Support Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur
Thousands gathered at Dataran Merdeka yesterday(17-9-2011) to stage a display of unity, in celebration of the nation's progress in its 54 years of independence and 47 years of union with Sabah and Sarawak.
However, as dusk crept on, only a few streets away, a very different group of people gathered; not to celebrate the city's towering skyscrappers, but a humble national heritage in existence long before independence.
The cultural event held in conjunction with the mid-autumn festival, was entitled 'Safeguarding Jalan Petaling' but attention also shifted to Jalan Sultan as the buildings there face the looming danger of acquisition.
The organisers, the Kuala Lumpur-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) and art activists believe that Jalan Sultan should be preserved together with Jalan Petaling as integral parts of Chinatown.
"Many people have a sense of belonging to Jalan Petaling because it is the Malaysian Chinese experience and even later on other races also began to reside here... We believe that Jalan Petaling, Jalan Sultan and Kuala Lumpur's heritage buildings must be preserved," said KLSCAH president Tan Yew Sing.
Full story: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/176080
Some 30 buildings to make way for MRT tunnel (Update)
Posted on 11 August 2011 - 02:25pm
Last updated on 11 August 2011 - 09:08pm
Meena L. Ramadas
KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 11, 2011): About 30 old buildings at Jalan Sultan here will be demolished to make way for the underground line of the proposed Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system.
However, new retail outlets will be built in some parts of the area, located in Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown, after the tunnel is completed.
Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad project development division group director Zulkifli Mohd Yusof said today the old buildings, some of which have existed for 100 years or more, will be demolished before construction begins for public safety.
However, he said the federal government intends to "maximise the potential" of the prime area and the public transportation system by building shopping outlets.
"It is part of the government's urban renewal project," he said at a briefing on the land acquisition process for property owners.
"Of course, we want to maintain the heritage of the area but inevitably, some parts will be affected. Sacrifices need to be made for development, especially one that is really needed in the country," he added.
At the briefing, property owners voiced their dissatisfaction and objection over the move to demolish the old buildings.
Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lin submitted objections on the land acquisition at the area.
"The area is a vital tourist attraction and is a heritage site. It should be maintained in the interests of the community and nation," he said.
Administrator Judy Tan, 50, of the Lok Ann Hotel, lamented that the construction of the tunnel is at the expense of the heritage and culture of the Chinese people who had arrived here about a century ago.
"Chinatown represents the heritage, culture and identity of the Chinese community. I understand that sacrifices need to be made, but not at the expense of heritage.
"We are not against the development but we are asking the government to consider our requests," she added.
Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) trustee Datuk Rasammah Bupalan, 84, said: "Sometimes, money is not the only type of compensation that can be offered to the people. The government must also make certain sacrifices."
She urged Prasarana to engage with property owners to clarify their questions, which Zulkifli kindly obliged to do.
Several property owners had also questioned if the tunnel could be realligned to run below two empty lots which are currently used as parking areas to spare the demolition of the buildings.
However, Zulkifli said this change would require the tunnel to be built at a sharp turn.
"It would not comply with the requirements of having a 300 metre radius," he said.
Zulkifli also said according to the National Land Code 1960, properties that sit on the site scheduled for an underground development must be acquired by the government.
MMC-Gamuda Joint Venture (JV) geotechnical specialist Professor Dr Ooi Lean Hock said due to the age of the buildings, the condition of the structures are difficult to be ascertained.
"The buildings' vulnerability during the construction of the tunnel must be taken into consideration," he said.
The property owners will be compensated at the amount recommended by the Valuation and Property Service Department during briefing sessions which are scheduled to begin on Aug 15.
Owners who do not agree with the amount can appeal within six months of being awarded compensation.
The final proposed alignment was announced on July 8 which included changes to the route of the MRT line to minimise land acquisition in certain areas such as Kota Damansara.
The Jalan Sultan area will sport the proposed Pasar Seni station of the MRT line which will be situated at the current site of the Klang bus stand and the UDA Ocean building.
Construction on the 51km line will begin in November when the first tender packages are awarded. The project is expected to be completed in 2016 and commence operations in January 2017.
SPAD said the number of stations in the new alignment has been reduced to 31 stations from the original 35, seven of which are underground.
About 70% of the proposed alignment sits on road reserves and government land. The remaining 30% will have to be acquired.
Penang lang support the old residents of Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur.