CHUAN Ah Kau is a familiar face at the Taman Rimba Kiara, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.
The 74-year-old resident of Damansara Jaya drives to the park almost every evening to take photos of birds and and other wildlife. It is also where he meets friends “of a feather” with the same interests, and makes new ones.
His love for nature was born from the time spent in the tin-mining area of Kamunting, Perak, where he was born and raised. His childhood was well spent swimming, catching fish in the river, flying kites and playing football. He and his friends also regularly hiked up Maxwell Hill (Bukit Larut) in Taiping, where they would bypass the “normal” routes in search of more challenging tracks.
His addiction to challenges continued when he moved to Petaling Jaya to work at a tyre plant. The young Chuan spent 25 days at the Outward Bound School in Lumut, Perak, for outdoor and survival training. The love for adventure remains until today – and at the age of ‘retirement’, Chuan continues to lead an active lifestyle and pursues his fondness for nature.
In June 2016, City Hall (DBKL) approved the development of a 29-storey block of an affordable housing flat, and eight blocks of high-end apartments on a 4.86ha land, cutting through the leafy Taman Rimba Kiara, which is designated as public open space under the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020.
A study conducted by the International Islamic University Malaysia’s Department of Architecture and Environmental Design comparing green areas to built-up areas in KL showed that the percentage of green areas in KL fell from 76.62% to 23.33% in two decades. - August 2, 2017.