KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 ― The government has offered Kampung Baru landowners the maximum value of RM850 per square feet for their land, which amounts to over RM6 million for each available plot said to average around 8,000 per square foot.
Putrajaya said landowners with properties on their plot of land will also be paid an additional amount based on the value of the property.
“I was told the average plot of land there is 8,000 psqf,” Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad told a townhall session with Kampung Baru residents here.
“That would amount to RM6 million plus.”
Khalid said the amount offered was based on the best value of the land considering its status as Malay Agriculture Land.
The valuation was by the Valuation and Property Services Department, a federal agency.
Land with such status are often capped at a much lower price even if the location is deemed premium.
The land that Kampung Baru sits on was initially designated for plantation but was later re-purposed as a social project aimed at balancing the city’s racial composition, after the deadly 1969 race riots.
This was the first offer the federal government has laid out in real numbers ever since the idea to redevelop the 220-acre land was first mooted in the 1980s.
Previous administrations’ attempts to convince residents to sell their land have either stalled or failed, often due to both parties being unable to agree on the right price.
Then there is also the issue of race. Some Kampung Baru folks are fearful that selling their land would lead to displacement and the flooding of minority communities into the enclave — convention holds it that much of the land and properties in Kuala Lumpur are owned by minority-controlled companies or individuals, a belief that remains largely present among most of the city’s Malay residents.
Pakatan Harapan upon taking power last year pledged to solve the impasse. Coalition leaders said they have formulated a “win-win” solution that would help retain Kampung Baru’s exclusive status for the Malays while also bringing much-needed development.
The Kampung Baru Redevelopment blueprint will see the land-space use increase to nine million square foot from just one, with 70 per cent of development slotted for residential properties and the rest for commercial plots.
Half of the residences will be “affordable homes” or those priced between RM300,000 to RM350,000.
The plan also includes a designated green area and a “Heritage Village” where cultural centres will be built to commemorate Kampung Baru’s history as one of the oldest Malay settlements in the city.
Today, Khalid said the government’s offer at premium price reflects the PH administration’s commitment to see Kampung Baru landowners and residents profit most from the project.
“You have wealth buried (in the land),” Khalid said as he tried to convince some 2,000 Kampung Baru folks who attended today’s town hall meeting to accept the government’s offer.
“You landowners wield economic power but if you do not unlock it or free it (for development) you your wealth will remain buried in that land.”
A large section of the audience seemed keen on the offer judging from their response, perhaps the most telling sign that some progress had been made to solve the deadlock. Khalid, in stressing about the benefits of agreeing to the en masse land sale, said residents will also have multiple options apart from cash.
This include receiving cash in half and properties or a property worth the remaining value of the land, or the option to buy stocks of the project. The gross development value of Kampung Baru is estimated at RM30 billion.
Should they agree, landowners will be paid a 10 per cent deposit up front with the remaining cash paid when development on their respective land nears. Landowners with properties built on their land may also reside there until then.
The government is expected to hold more town hall meetings like today in the near future but Khalid said he hopes with an offer laid out, the impasse over Kampung Baru’s redevelopment could finally end.
“We want to make Kampung Baru better and livable,” he said.
“So think about it.”