MP tells FT minister to save ‘trafficked baby’ by returning Taman Rimba Kiara to ‘the people’

Hannah Yeoh speaks during a press conference in Petaling Jaya May 15, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Hannah Yeoh speaks during a press conference in Petaling Jaya May 15, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh continued her open criticism of her Pakatan Harapan colleague’s handling of Taman Rimba Kiara, saying the federal territories minister had used the wrong analogy on the controversy.

The DAP lawmaker, who has been vocal in calling for the cancellation of development of the park, hit out at Khalid Samad for describing the inherited issue as an “unwanted baby” during a news conference in Putrajaya yesterday.

“Wrong analogy. Taman Rimba Kiara is a trafficked baby. Cannot be kept by Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan/Developer,” she posted on her Facebook page last night.

She included a screenshot of a Malaysiakini news report citing Khalid as asking “If I can save the baby, why kill the baby?”

Yeoh, who is also women, family and community development deputy minister, disagreed with Khalid’s solution.

“The right thing to do is to return the baby to the rightful owner — the people. That is how you save the baby. You kill the green lung by developing it,” she said.

Khalid has come under attack from detractors, including Yeoh, prominent lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and members of civil group Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4), and defended himself yesterday.

The Shah Alam MP from Amanah denied he was an “apologist” for developers by allowing construction to proceed on the green lung, but said he was instead trying to save the government from unnecessary use of public funds.

Khalid pointed out that the Taman Rimba Kiara project was approved during Barisan Nasional’s rule and that he was simply trying to resolve a problem he had inherited.

The minister said his team is preparing a presentation in Cabinet, which will be sent first to the attorney general for vetting as Yeoh and C4 suggested.

He said he will also append Yeoh’s own studies to the presentation, adding that the whole process may take a month.

The minister also urged opponents in the matter to be reasonable and accept the Cabinet’s decision in the matter.