Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (The Malaysian Institute of Architects / PAM) wishes to congratulate the Ministry of Territories, its Minister YB Tuan Haji Khalid Bin Abd. Samad, as well, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), for successfully gazetting the much-anticipated Kuala Lumpur City Plan (KLCP 2020) on 30 October 2018.
Between May to August 2008, a draft KL local plan was launched and circulated for public engagement. Since 2005 however, more than 10,000 people were engaged through various forums, briefing sessions, workshops and surveys in preparation of the plan. Through these various efforts, the KLCP 2020 has managed to encapsulate and consolidate all feedbacks and suggestions raised though public consultations, together with new development directions up to year 2015.
In engaging all those that shared their thoughts for the KLCP 2020, a total of 20 public workshops, 14 briefing sessions, 21 focus group sessions and multiple open days were held. Through the various engagements, the following primary needs of the people of KL were concluded:
i. Good and reliable public transportation system;
ii. Safe and walkable city;
iii. Better living standard in a conducive physical environment;
iv. Employment and business opportunities in the City; and
v. Quality urban environment and inner city living.
The importance behind the gazetting of the KLCP 2020 revolves around the protection of the city and its citizens' interests, while acknowledging the needs and desires of the people. The process of updating the Draft City Plan took several years prior to being finalised in 2015, with many NGOs and members of the public urging for its gazettement as a positive move and a step forward towards Kuala Lumpur achieving the status of a World Class Sustainable City.
KL City Hall has also taken proactive measures in their implementation of policies and programmes to support the city development in achieving the needs of the people. Public transportation system has improved with the implementation of the KL free bus network, new MRT system, extension of the LRT system and new highways interconnecting the City and Greater Klang Valley. Further improvements are underway with the ongoing MRT2 project, and MRT3 in the pipeline to truly solve connectivity and last-mile solutions. The pedestrian support network has been vastly-improved, with dedicated pathways, bridges and anti-snatch-theft fencing provided in the city centre to elevate safety and walkability.
The rapid development of Kuala Lumpur attracts local and foreign direct investments, which in turn creates further employment and business opportunities. However, such substantial development requires some measure of control and proper planning to minimise adverse effects to the city. Comprehensive local and area plans need to be carefully studied, publicly presented through proactive engagements, and successfully established once ready, to achieve good development governance.
With the gazettement of KLCP 2020, the base is now set for legislated development control, in particular land-use zoning, density, plot ratio and special economic areas. At the same time, gazetted green areas, public parks and amenities will be protected against unnecessary development. Any future development shall only be approved for implementation if it is in line with KLCP 2020.
Although there are various rooms for improvement within KLCP 2020, it is necessary so as to set a baseline for KL city planning and ensure developments are being implemented within certain planning control. The gazetted plan should be dynamic enough so that in the future, it can be amended as and when necessary. Under the Federal Territory (Planning) Act 1982 (Act 267), a local plan cannot be amended without first being gazetted, and thus, through gazetting the KLCP 2020, the planning control implemented based on the draft plan will no longer be loose and be out of hand.
In actuality, KLCP 2020 will have a very short life span, as a new plan needs to be gazetted by 2020 for implementation between 2021 to 2040.
PAM is willing and offers its representation and active participation in the KL Planning Advisory Board, to prepare the upcoming KLCP 2040. PAM also shares the mutual hope of initiating sufficient engagement session amongst members of public and NGOs, a prudent move indeed in proactively looking out for the interest of the citizens of Kuala Lumpur and our country as a whole.