Politics has nothing to do with Rimba Kiara protest

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – May 9, 2017: The Taman Tun Dr. Ismail Residents’ Association has objected to a claim by a minister that its protest against the redevelopment next to the Rimba Kiara Park are politically influenced.

The claim by Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor was reported by Astro Awani last night, saying that the latest protest held on Sunday was manipulated by opposition parties.

In response, association chairman Abdul Hafiz Abu Bakar today sent a letter to Adnan pointing out that the two-year long protest against the project has always been independently organised.

“We are very much aware of what we are doing and are capable of rational and intellectual thinking,” reads Hafiz’s letter seen by The Mole.

Hafiz added that all actions by the association were based on their desire to protect their rights as stakeholders who have agreed with other entities in drafting the Kuala Lumpur City Draft Plan 2020.

The letter which was also forwarded to KL Mayor Datuk Seri Mhd. Amin Abd. Aziz argued that the contentious plot of land is not a private property but instead a part of the park.

“Practically every party, including the ministry and DBKL, are fully aware that the proposed project site is part of of the public open space known as Taman Rimba Kiara. In this respect, the transfer of ownership of that 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 said KLCDP 2020,” Hafiz reasoned.

He also countered Adnan’s allegation that the association objected to the proposed affordable public housing project for settlers occupying the land.

“We have all along been supportive of the said housing project without the eight blocks of multi-storey luxury apartments and condominium or any other development.

“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 the plantation was acquired by the government more than 30 years ago,” Hafiz wrote.

The issue surfaced in June last year after Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) put up a notice at the park, informing residents that land being used as a car park by frequenters of the park would be re-developed.

The redevelopment will involve the building of nine towering blocks, going as high as 54 storeys, that will house 2,200 apartments and one block of affordable housing for the settlers living at the far end of the land.

Earlier today Mhd. Amin explained that the project has yet to be approved by DBKL as it was still in the midst of collecting objections.

“But people must know that when land is owned by an organisation or by a private individual, they have the right to develop it,” said Mhd. Amin.



About the author

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.