KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 — Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad said today that his solution to the Taman Rimba Kiara (TRK) development saga gave all those involved some of what they asked for.
In a short 2:46 video, Khalid said that under the new proposed solution, the developer of a luxury high-rise near the park in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) would get “half a development” than what the firm would have gotten before, which he said was still viable.
As for TTDI residents, he said they would now get a bigger park, while the longhouse residents in the area would get free housing and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) would not have to fork out a hefty RM150 million compensation for the developer.
“As the minister, I have to take into consideration the interests not only of the residents, but also of the longhouse residents, of the developer, and of DBKL. I do not want DBKL to end up using RM150 million to pay compensation to the developer.
“I do not want a situation where the longhouse residents are left with nothing. I do not want a situation where the developers and businessmen in general feel that we do not honour our promises, we do not value the fact that the development order has been issued, money has been spent, and we seemingly, very happily (are) cancelling all contracts.
“And at the same time, I’ve got to take into consideration the residents who want the park to be maintained. So what we have proposed is a scaled down version, wherein four acres from the 12 acres that was alienated to Yayasan Wilayah [Persekutuan] will be returned to the park free of charge. So in the end, there will be 17 acres of park area left for the residents of TTDI,” he explained.
Khalid said that this being the situation, there is no situation where the park would be demolished, as there are now 17 acres altogether.
He said that the Bukit Kiara longhouse residents would be getting free housing, while DBKL gets to save RM150 million.
“We want to make sure that we look after everybody’s interest. Everyone gets at least a portion of what they had requested.
“As far as the long house residents are concerned, they get exactly what they were promised. As far as the developer is concerned, they get half a development which is still viable. As far as the residents are concerned, they get a bigger park, when compared to what was originally planned for them, i.e. a balance of 13 acres, now they are getting 17 acres, and as for DBKL, they get to save their money and use the money for other purposes,” he added.
Khalid said that this is the best possible solution, given the current situation at hand, adding that the government must honour the development order for the condominium project as it is valid.
He also cautioned that there will be consequences should the government try to muscle its way with the developer.
“There will be consequences. We have to go to the principle of rule of law,” he added.
Last month, The Star reported that the Pertubuhan Penduduk Perumahan Awam Bukit Kiara had submitted a second memorandum to the Prime Minister’s Department in a bit to hasten the fulfilment of the master resettlement agreement signed in 2015.
The report said that the agreement was between the longhouse residents and Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP), in which each of the 98 families was promised one unit of housing for free, and another at a 50 per cent discount.
The report quoted the association’s chairman Sunderam Vadiveloo saying that the High Court’s decision on November 28 last year to deny the attempt by the TTDI residents to overturn the conditional planning permission and development order by DBKL for the controversial project in Taman Rimba Kiara was in their favour.
The affordable housing is part of a mega project involving the construction of eight blocks of between 42 and 54-storey high-end serviced apartments, consisting of 2,277 units.
The Star reported that 200 units were reserved for the relocation of the Bukit Kiara longhouse families, and that the project has since been scaled down.
The revised plan consists of a 17-storey block of 204 affordable housing units for the Bukit Kiara longhouse folk, and four blocks of 41- to 45-storey condominiums, comprising 1,082 units in total.
On May 15, DAP’s Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh and Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) called for the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) to scrutinise the TRK development project.
In a press conference, Yeoh said there is a clear conflict of interest in the development project as it is under the purview of YWP whose chairman is Federal Territories Minister Khalid.