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Kampung Baru covers six city-based villages and was gazetted on Jan 12, 1900. FILE PIC

KUALA LUMPUR: HOPES are high that the redevelopment of Kampung Baru will take place next year after the government’s decade-long struggle to get the plan in motion.

The Federal Territories Ministry has laid out a tentative schedule, the first of which is a townhall session on Sept 21 where the 5,000-plus grant holders are expected to gather.

They are expected to reach a consensus with the authorities on the long overdue project.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been invited with the hope of drawing evasive or protesting landowners to the table.

Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad is looking to seal the deal by having everyone on board by the self-imposed deadline of June next year.

The ministry is seeking to get titleholders to sign sales and purchase agreements by September next year.

However, this is a fluid schedule according to ministry officials.

Despite Khalid’s eagerness to have 5,382 landowners holding deeds to 62.3ha slated for redevelopment, a number of setbacks prevailed from the time the plan was first proposed 10 years ago.

“So far, 1,345 (25 per cent) of 5,000 titleholders surveyed between December last year and March this year have responded. Of those who responded, 1,184 (88 per cent) are for the redevelopment,” Khalid told the New Straits Times.

The remaining 12 per cent of respondents are split between objecting and abstaining from registering their views.

“This is not enough. We have to meet and convince the rest by the end of this year,” he said while drawing on his personal mission to get the landowners to say “yes” by year-end.

Khalid said the final straw would be land acquisition, but he did not want it to come to that.

“While we can do that using national interest as a reason, proper compensation would have to be paid.

“But we don’t want that. We want everyone to see this as part of their own efforts and struggle to redevelop Kampung Baru into a modern enclave with a better living environment that can house an increased number of Malays in the city.

“We will ensure land valuation is not excessive and affordable so that it can maintain a racial balance within the city.”

He said Malays were given grants there as an opportunity for the community to live in the city and those who had benefited must stay true to the cause.

“We want to try and reach out, and explain to everyone that this is for their own benefit, now that the number of people has increased 20-fold, you should also allow the density of your area to be increased.

“What is the point of giving the land with that idea in mind, and at the end, the same people (who benefited) do not cooperate to achieve natural development and support the increase of the Malay population in the city? This shouldn’t be the reason why we can’t increase the number of Malays in the city.”

Khalid said those who chose not to sell would be working against the original objective, as well as their own interests.

“This is something the owners must identify with. We are not selling them short and they are going to get very good prices for the land.

“Many will turn into millionaires because of this and if they feel that they will be short-changed and they don’t want to sell their land, they can maintain shareholdings in the company or consortium developing the land. That way, they absorb the risks and receive time-based profits.”

Kampung Baru covers six city-based villages, namely Kampung Periuk, Kampung Masjid, Kampung Atas A, Kampung Atas B, Kampung Hujung Pasir, Kampung Paya and Kampung Pindah.

It was gazetted on Jan 12, 1900 and later administrated under the Malay Agricultural Settlement of 1950.

Various plans to redevelop the enclave have been proposed.

The latest plan was the Federal Territories’ proposal to develop the enclave as a whole instead of fragments with a developer. The proposal entails a RM10 billion funding.

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