Originally the area was named Kampung Kerinchi based on the rich history of the early settlers there. However, in an attempt by property developers to increase the value of the area, it was changed to Bangsar South, roughly seven years ago.
MP Lembah Pantai, Fahmi Fadzil, has been working hard to restore the Kampung Kerinchi name to the area ever since he got into office and he is now successful. WOB has covered his initial efforts here.
In an interview with Malay Mail, he said that,
“There is a mismatch between a place being sold and touted as Bangsar South with the reality that this was not Bangsar to begin with. Bangsar is north of the Federal Highway on the other side. This has never been Bangsar. This has always been Kampung Kerinchi.”
He also elaborated that the effort is not to remove any traces of Bangsar South but instead to put more emphasis that the area is Kampung Kerinchi which is in accordance with history and culture.
Understanding that developers will be against the “kampung” name because it means “village” in Malay, Fahmi explained that the word “kampung” does not necessarily mean backwards. He continued,
“The only thing backwards is our mentality. What is the point of having a first-rate city but having poor mentality?”
Fahmi also revealed that the response of the community there has been positive. He told Malay Mail that,
“I want people in Bangsar and Kampung Kerinchi to rethink themselves as one community and bridge those gaps in between. We may be separated by geography but this separation is only geographic in nature and it should not be separated by class, culture or ethnicity.”
With the biggest obstacle out of the way, what’s the next step for Kampung Kerinchi?
According to Fahmi Fadzil, the first step is to construct 3 arches at the major entry points into Kampung Kerinchi. The arches will be located nearby the Universiti LRT Station, the Petronas petrol station and Jalan Pantai Sentral.
He elaborated that the arches would carry a message that says “Selamat Datang ke Kampung Kerinchi, Kayo Di Hati Kami” which means “Welcome to Kampung Kerinchi, you are in our hearts.”.
History and culture are very important as our identities are derived from these two elements. Kampung Kerinchi is a more meaningful name which should be seen as a valuable trait to an area, whether it is for the property industry or a sense of identity for locals there.
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