RM20m upgrade for Masjid Jamek

By Masami Mustaza, NST

KUALA LUMPUR: The government, through 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), has allocated RM20 million to upgrade Masjid Jamek in Kampung Baru here.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, during an official visit to the mosque yesterday, said the move to upgrade Masjid Jamek would become an “iconic beginning” for the entire redevelopment plan for Kampung Baru.

In referring to the contribution, Najib said there was nothing more important than the start of a new era for Kampung Baru, which is the largest Malay settlement in the city.

The renovation will see the size of the mosque increased to accommodate a congregation of 5,000.

Renovations will begin in the middle of the second quarter of this year.

“We want Masjid Jamek to be the starting point in the redevelopment of Kampung Baru.
“The mosque will be a symbol of the new and modern Kampung Baru.”

Najib said the redevelopment of Kampung Baru was to ensure that residents there would get to reap the benefits from owning land with a high economic value attached to it.

He also gave his assurance that, in the course of redeveloping the area, the villagers would not be required to move out.
“The villagers must remain here,” he said, adding that their interests would be protected.

“The setting up of the Kampung Baru Development Corporation, with the inclusion of representatives from Kampung Baru itself, will ensure that everything is done honestly and with transparency.

“Permodalan Nasional Bhd and Tabung Haji will aid the corporation in the development of Kampung Baru.”

The government will also be tabling a bill on the formation of the corporation in Parliament this year.

Kampung Baru is a 110-year-old enclave comprising seven villages (over 90.2 ha) and with a population of 35,000 people.

Najib yesterday also launched the newly-formed Kelab Belia 1Masjid Kampung Baru, which will conduct youth-oriented activities such as Seni Silat Gayung classes, motoring activities, futsal tournaments and others using facilities provided by the mosque.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Malaysian Writers (Pena) yesterday submitted a memorandum to the prime minister defending the novel Interlok, which has become the subject of controversy for containing sections deemed sensitive to the Indian community.

It was announced on Jan 27 that Interlok would be retained as a literature textbook but sections deemed sensitive would be amended.