Monday, August 12, 2013

MP questions possible plan of using TTDI's Rimba Kiara for relocation project

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 9): Part of the Taman Rimba Kiara in Taman Tun Dr Ismail may be allocated towards the relocation of former Kiara rubber estate workers, raising questions if the recreational park would be compensated with another parcel of land. 
According to a reply from Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor in Parliament last month, a total of 12 acres between Taman Tun Dr Ismail and the Kelab Golf Pekhidmatan Awam (KGPA) has been identified for the relocation project.
"Part of the Rimba Kiara Park would be taken over for the relocation project but my question is whether the area taken for the project would be replaced?" Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said at a press conference this morning. Rimba Kiara Park is a popular recreational spot among local and nearby residents. It has several trails making is a favourite among hikers. 
However, Taman Tun Dr Ismail resident's association chairman Mohd Hatim Abdullah said the allocation of part of the park for the relocation project is not certain. "So far, there has been no concrete information about the 12 acres of land in question," he said. "However, if a public hearing is held, we will object it. We want the park land to be preserved," he added.
According to Lim, the land of Taman Rimba Kiara is gazetted as open space.
Tengku Adnan had said that the development plan would comprise 350 units of houses, each with a floor space of 850 sq ft. Out of the 350 units, 183 houses would be sold at RM25,000 to the former estate workers and RM150,000 to the second generation of families. The remaining 167 houses would be sold at the open market. Tengku Adnan had also revealed that the proposed development is still in the early stages of planning and would be subjected to amendments and approvals from all related agencies.
However, Lim cautioned the longhouse residents about the government’s plans. "I told the residents not to get overexcited because nothing is finalised yet." 
MIC chairman for Bukit Kiara longhouses T Arumugam said the residents are happy that the federal government had acceded to the requests of the former estate workers. “We have been living here for the past 30 years. We were promised houses for a long time now but nobody had helped us,” he said.
In 2009, former Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan had said that the residents would be given houses as promised and would be able to move into their new abodes over the next two years.
The wooden houses are in poor condition and in desperate need of repairs. Kuala Lumpur City Hall is in charge of maintaining the longhouses but service is slow. "They take a long time to conduct repairs. Sometimes, they take two to three months to do the repairs," said Arumugam.
Mohd Hatim of TTDI residents' association said the families deserve proper housing. "Just look at their homes. It is made of planks. It won't last long. They deserve proper houses." 
A total of 100 families of the original workers at the rubber estate were relocated from Bukit Kiara to the longhouse in Taman Tun Dr Ismail in July 1982. The relocation was meant to be a temporary measure until the familities were given proper housing. The number of families has increased to 183 families, comprising the second generation of estate workers.
Related news: Unclear over fate of Bkt Kiara park
Settlers want to join discussions on housing project

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