PETALING JAYA: A residents’ association today refuted accusations that it was responsible for delaying the delivery of houses for the longhouse community in Taman Rimba Kiara.
Taman Tun Dr Ismail Residents’ Association (TTDI RA) president Abdul Hafiz Abu Bakar was responding to Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad’s statement alleging that the Bukit Kiara longhouse community were moved to their present longhouse location by a developer who had sold the land to build Taman Tun Dr Ismail.
“The minister’s statement is factually incorrect.
“It appears that his conflict of interest as chairman of Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (the landowner of the Taman Rimba Kiara project land) has driven him to embrace the twisted narratives of his predecessor, former FT minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.
“TTDI was not created out of Bukit Kiara Estate. Instead, it was created out of the 7th Mile Estate,” he said.
He explained that 7th Mile Estate was the estate located next to Bukit Kiara Estate.
“TTDI was created and developed in the 1970s-1980s by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) in a joint venture with SEA Park Development. It was an urban housing project for, among others, government civil servants.
“Bukit Kiara Estate was acquired by the government but not used to create TTDI,” he said.
Hafiz said the Bukit Kiara Estate was owned by the Ng Chin Siu family. In the 1970s, the government acquired Bukit Kiara Estate (supposedly for public purposes) and the entire area of 1,600 acres (647ha) became government land under the administration of Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
In 1982, he said the families of estate workers living in Bukit Kiara Estate were relocated by the government to the current longhouse location, with a promise that they would be given permanent housing within five years.
“The ‘TTDI Myth’ perpetuated by Tengku Adnan, was that the Bukit Kiara longhouse residents were relocated to the current longhouses from their original estate dwellings inside Bukit Kiara Estate, which was never used to create any part of TTDI,” he said.
Hafiz also said Taman Rimba Kiara park and the Bukit Kiara longhouses are located on the original footprint of Bukit Kiara Estate and were not located on the original 7th Mile Estate, which later became TTDI.
Dismissing the minister’s statement further, Hafiz said the TTDI RA had always supported permanent housing on the 4-acre plot where the longhouse residents are currently located.
“We have been consistent from the very beginning — the longhouse residents should be given permanent housing on the four acres they currently inhabit.
“In support of that intention, the TTDI RA has already submitted a proposed townhouse design concept for the longhouse residents that would fit comfortably within the four acres and accommodate the three generations of longhouse families, for a construction cost of about RM25 million,” he added.
He further questioned if Khalid had embraced Tengku Adnan’s position on the matter.
Citing a previous statement, Hafiz said Tengku Adnan had refused to entertain TTDI RA’s townhouse proposal.
“Khalid seems to have embraced Tengku Adnan’s ways, including repeating the ‘TTDI myth’.
“He is dismissing the serious conflict of interest issue that has yet to be addressed to this day,” he said.
“If the scaled-down solution (to relocate the longhouse residents) is a win-win, why was it done in secrecy?
“Khalid’s office has also acknowledged that an on-site briefing was conducted at Taman Rimba Kiara yesterday (April 25).
“However, the briefing was limited to representatives from Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP), the minister’s team and the developer, Malton Berhad.
“If Malton’s scaled-down solution is truly a win-win solution, why were Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh and TTDI RA excluded from this briefing? Was it because Malton and YWP were afraid of answering difficult questions on site?” Hafiz asked.
It was reported that the minister had urged TTDI residents to be willing to compromise and allow the proposed development of Taman Rimba Kiara, particularly the promised housing for Bukit Kiara longhouse residents.
Khalid reportedly said this in response to the claim by the TTDI RA that the FT Minister should not also chair YWP as there was a conflict of interest.