HIKING trails are closed while public parks are still open in Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya.
A Petaling Jaya City Council spokesman said the council followed the standard operating procedure (SOP) set by the Selangor government and the National Security Council (NSC).
“As long as the public can keep a safe distance of 1.5m from each other, they can still visit the public parks but not the hiking trails, ” said the spokesman on Friday (May 7).
The Bukit Gasing hiking trail and the Kota Damansara Community Forest are closed.
Kota Damansara Community Forest Society president Wong Ee Lynn said the society was informed of the closure by the Forestry Department.
“We were informed that the hiking activity at the forest is no longer allowed.
“We are in a chat group together with the authority in charge and we were informed by the Forestry Department that it is closed until further notice, ” she said.
Wong said ideally, it is important for recreational spaces to be kept open as most Covid-19 clusters happen at workplace and factories.
“I understand the need to close the park because people come and hang out in groups and it may be unsafe.
“I hope that the closure will be lifted soon, ” she said.
Meanwhile, a Subang Jaya City Council spokesman said the public should refer to the recent Selangor state government’s guidelines over the park opening.
Hiking is not allowed anywhere in MBSJ, but parks will be open.
Friends of Bukit Gasing committee member Rajesh Mansukhla said to avoid confusion, there should just be one rule for all.
“There should be one rule for all made by the NSC and everyone should just follow.
“Not fair for the public to interpret different guidelines as this puts the stress on the business community and public, ” he said.
In Kuala Lumpur, Taman Persekutuan Bukit Kiara is closed to the public.
A check by StarMetro showed that a notice was placed outside the gate of the public park in Taman Tun Dr Ismail.
Friends of Bukit Kiara (FoBK) president Dr Kribanandan G.Naidu, a regular jogger at the park, said any closure of a public park remains a problem considering it is one of the few accessible green lungs in Kuala Lumpur.
“During the previous MCO, the reasoning for the closure at the side of the park with the water feature and walking track was because people tend to congregate there.
“If this closure is temporary to keep the virus at bay, of course it is something we must do.
“However, we should develop firm SOP and procedures to keep our green lungs open.
“The authorities should work closely with the community-based organisations to get this agreed and implemented, ” he said.
Another regular jogger at the park, Asna Ramli, said it was unreasonable for the authorities to close public parks and allow bazaars to remain open.
“It doesn’t make any sense. They should have learned from the previous MCO to manage things better, ” he said.
A spokesperson from the National Landscape Department told StarMetro that Taman Persekutuan Bukit Kiara will remain closed throughout the MCO as per the SOP enforced by the NSC.
The department manages the park which spans 161ha, including the hilly tarmac and lake area.