Ups and Downs of Bukit Bintang
Properties from a Feng Shui Perspective: Part 7
By David Koh


The heart of Bukit Bintang where Jalan Bukit Bintang intersects with Jalan Sultan Ismail.

IN our previous article, we took a tour of Jalan Raja Chulan, which ended at the intersection with Jalan Bukit Bintang. Jalan Bukit Bintang has an illustrious past and our tour today will examine the unique landform that impacted this “Golden Mile” of Kuala Lumpur.  
Bukit Bintang is probably famous because of Sungei Wang Plaza. This site used to be Hollywood Park way back in the 1930s. Back then, this part of town was considered the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. It was for precisely this reason that Pudu Prison (popularly called Pudu Jail) was built in 1895. Hollywood Park was later acquired by movie giants of the day, Shaw Brothers. It was upgraded to BB Park with a carnival-like setting: there were cabarets and dance halls, cinemas, stage shows, restaurants, game stalls and even a boxing ring!  

Buildings along Jalan Sultan Ismail near its intersection with Jalan Bukit Bintang used to be quarters for BB Park staff. Bukit Bintang is also the site of Federal Hotel, the first international standard hotel in the country. It was built in 1957 to accommodate foreign dignitaries who came to celebrate our nation’s independence at nearby Stadium Merdeka. 


Hollywood Park became BB Park with a carnival-like setting.

BB Park’s fortunes started to decline with the rising popularity of television and radio. It was closed in the early 1970s and redeveloped into Sungei Wang Plaza. 
Our previous articles maintained that the Klang Valley is a prosperous region, by virtue of its landform: two embracing arms of mountains that originate from the Titiwangsa range. Energy emanating from the highlands moves downwards across the valley until it reaches the Straits of Malacca in Klang.  

Bukit Bintang is probably famous because of Sungei Wang Plaza.

This barrier causes the energy to pool within the valley, aiding its prosperity. Within the Klang Valley, energy is continuously affected by the presence of rivers, undulating landforms and roads. Thus, there are “hot spots” which are conducive for living and business.  

These are likely to be contributory factors for the prosperity of certain sections of Kuala Lumpur, which we will attempt to reveal in this series. 

Within Kuala Lumpur, there are several hills and mounds, connected via ridges and creating a series of undulating terrain. There are also rivers and bodies of water, many of which are no longer visible – some have been diverted, some turned into large drains (many of which are covered and no longer visible above ground) and others totally removed due to major terrain changes during development. 


Built in 1957, Federal Hotel is the first international standard hotel in the country.

According to feng shui theory taught by the ancient Chinese sage, Guo Pu, between two mountains, there is a river (the valley or low land); between two rivers, there is a mountain (higher ground). Therefore, whether we see water or not, the valley between two high grounds could be considered river-like in nature. After all, during a heavy downpour, how does the water flow? Likewise, between two rivers, any landform regardless of its height is considered a “mountain”.  
The strength of such effects may be less compared to actual rivers or huge mountains since mass plays a role in exerting force.  

With regard to rivers, a well aligned property should face the embracing or concave side of a river. If that is not possible, the entrance should then ideally be parallel to the river, facing downstream. 

Incidentally, according to ancient Malay tajul muluk concept, houses are supposed to face this way, too. The ancient texts used layman analogies, describing this as similar to placing nets in the river to catch fish. The nets (house) should face downstream: those that face upstream will collect debris and rubbish! 

Where hills are concerned, a property should sit on a high level and face a gentle downward slope. This enables energy to flow from the highland (rear) and pool in a valley which is river-like.  

Pudu Prison (popularly called Pudu Jail) was built in 1895.

Facing this gentle homogenous pool is considered conducive, just like properties facing an embracing river. 
You may have noticed that Jalan Bukit Bintang is actually built on a ridge. It extends from the KL Police Contingent headquarters opposite Pudu Prison to Ampang/Klang River up north. You can see the road sloping downhill on either side.

The Kuala Lumpur city centre has two high points: Bukit Nanas and the Kuala Lumpur Police Contingent headquarters opposite Pudu Prison. As a law enforcement agency, the police gets more than its fair share of criminals and negative energy. So, it is not a bad idea to locate the complex where negative energy can be drained away or dissipated by the winds. 

This could be one of the reasons the contingent was not relocated despite its perceived prime value. After all, it is not needed to keep an eye on Pudu Prison and the move would have been very lucrative and profitable.  
Buildings on a hill cannot draw energy from the ground. Instead, they “leak” energy. So it may be a good idea to keep the police headquarters where they are.  

On the other side of Jalan Bukit Bintang, the road slopes down to Low Yat Plaza via Jalan Bintang and Jalan Bulan 1.

Cangkat Bukit Bintang slopes steeply down, past Jalan Alor and Tengkat Tong Shin to form a valley with Bukit Ceylon. In fact, this whole area is like a bowl, cupping the energy like a lake rather than a river. We will discuss more of this later. On the other side of the road, the road slopes down to Low Yat Plaza via Jalan Bintang and Jalan Bulan 1. As a result, shops on both sides of Jalan Bukit Bintang sit on the ridge with their backs facing lower ground. This is generally not very good or conducive. 
“What nonsense!” you exclaim. Look at the roaring business these shops enjoy due to the masses that throng this area. Is that so? Have you also noticed how many shops keep changing hands and ownership year after year? 

Actually, we are getting ahead of ourselves. In evaluating the geomantic properties of a location, we should take a look at the bigger picture. We have only just looked at the hills and cannot neglect the river. The Bukit Bintang area is bounded by the Klang River up north and westward. For ease of reference, we will use the term Ampang River for the north since it comes from the confluence of Ampang and Klang rivers. This configuration means that Bukit Bintang is still a good conducive area since it is in the embrace of the river. 

Federal Hotel celebrated its 50th anniversary in August in spectacular fashion.

From the Federal Hotel up to J.W. Marriott Hotel, the properties face northwest to Ampang River, which is a plus-point. However, most of these buildings have their backs on lower land which negates that benefit somewhat. 
Businesses could yo-yo through ups and downs, struggle throughout their operations or at best last for one generation. On the opposite side of the road, the shops have their backs to the river to boot! Mitigation is difficult but not impossible. The buildings could be modified so that they get more good influences than the bad. The ride would still be bumpy but at least not as jarring. 
The Federal Hotel is a good example, having stood the test of 50 years to remain a respectable hotel. It once boasted of a revolving restaurant at the top floor that gives a breathtaking view of Kuala Lumpur. Today, tall buildings surround this hotel and it still holds its own as a popular tourist hotel. 


Low Yat Plaza is a popular place for IT enthusiasts.

Constructed by the late Tan Sri Low Yat who had the foresight to acquire land in this part of town. The name Low Yat is not forgotten either, as Low Yat Plaza is a popular place for IT enthusiasts. 

Low Yat Plaza is where the Latin Quarter, a nightclub which was a part of the Federal Hotel, was located. One may wonder why Low Yat Plaza is doing so well when it “obviously” sits in the valley and faces high ground. You may want to take a closer look at this building when you next visit. There is actually a main entrance at the “rear” complete with two giant pei you statues facing the direction of Berjaya Times Square. Thus, it technically sits with its back to high ground and it faces low land (plus a covered river, to boot). 

Jalan Bukit Bintang has a colourful history and we actually have the benefit of time to see how principles of feng shui could have influenced the success or failure of a development, business or residences here. Buildings on this ridge, with their backs to Jalan Imbi, face northwest towards the river. It is somehow more attractive to shoppers and visitors. This side of the road is busier and more vibrant. Now isn’t that strange? 
Yet, these buildings also have their backs on low land, which would suggest that not all is well. Only the operators would know the pain of watching very busy window shoppers walking past. Do not take our word for it. Buildings with the right orientation enjoy good energy. Their occupants and owners prosper and continue to do so. Those facing the exact opposite seem to fare much poorer although they are across the road! 
We will continue our study of the Golden Mile in our next article.  

* This series on feng shui and real estate properties appear courtesy of the Malaysia Institute of Geomancy Sciences (MINGS). David Koh is the founder of MINGS and has been a feng shui master and teacher for the past 35 years 

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