PLANS to redevelop Menara DBKL 2 have shocked many city folk who have urged City Hall to set its priorities right.
There had been a call for City Hall to get a referendum to determine the people’s wishes as well as questions on how this move would benefit the people directly.
Asli Centre of Public Policy and Studies chairman Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said it was a major decision and accounted for a full consultation with the people before any decision was finalised.
“DBKL must justify that this new building is a priority, which I doubt.
“There is a crying need for better low-cost housing, feeding programmes for the poor, upgrading the transportation system, as well as enhancement of facilities that will benefit the city dwellers.
“I see no priority in putting up a luxury building, especially when the current building is perfectly functional,” he said.
StarMetro reported that the 12-storey Menara DBKL 2 would be demolished to build a skyscraping four-tower structure to centralise all its departments in the same area.
The decision was made after millions of ringgit were spent on a major upgrade on the current building only a couple of months ago.
Ramon said this kind of decision-making raised a question whether DBKL’s advisory board members should be elected, to ensure that they are more responsible and accountable.
If DBKL can act this way and not show enough care for the basic needs of the rakyat, what more could happen in other local councils which are less sophisticated.
“The time has come for DBKL to be more accountable and show more responsibility in determining and executing its priorities and policies,” said Ramon who was also one of those who strongly objected to the increase in assessment fees last year.
Bukit Bandaraya Residents Association chairman Datuk M. Ali said the people would not take the redevelopment plan well as it did not directly benefit them.
“DBKL needs to justify the necessity for the new building.
“It can say that it would improve efficiency but efficiency is a mindset.
“Efficiency depends on interpersonal skills and sincerity of the person, and not the building and furnishing.
“DBKL also should not think about profit from renting its property because DBKL is not dabbling in property management.
“DBKL should stay focused on improving its services and the money that they collect from the fees and other sources must go back to the people,” he said.
TTDI Residents Association (TTDIRA) chairman Mohd Hatim Abdullah said the news shocked him as DBKL had yet to settle many problems in his neighbourhood.
“The project looks like an afterthought.
“Demolishing a building a year after a major upgrade is unacceptable and waste of money.
“TTDIRA has submitted a proposal for a carpark at Jalan Aminuddin Baki more than two years ago which has yet to be approved.
“Everytime we asked, DBKL officers inform us that it was in progress.
“There are also issues like the pruning of trees and potholes that have not been addressed.
“DBKL should concentrate on improving its efficiency instead,” he said.
Bukit OUG condominium vice-president Charles Ho said he sensed something fishy behind the project.
“The fact that hundreds of millions was going to be spent just after a year of major renovation shows that this was a gross mismanagement of public funds.
“Perhaps MACC should step in to investigate,” he said.