KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 ― Over 300 people attended a sit-in protest at Taman Rimba Kiara in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) today over continued inaction by authorities while a threat to the green lung grows more imminent.
Some attendees were irate that there has been no update from the authorities, especially when Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor pledged during a November 3 town hall meeting to confer again with concerned groups.
Instead of another meeting, however, they learned that the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has given the developer of the offending project approval to build a showroom, even as a lawsuit by some residents to stop the development remains before the courts.
Save Taman Rimba Kiara group co-ordinator Leon Koay said they have tried repeatedly to contact Tengku Adnan to follow up on the matter, but to no avail.
“We feel perplexed by their silence. When we were at the forum, the minister seemed serious in exchanging information with us on Taman Rimba Kiara; however, now it seems that is not the case,” he said.
Koay said residents were especially upset to learn about the approval for the showroom last week, which he said reeked of bad faith given Tengku Adnan’s previous promise to leave the park untouched.
“Why would he promise us that the park would never be touch, yet three days later, City Hall approved the project site showroom just three days later?’ he said.
TTDI Resident Association president Hafiz Abu Bakar said opponents will not accept anything less than the cancellation of the project and for the park to be gazetted as a green lung.
He also urged the developer to “do the right thing” and abandon the project, adding that residents will fight the development to the very last.
“Enough is enough,” he said.
A lot in the park was surreptitiously alienated to Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan — the welfare arm of Tengku Adnan’s Federal Territories Ministry — and approved for mixed development.
The land is now earmarked for nine blocks of condominiums and ancillary facilities.
Residents objecting to the development claim it could decimate hundreds of plant and animal species that reside in the park now, some of which are totally protected species by law.
On August 11, five residents and five management bodies jointly filed for judicial review of the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and its mayor’s decisions on the proposed development.
On November 15, the High Court allowed landowner Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan, developer Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd, and the Sunderam longhouse residents association to be intervenors in the case.
The hearing date for the actual lawsuit has yet to be fixed, with the High Court set to hear on December 13 the plaintiffs’ application for an order to freeze any action arising from the conditional planning permission and development order granted until the lawsuit ends.