Stark difference: Kampung Baru lies in the shadow of towering skyscrapers.
PLANS for a joint-development project for Kampung Baru have brought a spark of hope to
Malay Agricultural Settlement (MAS) honorary secretary Shamsuri Suradi said he was organising a meeting with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), the Kampung Baru Development Corporation (PKB) and Titiwangsa MP Datuk Johari Ghani this month to discuss the long-awaited development of the Malay village.
In the past, many attempts by the Government to develop the area had failed and Shamsuri blamed this on differing objectives.
“The government has a plan for Kampung Baru and the newly-formed PKB is supportive of this.
“However, we were not happy with the proposals in the past because they were not in our favour.
“Kampung Baru land was given to MAS in the 1900s so that Malays from various parts of the city could live in one area.
“Back then, the initial objective was to group the Malays together and encourage agriculture, which came naturally as a source of income; take part in the administration and learn English to boost economic opportunities.
“However, despite being located close to Sungai Kelang, agriculture never took off as the machinery brought by the British did not suit the conditions here.
“Every family that moved in was given a plot of land of not more than one acre each and asked to build their own homes. For a source of income, they were asked to build two-storey homes, where the owner lived upstairs and rented out the lower floor.
“Back then, it was a simple life.
“Now, the surrounding areas have developed so much,” he said.
Shamsuri said Kampung Baru welcomes development but stressed the main objective of MAS should remain.
“No one shuns development. I understand that DBKL and PKB are in the midst of planning too, just like us.
“However, any plan needs the approval of all stakeholders. Therefore, I do not see how planning separately will work out.
“Together, we can plan the future of this area. It is time for a new Kampung Baru,” he added.