pergi tanya la Menteri NRE

Maverick SM said...

Cupin the Great,

You are right about RM350-400 but you must be referring to freehold land. The land in Kg Baru is a Malay Reserve and the titles may not be individual. So the valuers will take all the commercial viability into consideration.

If you have a bungalow lot there with a single title and its freehold you may get RM400 per sq ft.

noris helmi nordin said...

Bro Maverick,
Thanks for accepting those points. Glad you understand the basic issue. When you are there to get those documents you can check the actual value of the land. Go meet the secreatary, a nice and knowledgeable chap. I heard the recent transaction is around the price mentioned by cupin the great.

As muslim the 'faraid' or distribution of wealth and estates from the dead to the next of kin within the Islamic guidelines is a must. It shall be conducted by the decease family members. Kg Baru by hook or by crook must solve this first although it is a 4 generations thing.

For the LPMAS has the register of track of family members from the early settlers back in 1900. So you can imagine under one land title there can be hundreds or thousand names by now if not solve the 'faraid'. There are some clear cut lots too.

If you read the enactment later you will wonder how on earth could they erect a massive high rise residential such as Plaza RAH and also other commercial buildings? Any environmental traffic study being done there once fully occupied? Some people have jump the gun in the procedures. The consequence will come later, i believe.

Maverick SM said...

Noris Helmi Nordin,

I am a property consultant. I can assure you that the land price is between $30-50 per sq ft. As I said, if you have a freehold title, then $300-$400 is possible. But if you understand the titles in Kg Baru, there are so complex that even to transfer it is impossible as there are so many names, so many owners and we don't even know who is the true owner. You may buy one piece of land there and later someone sued you because he claim he is the true owner. Another fact is that the title is not individual title; it is a group ownership title which was never sub-divided and since the death of the original owner the distribution according to the Syariah was not done accordingly and caused a lot of mess and legal suits.

noris helmi nordin said...

Anyway bro, hope you find the actual market rate for that area soon. It is not a Malay Reserve. It is a Malay Agricultural Settelement. Different. Good Luck bro.

Anonymous said...

What Kg baru needs is just beautiful the lanscape, improve sanitary and roads system, keep the surroundings clean, etc, It would be a good landmark for all Malaysian. i.e a kampong within a city. Can be tourist attraction mind you.