‘DBKL will not have to pay compensation’

Aerial view of Taman Rimba Kiara in Taman Tun Dr Ismail showing preliminary work being done for the project. — filepic

IF THE high-rise residential project in Taman Rimba Kiara (TKR), Taman Tun Dr Ismail is scrapped, the compensation for the developer should be borne by Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP), and not Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), said Kuala Lumpur mayor Tan Sri Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz.

He said this is because the foundation is the landowner of the proposed project.

He added that DBKL would only need to pay compensation if it revoked the project’s development order and the developer took the local authority to court.

“In that scenario, if we lost the court case, only then would DBKL have to pay compensation,” he said.

YWP chief executive officer Zaizalnizam Zainun said in a statement that Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad has instructed the foundation’s management to review the possibility of reducing or scaling-down the development area and number of buildings for the project.

“We are still discussing with all related parties including the longhouse residents, local authorities and the developer regarding the idea and concerns raised, which include efforts to protect and preserve Taman Rimba Kiara,” he said.

“YWP will also await the decision of the full hearing of the judicial review at the High Court scheduled on Sept 26 and 27 regarding the development,” the statement said without going into matters related to compensation for the developer.

Khalid, in an exclusive interview with StarMetro, said to scrap the disputed project would mean that the developer would have to be paid RM110mil as compensation, which was the amount for the land premium paid, as well as for costs incurred when making minor changes to the park earlier.

Negotiations are ongoing between the ministry and the foundation to decide on a solution that is agreeable to all parties, including the Bukit Kiara longhouse residents who were promised new apartments as part of the proposed project.

Khalid also brought up a suggestion to scale down the project to occupy about 2.4ha of land instead of the 4.8ha that was sold to the developer.

He said development would not be allowed within the park area, but the actual demarcation of the park has been cause for further confusion, which he added would need further clarification from the relevant departments.

The proposed project features eight blocks of between 42- and 54-storey high-end serviced apartments, as well as a 29-storey block with 350 affordable housing units for the relocation of long­house residents.

Save Taman Rimba Kiara Working Group committee coordinator Leon Koay welcomed the suggestion by Khalid and hopes a workable solution for all parties will be reached.

“We appreciate the intent to help the longhouse residents as this is also in line with Pakatan’s election campaign promises.

“We met with Khalid on July 26 to voice our concerns on the matter,” he told StarMetro in a telephone interview.

Koay, however, said the group is standing firm on its initial goal to protect Taman Rimba Kiara.

“The park should be maintained as it is and not be touched.

“Nothing else should be built at the park and the new housing units for the longhouse residents should be built at the current longhouse site,” he said, adding that the group is willing to have more discussions with Khalid.

Bukit Kiara Sri Maha Mariamman Temple president T. Arumugan said the longhouse residents have not met with the new government to voice their concerns.

“We are hoping to meet Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh next week. We signed a resettlement agreement with YWP two years ago and I hope the government listens to our views before making any decision,” he said.

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