Explain why KL draft plan dropped, say civil society groups

KL MPs said unplanned development has left the city without sufficient support infrastructure. — Reuters pic
KL MPs said unplanned development has left the city without sufficient support infrastructure. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — People’s representatives should press the authorities to explain why the Draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 is being replaced, said former Transparency International Malaysia president Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam.

“There must be a reasonable explanation why public funds and time have been spent on the plan and it is simply going to be replaced,” he said.

“The KL MPs should fight this out in Parliament and get answers on why the draft plan is not

being gazetted a decade later.”

Ramon said announcing the introduction of an alternative plan without prior public consultation was contrary to democratic practices.

“This is an abuse of the democratic process and a breach of the public’s good faith,” he said.

“City Hall’s action is eroding public confidence in the governance and call into question its ability to deliver. It is also eroding confidence in the government.”

Ramon said city folk, as stakeholders, need to rally around the issue and ensure their voices were not stifled.

“Public pressure is essential for justice. This is an issue of the people’s right to be heard and have their feedback incorporated into policies that affect them,” he said.

“A letter of protest should be sent to the ministry to ensure this exercise is not simply a manoeuvre (to replace the draft plan) to circumvent public opinion.”

On February 27, Malay Mail quoted Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Mansor as saying he would “never” approve the draft plan.

On March 15, KL mayor Datuk Seri Mohd Amin Noordin Abdul Aziz said it would “not make sense” to gazette the plan three years from 2020, and an alternative plan was being worked on instead.

Several KL MPs said unplanned development left the city without sufficient supporting infrastructures, such as drainage and roads, and these worsened the problem of flash floods and traffic congestion.

The Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism described the lack of a plan and the resulting ad hoc development as an abuse of democratic process and breach of good faith.

The civil society’s group executive director Cynthia Gabriel said: “Making an about-turn now simply means public opinion has not been respected. The voice of KL-ites has been suppressed and public funds have gone down the drain.”

She said City Hall and the ministry should explain to stakeholders why the draft plan had not been gazetted.

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