KUALA LUMPUR: “You don’t need anything else, except a good pair of shoes.”
Chong Fook Khing, who has been part of the Taman Rimba Kiara (TRK) public park community since 1995, talked about how the park held plenty of good memories for him.
“We’ve been coming here practically every day and we love to walk up the hill and do all kinds of exercises.
“It has supported my lifestyle and health since,” Chong told FMT during a peaceful gathering held at the park yesterday.
Chong, 60, said he spent a lot of his time with his family at the park. He dreads the day it will be stripped of vegetation and replaced with a concrete jungle in the near future.
He called on the government to reconsider its plan to develop additional service apartments at the park.
“It’s a fun place to be in. For the park to be taken away from the people is certainly unacceptable.
“We want this park to be retained forever. We hope the government will reconsider the development they are planning here.”
The housing project in Taman Tun Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) is to rehouse estate workers relocated 30 years ago.
The project comprises a 29-storey block with 350 “affordable” 850 sq ft flats and eight other tower blocks, some as high as 54 storeys, for 1,800 service apartments.
The “affordable” flats would be sold to 100 estate families at RM25,000 each and 83 to other families at RM150,000 each. The rest would be sold to the public at market rates, according to news reports.
While the estate families are pleased at being rehoused, TTDI residents are unhappy about plans for the eight other tower blocks and the steep increase in population density.
TTDI residents association (TTDIRA) held a gathering yesterday to protest the development project
More than 150 residents and outsiders attended. TTDIRA has been organising its opposition since it got wind of the housing project two years ago.
Aisyah Farhanah Mohamed, 28, who came to support the cause, said the importance of retaining “green open spaces” for people, especially children, to get involved in outdoor activities couldn’t be over-emphasised.
“We are demanding for this kind of open space to be retained because there are not many safe areas such as this park for kids to play and hang around,” said Aisyah, who hails from Wangsa Maju.
She said demolishing the park was not a wise move as such multipurpose parks were getting rare since many had already been stripped off to make way for housing development by greedy developers.
Ann Chee, one a TTDI resident, claimed that the development would affect the living conditions of nearby residences in terms of health and traffic.
“When I first came here, the weather was very nice and chilly. It was like we were in Cameron Highlands. But now, as more development goes on, all I can see is dust.
“The traffic was already bad around my area. Now, they are going to build more buildings. It will be worse than before.”
Reia Peterson Koay, 11, who spends a lot of time in the park cycling and playing outdoor games with her friends fears losing her favourite hangout space.
“I feel very upset they want to do this kind of thing to a place we enjoy coming to,” said Reia, who was handling a booth with her friend to get more people to protest against the development.