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The long-overdue redevelopment of Kampung Baru is finally taking shape through the Kampong Bharu Development Masterplan 2040 (PIPKB 2040).

Earlier efforts to redevelop one of the oldest Malay settlements in the heart of the capital city had hit a snag since the government first mooted it in 1984. A series of discussions on the matter led to the establishment of the Kampong Bharu Development Corporation (PKB) in 2012..

In December 2014, a detailed masterplan for the development of Kampung Baru was finalised and approved by the Minister of Federal Territories and launched on July 15, 2015.

Under that masterplan, 122.2 hectares (ha) were earmarked for development, 70 per cent of which would comprise housing and 30 per cent commercial development.

However, Kampung Baru house owners objected to the plan over concerns of their eviction from the settlement. They were also dissatisfied with the compensation offered to them as they felt it fell below the market value of their land.

Subsequently, the government came up with PIPKB 2040 last year, which constitutes the new framework that will drive the overall direction for the development of Kampung Baru over the next 20 years.

Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim, who launched PIPKB 2040 on November 25, said it was more realistic as it can be implemented by adopting a more focused phased development approach. In other words, the development will be implemented in phases, based on the 44 development blocks that have been identified under the masterplan, to help create a better quality of life for the people there.

This development approach is expected to attract optimal economic returns as it safeguards the interests of the residents through the joint efforts of the landowners, developers, investors, government and other stakeholders.

PKB chairman Datuk Affendi Zahari said Kampung Baru’s redevelopment will prioritise development principles that ensure the well-being of the people, enhance their quality of life, and promote equity and a competitive economic environment.

“Using an approach that is appropriate for the landowners, developers and investors, we want to ensure that Kampung Baru develops into a commercial hub as well as an inclusive and high-quality residential area with a conducive environment (for a living),” he told Bernama.

He said Kampung Baru’s transformation into an inclusive commercial and settlement centre, as envisioned by PIPKB 2040, will also support the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur’s growth as a commercial, financial, services and cultural centre as well as a premier residential area.

Pointing to its strategic location amid mega and high-profile developments such as KLCC and the commercial hubs of Jalan Ampang and Jalan Tun Razak, Affendi said Kampung Baru’s prime address offers great potential for the development of competitive and modern commercial and residential space.

He said Kampung Baru’s restructuring per the development blocks identified under the new masterplan would optimise land use and space.

As for accessibility, the existing road networks such as Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Sultan Ismail facilitate access to Kampung Baru and its surroundings.

“The opening of the ramp to enter and exit the AKLEH highway as well as the road extending from DUKE 2A to Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz have also made Kampung Baru more easily accessible,” he said.

Challenges

Commenting on the obstacles that initially stood in the way of the redevelopment of Kampung Baru, PKB Development and Economic Planning director Saifuddin Ahmad said they included restrictions applied to settlements such as Kampung Baru that are gazetted as a Malay Agricultural Settlement (MAS), the small size of the land lots, ancestral property issues, multiple ownership of land lots and problems related to obtaining the consent of landowners to redevelop Kampung Baru.

Saifuddin said there are 1,346 land lots and 7,242 registered landowners in Kampung Baru. Out of the total land lots, 879 are registered as MAS reserve land.

“The land title deeds for the MAS reserve land contain restrictions prohibiting the land from being transferred to or occupied by non-Malays.

“About 82.33 per cent of these land lots are small as they are less than an acre. Land lots measuring one to two acres make up 8.83 per cent; two to three acres 2.49 per cent; and over four acres 3.21 per cent,” he said.

He said unresolved inheritance issues also delayed the Kampung Baru redevelopment process as the heirs of the landowners concerned could not reach a settlement; in some cases, neither the landowners nor their heirs could be traced.

“It also became problematic when some land lots were found to have multiple ownership or an average of five owners per lot. Conflicts among the owners and their heirs over their ownership rights complicated the process as well,” he added.

Realising the redevelopment of Kampung Baru

Saifuddin, meanwhile, said to realise the redevelopment of Kampung Baru, the government and PKB have designed a series of promotions to draw the interest of local and foreign developers and investors who wish to participate in the development of the area concerned.

He said PKB, as a facilitator, also made arrangements for the landowners and developers to meet and negotiate to implement mutually beneficial development plans.

He said the redevelopment of the Kampung Sungai Baru area is currently underway, where 70 per cent of the landowners have agreed to enter into a joint venture with the developer.

According to Saifuddin, the landowners concerned are set to benefit from the deal, among them being future returns of up to RM850,000, which are high compared to the original price of around RM150,000 to RM180,000 as per the land transaction records.

On acquiring land belonging to the terrace house owners in Kampung Sungai Baru, he said the land acquisition investigation process is still going on.

“The development of Kampung Sungai Baru can be considered the benchmark of continuity before we go on with the task of developing the other blocks (in Kampung Baru),” he said.

Saifuddin is confident that the proposed ingress and egress gateway to the Kampung Sungai Baru area from AKLEH, which will be one of the alternative entrances to the south of Kampung Baru, will attract more investors and developers to the area.

Besides that, there is also the iconic Saloma Link, a pedestrian bridge linking Kampung Baru to Jalan Ampang that was opened to the public in February 2020, which is set to lure more people to either visit or stay in Kampung Baru.

On their vision for Kampung Baru, he said the government, through the Federal Territories Ministry and PKB, together with the landowners and residents, hope to transform the settlement in line with Kuala Lumpur’s “city for all” vision.

“We are confident that the plan we have outlined has what it takes to redevelop Kampung Baru in a sustainable and integrated manner,” he added.

Source: NewStraitsTimes, Bernama / March 7, 2022

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