Residents’ wish for Malay village in development plan comes true

Targeted for change: An aerial view of Kampung Tanjung Tokong in Penang.

The crusade by Kampung Tanjung Tokong Residents’ Association to develop a Malay living heritage village in their area has finally borne fruit.

Association chairman Mohd Salleh Yahaya, 60, said UDA Holdings Bhd had agreed to build 14 traditional Penang Malay houses in the redevelopment of Tanjung Tokong, Penang.

He said the association had been calling for 20 years for a heritage village to be built in Kampung Tanjung Tokong.

In a letter to the association signed by UDA Holdings group managing director Ahmad Abu Bakar, UDA agreed to provide the Phase 4B site for the proposed Malay heritage village.

“We thank the association for their proposed concept of a Malay heritage village zone.

“UDA will consider and refine the component, building design and architectural features proposed by the association to achieve the heritage village concept.

“The overall layout plan for the development of the heritage village has been approved by the state executive council and State Planning Committee that is chaired by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng,” Ahmad said.

His letter also gave the commitment that Masjid Tuan Guru and Masjid Karwa would be upgraded and a two-storey religious school near Masjid Tuan Guru would be built.

It also stated that a public market and a hawkers’ site next to Masjid Tuan Guru would be incorporated under Phase 4C.

“We also commit ourselves to building comfortable apartments for residents who were relocated to make way for Phase 4A,” said Ahmad.

Since 2008, 288 out of the 294 families in the village had to make way for the redevelopment’s Phase 4A project.

They are now staying in transit homes provided by UDA.

“Construction works at Phase 4A are going smoothly and the phase is expected to be completed in 24 months,” Ahmad said.

Mohd Salleh hoped that the rights to the 14 traditional units would be assigned to the Kampung Tanjung Tokong Residents’ Asso-ciation and Tanjung Tokong Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK).

“We also proposed that the traditional houses be managed by a committee chaired by the association chairman,” he told a press conference at the Madrasah Al Taqwa in Tanjung Tokong yesterday.

“The committee members should comprise of the Tanjung Bungah assemblyman as the patron, Tanjung Tokong JKKK chairman, Kelab Setia Tanjung Tokong chairman, Tanjung Tokong mosque imam, and a representative from UDA, among others.”

Mohd Salleh said the association also wanted a memorandum of understanding to be signed between the association and UDA to ensure the smooth construction of the traditional houses.

Also present were the villagers’ counsel Jason Ong Khan Lee and former Balik Pulau MP Yusmadi Yusoff. - By The Star

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