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Khalid Samad asks Hannah Yeoh to be reasonable over Rimba Kiara

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR — April 23, 2019: Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad has hit back at Segambut Member of Parliament, Hannah Yeoh after she criticised the government’s Rimba Kiara Park compromise plan.

Khalid was quoted by Free Malaysia Today as asking Yeoh, who is the Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development to be reasonable about the matter.

He also denied that the longhouse settlers currently residing near the park will be relocated to separate them from those who will occupy the soon-to-be built luxury apartments there.

“So what more could you (Yeoh) ask for? We need to be reasonable. I am not putting them in a small area. The density is good and it is next to a temple,” he said, adding that the land in between the planned condominiums and settlers’ new homes will be used as a car park.

Earlier today, Yeoh had slammed Khalid’s scaled-down version of the redevelopment, arguing not only over what she described as an unfair relocation plan of the settlers but also because she claimed that the proposed development will encroach into the park.

“I want the long house residents to be treated better than this. The difference between Tengku Adnan’s (Khalid’s predecessor Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor) and the proposed solution by Khalid is nominal and this is not good enough for me,” she added.

The Rimba Kiara park controversy started three years ago. Initially, the total acreage slated for the development was 12 acres but then reduced to eight acres after protests by especially residents of the nearby Taman Tun Dr Ismail. The reduction has also downsized the planned eight blocks of luxury condominiums to four.

Also responding to Yeoh’s statement today was the developer of the project, Federal Territories Foundation.

Issuing its first public statement on the issue, the foundation’s chief executive officer Zainalnizam Zainun was quoted as saying that the redevelopment will not encroach into the park and that the affordable housing for the settlers will not be small low cost flats.

“The development is not encroaching into the existing large green park, jogging track or beautiful pond while the existing Sri Maha Mariamman temple will remain on the existing 0.3 acre land assigned to it.

“It is also misleading to report that small units flat will be built for the longhouse settlers. The longhouses will enjoy a better quality of life from the 850 square feet (sq ft) from the proposed apartment unit size, compared to their current longhouses size which are ranging from 480 to 600 sq ft per unit,” read Zainalnizam’s statement.

He also explained that the settlers will continue to stay in their respective longhouses until the developer finished building their affordable apartment which will be subsidised by the developer through the revenue from the sale of the planned condominiums.

“On goodwill basis, the developer contributed RM700,000 to help on the overall repair works for the dilapidated longhouses pending the completion of the apartments. Some of the repair works that were carried out included water piping, sewerage blockage, septic tank, among others,” Zainalnizam stated

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Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at zaidiazmi91@gmail.com.