Balance affordable housing demand with existing communities’ wellbeing, Putrajaya told

The playground in Taman Desa on which a condominium block will be built is sandwiched between the low-rise Armada Villa houses and a football field. — Pix courtesy of Protect Taman Desa
The playground in Taman Desa on which a condominium block will be built is sandwiched between the low-rise Armada Villa houses and a football field. — Pix courtesy of Protect Taman Desa

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 — The Federal Territories Ministry should not disregard the wellbeing of existing Kuala Lumpur neighbourhoods in its bid to offer affordable housing in the capital city, Taman Desa residents said today.

They also alleged that the absence of a holistic master plan for the development of the federal territory of Kuala Lumpur (WPKL) was causing “confusion, distress and dissension”.

“The ministry in its noble pursuit to create affordable housing has a moral responsibility and obligation to protect the wellbeing and interests of all communities of WPKL.

“It is inappropriate and unfair to look after only the segment of WPKL population requiring affordable housing and disregarding the wellbeing of others,” Taman Desa’s Armada Villa residents’ spokesman Chong and Protect Taman Desa coalition’s Kervin Chong said in a joint statement today.

“We urge the honorable minister as the leader to lead the way in providing a transparent and clearly defined Master Plan,” they said, noting that there would be “comfort, certainty and clarity of purpose and leadership” when such a blueprint is in place.

The Protect Taman Desa coalition have identified 13 planned condominium projects that they allege will cause ad-hoc and unsustainable development of their neighbourhood, while the low-rise Armada Villa residents have objected to a playground land being converted into the project site for a high-rise condominium.

However they pointed out that Taman Desa residents have not objected to a separate project called Desa Satumas — under the Federal Territories Ministry’s affordable housing programme Rumawip — that is also near Armada Villa.

“The residents of Armada Villa and Danau Impian condominium which is immediately adjacent to this plot of land have not lodged any complaint against the Rumawip project developed by Aset Kayamas,” they said, referring to a land which previously housed the Seputeh Umno division office and a community hall which was sold to the developer for the Desa Satumas project.

A close-up view of the playground next to Armada Villa units that are all less than four-storey high.
A close-up view of the playground next to Armada Villa units that are all less than four-storey high.

Focusing instead on a high-rise condominium project of 333 units to be built on the playground land that was sold to a private developer, the Armada Villa residents noted that they had on November 16 filed a report to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for a probe on the sale and transfer of the land that carries the lot number 54838.

“Whilst the residents who lodged the report has neither received feedback nor response from MACC on this report, we trust that the matter is being looked into by MACC,” the residents said in the same statement.

The Armada Villa residents questioned why the land earmarked for use as library and park was sold, also saying that Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) had failed to notify them of the project and that residents had only discovered it when “hoardings were put up on the plot of land and the playground equipment were all removed”.

“It was also discovered that the Developer had started soil investigations and a primary access was created at the back portion of the land which is near the primary entrance to the SMART Retention pond along Jalan Desa,” they said, further asserting that this project is not an affordable housing project.

“Given the facts of the matter, we urge the Federal Territories Ministry to explain how this transaction took place,” they added.

Last Tuesday, Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai claimed that 45 plots of “precious prime land” in KL have been sold below market price and without open tender since Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor became Federal Territories minister in May 2013, saying these lots would have fetched higher prices with open bidding.

Tan had cited two parliamentary replies to him dated this March 22 and July 27, which he said showed DBKL as having sold 45 plots of land measuring a total of 228.08 acres from 2013 to July 14, 2017.

In the July 27 reply, the Federal Territories Ministry said that 15 agreements for the sale of DBKL land were finalised during the 2016 to July 14, 2017 period, with 10 of these for housing development including Rumawip, and the remaining five for various purposes such as business space, trade and serviced apartments.

Responding to Tan, Tengku Adnan last Thursday said the land sold involved places such as “non-feasible hawker centre reserves, squatter settlements, public housing spaces, reserved open spaces and staff quarters”, noting that the land were sold for projects under Rumawip and two affordable housing schemes — 1Malaysia Civil Servants Housing (PPA1M) and 1Malaysia People’s Housing (PR1MA).

He said some of the land were sold at a discounted price to developers, with developers then having to sell the houses at affordable prices ranging from RM42,000 to RM230,000 through the concept of cross-subsidisation.

A map of 13 upcoming developments in Taman Desa, with item seven denoting the approximate location of the condominium project on the playground land.
A map of 13 upcoming developments in Taman Desa, with item seven denoting the approximate location of the condominium project on the playground land.

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