Consult Selangor sultan on Kampung Baru redevelopment, says expert

Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa says only about 60% of the landowners in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, have agreed to the government’s redevelopment plan.

PETALING JAYA: An expert on local council and town planning laws has urged Putrajaya to consult the Sultan of Selangor on its plans to redevelop Kampung Baru due to the palace’s connection to the land.

Derek Fernandez said Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa was correct in his approach that a competent committee, comprising legal, town planning and construction professionals, should look into the development.

But he said that before professionals could look into the development, a draft special area action plan detailing the proposed redevelopment needs to be drawn up after consultation with the Selangor ruler.

“This will encompass the social, cultural, sustainable and economical aspirations of the people living there,” he said, adding that no such plan has been passed and gazetted nor has a draft been exhibited to the public.

Local council and town planning law expert Derek Fernandez.

“The overriding consideration must be that the government gets the best deal for the Malay community living there as the land was given exclusively to the Malays by the then Selangor sultan, Sultan Sir Abdul Samad,” he told FMT.

He said Sultan Abdul Samad, who ruled from 1857 to 1898, had intended for his chieftains and warriors to settle in Kampung Baru.

By the same token, he said, Petaling Street was set aside for the Chinese community.

“His grandson, Sultan Sir Alaeddin Suleiman Alam Shah, implemented his grandfather’s wishes,” said Fernandez, who chairs four Petaling Jaya masterplan committees.

He said once the Selangor sultan had been consulted, the detailed draft special area action plan could be drawn up, including the identifying of historic landmarks which would be preserved, and parks, infrastructure, commercial and residential areas that needed to be developed.

“It is only when this is completed can the correct gross development of the land be calculated and the correct value of each lot is determined,” he said.

Fernandez said it might be impossible to get all landowners to agree to redevelopment plans, but the benefit of a gazetted special area action plan was that those who did agree could proceed to develop their respective land according to the plan.

“Others would be entitled to be compensated by the government should it wish to develop portions of the land or use some lots for infrastructure.

“It is unlikely that the area will be redeveloped all at the same time, but certain parts of it can start first, if the landowners there agree to the draft special area action plan,” he said.

Fernandez said the success of the redevelopment hinges on the local community’s acceptance of a plan that balances their economic returns, cultural heritage and traditions.

Yesterday, Annuar said the proposed redevelopment was still up in the air as only 61% of the landowners had agreed to it and that the government could not afford the RM7 billion cost at the moment.