Within the approximately 150km2 of the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, there are already about 50 malls and another four under construction. Still, KL will add yet another name on its growing list of shopping areas.
The Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Seri Amin Nordin Abd Aziz recently decided that the ‘ageing and shabby’ Masjid India Bazaar is to be demolished to make way for a new shopping area inspired by London’s shopping haven, Oxford Street.
“I decided that the bazaar must go and be replaced with a modern concept that is open and bright, something akin to the push cart kiosk that can be moved around,’’ he was quoted saying by The Star.
According to The Malay Mail Online, the proposed RM10.2 million dollar Jalan Melayu Bazaar face-lift will be part of the ongoing River of Life project that was launched in 2011 in an effort to clean up the Klang and Gombak rivers and waterfront areas.
Six years ago, a similar plan was in explored but it was delayed when DBKL struggled to find common ground with traders and shop owners who were reluctant to move out or relocate. However, demolition work finally started last December and DBKL hopes to complete the project by the end of 2017.
Now, I’m all for creating jobs and stimulating the economy, but do we really need another shopping complex/area in Kuala Lumpur, especially when so many of these malls are quite empty most of the time already? And why are we aiming for ‘Oxford Street’ when that quite clearly does not fit in with the local culture or style? Why are we destroying ‘ageing and shabby’ structures instead of restoring and preserving? Looking at London, of the reasons it’s such a beautiful city with a strong character is the fact that the old is preserved and showcased just as brightly as the new – not destroying one to make way for the other.
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