Who are we constructing tall buildings for, asks deputy minister

Deputy Minister of Housing and Local Government Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah says when constructing buildings a conducive environment must be cultivated for people.

KUALA LUMPUR: An assistant minister today criticised the practice of constructing tall buildings without consideration for cultivating a conducive environment for people.

Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah said today that committees that decided on the development of a city must truly understand the purpose of a particular building.

“A city is not just a place where people come and do their business. It is a place where people identify themselves with the very essence of the community that they are a part of.

“Who is going to benefit from the tallest building? Planning committees have to think about who we are building for.”

Raja Kamarul, who trained as an architect, was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Placemaker Week Asean conference.

Placemaking focuses on a local community’s potential and assets so as to create public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness and wellbeing.

Also present was Think City’s managing director Hamdan Majeed, who is collaborating with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to repurpose the historic areas of Kuala Lumpur.

Think City is an organisation dedicated to creating more sustainable cities. It received RM10 million from the 2020 Budget to preserve urban heritage and culture.

Raja Kamarul said more time needed to be allocated for planning instead of just spending money on constructing buildings without taking factors such as livability into consideration.

“By repurposing historic areas, we can create an interesting intersection involving art, culture, design and tech.

“It is in that context that we have roped in DBKL to create a vision for repurposing the historic core of the cultural and creative district of Kuala Lumpur,” Hamdan said.

Raja Kamarul reiterated the government’s commitment to build spaces with character to give people a sense of belonging.