Khalid rules out scrapping TTDI condo project

Desmond Davidson

Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad says his ministry together with City Hall will try to come up with an amicable solution to the Taman Rimba Kiara project. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin, November 26, 2018.

PUTRAJAYA will not scrap the controversial development order on the Kuala Lumpur green lung of Taman Rimba Kiara but will instead propose that developers scale back the project, said Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad.

Khalid said he has proposed to developers, Memang Perkas,a to consider taking up only half of their originally offered 4.9ha site, and proceed with a smaller-scale development originally meant to include nine high-end condominium towers and a block of 350 units of affordable housing for Bukit Kiara longhouse residents.

The arrangement, said the Amanah communications director, would mark a “partial victory” for Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents who have been opposing the development and potentially save the government millions in compensation to the developer.

“The residents have to accept reality and do a little give-and-take,” Khalid said at an event in Kuching over the weekend.

Khalid said if the developer agreed to take only 2.4ha of the area, 0.9ha could be used for building the condominiums while the rest would be utilised for the building of homes for the longhouse occupants.

“Just add another 0.9ha of the open area and hopefully the developer would agree. They might not get to build nine condominiums there, maybe just four,” he said.

Save Taman Rimba Kiara coordinator Leon Koay on Friday called on the government to cancel the project and refund the RM155 million which Memang Perkasa had spent on the development.

However, Khalid said scrapping the project was not a viable option for the government, admitting that while “many things were done wrong” under the Barisan Nasional administration, the current Pakatan Harapan government could not undo everything due to cost reasons.

Taman Tun Dr Ismail residents taking part in a townhall with Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad on Friday. They are demanding that the government cancel a mammoth condo project at the edge of Taman Rimba Kiara. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin, November 25, 2018.

The project was approved by Khalid’s predecessor, Tengku Adnan Mansor.

“I can’t undo everything. It’s impossible,” Khalid said.

“We can cancel the project but if we cancel the project, we have to pay them RM150 plus, plus millions as compensation.

“Then there is the question of the longhouse people,” he said.

Khalid said if he were to adopt the principle of “just bite the bullet and pay”, the government could be saddled with just paying hundreds of millions of ringgit compensation as there are “dozens” of similar questionable projects approved by his predecessor.

“This (Taman Rimba Kiara) is not the only case faced by DBKL (Kuala Lumpur City Hall). If one case is already RM150 million (compensation), what would the cost be if there are 50 such cases?

“DBKL would be paying these companies forever. They wouldn’t be able to do any other work.”

The proposal for a scaled-down version of the project would be the middle-of-the-road solution to the issue, and urged TTDI residents to compromise.

The residents, who have been battling DBKL since 2016 over the project, said the development will destroy half of the public park that is a habitat of nearly 40 species of local birds and resting ground for migratory birds.

However, Khalid clarified that the area earmarked for development was an open area and would not affect the actual park.

On Friday, he said his ministry will set up a joint working committee together DBKL, Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) and TTDI residents to try and resolve the issue. – November 26, 2018.

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  • Khalid appears to be so pro developer. Has he got something to hide? This land was sold under the veil of corruptiob;

    any one will challenge and investigate how this developer was able to quielty buy this green lung. And sue

    Posted 5 years ago by Roti Paun · Reply