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Friday, 13 July 2018

(The Star) Breathing new life into Klang

Although steeped in history, the past decade has been the worst for Klang.

Plunging property prices, locals moving out and tourists turning their backs on the royal town are just some examples.

“If you were born in Klang like me and take a walk on the streets, you will see that the town is going downhill,” said Klang City Rejuvenation (KCR) committee chairman Ter Leong Leng.

“Locals are slowly moving out and more immigrants are staying here. Properties that were sold for RM700 per sq ft a decade ago are now sold at half the price. Clearly, something is not right.

“Even tourists do not find Klang attractive. Cruise-goers who dock in Port Klang prefer other stops rather than venturing into Klang town which is famous for its food, culture and heritage.

“Klang is also regarded as a town with a high crime rate and gangsterism,” he said.

Realising this downward trend, Ter, who is also Klang Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCCI) secretary-general, held a brainstorming session with its members and decided that it was time for Klang to wake up.

“We need a project to rebuild Klang; we can’t wait for the government although the government will need to play a major role in this project because without the support of the local authority or the state government, we can’t even start.

“We have roped in Dewan Perniagaan Melayu Malaysia Selangor and Klang Indian Chamber of Commerce as project partners to form the KCR committee. For technical expertise, we collaborated with Think City.

An overview of Klang‘s Little India, which is a landmark in the royal town.



“KCR is not only here to organise events but also to rejuvenate Klang. We are here to make a long-term impact and with the full support of the government, we are aiming to make Klang liveable for locals,” he said.

To realise this vision, KCR committee, Think City and Taylor's University signed a memorandum of understanding in Taylor’s University in Subang Jaya on Wednesday.

Taylor’s University students have committed to research the possible transformational needs of Klang through their three-year flagship research project titled “Rejuve-nating Forgotten Waterfront Settlements in Malaysia, with Specific Reference to the Royal Town of Klang”.

The students will also come up with proposals on sustainable strategies to revitalise Klang, which will form the basis for the implementation of the rejuvenation projects in the future.

Think City partnerships pro­gramme director Lee Jia Ping said once the studies were completed and certain plans advocated by the students, they would bring it to a top-level roundtable to see if some ideas could be brought forward.

“We will bring in key industry experts for dialogues with local and state governments before finalising it. We always advocate a very thorough community engagement process.

“With every proposal, we will engage with the community and tweak it, organise pop-ups to demonstrate how it will work before finding a permanent solution.

“To solve problems in the city doesn’t take just one person or one department, it takes the collaboration of everyone,” she said.

Also present were Selangor Investment, Industry and Commerce committee chairman Datuk Teng Chang Khim, KCCCI president Tan Sri Lim Kuang Sia. Taylor’s University built environment, engineering, technology and design faculty executive dean Dr David Asirvatham.