KUALA Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) flip-flop in approving a kindergarten in Lorong Maarof, Bangsar has upset residents in the vicinity.
Renovation work on the unit started in November last year without a signboard, raising suspicions that something was amiss.
In a report by StarMetro on Dec 4, Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib confirmed that the proposal to build a kindergarten in Lorong Maarof was rejected due to the residents’ objection.
However, Ahmad Phesal said via a text message on Jan 29 that DBKL had reconsidered the conversion of the house into a kindergarten under certain conditions, but did not elaborate.
He explained that it was approved based on the requirements set by DBKL for establishing a kindergarten in a residential area.
A peek inside the compound showed a children’s playground being set up, complete with shaded structures.
The signboard briefly describes the project as “addition and changes being made to a double-storey bungalow”, with no mention of a kindergarten.
Bukit Bandaraya Residents Association president Datuk M. Ali said all residents who attended the hearing for the kindergarten in October last year at DBKL headquarters objected to the project.
“We were told that our views would be brought up to the One-Stop Centre (OSC).
“I was convinced the kindergarten project would not continue, after getting a verbal confirmation on Nov 16 from the then DBKL Town Planning director Mahadi Che Ngah that the proposal was not approved.
“I insisted on a written confirmation from DBKL but have failed to obtain it until today. And now we hear that the kindergarten has been approved.
“How can DBKL rescind their decision although all the residents who attended the hearing were against it?”
M. Ali said Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor should stop the project.
He questioned the need for another kindergarten as there were already four along Lorong Maarof and more than 50 kindergartens in Bangsar.
Bukit Bandaraya Residents Association deputy president Jeswant Singh urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate.
“This is not the first time such an incident has taken place. There have been times when DBKL sealed a unit, only for it to continue construction and operate later,” he said.
M.S. Leong, who has been residing in Lorong Maarof for more than 30 years, said DBKL should justify the need for another kindergarten as many residents were senior citizens.
“Lorong Maarof and its surrounding areas are being turned into carparks.
“Many residents have decided to move out, including my immediate neighbours on both sides.”
O. Prakash, who lives in Jalan Tualang, said the residential roads were already congested.
“The kindergartens are not servicing residents here,” he claimed.
Chandrekha Sukchain, who stays opposite the kindergarten, said Lorong Maarof was becoming as busy as Jalan Maarof.
“I struggle to reverse my car out of the house every day. The situation will get worse if the kindergarten is allowed to operate,” she said.