Sg Penchala residents see red over 4 high-rise blocks, car park

Low Han Shaun

Kg Sg Penchala at the fringes of Kuala Lumpur is a Malay reserve area but its tranquillity will be shattered soon with the building of high-rise apartment blocks. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal, June 24, 2017.

MORE high-rise development is coming to one of Kuala Lumpur’s last Malay reserve areas but not everyone is happy about it.

In fact, Kg Sg Penchala residents are fuming that they will have to wake up to four more high-rise buildings soon.

Sg Penchala residents’ association president Shohaimy Saad said the projects will worsen traffic congestion, cause sewage problems and increase the density of the area.

“We don’t mind if the height of the building is six stories but a 37-storey building will affect the neighbourhood here.

“How can they approve projects like these in a Malay reserve?” he told The Malaysian Insight.

Shohaimy showed a letter from the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), noting the approval for a 37-storey flat, a 38-storey flat, a kindergarten above a seven-storey parking lot, a 22-storey People’s Housing Programme (PPR) flat and a 23-storey PPR flat.

He alleged DBKL kept villagers in the dark when it approved the projects.

“As it is, we have electricity cuts, water shortage and we even have to fork out our own money to build a sewerage system to channel waste into the river. Why don’t they fix these problems first before putting up new projects?”

DBKL told The Malaysian Insight all development projects approved have to go through Rule 5 of the Federal Territory Planning Act.

“The projects that they (residents’ association) are talking about are on private land, right? It has to go through Rule 5,” said Hassan Azhari Abu Bakar, DBKL’s corporate communications officer.

When asked which part of the Rule 5 process applies to the five projects, Hassan said they varied and declined to comment further.

Rule 5 is a provision that requires the Kuala Lumpur mayor to inform owners of adjacent land through advertisements in newspapers about any development near their property.

Residents are then allowed to object to applications for development, which involves the conversion of land use, zoning or increases the density of the area.

It is part of the Planning Development Amendment Rules 1994, a by-law under the Federal Territory Planning Act 1982.

Sg Penchala residents’ association president Shohaimy Saad (centre) says problems, such as traffic congestion, sewage and density, will worsen when a mammoth project in the area takes off. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal, June 24, 2017.

Razib Buang, 47, who has lived in Kg Sg Penchala all his life, said he attended a few meetings with DBKL on similar projects, but the local authority went ahead despite villagers’ protests.

“I don’t understand it as we have had various meetings with them two or three years ago. We want development to our infrastructure, not buildings that will increase the density,” he said.

Another villager, Siti Zahara Nasron, 69, said her family have lived there for several generations and hopes that DBKL will rescind the approvals for the projects.

“It is the next generation who will inherit this land. And my sons are also joining me in rejecting these projects.”

DBKL has also attracted protests in a nearby development in Taman Tun Dr Ismail. Residents there are objecting to the proposed development of eight blocks of serviced apartments, ranging from 42 to 54-storey, next to Taman Rimba Kiara

The TTDI residents’ association has submitted a petition to DBKL to cancel the project as the new development would increase population density from 74 to 979 people per acre. – June 24, 2017.

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