KUALA LUMPUR: Khalid Samad today defended a proposal to scale down the Taman Rimba Kiara development project, after it was criticised by DAP’s Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh who said it was no different than the original project promoted by his predecessor.
The revised plan would see the construction of four condominium blocks instead of the original eight, and the height of the buildings decreased from 50 storeys to 45.
The federal territories minister questioned Yeoh’s claim that the changes were nominal.
“How can she say it is insignificant?” asked Khalid.
“Even the cost of the ECRL was slashed by over 30%,” he told FMT.
Yeoh, 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 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.
Khalid said the revised plan would see the project taking up 3.2 hectares of land instead of the original 4.9 hectares.
“So what more could you ask for? We need to be reasonable.”
Khalid also disagreed with Yeoh’s claim that longhouse residents would be separated from the other more affluent neighbourhoods.
He said the affordable units built for the longhouse residents will see a “very low” density of between 450 and 500 people on a plot covering two acres.
Most affordable homes, he said, were built on land that would see between 800 and 1,000 people per acre.
“I am not putting them in a small area. The density is good and it is next to a temple,” he said, adding that the land in between the condominiums, affordable homes and temple will be used as a car park.
Khalid however said he had no issue with Yeoh’s criticism as she was speaking on behalf of her constituents in Taman Tun Dr Ismail.