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An aerial view of Kampung Baru.
An aerial view of Kampung Baru.

THE Kampung Baru Detailed Development Masterplan (PITPKB), launched in January 2015, will be scrapped, says Kampung Baru Development Corp (KBDC) chief executive Zulkarnain Hassan.

He said a new master plan, initated by Kuala Lumpur City Hall, is on the drawing board and the focus will be to provide sustainable living.

“We are currently drafting a new master plan. The intention is to meet the plot ratio allowed by City Hall. If it says the plot ratio is 10, we will accommodate and come up with a proper new layout. We want Kg Baru to be a new sustainable township,” said Zulkarnain told NST Property.

The initial PITPKB was expected to create around 7.3 million sq m of residential and commercial developments spread over 60.7ha, generating over RM60 billion in gross development value (GDV).

The 20-year―project was planned to have 17,500 residential units, a retail mall and offices with an estimated cost of RM43 billion.

Zulkarnain said the current layout was not suitable.

“Based on discussions with the Federal Territory Ministry, we think the current layout is not good to be continued. The old plan concept is to allow each individual plot to be developed. If we follow the old layout, it means that we are going to allow two skyscrapers to be developed on the same plot. If this happens, there will be no proper open space or public area. It will all look very messy and congested.

“We are proposing to have a new master plan. With this new master plan, we can allocate some areas for public use.”

Zulkarnain said the new master plan will look at iconic structures and the standards will be on par with buildings located within the 40ha KLCC development in the central business district of Kuala Lumpur.

KLCC is a landmark of prime Grade A offices, premier retail, four- to five- star hotels, luxury residences/serviced apartments, MICE (meetings, incentives, convention and exhibition) facilities, and world-class entertainment.

“We want to develop Kg Baru and bring it to something similar to the KLCC, which has a metropolitan park, and Putrajaya that has a lot of open space and a proper plaza,” he said.

BROWNFIELD SITE

The 120-year-old Kg Baru is a brownfield site with thousands of small landowners.

It has a total land area of 121.4ha administered by KBDC. Most of the land is owned by individual owners, who acquired small plots in early 1900s.

The current Kg Baru landscape consists of seven villages that come under “Malay Agriculture Settlement” (MAS) status spread over 89ha, as well as Chow Kit and the PKNS flats, which combined, cover an area of 32.4ha.

The seven villages are Kampung Periok and Kampung Hujung Pasir, of which villagers are of Malaccan descendants; Kampung Masjid (Rawa); Kampung Paya (majority Javanese); Kampung Atas A and Kampung Atas B (mixture of Mandailing and Minangkabau); and Kampung Pindah (Malaccan and Javanese descendants).

The land in Kg Baru (including Chow Kit and the PKNS flats) is divided into 1,355 lots with around 5,300 registered owners. Of the total 1,355 lots, around 88 per cent, or 1,193 lots, measure less than 11,840 sq ft, or 0.11ha each.

Among the iconic structures that still stand today from yesteryears are the Sultan Suleiman Club, Masjid Jamek Kampung Baru, Masjid Pakistan, Gurdwara Tatt Khalsa (Sikh place of worship) and several rows of sundry shops.

The Sultan Suleiman Club opened in 1909 but has been turned into a museum while the adjacent Sultan Suleiman building, which was rebuilt in 1969, is now used for commercial purposes.

Kg baru saw its first major facelift around 1967, spearheaded by the Selangor State Development Corp (PKNS).

In the 1970s, UDA Holdings Bhd and the federal government embarked on a plan to build several rows of shop offices to accommodate demand

from traders and businessmen. Since then, there has been no further major developments in Kg Baru.

‘RM10b to acquire land in Kg Baru’

It has been estimated that some RM10 billion will be required to acquire up to 60.7ha land located within the seven villages in Kampung Baru, says Zulkarnain Hassan, chief executive of Kampung Baru Development Corp (KBDC) .

“If the government wants to get all the 60.7ha from the owners, that is the estimated price. However, this is just an idea and the figure is only an estimate. No decision has been made. We do not know yet the option on how we want to get the land.

An artist’s impression of Masjid Jamek Kampung Baru under the old Kampung Baru Detailed Development Masterplan.
An artist’s impression of Masjid Jamek Kampung Baru under the old Kampung Baru Detailed Development Masterplan.

“If we acquire, the value will be based on the Valuation Department. If we decide to buy, then we have to give an indication on what is the price we are looking at but it is all subject to agreement from landowners. The land deal will be based on willing-buyer-willing-seller (basis),” he said.

Zulkarnain said, however, the biggest challenge in acquiring the land in Kg Baru is the number of owners for every plot.

He said one plot may have 20, 50 or 70 owners.

“It will be difficult to get all the land owners to agree at the same time. The other challenge is that some owners, whose names are still on the title, have passed away while others have moved overseas and it’s difficult to locate them. These are some of the issues we are facing currently.”

Zulkarnain said owners in Kg Baru may have an option to get cash or an apartment in return for their portion of land.

“What each person gets will depend on how much land they own in Kg Baru,” he said.

MINISTER TO HOLD TALKS WITH LANDOWNERS

The Federal Territories Ministry is willing to hold talks with all Kg Baru landowners on the sale of land to the government for redevelopment.

Minister Khalid Abdul Samad said recently it was necessary to meet with the landowners to resolve the issue as there were many misconceptions about the matter.

He said there were some people who claimed the government is looking to buy the land at a cheap price to drive Malays out of Kg Baru.

“This is not true. We only want to find a solution to retain Malay ownership of land in Kg Baru while, at the same time, develop the area into a modern and integrated settlement.

“We do not want Kg Baru to be left out of the rapid development in Kuala Lumpur... if we allow it to not be developed, people will say we have ignored the needs of the Malays in the area, so we want their assets to be developed,” he said.

Last month Khalid had said the government needed RM10 billion to acquire land in Kg Baru, which could be developed into a modern and integrated settlement of the Malay community in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

He said a RM10 billion fund was required if all landowners in Kg Baru agreed to accept cash for their land to be developed by the developer to be appointed by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

Khalid said the whole plan is to develop Kg Baru in a well-organised and integrated manner and according to a comprehensive plan, instead of developing it gradually as previously implemented.

He added that his ministry would find the best way to secure funds, including by allowing City Hall to issue municipal bonds or sukuk as practised in developed countries.

The minister had also reportedly said if all the landowners want cash instead of an apartment (in exchange for their land), this would probably be the worst-case scenario where the fund that is required will be between RM6 billion and RM10 billion.

NO RENAMING OF KG BARU

Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun said the name Kg Baru should be retained even if the government intends to rebuild the area which has historical value and uniqueness.

“With the area reaching over 100 years, the identity of Kg Baru should be maintained without rebranding it with another name. Do not lose the name of Kg Baru by renaming it Hill and so on. Keep the name even though there is development. Kg Baru has a lot of historical value. I do not want it to be like Kampung Kerinchi where it was ‘named’ Bangsar South,” she said at a recent Buka Puasa event.

Rina said a thorough investigation is being conducted to identify the actual number and status of each resident in Kg Baru.

Sharen Kaur

Part 2 next week

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