Frequently Asked Questions

What is the River of Life?

The River of Life is an iconic project under the Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley (GKL/KV) National Key Economic Area (NKEA) of the National Transformation Programme (NTP). The aim is to transform 110km of eight rivers within the GKL/KV region to have a water quality of Class IIb (suitable for recreational activities and body contact), and provide 10.7 km of beautiful riverfront for residential and recreational purposes within KL itself.

How does this project fit into the National Transformation Programme?

Launched in 2009, the National Transformation Programme (NTP) focuses on transforming Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020 with robust socio-economic improvements. The NTP prioritises economic sectors that are critical to Malaysia’s sustainable economic growth. The aim is to increase the level of private sector participation and investment in the nation’s economy. Projects such as the River of Life are identified as specific economic drivers through which investment can take place.

Why is the River of Life integral to Greater KL/KV?

The GKL/KV NKEA aims to transform the nation’s capital into a world class metropolis. The target is to have the city identified as one of the top 20 most liveable cities and top 20 cities in economic growth globally. To do so, other global cities like Singapore and Seoul are viewed as benchmarks, as they have also undertaken similar projects to clean their rivers and develop their waterfronts.

The River of Life is an effort to ensure river cleanliness through promotional activities, regulation and enforcement of river usage, and good river management practices. The idea is to promote a better quality of life for the residents of GKL/KV, with increased green spaces, connectivity and cleanliness.

With cleaner, more vibrant rivers supporting recreational activities on them and their riverbanks, the tourism, retail and commercial sectors are expected to gain a boost. Historical and heritage landmarks such as Masjid Jamek, Little India and Chinatown (Petaling Street) can then be showcased with pride to the world, while encouraging the conservation of such landmarks.

What are the challenges?

The project has three major components to it; namely, River Cleaning, River Beautification, and Commercialisation & Tourism. There are several physical challenges in each of these components, such as infrastructural issues, floods and so on. Often, these challenges have to do with the mind-set of the stakeholder communities, and their impact on the rivers’ ecosystems.

These include the illegal dumping of rubbish/solid waste into the waterways, especially in the squatter areas/traditional villages; organic waste disposal (i.e. kitchen waste, garden waste, etc.); direct sewage or grey water discharge in areas without proper sewage services; and clearing the river bank without approval.

Should the private sector and rakyat be involved in the River of Life?

Yes! Caring for the rivers is a shared responsibility. The government can take many steps, including the connection of sewerage pipes to new/upgraded sewage treatment plants and installing rubbish traps along the rivers. However, it is up to the rakyat and others residing nearby the rivers to minimise the amount of rubbish and other pollution from entering the waters.

At the same time, the private sector should also make full use of opportunities in creating and maintaining cleaner rivers that can be used for recreational activities, perhaps in the form of eco-tourism or the promotion of water sports.

How can you take part?

There are many ways in which you can participate. Firstly, via financial sponsorship. Secondly, by volunteering to take part in various River Cleaning initiatives. Thirdly, by subscribing to the ROL newsletter, which provides information and updates on how you can do your part to keep our rivers clean, as well as keeps you updated on our ongoing activities.