Hannah Yeoh says no to Khalid’s ‘scaled down’ Kiara project

Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh and Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad.

PETALING JAYA: A deputy minister has come out strongly against a “compromise solution” mooted by Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad over the Taman Rimba Kiara development project which has riled up nearby residents.

Hannah Yeoh, the Segambut MP who is also the deputy women, family and community development minister, said the proposal to scale down the controversial project which cuts into a green lung in Kuala Lumpur was not much different from the original project approved by Khalid’s predecessor Tengku Adnan Mansor.

“The difference between Tengku Adnan’s legacy in Taman Rimba Kiara and the proposed solution by Khalid Samad is nominal and this is not good enough for me, the longhouse residents and also the users of Taman Rimba Kiara,” said the DAP leader.

Khalid recently said that the project developers had agreed to scale down the size and number of apartment blocks, adding that the project would take up 3.2 hectares compared to the original 4.9 hectares.

He also said a 350-unit apartment block for the Bukit Kiara longhouse residents would remain as part of the project.

The move did not get the support of the Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents association, among the most vocal opponents of the project.

Yeoh said the new plan separates residents of the high-end apartments from the original longhouse residents.

“Why move them into a tiny corner, creating a huge barrier between those who can afford condos and those who can’t? I want the longhouse residents to be treated better than this,” she wrote on Facebook.

“Let’s be honest. For every condo and affordable housing in the Klang Valley, all surrounding land will usually end up being used for car parks of residents and visitors.”

The Taman Rimba Kiara development will see the construction of a block of 350 units of affordable housing where residents from the current longhouses will be placed, and eight 50-storey high-end condominium blocks, with a gross development value of at least RM3 billion.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall approved the project in July 2017 despite massive objections from surrounding residents.

The project, which is currently being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, is a joint venture between the federal territories ministry’s Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan and Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Malton Bhd.