Lifestyle Local

“Why, DBKL?”: Kiara Sunday aerobics participants cry foul over suspension of programme

Shaira Idris
Written by Shaira Idris
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3, 2019: Participants of the Sunday morning aerobics at Taman Lembah Kiara in Taman Tun Dr Ismail are all fired up — not for another workout but over a surprise decision by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to suspend the popular community activity until further notice.
 
They were all ready for their next session on Sunday, Aug 25 when their instructor, Aliez Jazam informed them through their whatsapp group that the activity had been discontinued temporarily until further notice.
 
Aliez said she had received the notice from DBKL’s Kelab Kecergasan Proaktif signed by its president.
 
The club operates under DBKL’s Culture, Arts, Tourism & Sports Department.
 
The notice, dated Aug 22, said that the “Senam Sihat Program” was being “discontinued & suspended with immediate effect temporarily until approval is obtained from DBKL’s top management”.
 
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The programme had been going on for so long that participants called themselves the ‘Kiara Fitness Group.’
 
Raja Amilia Azman, a regular participant of the programme was incensed by this sudden development, pointing out that she and the others had been earlier made to understand that the classes would be extended for three months more.
 
“We were made to understand that the programme under our instructor was up for renewal and she had applied for renewal and that it was approved for extension.
 
“During the process, we were asked to answer a survey by DBKL and we gladly complied because this programme has successfully been going on for about 20 years and under our current instructor, about 15 years.
 
“This is Malaysian unity in one single Sunday. And that is every Sunday for a good number of years. And now it is suspended without rhyme or reason,” she remarked.
 
YM Chong, a fitness enthusiast and also a long-time participant, was angered by this and asked what the survey was for if this was the outcome.
 
“Actually, what is DBKL trying to do?,” she asked.
 
This programme, carried out free for the community, has been going on for more than 20 years and sees diverse groups of male and female participants of all races and age groups from across the Klang Valley  – not just Taman Tun Dr Ismail residents.
 
Nona Lubis, a keen & regular participant said:
 
“I have been following this programme since day one when  it started some time in the mid 90s with the earlier male instructors and then later on, our current instructor took over until our last class on Aug 18.
 
“This is a DBKL’s success story, if you’re looking for one. It has men and women, young and old of all ages. And it is always crowded, filling up the court yard.
 
“Whenever I made postings of this on my Instagram and Facebook, I got positive feedback. People see it as a wonderful Malaysian activity.
 
“Why the hell do you want to stop something so good, even temporarily, and without a reason to boot?”
 
Several regular participants The Mole spoke to had expressed their disappointment and unhappiness over this sudden development.
 
Many asked why the decision was made without any explanation.
 
“The programme is a damn good thing so why stop it even for a while?,” one asked.
 
Another remarked that the diverse group is made up of retirees, students, home-makers, civil servants and professionals, to name a few.
 
It is learnt that the decision affects similar DBKL programmes in nine park areas and the instructors concerned have sought a meeting with Mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Dahlan and are awaiting response from his office.
 
The other areas are Taman Tasik Datuk Keramat, Taman Bukit Jalil, Taman Tasik Permaisuri, Taman Metropolitan Kepong, Taman Pudu Ulu, Taman Menjalara, Taman Tasik Ampang Hilir, Pantai Eco Park and Taman Tasik Titiwangsa.
 
Meanwhile, a DBKL spokesman contacted  by The Mole was not able to give details but said that he would give an update when possible.

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Shaira Idris

Shaira Idris

Shaira is a 20-something accidental journalist who's currently still adapting to the world of journalism and learning the ropes of her job.