‘Don’t lock us out of basketball court’

The seniors were temporarily allowed to do their qigong practice at Ulu Klang Recreational Club in Kuala Ampang, Selangor, for a week. — Photos: LOW BOON TAT/The Star

SOME 30 senior residents from Kuala Ampang, Selangor, are protesting a decision to disallow them from using a basketball court at Ulu Klang Recreation Club (UKRC) for their qigong practice.

They said their twice-weekly sessions have been disrupted ever since Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ), which had managed the club facilities earlier, handed over the responsibility to the UKRC committee.

A letter from the new management stated that a fee could be imposed for the use of the court.

It also asked the group to provide their personal details and information on their exercise programme.

Sam Tan, 62, who spoke on behalf of the group, said they had been practising qigong for many years without any problem when the basketball court was under MPAJ’s management.

He said they have been locked out of UKRC’s premises since Jan 27.

“I feel disappointed as this decision to give the land to UKRC was not discussed with residents.

Residents showing copies of the letter received from the club’s management, requesting their details.Residents showing copies of the letter received from the club’s management, requesting their details.

“This issue is causing disharmony among residents,” he said.

Another group member, identified only as Chong, said the club should be supporting their initiative.

“This is a recreational place. The club should be promoting the qigong sessions so more residents can join in rather than locking us out,” said the 72-year-old.

The decision came after UKRC succeeded in its bid to reclaim management of the football field from MPAJ.

UKRC president Brenden Lee refuted residents’ claims, adding that a written request was needed for the public to use its facilities.

“The club is open to all, however, the public must request permission first to ensure proper use of the facilities.

“The gate is locked when there is no request to use the facilities,” he said when contacted.

He added that the letter requesting users’ details was needed to ensure a proper record is kept, which could be provided to the authorities when required.

“They can write to us to request more time to send the information,” said Lee, adding that in the meantime, UKRC had allowed the seniors to continue using the basketball court for a week.

On Jan 12, the UKRC management announced that the Selangor government had reinstated the club’s rights to its football field.

On Oct 1, 2013, MPAJ took over the management of the field which includes the basketball court and empty areas around the field.

With the takeover, the field was renamed Kuala Ampang MPAJ field. Only the clubhouse remained under UKRC.

The club said the state returned its right to the field after taking into consideration that UKRC had obtained approval for the land in 1958 and maintained the facilities there.

UKRC took charge of the field on Nov 1 last year and it is once again known by its former name of Ulu Klang Recreation Club field.

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