Taman Tun Dr Ismail

PETALING JAYA (May 9): The residents of Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) are livid over the Federal Territories (FT) Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s response to residents’ concerns about the proposed serviced apartment development which involved parts of Taman Rimba Kiara in the neighbourhood.

Yesterday, Tengku Adnan said the proposed development will be carried out as planned.

“We will not hesitate to proceed with the project in the near future. What is the fuss about, we are not encroaching into the recreational park.

“We are also giving it [the apartments] free to the families who originated from the area,” Astro Awani had reported him as saying at the aid presentation to mosques and surau in the Federal Territories yesterday.

The residents' ire grew when Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) contractors were spotted cutting down trees at Taman Rimba Kiara last evening at about 7.30pm.

A TTDI resident who did not want to be identified told TheEdgeProperty.com that the residents' association (RA) has “texted” DBKL about the tree-cutting but there was no reply from the latter.

Following Tengku Adnan’s reponse, which was reported in the press yesterday, RA chairman Abdul Hafiz Abu Bakar had sent a letter to Tengku Adnan and KL Mayor Datuk Seri Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz, refuting the claims made by Tengku Adnan.

In the letter, Abdul Hafiz said all activities protesting the proposed development which began mid-2016 were initiated by the RA, the TTDI community and the public. There is no manipulation or influence by any unrelated party, let alone political parties, as alleged.

"We are very much aware of what we are doing and are capable of rational and intellectual thinking. All actions that we have taken were carried out based on our desire to protect our rights as stakeholders that have come to an agreement with many other entities in the drafting and formation of the KL City Draft Plan 2020. These actions were also necessary to defend the quality of life we have now in TTDI. Taman Rimba Kiara is one of the many attractions sought after by residents and purchasers of properties here," Abdul Hafiz said in his letter.

According to him, all parties including the FT Ministry and DBKL are fully aware that the land carved out for the proposed development is part of the open public space that is known as Taman Rimba Kiara. 

"In this respect, the transfer of ownership of that piece of land now known as Lot 9244 to Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan is doubtful and highly questionable. It is also not consistent with the zoning provisions designated as per Map 161 in the KL City Draft Plan 2020," he had stated. 

Abdul Hafiz also stated that TTDI residents had never opposed the proposed affordable housing component of the development. 

"It can be said that in all our actions, every statement that was recorded proves that we do not object to the building of the affordable public housing for the resettlement of residents of the existing public houses there. We have all along been supportive of the said affordable housing at the current site without the building of eight blocks of multi-storey luxury apartments or any other developments.

"It has been said that it is the responsibility of the authorities to provide decent and appropriate housing facilities to former workers of a rubber plantation company after its plantation was acquired by the government more than 30 years ago," he said, urging DBKL and Tengku Adnan to hold a dialogue session with the RA and TTDI residents as soon as possible to clarify matters.

Meanwhile, vice-chairman of the RA Clinton Ang said residents are discussing their legal options with their lawyers to challenge the development order (DO) for the project.

“All residents are in unison to take legal action [against DBKL]. It will definitely happen very soon as we have a deadline to work.

“One of the options we have is to go for judicial review to know how the land is allocated to Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan [for the proposed development],” he told TheEdgeProperty.com, adding that the residents are all enraged with the minister’s statements made yesterday.

In June 2016, DBKL had issued a notice on the proposed development on a portion of land that is situated within the 467-acre Taman Rimba Kiara. The proposed development involves the building of eight blocks of 42- and 52-storeys high-end serviced apartments (about 1,800 units), and a 29-storey affordable housing block (350 units), thus increasing the population density from 74 persons per acre to 979.

In a fact sheet distributed during the RA’s townhall meeting last Sunday (May 7), the association also pointed highlighted the issue of conflict of interest as the FT Minister and the KL Mayor are trustees of Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan — the developer of the proposed project.

Ang said the residents have no problems about the affordable housing project as the people now staying in the longhouses there were promised permanent housing

“The government should definitely go ahead and provide the affordable housing for them as promised. But we don’t agree that the other eight blocks and increased density will not affect the green lung,” he said.

The RA had also noted that the supporting plan for the proposed development, which were not included in the original development notice, involves the construction of a new 2-way flyover from Jalan Damansara to Jalan Wan Kadir, road expansion of Jalan Wan Kadir, and a reconfiguration of a junction behind Kiara Green and Jalan Wan Kadir.

There will also be an extensive expansion on Jalan Datuk Sulaiman from Plaza VADS to Penchala Link to create a 6- to 8-lane highway, entailing encroachment onto existing parking bays, removal of existing tree canopy and construction to narrow the existing monsoon drain.

At the townhall meeting last Sunday, the RA had recorded more than 400 signatures for the petition to save Taman Rimba Kiara which will be submitted to DBKL. The online petition is ongoing at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/selamatkan-taman-rimba-kiara.

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