KUALA LUMPUR: Taman Tugu is to be managed as an urban forest park for the benefit of the people, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said the park, launched last September as a TN50 project, was close to his heart and “we are leaving something for future generations”.
TN50 is an initiative to plan for the future of Malaysia in the period 2020 to 2050.
Najib said a recurring theme in the Government’s dialogues with the people is that they want a clean, green living environment.
“Taman Tugu will belong to all Malaysians,” he said during a visit to the park project site yesterday.
The rainforest park project is behind the Tugu Negara and is expected to be ready in 2020, with the urban forest park component to open a year earlier.
The park will feature facilities such as restaurants, camping area, canopy walks, zip lines, water park, jogging path, walkways, cycling lanes, observation deck and a walkway linked to the Perdana Botanical Gardens and KL Sentral.
Najib had more good news for nature and green lovers – a 10ha plot adjacent to the site will be placed under the National Heritage Trust, bringing the total area of the park to a sprawling 36.8ha.
And with the Perdana Botanical Gardens, the entire green space would come up to 133.9ha, he said.
“This puts the project on par with world famous urban green lungs such as Hyde Park in London. The attractions will include 1,000 species of flora and fauna, and running and hiking trails,” he added.
The Prime Minister said the project ranks high on the Government’s priority list, along with the River of Life and Blue Pond projects aimed at reviving the Klang River and Gombak River within the city respectively, and transforming their banks into waterfront areas.
Also, Najib announced a design competition for gazebos and benches that will be placed in Taman Tugu.
With him at the event was former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and wife Tun Jeanne, National Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz.
Later, Najib launched the Cruyff Court programme at the Seri Semarak People’s Housing Project where he was greeted by thousands of people.
The programme is a partnership between Yayasan Hasanah and the Johan Cruyff Foundation, named after the famed late Dutch footballer, to provide a unique football experience for youngsters.