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Sustainability of Urban Cemeteries and the Transformation of Malay Burial Practices in Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan Region

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Land shortage for burials is one of many issues that emerge out of accelerated urban growth in most developing Asian cities, including Kuala Lumpur. Despite actions taken by the federal government and local authorities in addressing this issue, there is no strategic solution being formulated. Apart from making provisions for land to be developed as new cemeteries, the future plan is merely to allocate reserve land to accommodate the increasing demands of burial grounds around the city.This paper examines problems that arise from the traditional practices of Malay funerary as well as an insight to current urban practices in managing Muslim burial spaces around Kuala Lumpur metropolitan region. This paper will also provide some solutions through design approach that can be applied to counter the existing issues.
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AbstractLand shortage for burials is one of many issues that
emerge out of accelerated urban growth in most developing Asian
cities, including Kuala Lumpur. Despite actions taken by the federal
government and local authorities in addressing this issue, there is no
strategic solution being formulated. Apart from making provisions
for land to be developed as new cemeteries, the future plan is merely
to allocate reserve land to accommodate the increasing demands of
burial grounds around the city.This paper examines problems that
arise from the traditional practices of Malay funerary as well as an
insight to current urban practices in managing Muslim burial spaces
around Kuala Lumpur metropolitan region. This paper will also
provide some solutions through design approach that can be applied
to counter the existing issues.
KeywordsKuala Lumpur metropolitan region, Malay burial
practices, sustainable development, urban cemeteries
I. INTRODUCTION
HE issue of land shortage for burial represents a pressing
concern in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. This problem
has been reported intermittently in the local newspaper [1, 2].
This paper concentrates on the Muslim cemeteries within the
metropolitan region of Kuala Lumpur. Apart from the lack of
space and overcrowding within the cemetery, the migration of
Malays from rural to urban districts throughout the last few
decades has also contributed to the escalating Muslim
population in Kuala Lumpur [3]. With such migration into
capital cities, the government must provide sufficient burial
facilities for the growing city’s inhabitants. This problem has
been exacerbated by the conventional practice of Malay burial
rites as well as lack of comprehensive planning in managing
urban cemeteries by local authorities.
There are two research questions to be examined: (i) How
public cemeteries in the metropolitan region of Kuala Lumpur
can be sustained for tomorrow’s use before burial spaces
become a crisis? (ii) How can the understanding of cultural
transformation of others help to create urban cemeteries that
adapt to urban densification processes within the framework
of tradition and cultural Malay society in the metropolitan area
of Kuala Lumpur? This paper aims to analyze the issue of land
shortage for burial within the urban context, and this will be
discussed in referring to the definition of sustainable
development. This will help to examine the future
development of public cemeteries in Kuala Lumpur.
In formulating possible solutions to this problem, there are
Mohamed Afla, Mohamad Reza is a PhD candidate of School of Architecture
and Design, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia (e-mail:
s3256363@student.rmit.edu.au)
two main components that will be discussed in this research.
First, in overcoming this urban problem, the aspiration of
Kuala Lumpur to be recognized as a livable city has been
taken as a primary consideration. Second, this paper will also
address the survival of Malay funerary practices and the
direction it might take in the emerging era of globalization.
According to the Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020 (KLSP
2020), sustainable development has been identified as the
main guideline in Kuala Lumpur achieving the status of a
livable city [4]. KLSP 2020 has listed down the development
guidelines, which are closely related in raising the bar for a
better living environment by providing for much better
facilities to the public. The question is how should
sustainability development be approached when addressing
the lack of space for burial in urban areas?
A livable city must not only care for the wellbeing of the
living, but both the living and the dead. With a growing
population, the issue should not be taken lightly as it could
become a potential threat to Kuala Lumpur in accommodating
sufficient burial spaces in the near future. As an example, the
same issue has reached its climax in the neighboring city of
Jakarta, which has been reported by the local media [5, 6].
Therefore, it is necessary for these sacred spaces to be
examined in order to redefine the role as well as the potential
of urban cemeteries in strengthening the vision of Kuala
Lumpur as a world-class city.
However, KL is still far from being sustainable as there are
many issues that need to be addressed. Urban heat island, flash
flooding, landslides and haze are some of the urban issues that
link directly to the climate change in the city of KL. Dasimah
has concluded that one of the ways to approach this situation
is through manipulation of design on the local weather. She
suggests that by incorporating the climate responsive design
strategies, they can assist in making the city sustainable,
livable and attractive, thus achieving the city’s vision [7].
Hence, cemeteries can double-up as green spaces that would
help to address some microclimatic and urban heat island
issues, which would contribute to the sustainability of Kuala
Lumpur. Cemeteries also become a retention area for
rainwater by slowing down the water run-off, as well as
increasing the amount of water being absorbed into the
ground.
In a report prepared by UN-HABITAT, planning and
management are the two main emphasized criteria that enable
the development of a city to be more sustainable. Thesaid
report places its main concern in highlighting the
environmental aspect, which can be achieved through
corporations, governments and communities [8].
Scheer&Scheer[9]have listed several idealistic
characteristics of sustainable development for the intermediate
Mohamed Afla, Mohamad Reza
Sustainability of Urban Cemeteries and the
Transformation of Malay Burial Practices in
Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan Region
T
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 71 2012
808
city of Chiang Mai, which could also be applicable to Kuala
Lumpur cemetery. For the purpose of this paper, there are five
significant features of sustainability that have to be considered
in order to strive for balanced urban cemetery development.
(i) Compactness; create and preserve higher density,
compact forms.
(ii) Conservation; preserve the urban region's agricultural
land, water systems, recreational areas, and fragile
ecologies.
(iii) Integration; provide a mix of land uses.
(iv) Provide open space and
(v) Encourage moderate parcel size.
This research will approach the term of urban sustainability
based on the definition stated by both authors in three
interrelated spheres that includes environmental, social, and
cultural factors.
First, urban cemeteries possess their own unique
biodiversity within the city. They are contributing to the
ecological diversity of urban ecosystems. Moreover, urban
cemeteries could also become a part of the urban green
network. Wong stated that large green areas definitely have
positive effects on the temperature of the city [10]. However, a
research conducted by Baharuddin has somehow not
incorporated the extra function that cemeteries already
possess, which is part of urban green space [11]. It is
important for people to acknowledge public cemeteries as
unique urban sanctuaries; however, urban cemeteries can offer
more than this.
Second, Kuala Lumpur could make full use of space in
public cemeteries by making them into accessible green areas.
This would provide people with another alternative for
recreational activities as outdoor public space in Kuala
Lumpur itself is gradually diminishing [12]. Abidin has
outlined the prevailing criteria that should be considered when
ascertaining the successful design of Malaysian public space.
She suggests that by incorporating the climate responsive
design strategies, they can assist in making the city
sustainable, livable and attractive, thus achieving the city’s
vision. Accessibility, a better way of living and conservation
of local culture are some of the crucial elements that should be
taken into consideration when it comes to creating urban
space. Thus, public engagement can be incorporated into these
dead spaces through design intervention and a well-planned
landscape. However, while creating a recreational space might
be an alternative potential, we still need to consider the
cultural values and perceptions that the public has towards
cemeteries.
AbidinUsman, Tahir, and Yap described the relationship
between social and cultural context to public space in
Malaysia in their own words.
“The concept of the public realm, achieving a sense of
place and the public significance of new development, is
vital within the urban design perspective. Matters such as
community safety, accessibility, sustainability, quality of life
and protecting the heritage legacy, are key concerns within
the public realm and are significant elements within the
urban design agenda.”[13]
Nevertheless, Malay people do not regularly go to cemeteries
other than to visit the graves of their relatives on certain
annual occasions. In Malaysia, Eidul-Fitr is the major
celebration where it is common to see Muslims visiting graves
around these times of the year. For the first few days of Eid,
people will normally visit the cemeteries with their family
members to offer prayer as a sign of remembrance towards the
deceased.
Furthermore, Malaysiansgenerally still exhibit residual
superstitions that associate graveyards with poltergeist
activity. This cultural stigma has been firmly cemented into
their perceptions, which are further solidified by the existing
conditions found inside the graveyard itself. The atmosphere
in public cemeteries is usually dead and in a gloomy state.
Lack of maintenance has also become a contributing factor.
The Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department (JAWI) has
taken their own initiative in eliminating this problem by trying
to change the landscape of public cemeteries. The KL-Karak
Muslim Cemetery in Gombak has evidenced such effort by
JAWI recently. JAWI’s intentions in creating landscaped
cemeteries should be highly praised as a first step in
improving the physical characteristics of urban cemeteries.
But it has not been able to bring the public into the cemetery’s
compound for recreational purposes.
In Taiwan, government efforts in turning public cemeteries
into a recreational area are moderately successful, even after
three decades. People remain disinclined to consider the ‘park-
like’ cemeteries as regular parkland [14]. It is commonly
understood that a cemetery is a place to dispose of dead bodies
and this primary role is incompatible with its concomitant
usage as public parkland. Yet, this step should be promoted in
order to provide more open spaces for the Malaysian public;
the measure of success for this space for social use is a
secondary consideration.
As part of social infrastructure, the most important thing is
to ensure that all urban cemeteries are accessible to the public.
This is because public cemeteries could offer people another
alternative to the recreational areas in the city. However, it
should be acknowledged that the recreational use between
cemeteries to public parks is not comparable as burial space
has its own primary purpose, which is to house the dead. Thus,
this research is an attemptto balance between the conventional
roleof a cemetery as a place to disposed the corpse with its
potential as a public space. In this paper, some
recommendations will be made through a practical design
approach in making the burial grounds more open to the users.
Third, customary rites that are being practiced by people at
graves have emerged as another key consideration. Malay
burial practices are another aspect that has to be factored into
the perspective of sustainability. The preservation of Malay
customs in burial rites and funerary practices at the graveyard
is just as important as its environmental significance. This
study suggeststhat Malay burial practices have to go through
some form of transformation in order to adapt with the fast
pace of urban development.If so, how can Malay burial rites
and customs move forward? What are the next steps that
should be taken? And what would a new model for Muslim
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 71 2012
809
cemeteries look like in the twenty first century?
In his article, Park stated that changes that have taken place
in South Korean urban cemeteries are caused by the same
common factors, that is, the issue of space [15]. In a similar
way, spatiality is also the main key in addressing the roots of
the problems in Malay funerary practices
In order to understand more about the impacts of
urbanization and the effects it has towards Malay burial
practices in Kuala Lumpur, this paper will be organized as
follows. First, the paper will review the progression of Malay
burial practice in Kuala Lumpur from its early origin until the
present time. Second, the paper will discuss site visits that
have been conducted at six public cemeteries around KL as a
means of assessing their existing conditions.
This collected data has been presented in the form of a
checklist (refer to the appendix). Findings and data
analysiswill then be discussed based on the definition of
sustainability. Finally, this paper proposes some possible
solutions to the scarcity of land for burial in the metropolitan
area of Kuala Lumpur.
II. THE DEVELOPMENT OF MALAY CEMETERIES IN KUALA
LUMPUR
A. Background of Malay first settlement and their
graveyards
In the late nineteen-century Malay burial grounds were
located outside their village settlement, which is commonly
known as “kampung”. The establishment of Malay cemeteries
around Kuala Lumpur followed the same pattern, well
removed from human interaction. The map shows the clear
disconnection between these two [Fig. 1]. It is clear that
cemeteries have been pushed aside, out of the city’s
development from the beginning. With the establishment of
more kampung settlements around the city, public cemeteries
were progressively marginalized within the city’s urban plan.
Fig. 2 shows the expansion of settlement area for Malay in
Kuala Lumpur, which is marked by the dark blocks. The
situation becomes more critical when Kuala Lumpur
becamespatially contested much later following a rapid
process of urbanization. This can be witnessed by looking at
the allocation of burial spaces around Kuala Lumpur, which is
not in proportion to the Malay settlements [Fig. 2].
B. The issue faced by Malay-Muslim cemeteries in Kuala
Lumpur
Fundamental problems with the traditional rites of Malay
burial practices are mostly found on the graves’ surface. For
example, family plots, monumental structures, built-up
personal demarcation, and random planting are usually
reflected in the landscape of Malay cemeteries. Hence, are
these practices considered sustainable? To a certain extent,
there are some, which are not in line with the concept of
sustainability as previously discussed, and few are.
Some of the traditional burial practices performed over the
graves give unique characteristics to the landscape of Malay
cemeteries. For example, family plots have existed for a long
time in old cemeteries and it really has had an impact on the
amount of space utilized overall [Fig 3].
Fig. 1 Map of early Malay settlement in Kuala Lumpur in relation to
location of graveyards, demonstrating the evident disconnection
between them.
Source: Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya: Negotiating Urban Space in
Malaysia by Ross King (2008)
Fig. 2 The Malay reservation areas, traditional and modern kampung,
and new villages of Kuala Lumpur.
Source: Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya: Negotiating Urban Space in
Malaysia by Ross King (2008)
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 71 2012
810
Fig. 3A family plot in JalanAmpang Muslim Cemetery (2011)
Monumental structures are not considered to be as
sustainable, since they tend to monopolize space and reduce
the land available for further burial plots. The grave structure
is known as a “kepuk” and reflects a surviving Malay art form
in Muslim cemeteries around the city [Fig 4]. Kepuk is an
overlying structure that is commonly found on Malay graves.
It consists of horizontal slabs made of solid concrete and the
kepuk surface is normally ornamented with various tiles used
as finishes
Fig. 4Kepuk is typically use to keep the graves surface intact which
can be seen in this picture taken in JalanKuari Muslim Cemetery
(2011)
Some people were also keen to have excessive built-up
structures as a way to demarcate a particular grave. The
structures that made up this boundary can be found either in a
vertical or horizontal position, and they were made up of
different material, from a piece of slab to perimeter fencing
[Fig 5].
Fig. 5 White marbles is used to indicate the grave’s territorial area
from the rest in JalanDamansara Muslim Cemetery (2011)
In term of random planting, Muslims are encouraged to
grow plants over their graves in Islam in order to fulfill the
religious requirement. The sole reason behind this is that
Muslims believe that trees and shrubs are praying to the dead,
and such benevolent practice is going to benefit the deceased
underneath [Fig 6].
All these practices were performed as part of Malay
funerary culture and rites, even though some of them are not
considered to be obligatory in Islamic teaching. In Malay
cemeteries, excessive ornamentation over the graves serves no
purpose other than to physically demonstrate personal
attachment to the deceased.
Fig. 6 Graveyard’s compound were furnished with a variety of plant
in JalanDamansara Muslim Cemetery (2011)
Compactness that allows for greater density should be
promoted in order to sustain the ability of burial space to
extend its function in housing for the dead bodies. This would
then enable cemeteries to have a higher level of efficiency in
accommodation of more corpses. In fact, this principle has
been implemented in other Islamic countries like Kuwait. In
his article, Iqbal draws a comparison between the nation’s
burial management and ‘McDonaldization,’ that is, well
organized and systematic in a similar way to the globalised
fast food franchise. The main objective is to focus on the
quantity in producing a large number of graves of similar
quality [17].
This paper also explores the survival of Malay
cemeteries as a cultural landscape. For the last few decades,
people do not possess the same freedom enjoyed in the past.
Authorities have begun to take control over the activities that
happened over the graves by reinforcing strict regulations at
the cemetery. Francis, Kellaher and Neophytou stated that
public cemeteries have been controlled largely by the
management, which is eroding the sustainable aspect of
funerary culture. The management of public cemeteries is very
much determined by the limited resources that have shaped
such policies [18]. This phenomenon has been happening to
urban cemeteries around Kuala Lumpur especially throughout
the nineties. People are expected to observe the rules
regulating graves as a way to control and minimize the impact
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 71 2012
811
of overcrowding inside the cemetery. As a consequence,
Malay graves have become more uniform in their appearance
and begun losing their unique characteristics.
In terms of the social aspect, public cemeteries in
Malaysia have never been used as part of public space. One of
the reasons is due to the regulation that prohibits people from
entering the cemeteries other than having intention to visit the
graves. Furthermore, from interviews conducted with the
locals, superstitious beliefs amongMalaysians have prevented
them from spending their time at the cemetery. Malaysians are
not keen to go and be there as it is not part of the Malaysian
culture. However, this stereotype among Malaysians could be
changed by persuasion of the beneficial values that cemeteries
offer.
In order to improve the social significance of urban
cemeteries, there are two different ways of approaching this
matter between the former and latter cemeteries in Kuala
Lumpur. The first group can be classified as former urban
cemeteries. Old cemeteries in Kuala Lumpur were built even
before the declaration of the country’s independence.
Considered to be pre-independence burial grounds, they have
been around for 50 years or more. Most of the time these
places represent deserted land in the city with a dull
environment and unpleasant view. They offer only limited
potential and opportunity of retrofitting, especially if
involvement from the public is to be incorporated.
For the latter cemeteries, they represent new paths that seem
to have emerged in recent years around metropolitan Kuala
Lumpur. First, authorities are keen to develop land for burial
with a garden or park theme. Second, the cemetery itself has a
multiple role or hybrid functions in improving public health
and life. Leisure and light recreational activities, even
contemplation, are now possible within the grounds of the
cemetery. Vast hectares of land originally designed for
graveyards are now being used for the benefit of the living.
Taman Selatan Memorial Park in Putrajaya, Section 9 Muslim
Cemetery in Petaling Jaya, and KL-Karak Muslim Cemetery
in Batu are some examples of urban cemeteries that were built
according to these progressive principles.
In spite of that, Kuala Lumpur is still searching for the right
model of urban cemeteries.Thus alternative solutions have to
be formulated urgently, not only to avoid serious urban
repercussions, but also to ensure the survival of Malay burial
practices, something that is possible to achieve through
modification of grave design and methods of burial.
Alternative methods to full body burial are also needed due to
its inflexibility.
C. Public cemeteries for Muslims in Kuala Lumpur
Fig. 7 shows the location of Muslim cemeteries according
to their “kariah” territory. Kariah is a term equivalent to parish
and there are six main kariah in Kuala Lumpur (Fig. 7). A
single Muslim cemetery is sometimes shared among three or
four kariah and each of them is responsible for taking good
care of their own graveyard. Beside regular maintenance from
the city council, Muslim communities are expected to take
part in keeping up the cleanliness of their own graveyard. This
is normally conducted by organizing occasional events
between the kariah members (Muslim communities) and local
authorities.
In a way, Malay people remain very much attached to their
graveyard at the community level through their kariah.
However based on the site visits to several public cemeteries
around Kuala Lumpur metropolitan, the relationship between
Malay people and their cemeteries is physically loose. Efforts
to establish greater social ties among kariah members will
positively impact on cemeteries, and will provide further
opportunities to draw people into this space.
Fig. 7 Map of Muslim cemeteries around Kuala Lumpur according to
their kariah district
Source: Kuala Lumpur City Hall (2011)
According to the data obtained from Kuala Lumpur City
Hall (DBKL), public cemeteries around the city are almost
running out of space. From Table 1, altogether there are 21
Muslim cemeteries in Kuala Lumpur. Out of 16 active Muslim
cemeteries, 13 of them are left with burial space of less than
20,000 square meters, while five of them have already reached
full status. However there are seven committed cemeteries
allocated for future use, though it is uncertain how this land
will be developed as burial grounds (Not shown on Table I)
The largest Muslim cemetery in KL is 170,000 square
meters, known as Karak Muslim Cemetery. This cemetery is
predicted to last until 2061, which is less than 49 years from
now. It is meant to serve all the Muslim community in the
city, regardless of their kariah area. To conclude, obviously
there are only a few spaces available for burials in most
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 71 2012
812
Muslim cemeteries around the city. One main point is that
with the creation of large areas such as KL-Karak Muslim
Cemetery in Batu District, burial space for Muslims has begun
to take the form of centralization. This is because burial at
KL-Karak Muslim Cemetery is open to all Muslims regardless
of their kariah district. This was permitted by the Federal
Territory of Islamic Affairs (JAWI) to alleviate the lack of
space for burials in some kariah zones.
D. Extended metropolitan region of Kuala Lumpur
It is important to look at this issue at the macro scale so that
the right models of urban cemeteries can be produced. The
pattern of urbanization in Kuala Lumpur is based on the
corridor development [Fig 8]. This would help in developing
new townships that are planned according to the local needs of
the public for burial facilities. Furthermore, the land use in the
city of Kuala Lumpur has become dense and the future
allocation of land for public cemeteries does not look
promising.
The map shows the use of land in Kuala Lumpur including
cemeteries [Fig 9]. The yellow represents the residential area
while the green is meant to be for open space and recreational
use. Even though the residential area keeps expanding, city
councils are less concerned with new green open space, which
includes provision for cemeteries. The current way city
councils cater for burial spaces are generally based on the
availability of land around the city rather than being based on
the local demographic.
New land for public cemeteries has been opened according
to superinduced development [19, 20]. Government has less
control when it comes to the allocation of new land for
cemeteries throughout the city. Nevertheless, burial facilities
in Kuala Lumpur should be updated more in order to catch up
with a growing population. It will not take long before all
public cemeteries in Kuala Lumpur will become full as
currently there has been no action in recycling the old graves.
Governments have to focus on developing the new public
cemeteries beyond the city limits, as Kuala Lumpur has
increasingly become densely developed and overpopulated.
With the expansion of suburban area outside the city centre,
it is important to take notice of the impacts that it has in
accommodating for burial facilities as a whole. If authorities
are not careful in locating urban cemeteries, the landscape of
Kuala Lumpur could end up deteriorating in a manner similar
to former Seoul. Here, graveyards were dominating the city’s
landscape because close monitoring from the government was
absent [15].
TABLE I
MUSLIM CEMETERIES IN FEDERAL TERRITORY OF KUALA LUMPUR
Existing Muslim Cemeteries Area (m2) Status Area
Available
Kariah 1
JalanSegambut M.C. 14,200 Active 12,000
Taman Sri Sinar M.C. 19,700 Active 12,000
KampungSelayang Lama M.C. 19,400 Active 4,000
KampungBatu M.C. 18,000 Full 0
KL-Karak M.C. 327,500 Active 170,600
Kariah 2
KampungPuah M.C. 18,300 Full 0
Batu 3, Jalan Ipoh M.C. 9,600 Full 0
Taman Ibukota M.C. 30,100 Active 8,000
Kariah 3 - Existing
JalanKuari M.C. 22,000 Full 0
JalanAmpang M.C. 52,200 Active 1,000
Kariah 4
DatokKeramat M.C. 9,100 Active 1,000
Titiwangsa M.C. 2,100 Active 2,000
Kariah 5
Kg. Bohol, Batu 71/2,
JalanPuchong M.C. 18,300 Active 2,500
Kg. Sungai MidahDalam M.C. 27,900 Active 20,000
Jalan Sungai Besi M.C. 9,900 Active 1,000
Kg. Bohol, Batu 71/2,
JalanPuchong M.C. 18,300 Active 2,500
Kariah 6
KampungKerinchi M.C. 10,700 Active 2,000
JalanDamansara M.C. 80,000 Active 38,000
Sungai Penchala M.C. 6,700 Active 1,000
Bukit Kiara M.C. 6,000 Active 38,000
PantaiDalam M.C. 20,000 Active 12,000
JalanAngSeng M.C. 4,600 Full 0
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 71 2012
813
Fig. 8 Map of corridor development
Source: Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya: Negotiating Urban Space in
Malaysia by Ross King (2008)
Fig. 9 Map of land use in Kuala Lumpur, cemetery is located under
category of community facilities.
Source: Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan (2004)
Even though this research does not survey all public
cemeteries beyond the Kuala Lumpur perimeter, two Muslim
cemeteries within the extended metropolitan region have been
selected as part of the case studies. The first one is a Muslim
Cemetery at Taman Selatan in Putrajaya and the other is a
Muslim Cemetery at Section 9, Kota Damansara in Petaling
Jaya. Putrajaya is a recent township that functions as an
administrative capital for Malaysia, while Petaling Jaya was
the first satellite city to be developed to deal with the
increasing population in Kuala Lumpur.
III. METHODOLOGY
A.Research Method
This research applies the method of case studies in four
stages, known as descriptive, explorative, comparative and
speculative. In the beginning, the research is to describe the
process and the relationships that exist within the case studies.
Next the research explores the key problems affecting the case
studies as well as the opportunities in dealing with the
problems by searching for alternative methods to funerary
practices and interment. After that, case studies will be
compared to identify the similarities and differences between
them. Finally, possible solutions will be proposed by
speculating about some results from the findings. The
sustainability aspect of urban cemeteries has been taken into
account in making suggestions.
B.Data Collection
In conducting this research, the first step is to gain
information from secondary sources collected from the related
agencies, as well as interview representative from JAWI.
Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) records Muslim Cemetery in
Federal Territory Kuala Lumpur and Kuala Lumpur Structure
Plan 2020, these are the main documents used to investigate
the data.
The second part of the research is the field trip that was
conducted in Kuala Lumpur metropolitan area. The site visits
were conducted in February and Septemberof 2011.
Comparative literature is another method used to understand
the sphere of issues from a different cultural background.
The visits have been conducted in six public cemeteries
around Kuala Lumpur where site observation and photography
TABLE II
THE CASE STUDIES
Cemetery
Remark
JalanAmpang M.C.
(JAMC) It was nearly full but the burial space
has been extended
JalanKuari M.C.
(JKMC) Completely full, as there is no available
land left to do burials
JalanDamansara M.C.
(JDMC) It was nearly full but the burial space
has been extended
KL-Karak M.C.
(KLKMC) Recently built and the largest burial
ground for Muslim in Kuala Lumpur
Section 9 M.C.
(S9MC)
Recently built and among the largest
burial ground for Muslim in Kuala
Lumpur metropolitan
Taman Selatan M.C.
(TSMC) The benchmark model for urban
cemeteries in KL metropolitan region
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 71 2012
814
was taken. Most of the qualitative aspect of urban cemeteries
was gathered using the checklist that was comprised of 16
elements. The site checklist has been purposely used to
recognize changes in urban cemeteries around metropolitan
Kuala Lumpur, as well as to provide the scale in measuring
situations within public cemeteries.
Finally, discussion on data analysis was generated by
making a critique based on the findings from the checklist in
response to the three main aspects of research, which includes
environmental, social and cultural factors. This was done in
order to support research objectives in promoting
sustainability in urban cemeteries around Kuala Lumpur
within those fields.
C.Case Studies Criteria
The case studies consist of six public cemeteries around
Kuala Lumpur metropolitan. Observation on each cemetery
has been conducted and recorded in the form of a checklist
during the site visits. The checklist has been used in the three
following ways:(i) to trace the roots of the problems in urban
cemeteries around Kuala Lumpur; (ii) to justify the situations
over the actual sites without merely relying on the data
acquired from agencies; and lastly (iii) to gather data on the
physical characters of public cemeteries. Table II shows the
list of the case studies involved along with the reasons why
they have been selected. The case studies can also be
distinguished between the old and new public cemeteries.
JAMC, JKMC and JDMC can be considered as the former
burial space while KLKMC, S9MC and TSMC are being the
latter.
IV. FINDING, DATA ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION
For the purpose of analyzing the data and explaining the
findings, each 16 elements have been categorized under five
characteristics of sustainable development, which are
compactness, conservation, integration, provision of open
space and encouragement of moderate parcel size as shown in
Table III. Each checklist item has been categorized under
certain characteristic of sustainable development thatresonates
withthem.
A. Compactness
1. Site location
Most public cemeteries in the case studies are being isolated
from their surrounding context. For example, this situation can
be witnessed in the old public cemeteries such as JKMC and
KLKMC [Fig 10 & 11]. In the case of JKMC and KLKMC,
even though residential area is located close to the cemetery
however, there are no links made between them. Conventional
methods planning for burial space that have been practiced
during the old regime have placed public cemeteries
physically and sometimes visually segregated from the
surrounding context.
Fig. 10 Map ofJalanKuari Muslim Cemetery (2011)
Fig. 11 Map ofKL-Karak Muslim Cemetery (2011)
In comparison to the old ones, new public cemeteries such
as TSMC have been incorporatedwithin public space [Fig
12].With the new genre of urban cemeteries, the inclusion of
cemeteries as part of public parks and green networks is
gradually taking place.This significant change was motivated
by a great concern among local authorities in opening up
cemeteries for public use. This pattern is expected to be
normative in establishing public cemeteries in the future.
TABLE III
CLASSIFICATION OF 16 ELEMENTS OF PUBLIC CEMETERIES UNDER FIVE
CHARACTERISTICS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Characteristic of Sustainable
Development Checklist Items
A. Compactness
Site locations
Area
Grave arrangement
Graves practices
B. Conservation
Topography
Drainage system
Vegetation
Softscape (graves)
C. Integration Spatial relationship
People activities
Facilities provided
D. Provide open space Perimeter boundary
Degree of openness
Vehicle accessibility
E. Encourage moderate parcel
size Grave’s spatiality
Hardscape (graves)
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 71 2012
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Fig. 12 Map shows the vicinity of Metropolitan Park (top left) to the
Taman Selatan Muslim Cemetery(2011)
Fig. 13 Map shows the exclusion of Section 9 Muslim Cemetery from
its surrounding context (2011)
In terms of planning, both sites are located further from
human settlement,a decision that was considered to be more
appropriate in Malaysian culture[Fig 12& 13].Nevertheless,
the design layout of TSMC was built to bemore open and
accessible compared to the conventional public cemeteries. As
for S9MC and KLKMC, the intention to open up this cemetery
for public use has somehow not beenshown and executed
through its design layout.
With the current pattern of public cemeteries in Kuala
Lumpur, the allocations for burial grounds are still
concentrated within the city’s boundary. In regards to this
matter, Malaysians should be persuaded to take advantage of
cemeteries’ greenery space for their recreational benefits. The
inclusion of cemeteries as part of residential areas is no longer
suitable in the city.
Sites for urban cemeteries couldhave been remotely located
beyond the city limit;however, there will be least intervention
from the public due to the factor of time and distance to travel.
Moreover, such practice would also hinder the funeral
ceremony from being accomplished efficiently, as Islam
requires the body to be buried immediately after death.
Furthermore, it is such a waste if the public does not have easy
access to these alternative amenities, if urban cemeteries are to
be located beyond the city’s limit. At the moment, land for
burialis still available within Kuala Lumpur metropolis and
should be fully utilized to its optimum level infacilitating the
needs for both living and the dead.
2. Area
Based on the case studies checklist, area for burial in public
cemeteries has significantly become greater in term of its size.
The old cemeteries (JAMC, JKMC and JDMC) were
established between 1940 and 1980. The new cemeteries
(KLKMC, S9MC and TSMC) were in operation at the turn of
the twenty-first century. This phenomenon was obviously
caused by the increasing mortality rate in the city due to the
growing number of population. It is understood that the
migration of people into the metropolitan area of Kuala
Lumpur is progressive. Hence, the numbersof cemeteries will
continuously add up along with the size area.
At present authorities back-up plan constitutes providing
more land to be used as cemeteries. Even though this seems to
be a logical step in handling the issue of land shortage for
burial,it is important for authorities to reassess the impacts and
consequences. There are two factors that should be discussed
in relation to the cemetery area. First,the scale of operation
and second, making the most out of new developed land for
burial use.
By increasing the total area of new cemeteries there will be
more burial grounds to manage. This definitely demandsa
higher level of maintenance and supervision especially for a
public cemetery with a huge scale area such as KLKMC. By
learning from the examples of old cemeteries, the authorities
have found it challenging to maintain the quality of the
surroundings. The physical conditions in public cemeteries are
usually found to be poor and this is something commonly
known among Malaysians.
Even with the involvement ofkariah memberstaking care of
their ownburial grounds, it would be very difficult to
ensurethe cleanliness of public cemeteries, as this communal
activityis not normally carried out on a regular basis. Besides,
it is hard to get kariah members to take part in this
voluntarywork,as some people do not perceive it to be
necessary. They strongly feel that maintaining public
cemeteries should be the responsibility of the authorities.
Rapid development appears to necessitate the sacrifice of
reserved forest and protected land. In the case of S9MC, the
exploitation on some partsof Sungai Buloh Forest Reserve to
be developed into aburial space hascreated a controversial
issue among the public realm.There is a conflict of interest
occurring with theuse of this precious forestdivided between
two parties.Some people insistthat this natural environment
should be preserved from any kind of developmentapart from
the government’s plan, while others see the need for a new
cemetery as an answer to the escalating problem on lack of
space in nearby Muslim cemeteries.
In regards to this event,the local authority must seriously
investigate this matter as a public issue by taking a step
forward in planning for burial grounds. An initiative to
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promote multiple roles for cemeteries represented a
compromise between different public interests. A new land
has to be developed with a hybrid function in order to
maximize its potential as well as to encourage public
participation. Conventional cemeteriesarenormally
beingexcluded from being integrated as part of the
city’splanning. However, with recent development in Kuala
Lumpur, public cemeteries are expected to play more roles
within the city’s fabric other than accommodating for burial
facilities to dispose the dead.
Therefore, it seems to be indispensable forurban cemeteries
to be built at larger scale in Kuala Lumpur in order to
incorporate the secondary role of cemeteries. Nevertheless,
there should be appropriate order in spatialorganizationinside
the cemetery without disrupting customary rites and burial
practices. Multiplication of cemeteries’spatial functionswill
also ensurebetter safetyand thus meet the high expectations
from the users. In another words, authorities will be more
inclined to keep up the standard of urban cemeteries from
being neglected by turning them into the public domain.
3.Graves arrangement
From conducted site visit, graves arrangement in the old
cemeteries (JAMC, JKMC, and JDMC) is found to be
looselysystematic [Fig 14, 15 & 16]. Accumulation of graves
throughout years has resulted in dense burial grounds and
overcrowding,especially in the former Muslim cemeteries.
Narrow spaces between the graves make it hard for visitors to
walk through and most likely to get lost in finding their way
around. Most importantly, there have been no particular
systems used, like blocks or sections,to guide and direct
people around the place.
Fig. 14 Pictureshows the arrangement of graves at
JalanAmpangMuslim Cemetery (2011)
In the case of latter Muslim cemeteries, a method known as
“SilangTikar” has been widely practicedaround Kuala Lumpur
including at KLKMC and S9MC [Fig 17 & 18].SilangTikar
literally means weaving mats and this method is purposely
used to serve as a guide in arranging the graves according to
the grid layout within a cemetery’s compound [Fig 19].
Fig. 15 Pictureshows the arrangement of graves at JalanKuariMuslim
Cemetery (2011)
Fig. 16 Pictureshows the arrangement of graves at
JalanDamansaraMuslim Cemetery (2011)
Fig. 17 Pictureshows theSilangTikar arrangement of KL-
KarakMuslim Cemetery (2011)
Fig. 18 Pictureshows the SilangTikararrangementat Section 9 Muslim
Cemetery (2011)
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 71 2012
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Fig. 19 Diagramshows the module of SilangTikar
Even so, this method has its own flaws particularly in
reserving burial plots for future use. Based on this practice, the
interval spaces between graves were supposed to be allocated
for upcoming graves. However observation over the case
studies in Kuala Lumpur has proven it has failed to do so due
to intervention from visitors.In most cases,family members of
the deceased were likely to dominate the gap between the
graves. The spaces are normally occupied by building
structures such as seating and the extensions from kepuk.
There is an indication that the current practice ishighly
concerned with improving the capacity to contain higher
numbers of burial plots in Muslim cemeteries.This explains
the increasing size area in new cemeteries (KLKMC,
S9MCand TSMC). However there areother alternatives, which
can be employed in maximizing the use of burial space
without having to clear vast areas of land.For instance, the
usage of pre-cast concrete at Subang Lutheran Garden in Shah
Alam has enabled for numerous numbers of grave plots within
just a 50,000 square meter[Fig 20].The construction of this
concrete vault as a confined structure could be adopted into
Muslim cemeteries with some alterationto suit Islamic
funerals. The usage of concrete vaults in Subang Lutheran
Garden has also allowed for a better composition of graves
with equal allotment of space being guaranteed for each plot.
Fig. 20 Pictureshows the use of pre-cast concrete at Subang Lutheran
Garden (Lei Wei Min)
Recycling the old graves is another technique that can be
introduced into Muslim cemeteries without having to clear out
a vast area of new land in the city. In fact this technique has
already been practiced for Muslim burials in neighboring
cities such as Singapore and Jakarta.
In Singapore, bodies from old graves have been exhumed
and transferred to new smaller burial plots. BothPusaraAbadi
and PusaraAman are Muslim sections at Chuo Chu Kang
Cemetery that have demonstrated this technique. The
exhumation process was carried out under religious
observance with the presence of surviving family members
from beginning to end of the process. Albeit grave exhumation
is not a common practice in Malaysia, however in rare
occasions it is still permissible by Islamic tenet.
Based on the report project for TSMC, authorities’intention
to recycle the old graves has not beenpracticed, as it is
believed to be inappropriate with the local Muslim culture.
Perhaps it is about time for Muslims communities to be open
to this radical approach. At the moment this extreme
procedure is a missed opportunity in sustaining Muslims
burial facilities in Kuala Lumpur metropolitan.
In Jakarta, reusing the old graves has already been
promoted even before the burial land shortage becomes a
crisis. Lack of interest shown among people has hampered the
practice until the scarcity of space has reached a climax in the
city of Jakarta. Efforts to ease this chronic situation in this
overpopulated city have forcedlocal authorities to producea
few alternatives. It was reported that the City Cemetery
Agency is hoping to alleviate the impact of land shortage by
urging people to reuse their family graves. Known as stacked
burial, this method allow for a single grave to hold up to three
bodies with a year’s gap in between burials.
Currently in Jakarta, under the grave tenure policy, graves
have to be leased, which also means that graves in the public
cemeteries are no longer in perpetuity. However, people are
still allowed to extend the duration of their lease as long as
they want. If there is no renewal the grave will then be
offeredtoother families torent in order to allow for a new
burial to take place. Under this system the family no longer
inheritsthe same grave. As a result, some people find this to be
quite disturbing.
To a certain extent the local authorities in Kuala Lumpur
should start to consider recycling the old graves in a similar
way to what has been practiced in Singapore. The nature of
graves would also have to change from perpetuity to
temporary; something is culturally distant to Malaysian
Muslims.
4. Graves practices
In this research, grave practices are referring to human
related activities over their beloved’s graves to either
symbolize their personal attachment or customary beliefs. For
example, this can be personified through theelements of
traditional practices such asa white cloth wrapped around the
gravestones, family plotsand planting shrubs. The existence of
material culture such as fencing, decorative pebbles is also
another different way to signify people’s emotional
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 71 2012
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association with the dead.
Graves practices are probably the core elements that make
up the unique physical characteristic in Malay cemetery
landscapes. The survival of grave practices can be witnessed
throughout the progression of Malay cemeteries from old
generations to the new ones. From site observation, there have
been tremendous changes in terms of customary practices over
the graves. Malay grave practices are flourishing and found to
be glorified in the old cemeteries [Fig 21], but somehow they
have beendownsizedand some are being completely
eliminated in the new cemeteries [Fig 22]. This intense
situation has been caused by the effort of authorities to
regulate popular customary practices regarding graves. It is
one of the efforts taken by cemeteries management to prevent
people from dominating the spatiality of graves. Thus, these
strict regulations from the authorities will precipitate the
decline of the Malay grave practices.
Fig. 21 Pictureshows the grave practices in one of theold cemeteries
in Kuala Lumpur; JalanDamansara Muslim Cemetery (2011)
Fig. 22Pictureshows the grave practices in one of the new cemeteries
in Kuala Lumpur metropolitan region; Taman Selatan Muslim
Cemetery (2011)
There has to be a balance between cultural practices and the
regulations within the cemetery; failing this, we may see an
end to these unique Malay burial rites. In the context of Kuala
Lumpur, authorities shouldbe more attentive to the
memorialization of graves in thePlanning Guidelines. If
freedom is a major concern to some people, then maybe it is
the time for Muslim cemeteries to change on the management
side.Under non-government operation, people are given more
freedom and alternatives within the cemetery according to
their own interpretation on Islamic burials. For example, the
management of San Diego Hills Memorial Park, which is
located outside Jakartametropolitan,represents a good example
of Muslim burial practices based on the individual values and
beliefs. In San Diego Memorial Park Hills Park, people are
also exposed to endlesspossibilities in choosing the right grave
model ranging from being the simplistic and moderateto
highly grandeur grave plots. Here Muslims are allowed to
maintain their grave practices without having to jeopardizethe
grave’s spatiality. The availability of such options, however,
seems best served by the privatization of public cemeteries.
B. Conservation
5. Topography
Old urban cemeteries (JKMC, JKMC) in the case studies of
Kuala Lumpur are normally built on flat ground. This
conventional practice also has been carried out in the new
cemeteries (KLKMC, TSMC). This kind of landform is much
preferred for Muslim burial;however this is not something
mandatory in Islamic funerary practice as burial could also be
done on a hilly slope. Historical Malay cemeteries were
normally built on top of the hill so there is no reason why it
cannot be applied to modern days cemeteries. Even though
leveled earth surfaces make funeral ceremony much easier, it
has not proven popular. Interesting walking experiences can
be offered to visitors by taking advantage of the various
elevations and depressions of the natural landform.
6. Drainage system
Even though some case studies like JDMC and S9MC were
built on the hilly grounds, however both sites do not take
advantage of the site's natural landform to mitigate the water
run off.Instead of working with the existing landform, the
standard practice of developing land for burial in Malaysia
normally beginsby clearing the land and then flattening it. As
a consequence, such practice would normally require
extensive work for the purpose of drainage, for example in
TSMC.Typically, surface and subsurface drainage were
normally used to channel the water out of the cemeteries area.
In KLKMC, drainage system isfound to be less efficient with
several water pondsexistingaround the cemetery area.
7. Vegetation
It is common to find clumps of shady trees inMuslim
cemeteries, in fact JAMCand JDMC is surrounded in a lush
environment [Fig 23 & 24]. Regarded as urban sanctuaries in
its own right, this has created a rich biodiversity within city
ecosystems. There is no doubt that greeneries help to balance
the local microclimate; however, this park-like ambience
could also be open for public use with the right design
approach.Cemeteries with a park theme concept
willbenefitpublic health andrecreational use.In order to
amalgamate thefunction of urban cemeteries as part of the
city’s park network,natural growing trees should be retained
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 71 2012
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and preserved as much as possible. It would be a great loss to
cut all the existing trees, as newly planted trees would take
sometime to reach maturity.
Fig. 23 Pictureshows the lush vegetation found in the surrounding
ofJalanAmpang Muslim Cemetery (2011)
Fig. 24 Pictureshows the lush vegetation found in the surrounding
JalanDamansara Muslim Cemetery (2011)
8.Softscape (graves)
Malay people usually planted some trees over the graves as
a way for dead bodies to receive blessings from their God. It is
believed thatby doing so, the trees would pray for the dead
inside the graves. Traditionally, this practice originated from
the Islamic customs. This has resultedin many variations of
vegetation, particularly shrubs and small trees lying on top of
the graves.
The problem with this practice is that shrubs are being
plantedrandomly without any exact guideline. It does
contribute to the green factors in Malay cemeteries, but on the
other hand there is an issue with visibility. A specific design
intervention should be established to avoid confusion among
the visitors. Growth rate for shrubberies are happening at a
fast pace and can sometimes create a visual barrier within the
cemetery compound. Thus, visitors are finding it hard to find
their way around.
Although this situation has been significantly improved in
the latter cemeteries such as TSMC,most shrubs are not being
planted over the graves. Prominent trees and shrubs that
closely associate with Malay graves have been planted in a
systematic order and arranged in a way to define the space and
function.
Considered as a grave’s soft element, this practice should be
continued for the reason that plants are beneficial to the
environment especially in producing the oxygen for the human
consumption.
C. Integration
9. Spatial relationship
In terms of spatial relationships within the cemeteries, the
main problem found among case studies concernsthe
circulation of pedestrian, motorcyclist and motorist. Internal
pathways do not provide visitors with a clear direction to their
graves especially in the old cemeteries (JAMC, JKMC,
JDMC) [Fig 25].This situation will not only impede funeral
ceremonies from running smoothly, but people also tend to get
lost while searching for graves during their visit.This problem
has been very much resolved in the new cemetery such
asTSMC; clear and wider pathways are used to direct visitors
to the graves[Fig 26]. However KLKMC and S9MC
havechosen to emphasize the coherence of pedestrians as an
important linkage within the cemetery’s compound.The
integration of roadways into public cemeteries is crucial for
two reasons: first, it is making funeral ceremonies more
efficient and second, it will increase the chances for the public
to get into the space.
Fig. 25 Pictureshows the lackof pathways in JalanKuari Muslim
Cemetery (2011)
Fig. 26 Pictureshows the provision of pathways linkagesin Taman
Selatan Muslim Cemetery (2011)
In regards to local authorities’ aspiration in making
cemeteries more open for public use, it is important for
internal circulation to be redesigned in a way that promotes a
higher patronage from the public. Multiple entrances should
beencouraged rather than a single point of entry. Public
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 71 2012
820
transport in Kuala Lumpur needs to be improved; the main
medium of transport for peopleis car and motorcycle. A place
that is hard to reach by this mode oftransport will probably not
get much attention from visitors. Another important point is
that the distant between vehicle parking spaces and burial
grounds should be located within a sensible walking distance.
Hence, allocating parking space outside acemetery’s perimeter
is no longer suitable.
10. People activities
There is not a lot of human activity happening at the
cemeteries in all the case studies. During the site visit, there
were only a few people who came to visit graves withfew
funeral ceremonies takingplace. Apart from that, there was
someregular cleaning routine from the maintenance workers.
Entrance restriction from the management teamprohibitingthe
public from entering cemeteriesalso explained this situation.
The people who use the cemeteries canbe divided into two
main groups.Firstare the visitors who wish to visit their
family’s gravesand, second,people who wish to use the
recreational facilities. Without sufficient recreational facilities
there will be less chance for people to visit, as there is no
motivation for people to do so. Hence, public cemeteries
without well-planned facilities would not be able to attract
many people.
It is well known that cemeteries do cater for activity related
to the funeral. Therefore the nature of public cemeteries
around Kuala Lumpur is normally found to be away from
human activities. New activities that would introduce public
cemeteries have to be sympathetic to burial rites related
activities such as praying over the graves and burying the
dead.
In response to the situation in Kuala Lumpur, it can be
concluded that cemeteries would only be able to attract people
with a range of available facilities provided inside the area.
Therefore, amenities become one of the factors that would
determinethe success urban cemeteries as public spaces.
11. Facilities provided
From site observation, amenities at public cemeteries are
being provided to assist people in carrying out burial related
practices such as prayer halls and ablution facilities. Later
cemeteries like S9MC and TSMC are providedwith much
betterburial facilities that are not found in the former
cemeteries. Both cemeteries were built with complete building
facilities that cater rooms to wash and prepare thecorpse for
burial. Even though most Malay people still prefer to prepare
the body at their own home, however such facilities would
allow for funeral ceremonies to take place at the cemetery site.
This would actually benefit the deceased, especially
onewithout any surviving families members left.
There have been major changes between the old and new
cemeteries in terms of the quality of facilities being provided.
Acomplete burial facility has been provided at larger
cemeteries such as S9MC and TSMC. Here, the type of
facilities can be divided into two categories. First are the
facilities that aremeant to assist the funeral to happen from the
preparation of the corpse to the moment of interment.
Secondthe facilities that are intendedfor visitors’ use. Under
the second category, those facilities have failed to be utilized
by the target groupdue to poor site planning.These
facilitiesmainly include pathways and jogging tracks, seating
and benches, and also gazebos. Observation from Taiwan
shows that beautiful landscaping in public cemeteries does not
necessarily invite people to come and use the space. This is
probably caused by the lack of walking tracksalong with
theabsence of amenities within the cemetery area. Thus,
various amenities alone are not enough to ensure the success
of landscaped cemeteries. However they could become a
magnet in welcoming people into the space.
The implementation of a park theme cemetery in Kuala
Lumpur seems to be lost in the reality. Taking the examples of
KLKMC and S9KD, both were planned to follow the
examples of TSMC as a cemetery in a park. From observation,
KLKMC and S9MC do not have certain criteria to engage
people in using space in the cemeteries. Moreover, the type of
recreational facilities being provided does not reflect on
authorities’ intention in making theseplaces as a public space.
Absence of budget is probably the main constraint to the lack
of facilities in KLKMC and S9MC, though there is no doubt
that the projectconstruction can be done in several phases.
Building facilities should be centrally located within the
cemetery area. This is important in order to disperse human
activities as well as propagating multiple usage of public space
around the cemeteries. Most of the case studies need to
improve on the quantity of basic amenities that they are
offering which includes a number of parking lots, seating,
gazebos and pedestrian lighting. Again, this is important to
drawn a wider scope of people into this space.
To summarize, the design of the cemeteries should be
appealing in a similar way to a public park where people are
being exposed to various kinds of experiences along with
adequate facilities. Cosmetic upgrades to the existing
cemeteries would not make much difference in attracting
numbers of people, which has been proven at KLKMC and
S9MC.Even though there has been immense improvement of
amenities in public cemeteries, the attention should now be
focused in opening up these facilities to a wider group of the
public.
In doing so, some cemeteries weresituated near to the
mosques. This was purposely done so that burials can be
performed immediately after the preparation of the corpse was
completed. Hence, the close proximity between mosque and
cemetery brought potential for attracting people to come over
and enliven the graveyard’s atmosphere. Mosques can play
their role in organizing the community events within their own
kariah, which involve the cemetery as a public space. This
module can be used in promoting the function of cemeteries as
part of public space through a societal based program. In this
way, the connection between mosques and cemeteries will
also be taken to another level beyond the religious bond.
D. Provide open space
12. Perimeter boundary
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Based on the site checklist, old cemeteries are mostly
surrounded by the perimeter walls or fences to keep the graves
safe from vandalism. If cemeteries are going to be integrated
into public spaces, the perimeter boundaries should then be
designed in a way to encourage people to move more freely
through the space. High solid walls do not
encourageinteraction betweencemeteries and its surrounding
urban context. Perimeter wallswill onlyestablishsegregation
between the spaces. Even thougha cemetery’s main role is to
keep the graves safe and intact, the perimeter structures can
still be erected in a way that allows for visual connection and
free flow of movement with the space within.
13. Degree of openness
One of the characteristicsbeing observed in this research is
the permeability of public cemeteries in the Kuala Lumpur
area. Apart from physical access, visual dimensions also help
to determine the degree of openness in a cemetery. For
example, the positioning of trees and shrubsinside TSMC was
arranged in a way to define space [Fig 27]. This is important
in making public cemeteries become visually accessible to
pedestrians and motorists outside.
Fig. 27 Pictureshows that trees and shrubs were used to define space
in Taman Selatan Muslim Cemetery (2011)
14. Accessibility
Chances to increase public participation at landscaped
cemeteries can be promoted by integrating burial space as part
ofthe roadways system. This model has been realized through
the creation of TSMC; the site has been intentionally designed
to be more open. Passers by and motorists will seecemeteries
as a welcome refuge from the city’s hectic lifestyle. In doing
so, multiple entries should be providedin order to evoke the
bond and affinity with the public.
E. Encourage moderate parcel size
15. Grave’s spatiality
This paper is also looking at the micro scale of graves in
relation to users at the intimate level. Due to overcrowding in
the old cemeteries, visitors are gradually losing their ritual
space, which is normally used in performing burial rites.The
same thing is likely to occur in latter public cemeteries such as
KLKMC and S9MC.The fact forinterval gaps between graves
will be used for burials in the future, there seems to be not
many options left in keeping this ritual space.
Some interesting questions to ask are whether to preserve or
eliminatethis ritual space? How important is ritual space
among users? And how should the designbe approached?In
the old public cemeteries, from observation we can see how
theseritual spaceshavebeen intruded and invaded due to the
problems arise from overcrowding. This has created some
difficulties among users especially during the grave visits. The
ritual spaces have become narrow and in some cases, the space
has simply disappeared and diminished. Contrary to the
former cemeteries, this issue has somehow not being
addressed in the new cemeteries. From site observation, the
design outline in the new cemeteries is more concerned with
systematic order of grave plots rather than fulfilling users
needs.
In thecase of new cemeteries, the space has undergonea
series of modifications. For instance at KLKMC and S9MC,
the management are still acknowledging the need for the ritual
spaces for grave visitors by allowing them to use thegap
interval between the graves. However, some users have not
been aware that the ritual space is temporary because it will be
usedas a new grave plot at a later period. Evidence from site
observationhas shown that ritual space is misusedamong
visitors. Most of the time visitors are likely tooccupy the
spaces by building a hard structure over it [Fig 28].This has
left a problem to be solvedon the management side and such
action will not be toleratedin the new cemeteries graves. In
recent years, any structures or vegetations found to breach the
reserved graves plots would be demolished.
Fig. 28 Pictureshows visitors were normally tend to occupied spaces
between gravesas found in Section 9 Muslim Cemetery (2011)
In the case of TSMC, SilangTikar is no longer being
followed. Instead of reserving the grave plots, the arrangement
of graves is done without leaving any reserve burial plots
between the graves.Here, grave plots have been closely
arranged next to each other, leaving only small gaps in
between graves. This arrangement of graves has been imposed
on the early planning of TSMC, which left behind narrow
spaces between graves. Consequently this has shifted the way
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 71 2012
822
visitors approach the graves. Instead of approaching the graves
from the sides,visitors are expectingto do it from the head and
feet.
16. Hardscape (graves)
Finally, the simplification of monumental structures (kepuk)
of the graves is one of the significant changes that can be
observed in comparing the old (JAMC, JKMC, JDMC) and
new (KLKMC, S9MC, TSMC) public cemeteries in Kuala
Lumpur. Hard materials used for kepuk are not environmental
friendly since they are predominantly composed of concrete.
They do not really serve much purpose, other than for
aesthetic reasons.
Nevertheless, the amounts of hard materials used for kepuk
construction has minimized over the years. This is due to the
concern of the excessive amount of space that is lost and
wasted being occupied by kepuk structures. The cemeteries
management since then has closely monitored strict
regulations pertaining to built up structures. Asa result, more
simpler and moderate structures have already been
demonstrated in new public cemeteries in Kuala Lumpur
metropolitan such as S9MC and TSMC. In this way, the
amount of space occupied by kepukstructures hasbeenreduced
and minimized, allowing for effective use of space.
V.
CONCLUSION
There is no doubt that existing cemeteries have made a
significant contribution to the increasing levels of biodiversity
in the city. The design of urban cemeteries should continue to
underpin on-going sustainability within the city. However,
urban cemeteries could offer so much more to the wider
public.Malaysians should be permitted to use urban cemeteries
as an alternative to their outdoor recreational activities in spite
of the challenge to prolong burial facilities in the city.
REFERENCES
[1] Khalid, S. (2007, 14 October). Muslim burial ground will have park
concept. The Star.
[2] M, B., & Tan, V. (2012, 17 January). Running out of space at Cheras
Christian cemetery. The Star.
[3] Ahmad, Z., Ahmad, N., & Abdullah, H. (2009). Urbanism, Space and
Human Psychology: Value Change and Urbanization in Malaysia.
European Journal of Social Sciences, Volume 11, Number 3, 464-470.
[4] City Hall Kuala Lumpur. (2004). Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020.
[5] Jakarta cemeteries will be full by 2013: Official. (2011). The Jakarta
Post.
[6] No more space in C. Jakarta cemeteries. (2011). The Jakarta Post.
[7] Omar, D. (2009). Urban Form and Sustainability of a Hot Humid City of
Kuala Lumpur. European Journal of Social Sciences, Volume 8, Number
2, 353-359.
[8] The State of Asian Cities 2010/11. (2010). UN-HABITAT.
[9] Brenda S. and David S. (2002). Towards a sustainable urban form in
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(edited by Michael Romanos and Chris AuffreyKluwer) Academic
Publishing.
[10] Wong, N. H., Yu, C., &Ebooks Corporation. (2008). Tropical urban
heat islands climate, buildings and greenery. Hoboken: Taylor &
Francis.
[11] Baharuddin, Z. M., Sivam, A., Karuppannan, S., & Daniels, C. B.
(2010). Urban green space: Stakeholders’ and visitors’ perception in
Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Paper presented at the Healthy Cities 2010
Conference, Making Cities Liveable, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
[12] Tiun, L. T., & Lim, Y. M. (2010). The Adequacy of Urban Public Space
in Penang.
[13] Y. C. Yap, I. Ms. Usman, Mm. Tahir, &Abidin, I. Z. (2010).
Characteristic of Attractive Square as Public Space: Putra Square,
Putrajaya - Selected Topics in Energy, Environment, Sustainable
Development and Landscaping. Paper presented at the 6th WSEAS
International Conference on ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT,
ECOSYSTEMS and SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (EEESD '10),
3rd WSEAS International Conference on LANDSCAPE
ARCHITECTURE (LA '10).
[14] Huang, S.-C. L. (2007). Intentions for the recreational use of public
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[16] Lee Boon-Thong (1995). “Challenges of superinduced development: the
megaurban region of Kuala Lumpur-Klang valley”, in McGee, T.G. and
Robinson, I.M., (1995), pp. 315-327.
[17] Iqbal, Z. (2011). McDonaldization, Islamic Teachings, and Funerary
Practices In Kuwait. OMEGA, Vol. 63(1) 95-112, 95-112.
[18] Francis, D., Kellaher, L., &Neophytou, G. (2000). Sustaining
cemeteries: The user perspective. Mortality: Promoting the
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[19] Lee, B.-T. (2005). Urban Development In Malaysia: The Case For A
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[20] Bunnell, T., Barter, P. A., &Morshidi, S. (2002). Kuala Lumpur
metropolitan area: A globalizing city-region. Cities, 19(5), 357-370.
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 71 2012
823
APPENDIX
Public Cemeteries in Kuala Lumpur
JalanAmpang
Muslim Cemetery
at Titiwangsa,
Kuala Lumpur
(JAMC)
JalanKuari
Muslim Cemetery
at Cheras, Kuala
Lumpur
(JKMC)
JalanDamansara
Muslim Cemetery
at Segambut,
Kuala Lumpur
(JDMC)
KL-Karak
Muslim Cemetery
at Batu Kuala
Lumpur
(KLKMC)
Section 9 Muslim
Cemetery at Kota
Damansara,
Petaling Jaya
(S9MC)
Muslim Burial
Section at Taman
Selatan Memorial
Park, Putrajaya
(TSMC)
1. Site location
- Neighbourhood
context outside
cemetery’s
perimeter
- Is it located
close or further
form the
settlement?
- The site is
surrounded by
skyscrapers and
b
usy highways
- The cemetery
has been
separated from
its main
settlement area
by a busy
highway, which
is run across
them.
- The site context
comprise of a
large Christian
cemetery, a
hospice, a
religious school
and a mosque.
- The cemetery is
located close to
the residential
area.
- Two major busy
highways
surround a third
of the quarter of
the site.
- Another quarter
of the site is
exposed to high-
risecondominiu
ms, which
located across
the road.
- The site is
located in
between
industrial and
residential area.
- An orphanage
hostel was
centrally
situated within
this cemetery’s
area,
- A reserved
forest surrounds
most of the site.
- The settlement
is located
nearby to
residential and
community
park.
- The site is part
of public park
network which
located at the
city’s South end
of Putrajaya
- The site is
intended for
allocation in a
far distant from
any settlements.
2. Area (Ha) 5.2 2.2 8.0 32.8 20.2 82.2
3. Graves
arrangement
- How can people
identify their
graves?
- Is there any
systematic guide
used like
sections and
block?
- Graves are
found to be
unaligned and
not paralleled to
geometrical
layout.
- Some old graves
are not even
oriented towards
the direction of
(Kiblat) Mecca.
- Visitors have to
rely on their
memory in
order to trace
for their grave.
- Graves are
found to be
unaligned and
not paralleled to
geometrical
layout.
- The later graves
are found
scattered in
between the
former.
- Visitors have to
rely on their
memory in
order to trace
for their grave.
- Graves are
found loosely
aligned and not
paralleled to
geometrical
layout.
- The method of
SilangTikar that
has been
implemented
here is found to
be ineffective.
- Visitors have to
rely on their
memory in
order to trace
for their grave.
- Graves are
found closely
aligned and
paralleled to
geometrical
layout.
- The method of
SilangTikar that
has been
implemented
here is found to
be ineffective.
- Visitors have to
rely on their
memory in
order to trace
for their grave.
- Graves are
found closely
aligned and
paralleled to
geometrical
layout.
- The method of
SilangTikar is
still being
practice at this
cemetery.
- Visitors have to
rely on their
memory in
order to trace
for their grave.
- Graves are
systematically
arranged and
divided into
rows defined by
the internal
footpath.
- Signage plaque
located at every
burial sections
are use to
indicate the row
numbers.
- The signage
should be able
to assist visitors
in tracing their
graves during
visitation.
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 71 2012
824
Public Cemeteries in Kuala Lumpur
JalanAmpang
Muslim Cemetery
at Titiwangsa,
Kuala Lumpur
(JAMC)
JalanKuari
Muslim Cemetery
at Cheras, Kuala
Lumpur
(JKMC)
JalanDamansara
Muslim Cemetery
at Segambut,
Kuala Lumpur
(JDMC)
KL-Karak
Muslim Cemetery
at Batu Kuala
Lumpur
(KLKMC)
Section 9 Muslim
Cemetery at Kota
Damansara,
Petaling Jaya
(S9MC)
Muslim Burial
Section at Taman
Selatan Memorial
Park, Putrajaya
(TSMC)
4. Grave practices
- Any existence
of material
culture and
personal
attachment? E.g.
fencing,
decorative
pebbles.
- Element of
traditional
practices e.g.
white cloth
wrapped around
the gravestones,
family plots,
shrubs planting
- Material culture
and personal
attachment were
flourishing
heavily.
- Most of Malay
traditional
practices over
the graves can
be found inside
this cemetery.
- Material culture
and personal
attachment were
flourishing
heavily.
- Most of Malay
traditional
practices over
the graves can
be inside this
cemetery.
- People were
given lots of
freedom in
performing
ritual over the
graves.
- Material culture
and personal
attachment were
flourishing
heavily.
- Most of Malay
traditional
practices over
the graves can
be found inside
this cemetery.
- People were
given lots of
freedom in
performing
ritual over the
graves.
- Material culture
and personal
attachment were
getting less than
the later
cemeteries but
they can still be
found around.
- Most of the
traditional
practices over
the graves have
been closely
monitor and put
to minimise.
- People were
given freedom
in performing
ritual over the
graves, however
the kepuk
structures has
being strictly
minimise.
- Material culture
and personal
attachment were
getting less than
the later
cemeteries but
they can still be
found around.
- Most of the
traditional
practices over
the graves have
been closely
monitor and put
to minimise.
- People were
given freedom
in performing
ritual over the
graves, the
kepuk structures
has been
minimise.
- Material culture
and personal
attachment were
getting less than
the later
cemeteries but
they can still be
found around.
- Most of the
traditional
practices over
the graves have
been closely
monitor and put
to minimise.
- People were
given freedom
in performing
ritual over the
graves, the
kepuk structures
has been
minimise. Over
some graves,
kepuk are
completely
absence, leaving
only the
gravestones.
5. Topography
- Flat / undulated
/ hilly
- Terraced
- Burial spaces
were built on a
level ground.
- Burial spaces
were relatively
b
uild on depress
ground which
has been
levelled with
partially
undulated slope
on one side.
- Burial spaces
were built over
the hill ground,
which has been
levelled.
- Burial spaces
were built on
level ground
with a river
running through
it.
- Burial spaces
were built over
the hillground,
which has been
levelled.
- Burial spaces
were built on a
level ground.
6. Drainage
system
- How is the
running water
being channel
out?
- Surface
drainage and
subsurface
drainage
- Surface
drainage and
subsurface
drainage
- Surface
drainage - Surface
drainage - No drainage
system exist - Subsurface
drainage
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 71 2012
825
Public Cemeteries in Kuala Lumpur
JalanAmpang
Muslim Cemetery
at Titiwangsa,
Kuala Lumpur
(JAMC)
JalanKuari
Muslim Cemetery
at Cheras, Kuala
Lumpur
(JKMC)
JalanDamansara
Muslim Cemetery
at Segambut,
Kuala Lumpur
(JDMC)
KL-Karak
Muslim Cemetery
at Batu Kuala
Lumpur
(KLKMC)
Section 9 Muslim
Cemetery at Kota
Damansara,
Petaling Jaya
(S9MC)
Muslim Burial
Section at Taman
Selatan Memorial
Park, Putrajaya
(TSMC)
7. Vegetation
- Trees and
shrubs maturity,
grass areas,
natural areas
- Is the current
condition
possessed some
park quality?
- Mature trees
and shrubs,
grasses grow
b
etween graves.
- Posses park
quality.
- Mature trees
and shrubs,
grasses grow
between graves
- Does not posses
park quality.
- Mature trees
and shrubs,
grasses grow
between graves.
- Posses garden
quality
- Immature trees
and shrubs,
grasses widely
grown between
graves.
- Does not posses
park quality.
- Immature trees
and shrubs,
grasses grown
b
etween graves.
- Does not posses
park quality.
- Mature trees and
shrubs, grasses
widely grown
between graves.
- Structured
planting was
established to
compliment
with the park
theme.
8. Softscape
(graves)
- Ethnobotanical
value
- Type of trees
and shrubs
- Various types o
f
trees and shrubs
were planted
over the graves.
- Various types o
f
trees and shrubs
were planted
over the graves.
- Various types o
f
trees and shrubs
were planted
over the graves.
- Common types
of shrubs were
planted over the
graves.
- Common type
of trees and
shrubs were
planted over the
graves.
- Common types
of shrubs were
planted over the
graves.
9. Spatial
relationship
- Interconnection
within the
cemetery
between graves
and circulation.
- Is the condition
allowed for
funeral
ceremony to
take place at
ease?
- Internal
circulation does
not direct users
to their graves.
- The spatial
condition will
hinder for
funeral
ceremony to
take place at
ease.
- Internal
circulation does
not direct users
to their graves.
- The spatial
condition will
hinder for
funeral
ceremony to
take place at
ease.
- Internal
circulation does
not direct users
to their graves.
- The spatial
condition will
hinder for
funeral
ceremony to
take place at
ease.
- Internal
circulation does
not direct users
to their graves.
- The spatial
condition
allowed for
funeral
ceremony to
take place at
ease.
- Internal
circulation
direct users to
their graves.
- The spatial
condition
allowed for
funeral
ceremony to
take place at
ease.
- Internal
circulation
direct users to
their graves.
- The spatial
condition
allowed for
funeral
ceremony to
take place at
ease.
10. People
activities
- What sorts of
activities exist?
- People were
hardly seen
around the
cemetery for
graves visit.
- Several people
were seen
around the
cemetery for
graves visit.
- A few people
were seen
around the
cemetery for
graves visit.
- Maintenance
workers were
seen around.
- A few people
were seen
around the
cemetery for
graves visit.
- Maintenance
workers were
seen around.
- Several people
were seen
around the
cemetery for
graves visit.
- There were
funerals taking
place during the
site visit.
- People were
hardly seen
around the
cemetery for
graves visit.
- Maintenance
workers were
seen around.
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 71 2012
826
Public Cemeteries in Kuala Lumpur
JalanAmpang
Muslim Cemetery
at Titiwangsa,
Kuala Lumpur
(JAMC)
JalanKuari
Muslim Cemetery
at Cheras, Kuala
Lumpur
(JKMC)
JalanDamansara
Muslim Cemetery
at Segambut,
Kuala Lumpur
(JDMC)
KL-Karak
Muslim Cemetery
at Batu Kuala
Lumpur
(KLKMC)
Section 9 Muslim
Cemetery at Kota
Damansara,
Petaling Jaya
(S9MC)
Muslim Burial
Section at Taman
Selatan Memorial
Park, Putrajaya
(TSMC)
11. Facilities
p
rovided
- Availability of
visitors parking,
WC, seating,
dustbin, lighting
- Does it have a
good
accessibility for
burial and
visitation?
- Does it cater for
the graves’
ritual?
- Basic facilities
related to
funeral rites are
b
eing provided.
- Basic facilities
related to
funeral rites are
b
eing provided.
- Access to burial
plots can be
difficult due to
absence of
footpath and
overcrowding.
- Basic facilities
related to
funeral rites are
b
eing provided.
- Access to burial
plots can be
difficult due to
loose footpath;
overcrowding as
well as poor
visibility that
derived from
heavily planted
shrubs.
- Basic facilities
related to
funeral rites are
b
eing provided.
- Access to burial
plots is fairly
easy even
though there is
no footpath
because the
graves found to
be arranged in a
systematic
order.
- Complete
facilities related
to funeral rites
are being
provided.
- Access to burial
plots is possible
as there is a
clear footpath
being provided.
However the
footpath was
being laid out
right after the
graves plots
have been use
for burials.
- Complete
facilities related
to funeral rites
are being
provided.
- Access to burial
plots is very
clear and direct.
There is a clear
indication
between
primary and
secondary
footpath. As
well as between
internal and
external
footpath.
12. Perimeter
boundary
- Does it allow
for future
extension?
- A brick walls
with one main
entrance and
two secondary
surrounds
cemetery areas.
- Land extension
for burial is not
possible.
- Cemetery area
is surrounded by
a combination
of concrete
walls and fence
with one main
entrance and
three secondary.
- Land extension
for burial is not
possible.
- Cemetery area
is surrounded by
a combination
of concrete
walls and a
lower fencing
with buffer
planting. There
is only one main
entrance exist.
- Land extension
for burial has
been allocated
from the early
beginning.
- Cemetery area
is majorly
surrounded by
concrete walls,
which block
view from the
outside. There
are two main
entrance exist.
- Land for burial
has been
allocated in
phases and they
will be use in
stages.
- Cemetery area
is majorly
surrounded by
concrete walls,
which block
view from the
outside. There is
only one main
entrance exist.
- Land for burial
has been
allocated in
phases and they
will be use in
stages.
- Cemetery area
is partially
surrounded by
fencing walls,
which still allow
the view from
outside. The
main entrance is
part of the
motorist road
network.
- Land for burial
has been
allocated in
phases and they
will be use in
stages.
13. Degree of
openness
- Does it
shrouded by
vegetation?
- Sunlight
exposure
- Big mature trees
cover almost
whole area in
shades.
- Shady and
breezy
atmosphere
offer pleasant
respite from hot
temperature
outside.
- Clumps of trees
found to be
grown scattered
which allow
huge amount of
sunlight to
penetrate over
the site.
- The site become
warm very
quickly early in
the day.
- Widely planted
trees and shrubs
have created a
dense
atmosphere
within the site.
- Tolerable
amount of
sunlight cast
over the site.
- Fewer varieties
of shrubs were
found at the site
with trees being
planted at
specific interval.
- Intolerable
amount of
sunlight cast
over the site.
- Fewer varieties
of shrubs were
found at the site
with trees being
planted at
specific interval.
- Intolerable
amount of
sunlight cast
over the site.
- Varieties of
trees and shrubs
have been
carefully
planted over the
site, which are
also use to
define the space
between burial
sections.
- Tolerable
amount of
sunlight cast
over the site.
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 71 2012
827
Public Cemeteries in Kuala Lumpur
JalanAmpang
Muslim Cemetery
at Titiwangsa,
Kuala Lumpur
(JAMC)
JalanKuari
Muslim Cemetery
at Cheras, Kuala
Lumpur
(JKMC)
JalanDamansara
Muslim Cemetery
at Segambut,
Kuala Lumpur
(JDMC)
KL-Karak
Muslim Cemetery
at Batu Kuala
Lumpur
(KLKMC)
Section 9 Muslim
Cemetery at Kota
Damansara,
Petaling Jaya
(S9MC)
Muslim Burial
Section at Taman
Selatan Memorial
Park, Putrajaya
(TSMC)
14. Accessibility
- How far can
motorists and
the hearse get
through inside
the cemetery?
- Visitors have to
park outside the
cemetery’s wall.
- A hearse can
only reach up to
the facilities
building but not
through the
burial ground.
- Visitors have to
park outside the
cemetery’s wall.
- A hearse can
reach up to the
facilities
building and
along the main
internal road.
- Visitors’
parking is found
to be within the
cemetery’s wall
but they are
limited and
located only at
certain spots.
- A hearse can
reach up to the
facilities
building and
several dropping
zones were
allocated.
- Visitors are able
to park along
the road inside
the cemetery.
- A hearse can
reach up to the
facilities
b
uilding and the
dropping point
can be done
along the
internal road.
- Visitors are able
to park at the
facilities
building or
along the road
inside the
cemetery.
- A hearse can
reach up to the
facilities
building and the
dropping point
can be done
along the
internal road.
- Visitors are able
to park at the
facilities
building or at
the parking lots
provided
throughout the
cemetery area.
- A hearse can
reach up to the
facilities
building
however there is
no dropping
point been
allocated
15. Grave’s
spatiality
- Is there any
space allocated
for visitors to
perform the
ritual and recite
their prayer?
- Spaces are very
tight for visitors
to perform on
their ritual
practices over
the graves due
to
overcrowding.
- Spaces are
extremely tight
for visitors to
perform on their
ritual practices
over the graves
due to
overcrowding.
- Spaces are
found to be
varying from
loose to tight for
visitors to
perform on their
ritual practices
over the graves.
- Spaces are
reasonably
spacious for
visitors to
perform on their
ritual practices
over the graves.
- Spaces are fairly
reasonable for
visitors to
perform on their
ritual practices
over the graves.
- Spaces are tight
for visitors to
perform on their
ritual practices
over the graves.
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 71 2012
828
Public Cemeteries in Kuala Lumpur
JalanAmpang
Muslim Cemetery
at Titiwangsa,
Kuala Lumpur
(JAMC)
JalanKuari
Muslim Cemetery
at Cheras, Kuala
Lumpur
(JKMC)
JalanDamansara
Muslim Cemetery
at Segambut,
Kuala Lumpur
(JDMC)
KL-Karak
Muslim Cemetery
at Batu Kuala
Lumpur
(KLKMC)
Section 9 Muslim
Cemetery at Kota
Damansara,
Petaling Jaya
(S9MC)
Muslim Burial
Section at Taman
Selatan Memorial
Park, Putrajaya
(TSMC)
16. Hardscape
(graves)
- Material used
e.g. tiles,
cement or
- Is the kepuk
making process
done through
traditional
method or
prefabricated?
- Varieties of
material used
for the grave’s
structures from
concrete, granite
to natural
stones, as well
tiles including
marble and
terrazzo
- Traditional style
of making
kepuk is
dominant.
- Varieties of
material used
for the grave’s
structures from
concrete, granite
to natural
stones, as well
tiles including
marble and
terrazzo
- Traditional style
of making
kepuk is
dominant.
- Varieties of
material used
for the grave’s
structures from
concrete, granite
to natural
stones, as well
tiles including
marble and
terrazzo
- Traditional style
of making
kepuk is
dominant.
- Material used
for the grave’s
structures has
begun to be
monitor over by
the
management.
People are
expected to
observe the
cemetery’s
regulations. As
a result the
colour and
dimension of
kepuk has also
been
standardise.
- Traditional style
of making
kepuk has been
simplified and
replace by a
modest looking
kepuk.
- Material used
for the grave’s
structures has
been regulated
from early
beginning by
the management
but somehow
people are still
preferred to
have it their
way.
- Traditional style
of making
kepuk is still
dominant and
prefabricated
kepuk are also
found to be
around.
- There is not
much material
used in this
cemetery due to
restriction from
the
management.
Some graves do
not have any
build structure
over them. This
has diminished
the unique
characteristic
found over
Malay graves.
There is no
longer personal
attachment
found over the
graves made by
the bereaved.
- Traditional way
of making
kepuk has been
eliminated and
taken over by
ready-made
kepuk.
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 71 2012
829
... The proximity of these places to active urban areas distorts the physical systems of cities, thereby disrupting the social security system and creating chaos; moreover, it causes inconsistencies in urban landscapes [3]. Therefore, authorities are considering removing them from the city centre and proposing alternative sites for them outside the city limits [4,5] as part of a process that seeks to make death progressively invisible [2], whereas urban cemeteries could serve many purposes in addition to their original role of serving as burial sites without posing risks to public health [6]. ...
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... Another advantage of cemetery spaces is their positive influence on temperature regulation in their cities. Like other green areas, cemeteries support rainwater retention [1]; they also provide noise isolation [14]. There is a range of design solutions used in cemeteries to support the pro-ecological development of a city: designing additional hydrological facilities; selecting appropriate plantings; and increasing the water-absorbing surface, e.g., by promoting cremation, which reduces the burial site space or eliminates it completely [15]. ...
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Drawing on George Ritzer's sociological concept of McDonaldization, this article explores the transformation of burial practices in Kuwait. It is argued that traditional, religious, and private ways of dealing with death have been modernized using the fast-food model of McDonald's. This article examines Islamic teachings on burial and how that model has been applied to the traditional Muslim funerary services, including cemetery management, grave excavation, funeral prayers, burial, and condolences, to make them more efficient vis-a-vis more profitable. Based on personal observations and random interviews, the study finds that the state bureaucracy in Kuwait has made burial rituals more efficient, standardized, calculable, and controlled. Furthermore, several associated irrationalities are also considered. Findings suggest that some individuals may not be happy with these changes but there is no popular resistance to McDonaldization of the burial practices, probably due to the authoritarian and welfare nature of the State of Kuwait.
Urban green space: Stakeholders' and visitors' perception in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
  • Z M Baharuddin
  • A Sivam
  • S Karuppannan
  • C B Daniels
Baharuddin, Z. M., Sivam, A., Karuppannan, S., & Daniels, C. B. (2010). Urban green space: Stakeholders' and visitors' perception in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Paper presented at the Healthy Cities 2010
No more space in C The Jakarta Post
No more space in C. Jakarta cemeteries. (2011). The Jakarta Post.
Towards a sustainable urban form in Chiang Mai, managing the development of intermediate size cities
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Brenda S. and David S. (2002). Towards a sustainable urban form in Chiang Mai, managing the development of intermediate size cities, (edited by Michael Romanos and Chris AuffreyKluwer) Academic Publishing.
14 October) Muslim burial ground will have park concept. The Star
  • S Khalid
Khalid, S. (2007, 14 October). Muslim burial ground will have park concept. The Star.