‘Do they even know we exist?’

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BUKIT KIARA: A proposed high-rise apartment project near Rimba Kiara park in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) has drawn mixed reactions from the public.

It is greatly opposed by residents in this area who fear for the future of the popular recreational park and dread the ensuing traffic congestion.

However, the high-rise project brings joy to 200 people living in 100 units of longhouses for the past 34 years.

They are delighted at the prospect of new homes after feeling “hurt”, “betrayed” and almost forgotten for so long.

Last week, plans were announced to build a 29-storey block of 350 affordable housing units and eight blocks of serviced apartments, ranging from 42 to 54 storeys (1,766 units).

However Bukit Kiara estate workers, living in longhouses, said those who opposed the project were being “selfish.”

“They do not know what we have been through and how long we have waited for affordable housing.

“In 2009, we were left heartbroken when they (KL City Hall) announced that they were not going to build new homes.

“Now, we welcome the good news, but they (the residents) want to take this piece of good news of permanent homes from us,” said S Subramaniam, a longhouse resident.

Vinod Haran, a longhouse dweller of 20 years, said it was unfair of TTDI residents to complain about the new apartment block project.

“We live in the same area. They drive past us and they see us every day.

“Don’t they know that people here have been waiting for more than 30 years? Do they even know that we exist?

“This is a blessing to us. Please do not take it away from us.”

T Arumugan, who is president of the Bukit Kiara Sri Maha Mariamman Hindu temple, said God seemed to have answered their prayers.

“Two units will be allocated for each family. There are 100 families here.

“We have waited for this for so long. Now, some families have their fourth generation staying in the longhouses.

“The temple will also remain untouched. We’ll be happy to move into the affordable homes once they are built.”