AG will be asked to mediate in dispute over Taman Rimba Kiara development project

The attorney-general will be asked to verify the legality of the Taman Rimba Kiara development project contract.

PETALING JAYA: The attorney-general (AG) will be invited to mediate in the dispute over the proposed Taman Rimba Kiara development project after the parties involved failed to  resolve the issue.

This was decided at a meeting today attended by Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad, lawyer-activist Ambiga Sreenevasan and Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) executive director Cynthia Gabriel.

The meeting was called after Khalid expressed disappointment that Ambiga and Cynthia, whom he regarded as friends, did not meet him but spoke to the media instead on the development project, which is said to encroach on the park.

Gabriel said the main focus now would be to have AG Tommy Thomas verify the legality of the project contract.

“The AG will be invited to future meetings to mediate in the dispute, especially in the areas of the legality of the contract and compensation, if any, and find a solution.

“He will do this as chief legal adviser to the government,” she told FMT.

Asked whether Khalid had addressed the issue of conflict of interest since he is also the chairman of Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP), the owner of the land, Gabriel said the matter was left to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

“I briefed him, he said let MACC decide if there is corruption.

“We also discussed matters pertaining to the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020, the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, which is mysteriously shrinking, and other issues,” she said.

It was reported that the Taman Rimba Kiara development project was listed as one of the 273 projects which were given development order approvals prior to gazettement of the City Plan 2020.

Gabriel said that during the next joint committee meeting, all stakeholders would be asked to present their views and see if a resolution could be reached.

The joint working committee, which met only once last December, comprises representatives from the Taman Tun Dr Ismail Residents Association, Bukit Kiara longhouse residents, Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh, Kuala Lumpur City Hall, YWP and the Federal Territories ministry.

At a town hall session organised by Yeoh last Saturday, Ambiga had called for a moratorium on the proposed development project.

She cited “transparency issues” which warranted a thorough investigation by the MACC.

She also questioned the legality of YWP being entrusted with future projects, citing evidence presented by C4, which “apparently showed a conflict of interest”.

It was reported that Khalid had proposed a revised development project plan which would comprise four blocks of 41- to 45-storey high-end serviced apartments (878 units) and a 17-storey block of affordable housing units for the Bukit Kiara longhouse residents.

The original plan comprised eight blocks of 42- to 54-storey luxury condominiums (2,277 units) and a 29-storey block of 350 affordable housing units.

According to Khalid, the size of the proposed development had also been scaled down from 4.85ha to 3.2ha.

After the town hall session, Yeoh said the TTDI residents had made two proposals for Khalid’s Cabinet paper.

One was to cancel the whole project, return the land to the government and have an open tender to build the proposed townhouses for the longhouse residents.

The other was to return the park land to the government and allow the project to be built within the longhouse footprint and not encroach on the park.