DEAR Segambut MP,
You have no idea what it is like to be a rubber tapper or to be a family member who lived in the Kiara Estate.
This goes to the members of the Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents association (RA) and their liaison associations too.
I have endured, watched and waited in hope for permanent housing in the same location, living in longhouses as a temporary five-year arrangement which dragged to 37 years, to date.
Dilapidated living conditions in the capital city and among the rich and famous. What an unbecoming sight this must be to the TTDI RA!
The longhouses are situated in the middle of the lushful greenery of Bukit Kiara and Taman Rimba Kiara.
Joggers and hikers pass the longhouses daily and see a black dot that doesn’t want to go away!
There was a light of hope when in 2012 the then cabinet approved a mixed development on the land and to build affordable houses with two units for each family – for the first generation and second generation buying it at half the price.
Do you know how jubilantly the news was received? Each family’s social and economic standing had been uplifted.
The approved project is in no way jeopardising the habitat of the wildlife or destroying the flora and fauna. On the contrary, it provides more housing and quality living for more families to eradicate urban poverty. Affordable houses for the longhouse settlers after a 37-year wait. Should this not be of paramount interest?
Following this, the Master Resettlement Agreement was executed with each longhouse settler.
Just to point out to you, YB, the then MP during these times was from your party.
Are you also aware that when the TTDI RA commenced their suit for judicial review, the longhouse settlers were never named? An application to intervene was filed by the longhouse settlers as they were living there and were stakeholders. And you think the TTDI RA was concerned about the longhouse settlers to begin with?
And you, YB, who became a new MP only in May 2018, who is to serve the constituents without fear or favour and respecting the rule of law, have failed!
You made a choice to make your house with the TTDI RA. Choosing the rich, famous and powerful over the marginalised and down-trodden longhouse settlers. What a shame!
You must have been briefed of the court’s ruling against the stay application by the TTDI RA in 2017, way before you were elected, but you blantantly disregarded it. The decision for judicial review had been dismissed in November 2018, and though the TTDI RA has filed an appeal, there is no stay order. The project should and can progress.
When you took office, your offer to the longhouse settlers was to relocate these settlers to the TTDI market car park! Were you not aware of the history behind the TTDI market?
Next, you began playing footsie with numerous associations with grand ideas of building town houses for the longhouse settlers on the same footprint. Whose land, YB? Who is the developer? Relocate the longhouse settlers while this “so-called development” happens? So, that the longhouse settlers who have been waiting all these years can continue living in “this new relocated site” for another 37 years and be conveniently forgotten?
Then you made another detour – you announced that your intention is different from the Federal Territories minister and you would want the “rich and poor” to live harmoniously on the 4.4-acre longhouse footprint. YB, who are you trying to hoodwink?
Don’t forget, our prime minister is a stickler towards the rule of law. The court’s decision is clear in dismissing the suit brought by the TTDI RAs and the grounds of judgment are sound.
Why do you or the TTDI RA get to have a say on a done deal?
The Master Resettlement Agreement is a binding instrument. The longhouse settlers are to be built affordable houses in a mixed development project on the said 12-acre land.
Let the longhouse settlers move forward and have an ever after.
* Velan Perumal reads The Malaysian Insight.
* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.