Kg Baru landowners: ‘Nothing in black and white’

There cannot be any buy-in for the area’s redevelopment without Kampung Baru land-owners jointly developing the area alongside the authorities and developer

KUALA LUMPUR: Long-time Kampung Baru landowners are keeping their fingers crossed that the promised redevelopment plans for the city’s Malay enclave will happen soon.

Shahrom Mohd Harun, 74, hopes to see the plan take off in his lifetime, saying that the government had bandied about one proposal or another related to the area’s development over the past 25 years.

He, however, said he could not say “yes” to a deal without a clear offer.

“Be it price or a combination of shares or units, we have not seen anything in black and white. There is also no assurance as to who is doing it.

“We also can’t answer yes or no to a one-line survey asking whether we want or do not want to develop our land.

“Where are the details?” he said, referring to the poor response to the Kampung Baru Development Corporation’s survey on whether or not land-owners wanted the area redeveloped.

Shahrom, who is a board member of Pertubuhan Pemilik Tanah dan Waris Kampung Baru, said landowners were in the dark and had yet to see a comprehensive plan for the overall development of the area.

He said although it was painstaking, the redevelopment had to be a joint endeavour involving the stakeholders in the Malay enclave.

“There cannot be any buy-in for the area’s redevelopment without Kampung Baru land-owners jointly developing the area alongside the authorities and developer.”

Shahrom said each of the 837 lots within the development had multiple owners.

“One plot of land, he said, could be owned by two to 45 people.

“There are so many variables in its redevelopment.

“The multiple ownership, deceased owners, properties without titles and other small estate complications.

“Some owners had died and the descendants have not received letters of administration; they are not asking the government to foot the bill, but this has to be taken into account,” he said.

He was sceptical as to how far the government could address these issues as all these problems should have been settled by the corporation that was set up several years ago to resolve them.

Shahrom and other landowners are, however, waiting for the town-hall session on Sept 21 to see what kind of offer is on the table.

Another Kampung Baru land-owner, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the chances that the government would succeed in making its plans a reality was 50/50.

“On one hand, some Kampung Baru residents are in their comfort zone.

“On the other hand, the government is not going to get their go-ahead right way.

“I want development because there is more good to it than bad. But that’s just it.

“Both sides have to come to an agreement.”

He said the survey may have not gotten the traction that was desired as Kampung Baru land-owners had filled in numerous surveys over the past couple of years and that they had become fed up with the fact-finding exercises, which to them, brought no benefits.