AMPANG Jaya residents are urging the local council to incorporate stakeholders’ input into the draft Ampang Jaya Municipal Council Local Plan 2035 (RT MPAJ) before it is presented to the public.
They said this would allow for a more holistic and engaging approach in determining future development within the municipality. Traditionally, the local plan is open for public viewing once the draft is prepared and only then are stakeholders invited to give their input and objections.
Taman Melawati Residents Association chairman Azhari Abd Taharim said there should be a focus group discussion with residents to determine what is needed in their respective areas.
“It would make better sense to get our input now so MPAJ can then incorporate our suggestions before the draft plan is done.
“Usually, only little changes can be made once the plan is ready and we can only voice our objections, ” said Azhari.
He added that a survey for the draft plan prepared by MPAJ earlier this month was not detailed enough.
“The survey was only open for a week, which was not enough time to get the word out.
“We commend MPAJ for having asked for early input, but this should be done properly with participation from a majority of the population, ” he said.
Noina Baharuddin, one of the coordinators of the community grouping called Ampang Jaya (AJ) Rimba Collective, said a recent campaign to empower residents to participate in the ongoing process for the RT MPAJ 2035 was successful.
The campaign aimed to bring awareness about the plan itself, which would determine the type of developments that are being proposed in Ampang Jaya for the next 15 years.
“We made it easier for residents to highlight and suggest specific issues and concerns they had on our website (ajrimba.org) and send directly to MPAJ.
“As a first venture, we saw an encouraging 600 respondents within a two-month period, ” she said.
Most of the respondents showed concern towards issues such as slope management, development and infrastructure as well as preserving green areas and rivers.
Noina added that an analysis of the respondents’ input was provided to MPAJ in the hopes that it would be incorporated into the drafting of the plan.
Some of the neighbourhoods that are part of the collective include Ukay Heights, Bukit Antarabangsa, Ukay Perdana, Taman Melawati and Kemensah.
However, residents from all over the municipality took part in the campaign.
MPAJ Zone 23 councillor Mohamad Samat said it was a continuous effort to gather feedback for RT MPAJ 2035.
“We need input from people of all levels of socio-economic backgrounds, because only then would it be a comprehensive plan, ” he said.
In June last year, MPAJ announced it would start a study on a new local plan and residents were invited to give their feedback.
The new RT MPAJ 2035 would replace RT MPAJ 2020, which was gazetted in 2011 and went through two amendments (in 2013 and 2016).
A sum of RM700,000 is being allocated to hire consultants and finance the cost of producing the plan, which will touch on land use, infrastructure, transportation, environmental conservation and tourism.
Some of the proposed changes include increasing the density from 60 to 80 people per 0.4ha for residential projects similar to Rumah Selangorku, as well as redevelopment projects.
Other proposals being looked into include rezoning residential lots in traditional villages into commercial lots in areas such as Kampung Baru Ampang, Kampung Pandan Dalam and Kampung Tasek Permai.
MPAJ hopes to have the plan ready by July 2021 and publish a draft to get the public’s input.
However, MPAJ press relations officer Norhayati Ahmad said this had been pushed back to the end of this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Relevant public input that has been submitted to MPAJ will be taken into consideration during the preparation of the draft plan.
“After the draft plan is ready, the public still has a chance to scrutinise and give their views before it is gazetted, ” she said.