Stop-work order only for The Address II, says FT minister

The stop work order notice at The Address condo in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur February 15, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
The stop work order notice at The Address condo in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur February 15, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 20 — The stop-work order is specific only to condominium project The Address II in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur, and not its sister development, The Address, as both were granted a different development order, said Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad today.

Khalid said the collapse had only occurred at The Address II, and not The Address, therefore construction work at the latter does not have to stop.

“There is no point stopping work for the other building because the collapse did not happen there.

“So we stop work at the relevant block only,” he told reporters during a press conference after he officiated the Federal Territories Day celebration organised by PlanMalaysia.

Khalid was responding to the Protect Taman Desa Coalition, a group of residents living in the area for construction of both blocks to be stopped as they shared the same developer.

The collapse of a slab at The Address II has raised safety concerns and revived several queries over land conversion and absence of engagement with residents prior to approval of two high rise condominium blocks.

Taman Desa residents also claimed that the land on which both condo blocks were being built belonged to Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), and had been earmarked as a green lung in the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020.

But Khalid explained that the land had its status changed in 2015, before his time.

“The land was formerly TNB reserve land. But it was no longer in use when land was converted in 2015 to privately-owned land.

“The development order was issued in 2017. So all these decisions were made during the Barisan Nasional administration,” he said.

The minister added that cancelling the project was not an option as there were legal issues that involved the government compensating the developer the losses that would be incurred.

“If the residents agree to fork out money to pay for all losses and compensation incurred, maybe we can sit down and have a discussion.

“But those who opposed these projects say that DBKL has a lot of money and they should be the ones paying for these compensation. That's very difficult for us,” he said.

Khalid likened the Taman Desa situation to national projects such as the East Coast Rail Link and the High Speed Rail, where these projects were previously approved under the BN administration and work had to continue even though Pakatan Harapan was now in charge as the government would be liable otherwise.

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