Rimba Kiara issue drags on with Hannah and Khalid at loggerheads

YTHE Attorney General (AG) should be consulted regarding the Taman Rimba Kiara development as it involves compensation using government funds if the project is cancelled, says Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh.

She asked if Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad had consulted Tommy Thomas as the AG's input was vital in the matter.

"Khalid had previously talked about compensation (from the government to private developer) if the project is cancelled.

"Since it involves government funds, the AG should rightfully be consulted," she told a press conference held at Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4), Petaling Jaya, Selangor on Wednesday (May 15).

Before the general election last year, Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents had objected to a proposed housing development project comprising eight blocks of high-end serviced apartments and one block of affordable housing for Bukit Kiara longhouse residents.

They said they feared fear it might encroach into the park.

This prompted an ongoing legal tussle between Taman Tun Dr Ismail residents and the authorities.

After Pakatan Harapan came to power, Khalid as FT Minister renegotiated the deal with the developer and came up with a scaled-down version of the project that saw the number of residential units halved.

He said he had prepared a paper regarding the proposal to be tabled during the Cabinet meeting.

Meanwhile, Yeoh said; "our proposal for affordable housing to be built on the current longhouse foot print still stands.

"We welcome the issue being brought to Cabinet; this is clearly a case of conflict of interest," she alleged.

Yeoh was referring to the fact that Khalid was the FT minister as well as the chairman of Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP).

YWP is the registered proprietor of the land earmarked for the development.

"Previously, TTDI resident and former Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng had lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the matter.

"I also lodged similar reports but how come there is no action?" said Yeoh.

During the press conference, C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel showed in a presentation that there was a possible conflict of interest involving former FT minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku and a number of companies linked to the deal to develop Taman Rimba Kiara.

"These details were submitted to the MACC but there is no update on the case yet.

"It is important that the government stops all these land grabs, not only in TTDI but other places as well," said Gabriel.

Former Bersih chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, who was also present, said the interests of the people came first.

"Fulfilling contracts is important but if there is a case of illegality, it should be looked into immediately," she said.

Meanwhile, TTDI residents have drafted a paper to be submitted alongside Khalid's Cabinet paper.

"We stand firm and propose two solutions. One is to cancel the whole project and another is to allow the project to be built within the longhouse footprint and not encroach into the park.

"We can get into the details of temporary rehousing of the Bukit Kiara longhouse residents once Cabinet has decided," said Yeoh.

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