Segambut MP demands developer stop all work at Taman Rimba Kiara, says dispute still before court

Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh speaks during a press conference at Taman Rimba Kiara in Kuala Lumpur July 30, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh speaks during a press conference at Taman Rimba Kiara in Kuala Lumpur July 30, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 ― Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh said all structural development possibly linked to a high-rise mixed development project in Taman Rimba Kiara must cease immediately.

The former deputy minister said no construction should be carried out considering that a legal dispute between nearby residents and the developer was still not resolved.

“The matter is still at the Court of Appeal. They must respect the court process because the case is ongoing in the Court of Appeal.

“How can they start doing work when the matter is still yet to be decided in court?” said Yeoh during a press conference at the park today.

Yeoh said residents observed a surveyor at the park previously, before spotting construction workers putting up 2m-high poles that cut across the park, particularly the football field that residents used for daily recreational activities.

The Taman Rimba Kiara case, now in its fifth year, involved residents challenge against a development project consisting of nine apartment blocks, part of a joint venture between Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) and Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd.

The residents contend that the project would destroy up to 10 hectares of green space, said to be one of KL’s last green lungs.

The development, if pushed through, would also affect residents of longhouses there that must be demolished to make way for the project.

“Yesterday we received videos from park goers that there is work ongoing in the middle of the field.

“Residents spoke to the Indonesian workers, they said they are putting up a boundary. That is all they said.

“We have checked with DBKL (Kuala Lumpur City Hall), but the officers don’t seem to know what is going on hence the press conference today to tell them they (YWP) are encroaching into the park which they have previously promised not to,” Yeoh added.

YWP, the registered proprietor of the land earmarked for development, previously asserted that the scaled-down version of the project would not encroach into the boundaries of the public park.

In a media briefing in May 2019, the YWP chief executive officer Zaizalnizam Zainun said the project now covers about eight acres of land compared with the initial 12 acres.

Zaizalnizam reportedly said the development will only encompass areas that have been permitted and it will not go over into the area of Taman Rimba Kiara.

Today, Taman Tun Dr Ismail Residents’ Association chairman Abdul Hafiz Abu Bakar said residents were disappointed and upset that construction has apparently resumed.

“We want the authorities and those involved to remove the metal poles immediately,” he said.

Abdul Hafiz added that the TTDI RA will lodge a police report over the matter.

“We have not been notified by the court yet on a decision of our court case.

“Who do these people think they are to bulldoze their way through like this? They must respect the court process,” he said.

Also present, Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil said outsiders must stop making decisions for residents, referring to works done and the authorities’ recent announcement on their decision to change the park’s name to Taman Awam Bukit Kiara.

He also pressed the Federal Territories Ministry to explain the plan to rename the park.

Fahmi said the authorities should at least consult residents, many of whom have lived here for decades.

“If they can’t meet us, then we will go and meet them,” he said.

The TTDI RA has called out DBKL over its attempt to change the name of the long-disputed Taman Rimba Kiara.

This came after DBKL made an announcement this morning that the park has been renamed as Taman Awam Bukit Kiara, a move that it claimed was taken to prevent public confusion.

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