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Sri Petaling is a suburban area situated in the southern part of Kuala Lumpur. Part of the federal constituency of Seputeh, the township is located close to Bukit Jalil, Kuchai Lama and Taman Gembira (Happy Garden).

Previously, the 250-hectare township had a ‘stinky’ reputation as it had a landfill site, but when the adjacent Bukit Jalil area was chosen as the venue for the 1998 Commonwealth Games, the garbage dump was filled up and transformed into a playground and car park for the major sporting event.

Coupled with the opening of Sri Petaling LRT Station and being strategically located at the intersection of three major roads in Klang Valley (Shah Alam Expressway, Maju Expressway and Kuala Lumpur-Seremban Expressway), the township rapidly developed into one of the most established neighbourhoods within the capital.

Consequently, residential prices in the once shunned area have increased by leaps and bounds. In this article, we look at the history of how Sri Petaling was formed and its journey to becoming one of the top addresses in Kuala Lumpur.

Meaning of Bandar Baru Sri Petaling

In the Malaysian language (Bahasa Melayu), Bandar Baru denotes a new town. Sri is an honorific or title of respect used in the country when addressing or speaking of a distinguished person, but it’s also an Indian word signifying prosperity and wealth.

As for Petaling, it’s the name of a local evergreen tree (Ochanostachys Amentacea), which bears edible seeds and has medicinal uses. When combined together, the name Bandar Baru Sri Petaling roughly means a flourishing new town where the Petaling Tree grows. In Chinese, the suburb is called “the large castle” as the former rubber estate land was originally part of the Castlefield Estate.

The Early Years

Before the township of Sri Petaling was launched, the area was occupied by rubber plantation estates. The government then unveiled the plans for the township in 1977, but actual development commenced in 1981.

In the early-1980s, not many people wanted to live in the area as it was far from Kuala Lumpur and was somewhat secluded. There were also limited access roads going into the township.

By the late-1980s, more families decided to settle in Sri Petaling as access roads were constructed leading to two neighbouring areas – Taman Gembira and Salak Selatan, which is also called Salak South. Following the opening of both access roads, the township was developed further and its population rose significantly.

The first established residential areas in the town were those along Jalan Wan Empok 1 & 2, as well as that in Jalan Puteri Senggang close to the main road. During the 1980s, home prices at the three aforementioned spots ranged from only RM40,000 to RM60,000. One primary reason for the low residential prices is that not many people wanted to live in a township with a large garbage dump.

From Pest Haven To Bustling Town

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But by 2010, property prices in Sri Petaling had exponentially surged to between RM500,000 and RM1 million thanks to a profound change 12 years ago.

While the landfill existed in town, many residents complained about the foul smell emanating from the garbage dump as well as the numerous rodents, swarms of flies, and other pests plaguing the area.

Then in a stroke of great fortune, Malaysia was chosen to host the 16th Commonwealth Games, a major sporting event similar to the Olympics that’s held every four years and participated by former colonies of the United Kingdom.

Then the local authorities decided to build the world-class stadium for the games at Bukit Jalil along with the village for the athletes, Vista Commonwealth Condominiums. In neighbouring Sri Petaling, the government transformed the landfill site into a playground and parking space, as it would be embarrassing for the stadium to be situated near a garbage dump.

As a result of the successful 1998 Commonwealth Games that attracted tens of thousands of tourists, residents of Sri Petaling now enjoy a landfill-free environment, while being close to outstanding sporting facilities at KL Sports City (previously called National Sports Complex), where National Stadium Bukit Jalil is located.

The Added Impact of Excellent Connectivity

Although Sri Petaling is about 15km from KL, the township’s appeal as a great place to live was further boosted when it became part of a good transportation network. In the past, the Kuala Lumpur-Seremban Expressway built in 1974 was the only major road providing access to the township.

Then in 1997, the Shah Alam Expressway was opened, cutting travel time to the municipality of Subang Jaya to merely 10 minutes. This road is one of the catalysts for the fast development in Sri Petaling.

By 2007, another important road passing through the town, Maju Expressway (MEX), was completed. Apart from expediting travel time from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya, the seat of Malaysia’s federal government, the highway also allowed residents of the township to reach the heart of Kuala Lumpur in just 10 minutes.

Moreover, since the 1998 Commonwealth Games, Malaysians and foreign tourists can quickly travel to the town via the Sri Petaling LRT Station, which is just a stroll to the athletes’ village and International Medical University. Until October 2015, the station was the last stop on the southern portion of the Sri Petaling Line, but the railway was subsequently extended until the Putra Heights LRT Station in Subang Jaya.

Shopping Malls Sprung Up

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Sri Petaling’s largest shopping centre, Endah Parade, opened its doors in 1998. Its Carrefour hypermarket only started operating in 2009. While Carrefour closed its operations there in the following year, Japanese supermarket chain AEON took over the premises and rebranded it as AEON BiG Sri Petaling, which is presently operating there.

As of 2014, the shopping mall expanded to include two gyms, badminton courts, an indoor soccer area, a big spa & beauty centre, a car styling studio, a post office, and a branch of Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (National Registration Department).

Another shopping outlet that sprung up in the area is “The Store” Hypermarket along Jalan Radin Tengah that is more accessible to residents of Zones G, J, and H in the township. Meanwhile, the I&P Group completed Phase I of its commercial buildings in zone J on the same road in early-2013.

Apart from that, Sri Petaling is currently famous as a haven for food lovers thanks to the presence of many popular eateries from hawkers to fine dining restaurants. Among the mouth-watering dishes to try in the town are fried pork chop noodle at Tou Tou Little Kitchen, Restaurant Clan’s Gai Woh Bao, and curry laksa at Uncle Chong’s Kopitiam.

Pros & Cons of Sri Petaling’s Property Market

One negative thing residents of Sri Petaling still complain about is that roads in the area are often congested during peak hours. But the biggest gripe is the rampant criminality, as theft, car-napping, and break-ins occasionally happen in the town.

Because of burglaries, property owners in some areas and developments, particularly in Zone N, have hired private security guards and erected barricades to prevent criminals from getting into their neighbourhoods. Residents of other housing estates, like those in Zone P & L, have followed suit as well.

Despite the bad side, Sri Petaling’s real estate market is presently sizzling hot due to its proximity to world-class sports and entertainment venues, as well as excellent transportation, on top of the nearby shopping malls and other amenities.

For instance, 3- to 4-storey office buildings with sizes ranging from 5,096 sf to 14,701 sf had commanded prices of between RM1.5 million to RM3 million in 2009. But it rose to RM4 million to RM8 million by 2014. Similarly, home prices in the area increased from RM300,000 to RM1.6 million in 2009 to RM700,000 to RM4.8 million in 2014. To date, the property market of Sri Petaling is as lucrative as ever.

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(Written by G. Zizan, 17th March 2020)


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  Yes. I remember back in the 80's this place was somewhat secluded and unpopular. The first phases of houses has a kitchen at the front car driveway and the garden at the back.  

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thanks for the write up...

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Thanks to the Editor for an informative article.

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Nostalgic area. Have not been there since secondary school days.