Bulldozers raze historic area of Kuala Lumpur

A historic area of the Malay enclave of Kampong Bharu in Kuala Lumpur has been razed to the ground. The old stage and the houses around it have been demolished to make way for a high-rise development. This area was also the site of the weekend night market.

The developers’ aim appears to be to build a 47-storey apartment block and a 30-storey office building.

Local residents have been given as little as 150,000 ringgit (about 36,500 euro) to give up homes they had lived in since the 1960s. Having lived very close to the city centre (one Light Rail Transit station from the KLCC), many of them have now been displaced to high-rise housing in Bukit Jalil, a suburb about 20 kilometres south of Kuala Lumpur, and they are now having to pay rent.

The heart is being ripped out of an area of land that was given to the Malay community by Selangor’s Sultan Abdul Samad nearly 115 years ago.

Kampong Bharu, which translates as the New Village, was set up  in 1899, when the Malay states were under British rule. It is just across the tracks from KL’s Golden Triangle, where the Petronas twin towers dominate the skyline, and is a massive attraction for developers. The value of the land has been estimated at more than 1.4 billion US$.

On January 12, 1900, the New Village was established as the Malay Agricultural Settlement and the M.A.S. board of management was set up to administer it. Kampong Bharu, which originally comprised nine communities, rapidly became a residential area.

Kampong Bharu is still designated as a residential area, but the government and developers want its status changed so they can construct commercial properties.

There is widespread opposition to the development. See original article:
Landowners in Malay enclave resist high-rise development


Photo gallery

photo 3

The old  stage in Kampong Bharu, which had been abandoned, but was renovated and was again being used for cultural performances, but has now been demolished.

(Photo taken by Mohd Farid Rahmat in January 2013.)