Longhouse residents: The powerful from TTDI RA marginalising us

Longhouse residents: The powerful from TTDI RA marginalising us

PUCHONG: The rich and powerful from the Taman Tun Dr Ismail Residents’ Association (TTDI RA) are marginalising us.

The Bukit Kiara Public Housing Residents Association chairperson V Sunderam said this after delivering a memorandum to the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters after delivering the memorandum, Sunderam urged Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to intervene and press ahead with the scaled-down Taman Rimba Kiara development project so that the affordable housing promised to them over 30 years ago will finally be built.

“We want the project. They promised us back in 2015 that they will build us the apartments. They have scaled it down, we still accept it,” he said.

In 2015, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) promised to build low cost apartments for the longhouse residents, whom were displaced 37 years ago after the Bukit Kiara rubber estate was taken over for development purposes.

The RM3 billion plan would comprise of eight blocks of 50-storey luxury condominiums and one block of affordable apartments.

An agreement between the longhouse residents and Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) ensured that each of the 98 families will have one unit of housing for free and another at 50% discount.

The project would have taken up 4.9 hectares of land, almost half of the 10.1-hectare Taman Rimba Kiara.

However, TTDI RA went up in arms against the project and said the green lung should not be touched.  

After Pakatan Harapan took over the government, the newly-minted Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad scaled down the project from 4.9 hectares to 3.2 hectares.

He said that he had taken into account everyone’s interests, as well as saving the government from legal action and having to pay RM150 million in compensation if the project was cancelled.

“I am speaking on behalf of the public. I don’t want to waste taxpayers’ fund to pay compensation to the developer.

“I also want to keep my promises made to the longhouse residents,” Khalid was reported saying.

However, TTDI RA rejected the scaled-down proposal and maintained the park should not be touched for any development purposes.

Commenting on the matter, Sunderam said that he was baffled on why the housing project was still being delayed despite a High Court decision on Nov 28 last year, which had ruled in the government’s favour to continue with the project.

 “Still some people in the TTDI RA are blocking the project. So, we want to take this matter to the Cabinet to resolve it,” he said.

The Taman Bukit Kiara issue has even pit Pakatan leaders at odds with one another. Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh asked Khalid to cancel the project altogether or build the proposed development project at the longhouse area.

She also said that the project blueprint must have endorsement from the MACC.

However, Yeoh did not indicate where the longhouse residents would live while the project is taking place. A check by The Leaders Online showed that the MACC had cleared the latest plan.