Minister: DBKL to hold new public hearings on Taman Tiara Titiwangsa condo

Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad speaks during a press conference at JW Marriot Hotel, Kuala Lumpur March 14, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad speaks during a press conference at JW Marriot Hotel, Kuala Lumpur March 14, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 — City Hall will arrange fresh public hearings for objections to a high-density project in Taman Tiara Titiwangsa, said Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad.

He explained that the move was a result of a Court of Appeal ruling that voided previous public hearings on the development.

“Following the court’s decision yesterday, a fresh round of public hearing will be conducted by DBKL on the development in Taman Tiara Titiwangsa,” he said.

Taman Tiara Titiwangsa residents previously complained they were unable to present their objections properly under Rule 5 of the Federal Territory Planning Act 1982, which is to allow public input in planning and development.

When asked whether his ministry will rectify other development projects which might face the same predicament, Khalid said the court had only ruled on the development in Taman Tiara Titiwangsa.

“The court ruling refers only to that project. If other projects have gone past that (stage), there is nothing much that we can do,’’ he said.

For Taman Tiara Titiwangsa, the residents also claim that there is a conflict of interest in the case as the KL Mayor is a board member of the organisation that owned the land, Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan.

Khalid explains that it is not illegal for the mayor to be on the board of Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan as many other ministries and even state governments possess their own foundation which is chaired by their own member.

“It was said in court that the conflict of interest had arisen due to the mayor being a board member of Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan which led to the conditions of Rule 5 not being done properly.

“It is not a Sdn Bhd and no shares are being held by the Mayor or anybody on the board. Whatever profits it generates goes back to the foundation itself.

“The issue now is the governance of the foundation needs to be done in a more transparent and accountable manner,’’ he said, using the Malay acronym for private limited companies.

In 2017, residents of Taman Tiara Titiwangsa had raised objections on the project, claiming that its site was marked as an open space and community centre under Draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020.

The land which is owned by Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan was to be used to build two 52-storey blocks with 1,072 units and another 40-storey block with 460 affordable housing units.

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