Stop the lies, TTDI residents tell longhouse body

Residents and City Hall can’t agree on how to resettle the 98 longhouse families.

PETALING JAYA: The residents association (RA) at the centre of the Taman Rimba Kiara development saga today reiterated its support for permanent housing for longhouse residents.

The Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) RA rebutted a statement made by one V Sunderam, of Pertubuhan Penduduk Perumahan Awam Bukit Kiara, yesterday that TTDI residents did not support such a housing scheme for them.

“The TTDI RA has always supported permanent housing for the longhouse residents. We are on public record as supporting their permanent housing from the time this controversy began in 2016.

“The other longhouse association, Persatuan Penduduk Rumah Panjang Bukit Kiara, has acknowledged our consistent support for their permanent housing.

“Therefore, Sunderam’s contention is a blatant lie. It is time for Sunderam to stop repeating this lie,” it said in a statement today.

The RA further stated that its objections and legal actions were centred on the expensive multiple blocks of condos that Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan and Malton had proposed to build, supposedly as cross-subsidy for the permanent housing of longhouse residents.

“We have asked repeatedly why it is necessary for there to be a RM3 billion project, or even a scaled-down proposal of RM1.5 billion, encroaching into a public park, to build permanent housing for these 98 longhouse families,” it said.

Sunderam yesterday submitted a second memorandum to a representative of National Unity and Social Wellbeing Minister P Waythamoorthy, reiterating their plea to the government to put an end to their long wait for permanent housing in Bukit Kiara.

Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad recently said the project developers had agreed to scale down the size and number of apartment blocks. He said the project would take up only 3.2ha compared with the original 4.9ha.

However, the move was opposed by the TTDI RA, which has been a vocal opponent of the project.

Sunderam was reported to have said that the RA’s objection clearly showed that the rich and elite in TTDI did not want the longhouse settlers in their neighbourhood.

Aside from the TTDI RA, Persatuan Penduduk Rumah Panjang Bukit Kiara has also spoken up against Sunderam, saying that he and his association did not represent the majority views of the residents of the longhouse community.

“He does not speak for the entire longhouse community. We have already addressed this in detail before.

“The longhouse community was aware of the plan to submit more memorandums in Putrajaya and the majority refused to follow Sunderam’s group to Putrajaya yesterday. That is why only a small group was with Sunderam,” it said in a statement.

The association also questioned why Sunderam was being a mouthpiece for YWP and Malton’s “big plans to build expensive condos”.

“Sunderam’s group makes so much noise about the permanent housing. But YWP and the developer’s plan will move us into a one-acre (0.4ha) plot and take more than six acres to build luxury condos.

“We wish to remind YWP and Malton to stop using our longhouse community as their excuse for big development plans.

“We know that you expect to make many millions in profit, even from the supposedly ‘scaled-down project’. So far, you are only deepening divisions among the people who live here,” it added.