Saturday, 20 August 2011

Wither future of Petaling Street??

This is an appeal which has just appeared on facebook. It warrants reproducing it in full on my blog so that non-facebook readers can be aware of this plight. This issue is with regard to the federal government's acquisition of land in Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown for the MRT project, done without warning or consultation with the people whose lives will be most affected by the decision. What distresses me is that the acquisition will lead to the destruction of Chinatown, one of the very few remaining heritage areas in Kuala Lumpur.

Obviously, the government is showing that it is impervious to the hardship of the people as it bulldozes its way through and at the same time, demonstrates that it cares even less for the preservation of cultural heritage. Here then is the facebook appeal:

Pre-war shoplots on Jalan Petaling & Jalan Sultan, some of which are more than a century old, are at risk of being demolished to make way for an underground MRT line. Acquisition notices were also served to business owners, which came as a shock because there was no prior consultation or correspondence from the government. As a result, a famous Malaysian tourist landmark known all over the world is now in danger of having its landscape changed forever.
Most of us have been here for decades, some close to a century even. Generation after generation, we have toiled, worked and preserved this place and made it into what it is today.
Soon, Yook Woo Hin where KL residents will fondly remember stopping by for a 'pau' or Chinese steamed bun on the way to school, Kwong Fook Wing the tailor who made coats for many notable dignitaries and the quaint and rustic Lok Ann Hotel which has been in business since 1957 will be no more.
We are not against development, in fact the MRT line will make it even easier for foreign tourists and Malaysians alike to visit Jalan Petaling and Jalan Sultan. We are however against the arbitrary acquisition of the property where we've been operating our businesses in for years. The line runs underground anyway so we do not see why the acquisition exercise is even required in the first place. We just want to make a living here in this place we quite literally call home. Please help support our cause to raise awareness about our plight! Thank you!
So this is the full appeal. You can click here to go to the facebook page and when you are there, click on the Like link to support the cause.

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