Not practical to cancel TTDI Rimba Kiara project says FT Minister

Khalid Abdul Samad (pic) hopes that residents from Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) will come with an open mind when they sit in the joint working committee with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) to resolve controversial development involving Taman Rimba Kiara. 

The Federal Territories Minister said, “I hope they will be open to discussions and not be stubborn about wanting me to cancel the project.’’   

“I cannot do what they want (to pay off the developer),’’ he said.  

“Some people are of the opinion that the project is illegal and should be cancelled and we should pay off the developer (compensation) and get the land back,’’ he said. 

Khalid said that if he did that, it would mean that he would have to cancel all the other projects in Kuala Lumpur as well.  

“If we cancel the Taman Rimba Kiara project, that alone will entail a minimum payment of at least RM200mil. 

"If I were to cancel 10 projects that are in contravention of the KL Local Plan, then that would come to RM2bil.

“We might as well as close up DBKL, it is unwise to tap into DBKL’s reserves just to pay off developers,’’ he told reporters at a press conference in DBKL headquarters today (Nov 27). 

Khalid said the best that he could do is to scale down the project. 

“Let’s say if the developers refuse to accept the offer and sue us instead for loss in profit, which can come up to billions. So I cannot do that (cancel projects), I have a responsibility too,’’ he said.  

“We can discuss to reduce or scale down the project where we will get some benefit and don’t have to pay out crazy amounts,’’ he said.  

“While we haven’t had any discussions with the joint committee yet, I still want to discuss with the developer to scale down the project,’’ Khalid said.  

The proposal to have a joint committee was mooted by Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh during a town hall session last week.   

The joint working committee will include representatives from the TTDI Residents Association, Bukit Kiara Longhouse residents and well as Yeoh, DBKL, YWP and FT Ministry officials. 

With the committee, Khalid hoped that a conclusion could be reached over the long pending issue. 

In 2016, TTDI residents objected to a proposed massive development of nine blocks of high-end serviced apartments, of between 42 to 54 storeys.

This also included building a 29-storey block of 350 units of affordable housing for the Bukit Kiara longhouse residents, who had been relocated years ago. 

The residents then applied for a judicial review with the High Court to quash the conditional planning permission and development order granted by DBKL. But this was denied by the court in December 2017.
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