Flat re-development welcome

KUCHING: Urban renewal as it applies to old buildings such as the KMC (Kuching Municipal Council) flats would have a positive impact on the people.

In regards to this, Padungan assemblyman Wong King Wei has applauded Kuching South City Council (MBKS) for its re-development initiative.

Wong, in an exclusive interview with New Sarawak Tribune, said he has no objection to the idea and hopes the welfare of the community at the flats would be according to the original purpose of KMC 1957 initiative.

Wong King Wei

“The original purpose of the buildings was to help the less privileged, the urban poor. After more than half a century, urban poverty has become more serious compared to before.

“I hope that the re-development plan is for the community here as there’s also speculation about major private companies wanting to own the land lease of the old KMC flats,” he said.

He also said that this is because the KMC flats land lease is due and has been repossessed by the state government.

“During a past DUN sitting, I brought the matter to Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan and he agreed to help the urban poor and that the flats remain under the MBKS, but the land would still be owned by the state government,” he said.

“I only hope that the land lease could be fully handed back to MBKS to safeguard and preserve the welfare of the community in the area.”

Wong further added that he hoped the issue would not crop up again in the future, like when the previous tenants had to be relocated for other projects to move into the area.

The redevelopment of KMC flats is in the discussion stage, said MBKS mayor Datuk James Chan as old buildings became a concern and a cause for public debate.

There are four types of KMC flats with a total of 531 units divided into 22 blocks and the current rental range from RM111 to RM179.