Taman Saikat folk urge MB to take action over cultural village

Taman Saikat Residents Association chairman Surindar Singh (left) having a press conference in rebuke the local council on the illegal Qing Xing Ling leisure park that killed a tourist recently.

IPOH: Residents of Taman Saikat, which is located next to Qing Xin Ling Leisure and Cultural Village here where a man was killed by a falling rock, are urging Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad to scrutinise tourism and commercial activities at the foot of some limestone hills.

The residents association (RA) said they had written numerous letters to the Ipoh City Council and even approached their assemblyman, MP and other politicians to put a stop to activities by the cultural village operator as they feared a tragedy would happen, but without success.

ALSO READ: Experts to check Qing Xin Ling Leisure and Cultural Village site after fatal rock fall

RA chairman Surindar Singh said the question now was, who is responsible for the death?

"This place must be closed for good to any tourism-related activities before another tragedy occurs.

"Did relevant authorities ever in the last 10 years check whether or not the structures are safe, or whether the operator had taken any precautions, including placing safety nets?" he said at a press conference on Tuesday (April 16).

Surindar said limestone hills were very delicate formations.

ALSO READ: Qing Xin Ling Leisure and Cultural Village temporarily closed

"We as residents are also worried if a landslide or rockslide occurs, as it will affect our safety as well.

"The place where the cultural village is set up is gazetted as a recreational and green area, not for commercial activities," he said.

RA committee member Muzaffar Razman said for many years, he had been saying that the place would only be closed if tragedy struck.

"The issue is so quiet now. We tried to get in touch with the city council but we have yet to get any reply on its plans.

"Our peace has been taken away from us. We keep on protesting, but no action has been taken," he added.

ALSO READ: Tourist attraction still in operation despite halt order, say Taman Saikat residents

Muzaffar said it was time for the Perak Mentri Besar to step in, since land matters fall under his purview.

"We don't want further damage and tragedies," he added.

In July last year, Surindar had said new access roads as well as a cafe and an eco-park were in the pipeline although the legality of the cultural village had yet to be resolved.

At the time, he said residents who had lived there for over 20 years were worried about the consequences such activities would have on the limestone hills.

The Star has reached out to the Ipoh City Council and relevant state committee chairman for comment.

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