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Save Rimba Kiara for urban forest park vision

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – March 24, 2018: The Save Taman Rimba Kiara group wants Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to prove that he was serious in envisioning an urban forest park for the people of this city by saving their park that is slated for re-development.

 The group was referring to Najib’s six-days old Instagram post, depicting him admiring the beauty of an urban park in Sydney, Australia along with a caption stating that KL will also have such a park once the Taman Tugu project has been completed.

The 66-acre Taman Tugu is an urban park project led by Khazanah Nasional Berhad in collaboration with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

“Our PM (Najib) wants to see a park in the middle of the city…why not start by preserving this park?” said Save Taman Rimba Kiara vice-chairman Clinton Ang at today’s picnic protest in the park which is located at Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

“It is in the heart of KL and it has already been designated as a park,” added Ang.

The issue started in June two years ago after residents were made known about the development of an eight blocks of 54 storeys serviced apartment earmarked at the park’s existing carpark.

The residents had then filed a judicial review application with the High Court to quash the conditional planning permission and a development order granted by the DBKL early last year.

A stay application was also filed in the same year but was denied by the court in December last year.

Although, Ang did not dismiss that the stay of application may had emboldened the contractor to begin clearing the land, he believed that it was unfair for the latter to do so.

“Let the matter be decided in the court first because if the whole deal is indeed illegal then how can one undo the damage that has already been done,” said Ang adding that the next case management of the judicial review is on April 8.

According to him, the contractor has already cut down over 300 trees that were planted next to the park’s parking area two weeks ago.

It is believed that the cleared land will serve as the alternative entrance and exit for Rimba Kiara park users as the current one will be closed to make way for construction work.

Also present at the protest today was the chairman the Save Kuala Lumpur group, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman, who insisted that the Rimba Kiara controversy was due to the government’s lack of proper township planning.

“We already have the Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020 but no one wants to gazette it. If the government continues to be silent on this matter, I will take legal action against it.

“In fact, I am hoping to put the minister and the mayor in the witness box. I want to cross-examine them,” said Aziz who was also the former chief executive officer of Malaysia Airlines.

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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.