Hopes for Kiara park in despair

  • Letters
  • Wednesday, 28 Nov 2018

Old trees are sacrificed in the name of development. Taman Rimba Kiara, another green open space under threat. Taman Tun Dr Ismail residents are protesting a high-rise residential development being planned there

THE promise in Pakatan Harapan’s election manifesto was to “rebuild the nation” and to “fulfil the hopes of the people”. The people believed it and against all odds put into power a new government.

However, our hopes for the preservation of Taman Rimba Kiara have descended to despair as blows to the community effort have been coming in hard and fast.

Nov 26, 2018: News report shows “Putrajaya will not scrap the controversial development order on the Kuala Lumpur green lung of Taman Rimba Kiara but will instead propose that developers scale back the project. The minister who is responsible said he had proposed to the developers to consider taking up only half of their originally offered 4.9ha site, and proceed with a smaller-scale development.”

Nov 23, 2018: The Federal Territories Minister promised that his ministry will set up a joint committee to review the controversial housing development project in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI), which involves some parts of Taman Rimba Kiara, and the Prime Minister knew about this project.

This promise was made during a press conference after attending a townhall meeting with TTDI residents.

He added, “I hope the developers are willing to withdraw the project because otherwise, this case will definitely be brought to court.”

Aug 10, 2018: News reports showed that Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) chief executive officer said in a statement, “We are still discussing with all related parties including the longhouse residents, local authorities and the developer regarding the idea and concerns raised, which include efforts to protect and preserve Taman Rimba Kiara.

“YWP will also await the decision of the full hearing of the judicial review at the High Court scheduled for Sept 26 and 27 regarding the development.”

The hearing was postponed to end-November 2018.

Eight protests in nearly three years were held to preserve the mature park created by the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia as a nursery and public park.

The justification for the development with a gross development value of RM3bil is to subsidise 98 longhouse settlers. It may be a dream come true for the settlers but nine blocks of apartments would definitely choke the area.

Taman Rimba Kiara is a green space/public park in the Draft KL City Plan of 2008 (the plan that was just gazetted did not go through public viewing).

What happened to “fulfilling the hopes of the people” when there was a promise made to set up a joint committee and the hope that the developers are willing to withdraw the project?

What happened to the discussions by YWP with all related parties to protect and preserve Taman Rimba Kiara since folks at TTDI are not aware of it?

There was a glimmer of hope when YWP said it will await the decision of the full hearing of the judicial review at the High Court.

The hearing was postponed due to a request by DBKL to allow time for the parties to act to pursue discussions towards a mutual resolution of the matter.

Minister, why did you unilaterally propose to the developer to scale back the project without consulting parties to the court action? And after the promise of a joint committee!

The new Prime Minister made a commitment that Pakatan Harapan was willing to be judged by the people on how far it fulfils promises if Pakatan came to power.

This is a friendly reminder to fulfil promises that are within Pakatan’s control or influence.

Hopefully there is some “harapan” on this matter.

Saleh Mohammed

Taman Tun Dr Ismail

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