TO build up a stronger bond and connect with the local communities surrounding the Merdeka 118 precinct, PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn Bhd (PMVSB) has spearheaded its Merdeka 118 Community Grants Programme in collaboration with urban rejuvenation organisation Think City Sdn Bhd.
PMVSB is a wholly owned subsidiary of Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB).
An objective is to create projects that benefit the neighbourhood, specifically in the five areas of the Petaling Street precinct, the Jalan Hang Tuah precinct, the Sports Quadrant – including Stadium Merdeka, Stadium Negara, the Malaysian Association of Basketball, Stadium Chin Woo and the Olympic Council of Malaysia Sports Museum – as well as the Kampung Attap and Pudu precincts
Seeking to help build resilient businesses, institutions and community organisations, the programme received a total of 138 innovative and creative submissions that were focused on sports, arts, business communities and education from all over Malaysia. These proposals underwent rigorous reviews by a panel of assessors represented by industry experts within the related fields.
The grants programme is part of PMVSB’s efforts to cultivate a dynamic and integrated precinct, while preserving the rich cultural heritage of the neighbourhood.
Commenting on the positive response, PNB president and group chief executive Ahmad Zulqarnain Onn said, “The programme enables Merdeka 118 to be a catalyst for the ongoing revitalisation of this historical enclave of Kuala Lumpur.
"By connecting with the surrounding communities, we hope to contribute to cultivating a thriving and vibrant precinct. To this end, we are confident the selected projects will benefit the wider communities by creating greater synergies and collaboration to spark new opportunities, while celebrating the area’s historical and cultural heritage.”
Creating a thriving community
One of the projects that immediately drew the panel’s attention is a collaboration between the close-knit communities of artistic and creative minds in Kampung Attap – the Kampung Attap Collective project.
A series of diverse creative programmes aims to enrich the arts and heritage within the precinct, it ranges from music performances at the Zhongshan Building, a variety of workshops on silkscreen and typography, book conservation and repair at Tintabudi to an art exhibition at The Back Room and Pentago House, featuring the history and heritage of the area’s architecture.
According to Kampung Attap Collective representative Liza Ho, the rejuvenation project aims to enhance the attractiveness and visitor appeal of the area with a curated creative marketplace. This will also drive community revitalisation by increasing footfall to other small businesses in the area.
Meanwhile, over in the hustle and bustle of Petaling Street is the Eat, Pray, Love project by Kaki Jelajah Warisan, which commemorates the history and significant national landmarks of the area through a community-centric narrative about Petaling Street and its vicinity.
A Kaki Jelajah Warisan representative said, “By building awareness of our history through experiential activities showcasing the monuments where our forefathers first stepped foot, we hope to encourage the communities to preserve and appreciate our culture and heritage.”
The project seeks to provide both local and international visitors the opportunity to explore the history of the precinct through the publication of a heritage guidebook, along with guided heritage tours. The story of Malaysia’s Independence is also featured, with Stadium Merdeka as the starting point for the guided walks.
Also selected was an Economic Empowerment Programme to help uplift the B40 community in the surrounding area through entrepreneurship and digital skills training.
Other projects include upgrading a basketball court located on Jalan Hang Jebat, as well as a vocational training programme to empower disadvantaged women with culinary and baking skills, supporting them in finding gainful employment.
Together with the surrounding neighbourhoods, PMVSB strives to cultivate an inclusive, resilient and vibrant precinct, while promoting collaboration with the local communities to foster sustainable growth.
The first cycle of the Merdeka 118 Community Grants Programme commenced in June and has successfully concluded. The second cycle will open in 2022.
For general enquires on the Merdeka 118 development, visit https://merdeka118.com/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Merdeka 118 Community Grants Programme, email email@example.com.