FT minister hopeful of Taman Rimba Kiara resolution before year’s end

A view of Taman Rimba Kiara in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur August 4, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
A view of Taman Rimba Kiara in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur August 4, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, April 22 — Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad is aiming for an amicable outcome with all stakeholders in the Taman Rimba Kiara development controversy before 2019 is up.

Khalid explained that the original development consisting of eight blocks of high-end serviced apartments ranging from 42 to 54 storeys each has been scaled down to only four blocks taking up only 3.2 hectares compared to the original 4.9 hectares.

In a joint interview arranged to commemorate Pakatan Harapan’s first anniversary in power, he also explained that the scaled-down version will still include a 29-storey block with 350 units meant for the Bukit Kiara longhouse residents.

Amid continued criticism and protests from the Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) Resident Association, Khalid said he has done his best to reach an agreement with the developer.

Now, he hopes the dispute will end soon for sake of longhouse residents whom he said have been waiting decades for proper housing.

“I have negotiated with the developers and they agreed to scale down the project. This is the best that I could do. However, the TTDI Resident Association still has not agreed to it so we are still negotiating.

“But I want to resolve this problem within this year because the longhouse residents have been waiting for over 36 years,” he said in a press conference here today.

Khalid said that he can understand the criticisms even from his fellow political ally, Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh, stating she is merely voicing the concerns of her constituents.

Last month, Khalid had explained that Kuala Lumpur City Council cannot afford to cancel the development project, which could cost the local authority RM150 million in compensation fees.

However, Hannah had rebuked his explanation and claimed that the fee was an “imaginary” figure, to which Khalid responded by stating that the amount had already been filed in the courts by the developer.

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