DBKL meetings on over-development concerns go nowhere, says Bangsar residents group

A general view of a construction site for a 32-storey apartment development which is facing objection from local residents in the area in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur on November 25. Bukit Bandaraya residents group says it has done its best to engage with DBKL but the local government proved unhelpful. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, December 21, 2017.

BUKIT Bandaraya residents in the Bangsar suburb have never extorted money from developers and have done their best to engage Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) on concerns about over-development, the residents association (RA) said.

The association was responding to claims by Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, who recently accused some groups of threatening developers.

Bukit Bandaraya RA advisor and immediate past president M. Ali said many of these attempts to engage DBKL did not yield any outcome.

“We were never advised on the outcome of the meetings. We were even told that if the planning department required any changes, developers would be informed to do the needful and approval accorded.

“Hence, we had expressed our displeasure the way it is being handled, for the affected community would not know the outcome,” Ali said.

Because of the way these meetings were handled, Ali said the RA had copied most, “if not all” of its correspondence with DBKL to Tengku Adnan.

“Our hope was for him to intervene. However, what happened to our letters addressed to the minister for intervention and assistance to the community, is best known to him,” Ali said in a statement today.

He said the group was surprised at Tengku Adnan’s recent claim that residents groups which have been protesting new developments in their suburbs were set up by “certain quarters” to get “remuneration” from developers.

“I have asked developers to report the actions of these certain groups to the police and MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission),” Tengku Adnan was quoted as saying.

The minister did not name the groups but besides Bukit Bandaraya, other residents groups, including in Taman Tun Dr Ismail and Taman Desa, have been actively opposing and have even taken legal action against development projects in their neighbourhoods.

They say the developments will increase population density and worsen traffic congestion and pollution.

Ali said the Bukit Bandaraya group was willing to work with the MACC and walk the graft-busters through the development problems faced in the neighbourhood.

These included several developments which had over-extended onto pedestrian walkways and drain reserves, the operations of kindergartens and nurseries beyond set restrictions and the height of residential bungalows where several the area have exceeded the height limitation.

“Why such special privilege for some,” Ali said.

The Bukit Bandaraya RA has been protesting a three-storey commercial property at the intersection of Jalan Tualang and Jalan Maarof in Bangsar.

Meanwhile, the Bangsar Park RA has written to DBKL complaining about the proposed redevelopment of the Sri Bahang flats on Jalan Bukit Bangsar.

This project would see the current nine-story block of 1,017 units turn into eight blocks of apartments with 3,257 units. It is on a 3.97ha site owned by DBKL and the Transport Ministry.

Ali reiterated the group’s call for the gazetting of the Draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 which would make future development plans more transparent.

Since the plan has not been gazetted, further development in established housing suburbs such as Bangsar ought to be put on hold, he added.

It was reported earlier this year that the 2020 plan had been set aside “because of the difference between the current land value and the value at the time the plan was drafted”, according to KL Mayor Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz, who said a new plan for 2050 was being drafted instead. – December 21, 2017.

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