'Very disappointed' Khalid tells Hannah to speak to him, instead of media


FEDERAL Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad says he is “very disappointed” with Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh for continuing to address the media on Taman Rimba Kiara development instead of coming directly to him for answers.

He said many of the statements and facts made (about the project) were confusing, hurtful and embarrassing to him.  

“I inherited this problem, and I am trying to do my best to solve it," Khalid said.

“To make statements that I am being an apologist to the developer and that I represent private interests and not public interest is hurtful," he said.

“I am not an apologist to anyone.

"What I am trying to do here is protect public funds. People are saying to me just pay (compensation) the developer, and that DBKL has a lot of money.

"But that’s public funds we are talking about," said Khalid  after chairing a press conference in Putrajaya on Thursday (16/50).

He was commenting on the press conference held by Yeoh, C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel and former Bersih chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan on the project the day before.

Yeoh asked why Khalid did not consult the Attorney General (AG) regarding the development as it involved compensation. 

She said it was vital that the AG was consulted on matters concerning compensation.

In response to that, Khalid said he would be getting round to it.

“We are in the process of submitting the cabinet papers, and the papers will eventually have to go to the AG as well, and he will have to give his comments too,’’ he said.

“I am trying to do my job, and it is very disappointing to hear all these comments and excuses being made about me in the media," he said.

“As for Cynthia and Ambiga, I don’t know how many times you have gone and met the residents (in TTDI), but you have not met me even once,’’ he said.

“Please come and see me in my office, and I will answer all your questions rather than going and attacking and criticising me in the media when your facts are not right," he said.

Khalid said this was embarrassing to him especially since he had a lot of respect for them.

When asked to comment on the fact that there was talk that Yeoh was under a lot of pressure from residents and maybe she was being pushed into a corner, Khalid said: “I am not surprised."

"They (TTDI residents) can be very pushy, and they act like they own the park. While they do have a right by virtue of them living there, you have to draw a line somewhere," he said.

The government, he added, was planning to gazette parks all over the city and told residents to have faith in the Cabinet on the matter.

The Taman Rimba Kiara issue has resulted in a long drawn tussle between TTDI residents and the authorities. 

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

Related story:

Rimba Kiara issue drags on with Hannah and Khalid at loggerheads