Residents demand to know why land for park, library used for condo instead

M. Gunasekar speaks during a press conference at Armada Villa in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur November 18, 2017. — Picture by Choo Choy May
M. Gunasekar speaks during a press conference at Armada Villa in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur November 18, 2017. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) must explain why a parcel of land in Taman Desa that was gazetted as a library and park was alienated for a developer to build a 52-storey condominium project, said residents.

The residents of the nearby Armada Villa said they learned of the surreptitious move when searching for proposed developments in the area, following protests against another condominium project here that resulted in residents suing the DBK).

They further alleged that previous information showing the parcel was designated for use as a park and public library has since been removed.

“We think there is foul play in the selling of the land,” said Armada Villa resident M. Gunasekar.

General view of the playground area which will soon be converted into a luxury condominium in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur November 18, 2017. — Picture by Choo Choy May
General view of the playground area which will soon be converted into a luxury condominium in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur November 18, 2017. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Other residents have questioned if the offending project was approved or legal, basing their suspicions on the developer’s use of a separate entity to collect deposits and down payments.

They also added that licensing and permit information for the project was missing from the developer’s brochures.

Gunasekar said that he has raised the matter with DBKL’s town planning department director, Sulaiman Mohamed, and with an officer of Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Dr Loga Bala Mohan.

Both have yet to respond, he said.

“This is the people’s land. It may be in their name (DBKL), but they are holding it in good faith and trust of the people,” said Philip Phang, a longtime resident and member of the “Protect Taman Desa, Stop Overdevelopment” group.

General view of Armanda Villa in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur November 18, 2017. — Picture by Choo Choy May
General view of Armanda Villa in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur November 18, 2017. — Picture by Choo Choy May

“We are not against development, we are for development, but we want sustainable development,” Phang added

The residents said they have lodged reports with the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Town and Country Planning Department, and urged the authorities to investigate.

The residents questioned why DBKL was encouraging high-density projects in the area, and why surrounding residents were not notified of the purported change in the land’s classification as required under Section 21(6) of the Town and Village Planning Act 1976.

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