No change in Taman Rimba Kiara land status as decided by former Pakatan govt, says FT minister

Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa is pictured at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur August 3, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa is pictured at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur August 3, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 — The Federal Territories Ministry has decided that it will abide by the decisions made by the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration over the development of the Taman Rimba Kiara land.

Its minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa told Parliament today that his ministry has not changed any decisions made by his predecessor, Khalid Abdul Samad of Parti Amanah Negara, which is to allow development on part of the land while the rest is to remain as a public park.

“For now, the ministry holds to what has been decided by the previous Federal Territories minister (Khalid) from Amanah, who decided in a meeting that the development will continue, with density lowered and land which the park sits on will not be touched,” he said in his wind-up speech on the King’s debate.

Annuar was responding to queries pertaining to the plot of land that was raised by DAP’s Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh.

When he was minister, Khalid announced the Taman Rimba Kiara developer had agreed to reduce the density and size of the project from 4.9ha to 3.2ha.

Currently, a development order still stands for the 4.9-hectare lot, out of 10.1ha of Taman Rimba Kiara.

Originally, the project was for eight blocks of 50-storey luxury condominiums and a 350-unit block to house residents of the Bukit Kiara longhouse community.

Annuar also responded to several Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents who questioned why surveying work on the plot of land had started when their dispute was still in court.

He clarified that the Cabinet has decided to maintain one of the two plots of land as a public park.

He also clarified that he has given an order that no work be done on the second plot pending a decision at the Court of Appeal.

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 and Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd.

TTDI 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.

Annuar also took a swipe at Yeoh in the Dewan Rakyat, accusing her of neglecting park upgrades.

“You had the chance to upgrade and improve the park, but you didn’t do it,” the Keterak MP said.

He said that he had also ordered the Kuala Lumpur City Hall to start upgrading works on the public park.

“If the park can be upgraded and made better for the public, do it, on the piece of land that isn’t the controversial one, so the TTDI residents can use it,” he added.

Annuar also pledged to gazette Taman Tugu as a permanent public park.

His predecessor Khalid had made a similar undertaking when in office, saying the PH administration will hand over 26.4ha at Taman Tugu worth about RM1.87 billion to the National Heritage Trust for conservation.

Annuar said the land, which is now categorised as under-development, will be handed over to the National Heritage Trust.

“We will gazette this piece of land as a public park permanently. That is our guarantee,” Annuar said.

However, he indicated that it may be the last in Kuala Lumpur as property developers today are creating their own parks accessible to the public.

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