Bangsar South: Where’s that?

Some time ago, there was a proposal that Bangsar South cease to be called Bangsar South. Well, it’s official now.

In a recent article in TheMalayMail.com, it was reported that the name Bangsar South first appeared around seven years ago.

The article said that this was a deliberate attempt by some parties to live off the prestige of an unrelated suburb to the north known for its affluence and hipness.

MP for Lembah Pantai, Fahmi Fadzil said, “There is a mismatch between a place being sold and touted as Bangsar South with the reality that this was not Bangsar to begin with.

“Bangsar is north of the Federal Highway on the other side. This has never been Bangsar. This has always been Kampung Kerinchi.”

Fahmi said even though the name has now been reverted to Kampung Kerinchi, it did not mean that everything that was Bangsar South will be obliterated. The re-emphasis however will be that this area was historically and culturally, Kampung Kerinchi.

He said there was nothing to be embarrassed about with the area being called “kampung”, which is the Malay word for “village.”

He added, “We always have this negative connotation that ‘kampung’ means backward. It does not necessarily mean backward. The only thing backward is our mentality. What is the point of having a first-rate city but having poor mentality?”

In the near future, there are plans to construct arches at three major entry points into the area ― the Universiti LRT station, the Petronas petrol station at the New Pantai Expressway, and Jalan Pantai Sentral.

He said, “The arches would have a plaque that reads, ‘Selamat Datang ke Kampung Kerinchi, Kayo Di Hati Kamai’.”

In the Kerinchi dialect, that phrase is a heart-warming embrace, meaning: “Welcome to Kampung Kerinchi, you are in our hearts.”

There is nothing wrong in rebranding an area because this is part of development. Only time will tell if this move will affect the many other areas which have also been rebranded.

Let’s be honest here. Developers want to create the best value for their developments, and for their potential buyers this is a good thing too. None of us would like to buy into an area which does not increase in value over the years, right?

However, we should not be erasing the historical part of an area.

As the name “Kampung Kerinchi” is now a certainty, let’s see what happens in the near future with the Bangsar South-Kampung Kerinchi combination.

This article first appeared in kopiandproperty.com

Charles Tan blogs at property investment site kopiandproperty. He dislikes property speculators and disagrees that renting is better than buying. He thinks it’s either property or poverty. He is presently the CEO of an auction house auctioning assets beyond just properties.