Monday, July 4, 2022

Kampung Baru, KL’s last Malay enclave

A testament to time gone by, the village of Kampung Baru has maintained its hold on Malay traditions despite the advances of the modern world in the capital city around it.

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Children play football in a small field in the shadow of the Petronas Twin Towers.

A woman named Mama Long stands outside her house, known as the Blue House or Rumah Biru – a perfect example of the tradition that villagers strive so hard to maintain.

Mama Long plays with the child of a visitor who has dropped by for a quick chat. She has lived in Kampung Baru since she was born in 1958.

Tourists take photos at the Saloma Link in Kampung Baru, a bridge built to connect the Malay enclave with the city centre.

Hungry customers crowd into a small eatery or warung near Kampung Sungai Baru, popular with both office workers and locals.

Nearby, a flat is slated for demolition under a redevelopment project.

Most of the units have been vacated by residents who moved to Kerinchi as far back as 2018 in anticipation of the project. Until now, though, not a single bulldozer has been seen at the site.

A resident called Roziah holds up a letter she received from the Kampung Baru Development Corporation, telling her to vacate her flat for the redevelopment project.

But Roziah is still here, where she spends her evenings chatting with neighbours outside her small flat in Kampung Sungai Baru.

Other units vacated by residents are left in sad shape, with wires hanging down from the ceiling and rubbish strewn over the floors.

A banner protesting the redevelopment in the area hangs outside a house in Kampung Sungai Baru.

The high-rise Setia Sky Residence towers over another traditional wooden house in Kampung Baru.

As evening falls, convenience stores and barbers pull down their shutters while eateries gear up for the dinner crowd.

Tourists from all over come flocking to the area to enjoy traditional Malay fare and Western food.

At some food spots, the line of customers snakes out to the road as diners wait for a free table.

Menus show the variety of food available at a restaurant, as Kampung Baru comes alive at night.

Inside, workers struggle to keep up with the orders by hungry diners.

Having received their food, families sit down to tuck into the delicious dishes.

The Saloma Link, lit up with colourful lights, is thrown into sharp relief against the Twin Towers.

Tourists taking a night-time stroll stop to take pictures inside the tunnel on the bridge.

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