Fahmi Fadzil: I enjoyed serving Lembah Pantai, let me do it again (VIDEO)

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 — If given a second term in Lembah Pantai, incumbent MP, Fahmi Fadzil has a long list of to-dos.

Top of the list would be gazetting Kampung Kerinchi, the PKR communications director said.

“The reason is that we have preserved the name in that sense, but we would like for it to be gazetted then it would be in place — so that there will be no disputes in the future.

“Right now, it is known as Kampung Kerinchi, but it’s not set in stone,” he told Malay Mail in an interview.

According to Fahmi, he had started discussions with the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) in 2019, and due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Sheraton Move, it came to a halt.

“We were about to start it again, then the dissolution of Parliament happened.

“To me, it is paying homage to this part of Kuala Lumpur, the history of the people who helped open up this area — people who started Kampung Kerinchi.

“It is not sentimental. It is about being rooted and having a sense of a place as it is important to have an identity of who you are and where you came from,” he said.

In the last 10 years or so, the area has become increasingly gentrified and was renamed Bangsar South by property developers.

When the 41-year-old was first elected as the PKR MP for Lembah Pantai in July 2018, he took it upon himself to fight for the preservation of Kampung Kerinchi.

“I have a bit of an emotional attachment with Lembah Pantai. My parents met at Universiti Malaya (UM) and then one of the first houses they lived in was in Bangsar. My mum worked in Angkasapuri.

“So I have a lot of connections, not to mention that I do still have distant relatives who live in Lembah Pantai.

“So, I’d like to continue to serve here,” he said.

In 2019, Fahmi had then explained that there was a mismatch between a place being sold and touted as Bangsar South, when in reality, the area was not Bangsar to begin with. Bangsar is north of the Federal Highway.

“This has never been Bangsar. This has always been Kampung Kerinchi,” he had then said.

Another area that falls under his care is the Pulai Trail located in Bukit Persekutuan, formerly known as Federal Hill.

“Some years ago, there was an NGO (non-governmental organisation) called Free Tree Society. They helped to establish a trail and rewilded the area — bringing nature back.

“They had in the last four to five years successfully brought back various insect species, different types of birds have been coming back, more trees are growing, and they have identified very old Pulai trees, which is why they have called it the Pulai Trail,” he said.

He recalled that after March 2020, he had a meeting with KL mayor Datuk Seri Mahadi Che Ngah who was then the adviser to the Draft KL City Plan 2040 process, who agreed to keep it as a green area.

“But until recently, when we did a check, we discovered that there is a request to buy land in that area.

“It was some time in August or September that I wrote to the prime minister, urging that the request be rejected to preserve the area, but I didn’t hear anything from him,” said Fahmi.

On top of his struggle for more green, open spaces in Kuala Lumpur, Fahmi said he would like to continue advocating for a redevelopment Act.

“From the start, I have been advocating for a redevelopment Act, a law governing the process and procedure to redevelop parts of Kuala Lumpur.

“Because we have seen for ourselves, where there are disputes, whether in Kampung Kerinchi or various parts of Kuala Lumpur, the mechanisms that currently exist create a lot of confusion, accusations and misunderstandings.

“If the law is clear on this matter, we hope to be able to reduce such conflict,” he said.

He added that if he is re-elected, there are many problems that can be addressed more systematically, one of which would be improving the Commissioner of Buildings for Kuala Lumpur.

“To look after more than 6,000 strata-titled properties, they only have manpower amounting to 20 to 30 people, which is very difficult.

“I feel that the Department of Civil Engineering and Drainage in Kuala Lumpur also has to be given more budget to replace and to upgrade a lot of the drains in Kuala Lumpur.

“Right now, a lot of the drains cannot cope with the rainfall,” he said.

Another goal that he set when he took office as the Lembah Pantai MP was to help at least 100 families come out of poverty.

“I am very interested in the idea for sustainable social mobility as I said from the start, I want to help at least 100 families come out of poverty and be given access to all of the necessary agencies to get whatever assistance they can get to build themselves up and out of poverty,” he said.

At the same time, he hopes that in Malaysia’s future, there will be greater local government elections, and that can be in many forms, ideally the election of mayor, he said.

“There are many ways to do this, and we can look at how Singapore elects its president, for example. This is my own thinking, not Pakatan Harapan.

“But if you ask me, I would like to see greater civic education on democracy, especially in secondary schools and a lot of people talk about having a second vote, a third vote, but even the vote to elect our MC (Management Corporation) chairman, people don’t know about or don’t care about.

“I think democracy starts at home in a way, so hyperlocal democracy is something which I am very passionate about,” said Fahmi.