Further delay in Kg Baru redevelopment plan

KBDC is expected to hold a meeting with all the stakeholders next week to iron out concerns

By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic By TMR File

THE redevelopment plan of Kampung Baru is expected to be delayed further as land acquisition issues continue to be the Achilles heel for stakeholders, developers and the residents to move forward.

Kampung Baru Development Corp (KBDC), which has been entrusted to spearhead the Kampung Baru Detailed Development Master Plan that was introduced in 2015, is expected to hold a meeting with all the stakeholders next week to iron out all the concerns that are dragging the progress.

KBDC CEO Zulkurnain Hassan told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) in a phone interview that a committee comprising the stakeholders, including the residents, landowners, developers and government agencies, will re-examine the master plan.

The setting up of the committee and the meeting are in line with Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Dr Shahruddin Md Salleh’s recent announcement that a thorough study would be undertaken to expedite Kampung Baru’s redevelopment plan.

Zulkurnain said the committee will scrutinise all options and approaches that could accelerate the progress of the massive project.

“As each option will have its own implications, we will try to engage as many parties as possible. We expect the study to be concluded within two months,” he said.

Zulkurnain said the committee will also consider proposals from all the 5,300 landowners of the 1,355 plots in Kampung Baru.

He said KBDC will also provide the owners and developers with procedures and policy matters, including the amendment of by-laws and planning guidelines, that could shed more light on the project.

“However, the success rate will still depend on the landowners’ willingness and the developers’ inclination to invest.

“This is what we are doing now — persuading landowners to settle their title ownership issues as the majority of them are still keeping a distance from participating in any discussion,” Zulkurnain said.

He added that property developers are also reluctant to be part of the master plan development.

“Apart from the landowners’ dispute, which is hard to settle, the land price is also one of the major factors that have added more hurdles for the firms to invest,” Zulkurnain said.

Established in April 2012, KBDC was entrusted as the coordinator, facilitator and prime mover to transform the heritage village into a modern “21st century Kampung Melayu”.

The 20-year project was previously expected to be completed by 2035. The “Kampung Baru Detailed Development Master Plan” includes the development of 17,500 residential units that could accommodate up to 77,000 people within the 121.8ha land area.

It was initially planned to be carried out in three phases, with an estimated cost of RM43 billion, out of which RM30 billion will be used for construction alone.

In order to acquire the parcels, KBDC has to negotiate with all the 5,300 landowners, involving 1,355 lots which most of them were traditionally inherited by their ancestors.

Datuk Affendi Zahari, who was appointed as KBDC chairman, told TMR that he had relinquished his position two weeks ago.

“I do not know when the new chairman will be appointed or elected,” he said.