Mixed Fortunes of Bukit Bintang

Properties from a Feng Shui Perspective: Part 8
By David Koh


IN our last article, we showed that Jalan Bukit Bintang is actually a ridge with low ground on either side: one towards Jalan Raja Chulan and the other to Jalan Imbi. Despite the constant streams of people walking up and down this street, we figured that businesses may not be as rosy as they appear. 

Cathay cinema in its heyday. Sadly, the building has been demolished. So too was the Pavilion cinema (not seen in picture) next to it and separated by the side lane on the left.

Is this proposition really controversial or wrong? Shoppers and visitors tend to favour one side of Jalan Bukit Bintang, where the Federal Hotel is located. Perhaps this has something to do with the property – and this whole side of the road – facing the Ampang River north-west. 
On the opposite side, which is less busy, there used to be two cinemas side-by-side: the Pavilion and Cathay. The Pavilion was Cathay Organisation’s first ever cinema in the country, opened in 1936. Alas, But both these cinemas which had their backs to the river are no more. Today, only open-air car parks stand in their former place of glory. Other properties on this side of the road continue to be less enticing and often change hands. Is it a coincidence then, or is this actual feng shui or geomancy forces at work?

Of course, there are a few good spots along Jalan Bukit Bintang. For example, Sungei Wang Plaza sits on high ground and faces a small river that runs from Jalan Conlay to the Ampang River. It is also embraced by the junction of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Imbi. Another embracing junction is found at Jalan Sultan Ismail-Jalan Bukit Bintang, where the McDonalds restaurant used to be.  

Interestingly, enough, running parallel with Jalan Bukit Bintang is a real happening place in the evening: practically the entire Jalan Alor is transformed into a gastronomic centre. Numerous stalls and restaurants can be found here. 

Yet, did anyone notice that this only ap plies to one side of the road? Instead of finding both sides of the road crammed with eateries, we see only one row stretching as far as the eye can see. Let’s see. It faces northwest where Ampang River curves into the confluence with Gombak River in an embrace. It also sits on high ground and faces low ground. No surprises there! 

Instead of finding both sides of Jalan Alor crammed with eateries, we see only one row stretching as far as the eye can see.

The opposite side of Jalan Alor faces the wrong direction and high ground as well. This area was once notorious as a red-light area. Who knows what goes on today in this seedier part of Bukit Bintang. It still remains a quiet stretch, in stark contrast to the eateries across the road. Is it still a coincidence? 

Another point of interest for history buffs: at the dead-end of Jalan Tong Shin, there used to be a hotel called Town House and a Chinese restaurant. Both were very popular spots in the 1950s and 60s. However, apart from being in a cul-de-sac of sorts, the building sits on high ground and its back drops towards Jalan Pudu. The prosperity lasted only one generation. Today, a nondescript flat stands there. 

I’d like to highlight an interesting phenomenon with regard to buildings at the lowest valley or highest mountains. They tend to attract a certain genre of the entertainment business, such as gambling, bars and night-clubs. Without prejudice, readers may want to make their own research on properties that sit on such valleys or peaks, such as the Sun Complex (it is actually in a valley in a “bowl”-like formation like its Jalan Alor counterpart) and Jalan Alor with other parts of the world such as, Patpong, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Does form follow function or is it the other way round here?  

Further down Jalan Bukit Bintang, there was the former HSBC building at the intersection of Jalan Bukit Bintang and Sultan Ismail. It has since relocated. Nearby on the same side of Jalan Bukit Bintang, there was the former Regent Hotel that faced KL Plaza, located at the convex of the road and has its back to the Ampang River. This position is generally not as vibrant nor as conducive to success. This because the energy is dissipated along the outer bend of a curve – like the outer elbow on an embracing arm, it serves to repel harm from the object it embraces. 

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