By Adi Nazrin bin Samsuri
There are countless historical marvels and heartwarming stories to be found beneath the surface of Kampung Baru – but rapid development may irreversibly alter a treasured cultural identity and extinguish generations of history.
Recognised as one of the oldest villages in Malaysia, Kampung Baru is a compact area that is home to timeless Malay tradition and century-old houses. The pocket of land in the middle of Kuala Lumpur’s bustling city center has resisted development since the end of the 19th century, when the village was founded as a Malay Agricultural Settlement (MAS) by the British colonial government in 1899.
Kampung Baru famously provides a rare glimpse into an authentic Malay lifestyle that has remained largely unchanged, due in part to the many generations of families who have lived here. The communities that call Kampung Baru home are formed around generations of the original landowners since the village’s founding over a century ago.
The residents of Kampung Baru are still especially proud of having kept most of the original architecture intact, even against the rapid development taking place in the surrounding area. As a village-in-the-city, Kampung Baru offers a striking contrast between the urban and rural realms. The village’s formerly thatched roofs, replaced decades ago with corrugated zinc sheets, put traditional forms against the modernity of Kuala Lumpur’s skyline – making Kampung Baru a must-visit destination for backpackers.
The simplicity of kampung life can be experienced quite easily with a walk along the village’s narrow roads, normally frequented by local residents riding motorcycles or bicycles. Walking around Kampung Baru will enable one to experience the same serene environment and the charm of village life as though they were much further from the chaos of the city.
Beneath the timeless beauty of Kampung Baru is the essence of this village’s struggle. The sentimental value of these traditional homes is often far too precious for residents to simply give up – consequently, residents face the difficult task of preserving their treasured cultural heritage while attempting to keep up with the pace of modernization.
Despite the proud defense of tradition, Kampung Baru residents do enjoy some spillover from the amenities and facilities around them. Accessibility into the area is eased with the Kampung Baru Light Rapid Transit (LRT) station and the Medan Tuanku monorail station being located within the immediate vicinity.
Although government initiatives to modernize the area have been welcomed by some residents, some of Kampung Baru’s other residents are relentless in resisting development in order to maintain their traditional lifestyles. The march of urban development continues and modern architecture is slowly creeping into the village.
With a projected development value that presently stands at around 61 billion ringgit, there is evidently something about Kampung Baru that is still attracting developers. High-rise apartments are starting to creep into the area as well. The Cendana Condominium is a glittering skyscraper that now occupies the former site of Kampung Cendana – a smaller village located in the same area as Kampung Baru. Perhaps in the near future, the Kampung Baru we know today would be changed just as dramatically.
Recent redevelopment plans for Kampung Baru have raised many questions from various quarters. Many heritage sites have already been demolished for the sake of development and modernization, leaving residents to fear that Kampung Baru may face the same fate as Kampung Cendana – or countless other century-old villages – to be carelessly erased from Malaysian history entirely.
The recent loss of Kampung Kerinchi and Abdullah Hukum to modernity, with the development of Bangsar South, will always remain a stark reminder for many who appreciate this country’s history and cannot help but feel connected with these ancient villages. There is a distinct emotional attachment to these village-in-the-cities, and their being reduced to mere dots on the LRT route map is beyond saddening – to the people who live in these villages, this obliteration of history in favour of development is infuriating.
It can be said that after some time, no one may remember Haji Abdullah Hukum, the founder of one of the earliest settlements in Kuala Lumpur around 200 years ago. The village that took its founder’s name opened its doors to a multiracial society – a sight that is paradoxically rarer today.
The fate of Kampung Baru is uncertain, and the current situation is more pressing than all the trials this village has faced in its storied past. The current development plans for Kampung Baru are already looking as though the village could easily suffer the same fate as Kampung Kerinchi and Abdullah Hukum.
None of the residents have been forcibly relocated in the name of development, but many have given in to the offer of cash for land. The remaining residents of Kampung Baru have grown more cautious of accepting any development plans. Many feel betrayed by parties who apparently took advantage of the residents in order to develop the area by any means necessary – including allegedly paying less for what the land is actually worth.
The traditional culture of Malay ethnic society is preserved by residents in villages such as Kampung Baru. This is one of Malaysia’s proudest traditions – the importance of this cultural practice and the reality surrounding this issue simply can’t be ignored anymore.
Kampung Baru deserves more awareness and deeper appreciation for the locals who strive to preserve their cultural identity and the treasured plots of land that had been passed to them through multiple generations. Many of the village’s residents believe that preservation would be in the best interests of Kampung Baru – as one of the few remaining villages-in-the-city, the area is all the more precious as a cultural heritage site. Demolishing it would represent a loss of more than just some old buildings – this nation’s cultural identity is at stake.
This article is refer from starproperty.my
Property developer Paramount Property is set to launch the commercial component of its Atwater development, which comprises two office towers and a retail component by the end of this month.
Atwater is a mixed development located at Jalan Universiti, Section 13 in Petaling Jaya. The project’s residential component, which consists of 493 units of serviced apartments, was launched earlier this year and is currently 85% sold.
Paramount Property CEO Beh Chun Chong, speaking to EdgeProp.my, said that Tower A will comprise nine storeys (19 units) while Tower B will comprise a total of 17 storeys (53 units). Connecting the two towers will be a six-storey retail block.
The commercial portion of Atwater has a gross development value of RM350 million and is slated for completion at end 2021.
“Our headquarters (Paramount Corporation Bhd) which is currently located at Damansara Uptown will move here once the development is completed. But we definitely can’t occupy the whole space. We understand the economy of scale and the affordability factor, so our product ranges from 1,400 sq ft to 30,000 sq ft to cater to all sorts of businesses.
“There are four floors with a total floor plate of 30,000 sq ft to cater to organisations that wish to optimise the layout as such expansive spaces may not be so easily available in the Klang Valley,” said Beh, adding that Co-labs Coworking, a subsidiary of Paramount Corp Bhd, will also operate a co-working space here, to serve business start-ups.
The office towers will have a direct lobby drop-off area which will be served by dedicated and independent banks of lifts. The office towers also feature garden terraces and roof gardens. The offices will be priced from RM1 million onwards, or an average psf price of RM800.
Meanwhile, the retail block is akin to a tropical-themed neighbourhood mall. It will feature multiple decking levels with giant green canopies to allow as much natural ventilation as possible.
The 5.09-acre Atwater is accessible via several highways including the Federal Highway, North South-Central Link, New Klang Valley Expressway and New Pantai Expressway.
“We feel that this is the right time to roll out the commercial part of Atwater. The location is strategic and is among the most established and prestigious prime locations in Petaling Jaya. A successful project needs to offer a complete eco-system, with catalysts that stimulate demand such as educational institutions, healthcare, banks and the critical mass of residential units.
“We are located next to a light industrial area (Section 13), residential areas (Section 17, SS2, SS1), commercial areas (Section 12, Section 14) with schools and markets which make this place a bustling economic and social hub,” Beh noted.
He also pointed out that as Paramount will be an anchor occupier in the development, it will participate actively after the Management Corporation is formed.
The developer is targeting healthcare related businesses and pharmaceutical companies as tenants, since the surrounding area is considered the medical belt of Selangor and Petaling Jaya.
Meanwhile, Paramount Property is on track to achieve its sales target of RM1 billion by the end of this year, said Beh. As of September, it has already achieved RM750 million in sales. A similar sales target for FY2019 has been set, backed by several launches in the pipeline.
“We will be launching a new mixed development called Berkeley Uptown Klang in Klang after Chinese New Year, kicking off with over 200 units of serviced apartments priced below RM500,000. The built-ups will range from 800 sq ft to 1,600 sq ft,” said Beh, adding that back in the 1970s, Paramount had developed one of the earliest housing estates in the area called Taman Berkeley.
“The 33-acre Berkeley Uptown will be anchored by our Sri KDU International School with a capacity for 1,500 students. In fact, we have finished the foundation works for the school and we are upcycling a building for our sales gallery” he said.
Other upcoming launches include a new phase of double-storey starter terraced homes with built-ups of 1,600 sq ft to 1,800 sq ft, priced around RM500,000 at its Greenwoods township in Salak Tinggi; Rumah Selangorku homes at Kemuning Utama, Kota Kemuning; and a new phase of serviced apartments at Utropolis Batu Kawan, Penang.
This article is refer from www.edgeprop.my
Mammoth Empire Holding Sdn Bhd (MEH), developer of Empire City Damansara, an RM5 billion project launched 2011, is making moves that will raise rM800 million, enable the paring down of debts, complete long-delayed projects and take the group to sound financial-footing by the middle of 2019.
The Edge reports that at the top of the list of measures is the sale of a 65-acre tract of land that was meant for Empire City Damansara 2 (ECD2) in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Located along Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong, it is horizontally across from the 28-acre ECD1 project.
Citing sources, the publication reports that the ECD2 land was divided and sold to two parties, a 45 acre tract went to a yet-to-be-announced joint venture (JV) between Exsim Development Sdn Bhd and Binastra Construction Sdn Bhd.
The remaining 20 acres has gone to property developer Aset Kayamas Group.
Two separate sources have been reported as saying that the two parties in the JV have a complicated collaboration. The JV is reportedly expected to be involved in a land purchase and completion as part of ECD1.
The JV is also said to be buying a 4.55-acre undeveloped land, in ECD1, originally planned for a Ritz Carlton to be developed on it.
Already having a development order for a 53-storey tower that will include 288 luxury guest rooms and suites.
MEH executive director Datuk Danny Cheah, when contacted, confirms MEH has sold the ECD2 land along with the plot in ECD1, but did declined to reveal their names.
"We are undertaking an exercise to have things in place so that by the middle of next year, we can start afresh, and embark on a new journey," Cheah says.
Neither of the JV partners would comment when contacted.
The publication reports that Aset Kayamas paid RM236 million for the 871,200 sq ft plot, or RM270.90 per sq ft.
As for the JV, the amount is not known, but sources cited by the publication say the deal may be worth between RM460 million and RM530 million. MEH purchased the land in 2011 for RM187.53 million.
For the 4.55 acres in ECD1, industry sources are cited as saying that with its development order, the land is worth RM90 million.
Asked about the debt of ECD1's developer Cosmopolitan Avenue Sdn Bhd, Cheah is quoted as saying "As at October, its total liabilities were only RM165 million."
Having taken an RM300 million loan from AMBank (M) Bhd three years ago for the Empire City Mall, the wholly owned subsidiary of MEH has now settled RM135 million of the amount.
"The sales proceeds will (also) be used to complete the mall, and for working capital," Cheah said. The mall is to be fully completed next year, he says.
MEH is also negotiating to sell to hotels in ECD1, the Autograph Boutique Hotel and the Marriot Hotel.
"We have not finalised the terms and conditions. Negotiations are still ongoing," said Cheah.
MEH is also interested in letting go of the McGuffin Hotel if it receives an attractive offer.
It is also in talks to sell Wolo Bukit Bintang, and has settled issues relating to the Empire Remix project.
"We will have the mall, a hotel block in ECD1, some RM100 million of commercial and office space in Empire Damansara and 10 acres of development land in Empire REsidence, (which) is good enough for us. All these assets will be free of encumbrances," he says.
MEH still plans to link ECD1 and ECD2, which will be called Sky Parade Garden.
"This will be completed in two stages - stage 1 by the end of next year, and stage 2 by 2020," says Cheah.
Above News Refer from www.edgeprop.my
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