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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Kampung Baru redevelopment begins with local mosque upgrade

Najib got 1 Malaysia Development Berhad to contribute RM20 million for the redevelopment and upgrading of the Kampung Baru mosque. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak promised today that the Kampung Baru redevelopment would begin this year with the formation of a settlement development corporation and an upgraded mosque.

The prime minister announced a RM20 million allocation to upgrade the Kampung Baru Jamek Mosque, saying the newly-renovated mosque would be an icon to the Malay settlement in the middle of the capital city.

“In the redevelopment of Kampug Baru, I want the Kampung Baru mosque to be the turning point. This mosque will represent a developed, modern Kampung Baru,” said Najib when meeting the residents at the Kampung Baru mosque.

“1 Malaysia Development Berhad will contribute RM20 million for redevelopment and upgrading of the Kampung Baru mosque,” he added.

Najib unveiled the government’s plans for the redevelopment of the largest Malay settlement in the city centre exactly one year ago when he promised that the villagers would not lose out.

“This year the Bill to form the Kampung Baru corporation will be tabled in Parliament, we will see major changes in Kampung Baru this year,” said Najib.

Najib gave an assurance that any disagreement on the redevelopment plans would be sorted out this year and the villagers’ interest would be protected.

“If we can solve other problems in the country, we will find ways to look for solution in Kampung Baru,” Najib told some 1,000 people who turned up to welcome him.

He reiterated the government’s promise that the villagers would not be forced to move out of the settlement and that the villagers would be the main beneficiaries in the redevelopment plans.

The 110-year-old Kampung Baru area covers seven villages, is located on 90.2 hectares and is occupied by around 35,000 people. The villages are Kampung Periuk, Kampung Masjid, Kampung Atas A, Kampung Atas B, Kampung Hujung Pasir, Kampung Paya and Kampung Pindah.

The Kampung Baru issue has dragged on after the Barisan Nasional federal government (BN), Pakatan Rakyat which controls Selangor, as well as public officials were unable to reach an agreement regarding the development prospects with the residents of the largest Malay settlement in Kuala Lumpur.

Kampung Baru lies within the Titiwangsa federal constituency which has always been an Umno fortress but it fell to PAS in Election 2008.

Most of the land in the settlement is under multiple ownership due to Islamic inheritance laws. A plan to allow non-Malays to take part in Kampung Baru’s redevelopment has raised the ire of residents there.

The Selangor government has proposed its own redevelopment plans due to historical links to the settlement, making the village’s future a political football between the BN federal government and its foes PR. - Malaysian Insider

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