KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 — The Federal Territories (FT) Ministry claimed today that the scaled-down version of the proposed Taman Rimba Kiara high-rise project will leave the public park’s current facilities untouched and will be maintained by the developers.
In a statement, Zulkifli Sulong, who is the press secretary of FT Minister Khalid Abdul Samad, said the latter was shown a proposed new layout by Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) yesterday.
“In the scaled down version, from the 12 acres that was alienated to YWP, only 6 acres will be used for the condominiums. Four acres are to be returned to the park and the balance two acres will house affordable homes for the longhouse residents and their temple.
“The scaled down version will result in the park having a total of 17 acres with all of its current public facilities untouched,” said the statement.
“The developer has also promised to upgrade and maintain the remaining 17 acres of park area to ensure it will provide a pleasant area for public use,” he added.
Zulkifli also said that the developer Kuala Lumpur City Hall is willing to carry on with the project despite having their income significantly reduced from having the development size.
“They are willing to carry on with the project so as to ensure that the long standing issue of the longhouse residents is finally resolved. However, they need the project to remain viable for it to proceed,” he said.
The statement came following the Taman Tun Dr Ismail Residents Association’s criticisms of conflict of interest, since Khalid who is the FT minister is also heading YWP.
The group said there is no specific mandate for the FT minister to head YWP, and added that this has perpetuated the issue which started during Barisan Nasional’s minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor’s previous tenure.
In response, Khalid had yesterday accused the group of resorting to conflict of interest allegation to just to delay the project.
Earlier this week, Khalid said he would submit to Cabinet a 50 per cent reduction of the project, reducing it to four blocks of 41— to 45-storey high-end serviced apartments (878 units) and a 17-storey block of 204 affordable housing units for the Bukit Kiara longhouse residents comprising 1,082 units in total.
The project has faced continued criticism and protests from the residents association, and even Khalid’s political ally Segambut MP and deputy minister Hannah Yeoh, who insisted that the down-sizing is not the best solution for all stakeholders and no different from the original plan.