Ambiga urges pause to Taman Rimba Kiara development pending MACC probe

Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan says there should not be any construction on Taman Rimba Kiara until the MACC completes its investigations on allegations of a conflict of interest presented by the C4. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan says there should not be any construction on Taman Rimba Kiara until the MACC completes its investigations on allegations of a conflict of interest presented by the C4. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — Prominent lawyer and social actvist Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan today called for a suspension of any development on Taman Rimba Kiara.

She said there should not be any construction on the green lung until the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) completes its investigations on allegations of a conflict of interest presented by the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4).

“MACC has to do its job, I actually fail to understand why the investigation has not moved because that will determine whether this contract ought to proceed.

“In my view, there must be a moratorium on the project, at least until MACC convey its findings once complete. I hope the Cabinet will make that decision,” she said during a townhall session at the Taman Tun Dr Ismail community centre with some 500 residents.

Though Ambiga acknowledged pausing the proposed housing construction may cause some inconvenience to the longhouse residents living nearby, she said the MACC should not be rushed to complete investigations.

The former Malaysian Bar president also urged the Pakatan Harapan government to put a stop to allowing foundations such as the Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) to be used as a “vehicle for corruption”.

Ambiga said that she and C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel will meet with the Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad on Monday to discuss YWP’s role and the proposed park development plans.

“There must be a relook at the YWP and that the fact that the FT minster is the chairman. It doesn't take rocket science to work out the clear conflict of interest.

“YWP has been used, from the evidence presented to us, as a vehicle for corruption. That vehicle must go because when you keep it going, when you keep it alive, then you are sending the wrong message.

“What is the need to continue that? That is something I will be putting to the FT minister.

Why are you continuing this bad habit in Yayasan?” Ambiga posed to the audience.

She asserted that there is no guarantee that the foundation would not be misused should PH lose federal power in the next elections.

Ambiga said the federal government has to build institutions and bodies that would be sustainable in the long run and cannot be abused.

On Wednesday, DAP’s Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh and C4 had called for the Attorney General’s Chambers to scrutinise the Taman Rimba Kiara development project.

Yeoh said there is a clear conflict of interest in the development project as it is under the purview of YWP whose current chairman is Khalid, who is also the Shah Alam MP.

Khalid has denied he is favouring the developers by agreeing to continuing the project, which he said had been scaled down following negotiations.

He also took issue with his critics, saying none of them including Yeoh and Cynthia, had sought to speak to him on Taman Rimba Kiara before going to the press.

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