PETALING JAYA: There is a proposal to develop Chinese new villages, which now come under the purview of the Local Government Development Ministry, says its minister Nga Kor Ming.
He said the Chinese New Villages Department was seeking RM10mil to beautify more than 600 such villages nationwide to woo and retain young talent there, and a proposal has been sent to the Prime Minister.
He said 20 new villages with the potential to be developed into tourist attractions would be turned into model villages.
He also praised the Selangor government’s Baik Selangor programme, which focuses on rebranding and developing Chinese new villages in the state.
Baik Selangor is aimed at spurring economic growth in new villages, transforming traditional businesses and helping new businesses.
Nga said products by the villages would also be marketed globally, with China having reopened its borders.
He added that some of the products could also be among the official gifts presented to the China government during Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s visit to Beijing in April.
“Indirectly, this will help promote the unique characteristics of our Chinese new villages,” he said in an interview with local Chinese media published yesterday.
Chinese new villages were founded by the British during the Malayan Emergency (1948-1960) to keep Chinese civilians away from the communists after World War II.
Nga said that the uniqueness of the villages and their historical roots could be repackaged to make them tourist attractions.
He added that Negri Sembilan had launched a pilot project to gradually implement new village freehold land titles, adding that he believed this would be successful if there was no political interference.
He also said the new villages met the special conditions stated in the Land Code, as they were unique products of their era.
Nga pledged to work with state governments to promote new villages and resolve the issue of land titles.