ALLEGATIONS that development in Kg Baru will push the Malays out of the federal capital are not true and completely baseless, said Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The prime minister said the interest and position of the Malays would be the thrust of any development efforts in Kg Baru, as provided for under the Kg Baru Development Corporation Act.

“The Act itself states that the interest of Malays in terms of social, economic, heritage, cultural and historical values, would be given priority in every development implemented.

“I was also told that any development in Kg Baru also needs to adhere to the stipulated Malay Islamic architectural guidelines. It means the development of Kg Baru will take into consideration every aspect of its heritage and history, and it will be preserved as a symbol of the Malays in the centre of the federal capital,” he said.

He was at the opening of a town hall session with owners and heirs of Kg Baru in Kuala Lumpur today, which was also attended by Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad. Earlier, the event began with a five-minute video presentation on Kg Baru’s development plans.

Dr Mahathir said the idea to redevelop Kg Baru had been discussed since the 1980s and 1990s, and that the government had received feedback on the matter.

“Some are supportive and some are not. Unfortunately, after several decades, Kg Baru is still like it was many years ago. It displayed two conflicting faces.

“On the one hand, it is the symbol of Malay pride in the federal capital, and on the other hand, while Kuala Lumpur has grown to become a metropolis, time has apparently stood still in Kg Baru, and the disorganised situation and congestion make it unappealing,” he said.

To overcome the problem, Dr Mahathir said a shake-up was necessary to redevelop Kg Baru, and if it was not carried out, it would cause Kg Baru to be squeezed in the middle of rapid development and marginalised by the wave of modernisation.

He said a large portion of the Malays themselves did not choose to live in Kg Baru, and that is was unfortunate that many foreigners now live and carry out their businesses there.

“I assume the environment in Kg Baru is no longer comfortable. As such, it is better if the area is developed and reorganised, complete with various public amenities and an efficient infrastructure network, while open spaces could be used for recreational and community activities.

“Obviously, many Malays will be interested in living here and it will directly help boost the appreciation of property value. Those who had left (Kg Baru) may consider returning,” he said.

More than 3,000 Kg Baru owners and inheritors attended the town hall session conducted by Khalid.

– Bernama

Why the low value for Kg Baru land, asks Najib

Kampung Baru is one of the oldest Malay settlements in the city and the government intends to redevelop the area.

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak has questioned the government’s valuation of RM850 per square foot for Kampung Baru that sits near the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.

Kampung Baru, covering 89ha in the Golden Trangle, was located in an area where the land is valued at RM3,000 per square foot, said Najib.

But the Pakatan Harapan government says, based on the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH), the highest offer is RM850 per square foot, Najib wrote in his Facebook page.

“It is not abnormal at times for JPPH to carry out valuation which is well below the market price,” he said.

Najib was commenting on a town hall session today where Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad said the government’s offer to buy land in Kampung Baru at RM850 per square foot for redevelopment was the highest so far and based on a valuation by JPPH.

The plan will also include a green area as part of its sustainable commitment and a designated “Heritage Village” where cultural centres will be built to commemorate Kampung Baru’s history as one of the oldest Malay settlements in the city.

Attempts by past administrations to redevelop the land into residential and commercial plots were rejected by locals, said to be due to fear that minorities will soon swamp what is deemed to be the last Malay settlement in a Chinese-dominated city.

But Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in a five-minute video presentation today, told owners and heirs of Kampung Baru that allegations of development in Kampung Baru pushing the Malays out of the federal capital are completely baseless.