I’m not blaming anyone, Khalid says on delayed homes for longhouse community

Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad.

PETALING JAYA: Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad has defended his statement on the proposed development of Taman Rimba Kiara, saying he never blamed the Taman Tun Dr Ismail residents’ association (TTDI RA) for delaying the delivery of houses for the longhouse community there.

“Why should I want to blame them?” he said. “If there is anyone to blame, it would be the government then, and the estate owners who sold the estate without ensuring the plight of their workers was satisfactorily resolved.”

The TTDI RA said last week that it was not to blame for the delay, adding that it had always supported permanent housing on the four-acre plot where the longhouse residents are currently located.

“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,” its president Abdul Hafiz Abu Bakar said.

In a statement today, Khalid said he was not interested in “blaming anyone”.

“Rather, I want to solve the problem. That is why I was appealing to, and not blaming, the TTDI RA to sympathise with the plight of the longhouse residents and let the problem be finally resolved after 38 years.”

He said the project in question had been significantly scaled down, with only a portion of the car park and the existing longhouse area affected.

This way, he said, the longhouse residents would get their houses as promised, the residents would have their park untouched, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) would be able to save its money for use elsewhere, and both Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) and the developer would make “some profit”.

To the association’s statement that TTDI was created out of the 7th Mile estate, not the Bukit Kiara estate, Khalid said it is nonetheless a neighbouring estate.

“So let’s help our neighbours,” he added.

“I believe DBKL, YWP and its developer have done their best to find a win-win solution for all parties concerned. It is not easy when inheriting a problem to find a best possible solution.”