Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur

From Malaysia Factbook

Jump to: search
Kampung Baru has been turned into a political symbol of Malay culture, after Kampung Baru elders turned away developers, saying that they want to preserve their ethnic Malay lifestyle.
Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur


View Larger Map
Location of Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur

Kampung Baru is a Malay enclave in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, measuring almost 1 sq km (250 acres). It is, today, one of the most valuable tracts of land in the capital, estimated to be worth up to US$1.4 billion. So far, however, Kampung Baru elders have turned developers away, saying that they want to preserve their ethnic Malay lifestyle. Since then, Kampung Baru has being turned into a political symbol of Malay culture.

In April 2008, the then Federal Territories Minister, Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique, unveiled a development agenda for Kampung Baru, taking into account issues such as preserving the Malay image and also land ownership issues.


2.  History: In 1900, the British colonial administrators gazetted Kampung Baru as a Malay Agricultural Settlement in order to allow the Malays to retain their village lifestyle within the city. After World War II, it became a hotbed for pro-independence movements, with anti-colonial protests being held there. The founders of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) also held their early meetings there.

Kampung Baru played a vital part in the May 13 Incident in 1969, where bloody racial clashes occurred between ethnic Malays and Chinese Malaysians. The riots started after Chinese-led opposition parties marched through the village to celebrate their good showing in the general elections that year. Kua Kia Soong, in his book, "May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969", alleged that the riot had been intentionally started by the "ascendent state capitalist class" in UMNO as a coup d'etat to topple the Tunku from power, contrary to the official account which had blamed the violence on opposition parties. His findings were based on the then newly-declassified documents at the Public Records Office in London.

In recent years, Kampung Baru also played a central role in the Reformasi protests of 1998, when former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim launched protests against Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, calling for reforms to government and the judiciary.


3.  Notable landmarks: