The skyline of KL has changed so much that every time you drive on one of the 'lebuhraya bertingkat" or multitiered highways cutting across the city like the lines on your palm, you feel as if you're a stranger in a new city. Especially when all the old landmarks are hidden away and you only see the old roofs or the sophisticated front of new edifices staring at you in the face.
Hey what building is that? you ask the person sitting beside you. Damned if I know, comes the couldn't-care-less reply.
There are so many of the high-rise buildings, not really skyscrapers yet, many of which are modern, high-class, luxury apartments, that you can hardly keep tag of their emergence (as if from nowhere), let alone of their names when not boldly written somewhere on the building itself. Take the new NUKE highway through the Sri Hartamas area and Mont Kiara. for example. All the super-posh apartments must have hit the million or multimillion ringgit jackpot price.
The big question is: Who can afford them? Certainly not the government servants (except in the Ministerial or YB category), the factory workers or the budding entrepreneurs and businessmen. These places can only be bought by the billionaires and millionaires from Malaysia or abroad, especially from Japan and Saudi Arabia. I recall Tun Mahathir's article on Kampung Baru.
If the Malay pseudo-slump area were to be opened up for development and filled up with modern high-rise buildings, who can afford to buy up or rent these su[er-expensive premises as a business center or a luxury home. Certainly not the people in Kampung Baru, not all of them anyway for there certainly are some who have joined the millionaires club. The same question can be applied to the thousands of super-posh apartment buildings springing like mushrooms in KL and the greater metropolitan are, extending to Puchong and Kembangan.
Certainly KL has become too expansive for the common citizens of the country. Especially the original settlers and 'orang asal' who have not become the nouveau riche - including the GLC bosses, businessmen, politicians or corporate executives. These exceptions remain a very small group in the 'orang asal' population as a whole. Their faces could be lost in the throng of millionaires and billionaires in the country. Kuala Lumpur is not for the "orang kampung" anymore, just like "orang Kampung Baru" if the area is opened up for modern development. You can't expect the budding businessmen to open up business in the golden triangles of Kuala Lumpur. They will fold up before one year, especially when they can't participate in the very lucrative night-entertainment, gambling. GROs, multi-level selling and other trades which involve commodities, activities or dealings which are "haram", "bida'ah", or even "syubahah" to the Muslims. . Most of the super-rich tycoons usually have a hand (or just a little finger) in these business though never directly. You cannot get rich by just selling "pisang goreng" or 'kacang putih". You must get your fingures into many and several lucritive business.
So, where does that leave the 'orang asal' ?( I avoid the terms "Bumi" or "Orang Melayu" because they are full of racial overtones!). Wish I can offer an answer. Once certainty is that KL bukan lagi mereka punya. The Skyscrapers and Suoer Luxury Condos are for the super rich, millionaires and billionaires. Unless the government wake up to this fact and do something to ensure that there are some 'orang asal' in the new imposing edifices making up KL skyline, we'll have a foreigners' city in the heart of the country.