Revitalising The Heritage of Kampong Bharu Kuala Lumpur


Sejahtera and Mizan Manifestation: A Study of Kampong Bharu, Kuala Lumpur

Village is among the best examples of applying Mizan‘s concept of having physical characteristics that are considered to be still in a balanced environment between development and the environment. However, the area around Kampong Bharu surrounded by modern surroundings should be preserved by traditional village features to avoid the flow of modernization and globalization.

Kampong Bharu is currently in the process of being developed by the government to offset the development and progress of the surrounding area. Skyscrapers will be erected to transform the lives of the people here to a more modern life. It will directly drown the traditions of the Malay village tradition. This is a loss to the Malay treasures because Kampong Bharu is only a Malay village living in the heart of Kuala Lumpur City.

It not only maintains the values of Malay villages, Malay culture, practices and rituals, Malay community institutions, Malay art and Malay tradition designs. In fact, with the understanding of Kampung Mizan concept it will give space for designers to design and shape the development of Kampong Bharu in the right perspective. In order to explore the phenomenon further, a study entitled “The Contest of Values and Physical of Kampung in Manifesting Community Lifestyle – A Case Study of Kampong Bharu, Kuala Lumpur” has been conducted by USIM researchers. Below is the summary of the research:

  • This research discusses perceptions and manifestations of community lifestyle as described by a group of urban villages (Kampung) land owners of Kampong Bharu, Kuala Lumpur. Kampong Bharu, Kuala Lumpur, has been claimed as a classic example of how rapid modernisation has transformed the cultural and physical elements of Kampung community.
  • In this study, the elements of kampung values and needs of physical transformation have been investigated together to obtain a clearer understanding of how urban Kampung community deals with these two contested notions to manifest community lifestyle in harmony.
  • Thirty Kampong Bharu land owners had been interviewed to gather the information about their opinion on the Kampong Bharu City Centre project.
  • Using the video documentary method, this study also highlights the expectation of the land owners to preserve the value, tradition and harmony in the Kampung, and simultaneously embrace modernisation in the area.

Findings and Discussions

Three main themes underlying this study:

  1. Changing pattern of community lifestyle – Who’s coming in and who’s going out
  2. Dilemma/challenges of land owners – Value, tradition and physical transformation
  3. Expectation of the land owners – Kampong Bharu to be known as a global village for its different concept of strategic planning and development, and at the same time sustain the traditional Malay identity
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