By Danial Dzulkifly
GOMBAK, Sept 22 — Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari has assured that the cultural heritage and identity of ageing cities in Selangor will remain as they undergo urban renewal.
Amid talks concerning urban rejuvenation, Amirudin emphasised the importance of striking a balance between modernisation and preserving historical and cultural identities and stressed the state’s commitment to safeguarding the interests and rights of the people throughout the process.
“All big cities change. If they remain in the same format with the same character, there will be no progress.
“I respect the residents who are pioneers in these areas, such as Taman Tunku and Kampung Tungku, which have historical significance. But looking at major urban cities like Washington DC, New York, or even cities in the UK, they retain their image, but there is development within these ageing cities.
“In certain areas, they allow redevelopment and opt for (high-)density (housing) — that’s the modern structure and idea for development.
“But of course, we will not force them (the residents). It is by persuasion, not coercion,” he said during a press conference after the key handover ceremony to the homeowners of Pangsapuri Selangorku @ Seri Temenggung, here, today.
Amirudin’s comments came after his proposal of a federal fund to develop ageing cities like Petaling Jaya, Pandan and Ampang, to name a few.
The Menteri Besar said the funding could help rejuvenate the satellite cities and improve their economic significance rather than allowing them to stagnate as deteriorating and ageing cities.
He further explained that the allocation could offer incentives for developers and residents, ensuring sufficient funding to help build transit homes and provide compensation.
However, he noted that amendments to the federal policy should be made to allow the government to develop land parcels without necessarily requiring permission from 100 per cent of the owners, as outlined in housing development laws.
Amirudin cited Abdullah Hukum and Kampung Kerinchi, also known as Bangsar South, as successful examples, in which the residents in Kampung Kerinchi were temporarily relocated to transit homes in Abdullah Hukum to allow the development in the area and were later moved back to their homes.
“Laws and policies are pivotal in this process… However, it’s important to note that DBKL (Kuala Lumpur City Hall) has no law requiring 100 per cent homeowner agreement to redevelop their units.
“As a result, amendments to the existing laws are essential to unlock opportunities, such as redeveloping old and inadequately equipped five-storey flat units built in the 1970s,” he said.