KUALA LUMPUR – February 28, 2018: Extra! Extra! Read all about it! There’s another development slated at one of the parks in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI).
However, unlike the contentious high-rise development planned at Rimba Kiara, the one slotted for Taman Persekutuan Bukit Kiara is called a comprehensive upgrade.
According to the proposal prepared by the park’s caretaker, the National Landscape Department (NLD), the refurbishing will include landscaping, electrical and structural improvements.
For landscaping, the department plans to upgrade the entrance, storeroom and replace dilapidated recreational facilities
The need to install more monkey-proof bins, concrete benches and signs are also highlighted in the proposal.
As for the structural upgrade the areas affected are the car park, man-made waterfall, hanging bridges and collection ponds. The road at the entrance will also be repaved.
The electrical upgrade will include the installation of more light poles, feeder pillars, junction boxes and sprinklers.
When the plan was made known to them, several regular park users described it as timely.
The Mole was made to understand that the majority who go to the park feel that unlike the previous caretaker — KL City Hall (DBKL), the NLD has a rather lacklustre track record.
DBKL handed over the management of the 466.86-acre park to NLD in 2010.
“The jogging track is fine but I notice that the overall cleanliness is quite unsatisfactory,” said parkgoer Nurul Huda Abdul Samad. “I used to see a few cleaners on weekends but I haven’t been seeing them often lately.”
She also pointed out that the park does not have enough dustbins.
“I’m not sure if it’s the monkeys that have been littering but I wish the NLD would provide more dustbins because if you look closely there is a lot of rubbish here,” she said.
Another park frequenter, Chong Yoke Mei, complained that the park needs to have more toilets, adding that it must also be conveniently located throughout the park, particularly along the jogging tracks.
“Many, especially senior citizens, are complaining that they have to walk all the way to the entrance whenever they need to use the toilet.
“There used to be a toilet towards the back of the park but it has been converted into an office room. The doors of the existing toilets are not properly maintained, the lower side of it have started to rot,” said Chong
She also pointed out the park does not have enough lamp poles to illuminate the jogging tracks, stressing that it gets really dark for those who come to the park early in the morning.
Fitness instructor Ning Harris who was conducting a free Zumba/Aerobic class at the park on the Sunday of this interview also complained that the new wooden stage provided by NLD is not safe to be used.
“They need to do something about the wooden stage because it gets very slippery after a rain.
“The compound’s concrete floor is also not conducive for physical activities, before it was renovated it used to be rubberised so it was really good for exercising,” said Ning.
Ann Lubis, a long-time resident of TTDI and a regular user of the recreational park said that the NLD’s plan will be the department’s second upgrade.
“They did one the first time after taking over a few years ago. They took a long time to complete. Most people did not like the so-called upgrade for many reasons but then what could we do…so we’ve got used to it. “
For instance, she said, the NLD demolished the stage in the court where the Zumba/aerobics classes and other activities are carried out, without replacing it.
“I’m not sure who filed a complaint and requested for one to be installed but they built one that is made of wood that gets wet and slippery after a shower. We are always worried for the safety of our instructors”.
Ann said the NLD should carry out a survey and study the park which she believes is more than two decades old.
“The NLD should not be upgrading or redeveloping the park for its own glory — the park is not for show or display. The park is for the benefit of the people . That is something the NLD must believe in.”