GE15: In Titiwangsa, Kampung Baru redevelopment a hot topic for BN’s Johari Ghani and PH’s Khalid Samad (VIDEO)

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 — Titiwangsa is a small but densely populated constituency in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

Home to famous landmarks like Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, Istana Budaya and the National Art Gallery, it is also where the century-old Malay settlement called Kampung Baru is located.

It is said that Kampung Baru was formed as a result of tin-mining activities in the late 1800s which led to the influx of workers from all over the Malay archipelago.

However, thanks to its proximity to major and upscale landmarks like the KLCC Twin Towers and KL’s Golden Triangle, Kampung Baru has become a sought-after target for developers.

In late 2014, a master plan for the development of the area was finalised and approved by the then federal territories minister.

The plan was then launched in 2015 and highlighted a 122.2ha development, comprising 70 per cent for housing and 30 per cent for commercial.

However, some of the house owners in the area opposed the redevelopment of the area.

Land acquisition was stalled as some homeowners did not agree to the compensation terms.

The issues surrounding the project seem to have become a hot topic for Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani and Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) Khalid Abdul Samad who are eyeing the federal seat.

Both have been critical of each other over the land acquisition issues.

The blame game is because both of them represented the district in different capacities in the past.

Johari served as Titiwangsa MP for one term from 2013, while Khalid was the federal territories minister during PH’s 22 months in power from 2018 until 2020.

Generally, Titiwangsa is a high-density district with over 80,000 voters living in a 15-square-kilometre land area.

Ratna Juwita, who is a resident in Titiwangsa, said the ongoing highway development in the area has worsened traffic congestion.

“There are also many potholes along the main road due to these construction projects.”

Another resident, Derick Teng, however, wants a solution to Kampung Baru’s issues so that the area can see more developments.

“All the areas around here have already been developed but Kampung Baru is still the same for over 100 years.”

Johari is a familiar face in the constituency and some residents said he provided support for them through his foundation Yayasan Bena Nusa even after his defeat in GE14.

He said his campaign is focused on educating the young and new voters in his constituency to make an informed decision.

Johari added that he came across many young and first-time voters who don’t know much about politics.

“Some of them don’t even know the difference between Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara.

“So, I’m going around trying to engage with them and tell them the basics.”

Khalid, on the other hand, served Shah Alam for three consecutive terms and garnered over 55 per cent of the total votes each time.

Speaking about his move, Khalid said over the years, he has managed to develop a second-liner for Shah Alam and it was time for him to give an opportunity to Azli Yusof who was his political secretary during his stint as a minister.

“My party leadership felt I was the suitable candidate for Titiwangsa as I was previously the federal territories minister handling the Kampung Baru redevelopment issues.”

The Titiwangsa constituency covers Kampung Baru, Setapak, Kampung Datuk Keramat, Taman Maluri, and Kampung Pandan.

Other candidates running for the seat are Perikatan Nasional’s Dr Rosni Adam and Pejuang’s Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan.