BRICKFIELDS residents are questioning the privatisation of a vital public facility in their township that has now fallen into the hands of a third party.
The Kompleks Tempat Letak Kereta (TLK) Brickfields, a multi-storey carpark that comes with a community hall and a Medan Selera, has been handed over to a private company to manage.
The building was constructed by DBKL at a cost of RM24mil.
The residents are unhappy that the company is charging commercial rates to rent its facilities.
They claim the company is charging a whopping RM7,500 for people to rent its banquet hall for events.
Had the building remained with DBKL, the rental would be significantly lower.
“This is ridiculous and out of my budget,’’ said Malar Krishnan, a resident from Abdullah Hukum Flats in Bangsar.
“I have been looking for a hall to hold my wedding reception and I have been checking the rental rates of DBKL buildings.
“I was told by a friend that it would be cheaper to hold the event at a government-run facility and someone suggested that I rent the community hall at TLK building in Jalan Tun Sambanthan 6, which also has parking facilities,’’ Malar said.
But when Malar enquired with the management company operating the building, she was shocked by the exorbitant rates they quoted.
Brickfields Rukun Tetangga chairman SKK Naidu confirmed the high rates of the facility, saying that it came as a surprise to him as well.
“This building was a promise made to the people of Brickfields almost 10 years ago when traffic was getting really bad and the lack of parking space was a constant problem,’’ said Naidu.
“The then Federal Territories minister Datuk Seri Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin announced in 2010 that a multi-storey carpark with a community hall would be built for the residents.
“There were delays for years and finally in 2017, the carpark was opened to the public. But
the community hall was only opened early this year,’’ Naidu said.
He also said that ever since DBKL appointed a third party to manage the building and parking, the operator allocated parking bays for season parking, thus reducing the number of bays for the public.
The TLK building has 327 parking bays including six for the disabled, 50 motorcycle bays, a community hall that doubles as a badminton court, office and a surau.
Naidu drew comparisons with the Bukit Damansara Community Centre, which management was taken over by DBKL after outsourcing it to a third party in 2015.
“As a result of that, the rental rates for the facilities were reduced by between 28% and 86%.
“A significant drop can be seen in the rental rates of the event hall that was reduced from RM3,500 to RM500 for the first five hours.”
He said that was how it should be for government buildings.
“We feel cheated, and I have written to DBKL for an explanation but have yet to hear from them,’’ he added.
Meanwhile, DBKL executive director (Socio-Economic Development) Datuk Ibrahim Yusoff expressed surprise over the exorbitant rental rate for the TLK multi-purpose hall.
“We only agreed (to the deal) so that they can cross-subsidise the community hall from parking,’’ he said.
“We wanted it to be a win-win situation for everyone. The building was built for the benefit of the people,’’ he said, adding that DBKL was in the process of reviewing and stopping outsourced contracts that were not beneficial to the community.
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