New Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil has revealed that he is pushing for a change in reverting Kuala Lumpur's Bangsar South to its original name of Kampung Kerinchi
In a recent interview with Malay Mail, Fahmi has expressed his hope in fulfilling his election campaign pledge within his first 100 days in office with the cooperation of Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
"I raised a number of issues and one of my key promises was to return the name Kerinchi to Bangsar South. That, for me, is quite important.
"The process needs to be done through DBKL. I have to work with DBKL and they have expressed their readiness to work on this," he was quoted as saying by Malay Mail.
The PKR communications director was elected as the MP of Lembah Pantai after contesting in a general election for the first time. He secured a 5,598 votes majority, beating Barisan Nasional's (BN) Datuk Seri Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin and PAS' candidate Fauzi Abu Bakar for the parliamentary seat in the 14th General Election (GE14) last month.
Fahmi said that he had met with Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Mohd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz on 31 May to raise the matter
"During the course of the meeting, DBKL senior officials told me that even the council itself had disagreed with the name change. According to its rules or standards, they must keep current local names, especially Malay names.
"The question is why was this allowed or rather who allowed the name change? I have yet to find out, but I am keeping a close eye on this matter," he told Malay Mail.
Bangsar South used to be known as Kampung Kerinchi until the name was reportedly changed by DBKL in 2012, a move that was purportedly taken to reflect its upgraded image.
According to a report by Free Malaysia Today last month, Mohd Amin said the change in name was approved in 2008 but he was unaware of the exact reason since it was before he took office.
However, plans to return the Kampung Kerinchi name did not sit well with some netizens who have opposed the idea
Several comments on social media stated that the name 'Bangsar South' has brought value to the area and argued that prices of properties in the redeveloped area would be affected if it was reverted to its original name.
Some also said that there are "more important things to do in the Lembah Pantai constituency", as they called for the Bangsar South name to remain.
On the other hand, there were others who expressed their support for Fahmi's proposal, pointing out the negative effects of the gentrification of Kampung Kerinchi
A past report by FMT during the election campaign period revealed that residents in the area supported the agenda to revert Bangsar South to Kerinchi.
Long-time resident in Kerinchi, Samiah Sohed, who has lived there since the 1970s, stressed that Bangsar South's name should be reverted.
"What was the point of changing it? When you do that, you wipe out Kerinchi’s history," Samiah was quoted as saying.
The Kampung Kerinchi name is treasured by residents as it is part of the area's heritage
It was learned that Kampung Kerinchi's history could be traced back to the 18th century when the area was occupied by a group of Kerinci people from Jambi, Acheh and Minangkabau, Indonesia, who settled down there upon reaching Malaya.
According to Property Insight, Kampung Kerinchi got its name from Kerinchi in the Jambi District of Sumatra, which was where the pioneer of Kuala Lumpur's early Malay settlements, Haji Abdullah Hukum, had lived in the 1890s.
It was said that dwellers of Kampung Kerinchi in modern days were early settlers who brought development to Kuala Lumpur.
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