TAMAN Tiara Titiwangsa residents in Kuala Lumpur are questioning the approval of a high-density commercial project on land belonging to the Federal Territories Foundation (YWP).
The foundation was established by the Federal Territories Ministry to provide services and assist in improving the socio-economy of the low-income groups and through education.
A few of the residents lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in Putrajaya yesterday.
They are requesting an investigation on the issue of conflict of interest and procedural impropriety relating to a proposed development on land meant for public use.
The proposed residential project in Setapak comprises two 52-storey blocks with 1,072 units and another 40-storey block with 460 affordable housing units.
The residents’ representative, Sylvester Navaratnam, said residents first saw the notice for the development on the 2.96 ha piece of land, posted in a Chinese daily in December last year.
“We were shocked when we saw that such a high-density development was being proposed because the land area here, slated only for bungalow lots, has a density of about 32 people per acre under the Kuala Lumpur Draft Plan.
“Suddenly there is this proposed project, so of course we are worried about heavy traffic, social problems and the density will increase from 32 people to 800 people per acre,” he said, adding that the land was earlier meant for a community centre or a field.
After a title search, he said the committee discovered that the land was owned by the foundation and those sitting on the board of trustees included the Federal Territories minister, deputy minister, secretary-general and Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz.
A search with the Companies Commission of Malaysia also showed that the trustees were among the directors of the foundation, he added.
“The funny thing is that, the mayor is the approving authority for development orders too.
“So it seems like they are actually approving things to suit their development instead of conforming with the draft structure plan on zoning and density.
Sylvester claimed that the move was a conflict of interest as the mayor was the commissioner responsible for approving land development and should not be on the board of any company with an interest, especially in development rights.
He also said that a letter asking for clarification on the residents’ questions was not answered by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
“They should nullify whatever they have done because they need to rely on the draft structure plan as people in the area have bought their properties according to it.
“We also need community centres, not high-density projects – they do not even have traffic and environment impact assessments,” he said, adding that community centres and fields or parks brought people together and created unity.
“We want the draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 to be gazetted, because otherwise it will result in ad hoc developments with no sustainability in mind,” added Sylvester.
When asked to comment, mayor Amin Nordin said he was merely following orders.
“I do not have any direct interest in the project. I do not gain anything from it,” he added.
DBKL executive director (planning) Datuk Mohd Najib Mohd added that the development afforded people who had the right to develop it.
“If people want to stop development, then the Government has to buy the land, but it is not our policy to acquire land because the neighbour is not happy.
“You have to look at the foundation and DBKL as separate entities because YWP is set up for the benefit of the city, so anything the foundation gets will be channelled back to the city.
At the launch of the Mah Sing Group Bhd’s Rumawip project in Taman Wahyu, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor declined to comment on the issue.