Residents say ‘no’ to Khalid’s win-win proposal on park project

Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad says ‘everybody gets something’ in his latest proposal for the Taman Rimba Kiara development project.

PETALING JAYA: Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents have rejected a win-win proposal on the controversial Taman Rimba Kiara development project put forward yesterday by Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad, saying it is “tainted by a RM160 million conflict of interest”.

The response came following a video clip Khalid posted on his Facebook page, proposing a solution where “everyone gets something”.

In the 2.46-minute recording, Khalid said that under the proposal, Malton Berhad, the developer of a high-rise project next to Taman Rimba Kiara, would get “half a development” than what it had proposed previously.

The TTDI residents, he said, would get a bigger park, while the longhouse residents in the area would get free housing, and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) would not have to fork out RM150 million in compensation to the developer.

The TTDI Residents’ Association brushed aside the proposal, maintaining that there was a conflict of interest in Khalid’s role as FT minister as well as chairman of Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP), which owns the land.

“YWP is the private landowner of the 12 acres of Taman Rimba Kiara which were questionably transferred to it by the previous administration,” said the association’s president, Abdul Hafiz Abdul Bakar.

He said it was a bizarre situation “where the chairman of a private landowner (YWP) gets to use his day job as FT minister to present directly his development project to the Cabinet”.

“YWP, via its joint venture with developer Malton, stands to receive up to RM160 million from the ‘Malton solution’ which Khalid is pushing for.

“Even if a better housing option is available for the longhouse residents instead of the ‘Malton solution’, YWP has no incentive to pursue the better solution because they would have to forgo up to RM160 million from Malton.

“Considering the circumstances of Khalid’s continued conflict of interest as FT minister and YWP chairman, the public is welcome to evaluate for itself whether it is the best solution in the public interest,” Hafiz told FMT.

In the video clip, Khalid said he did not want a situation where the longhouse residents were left with nothing.

“I do not want a situation where the developers and businessmen in general feel that we do not honour our promises, we do not value the fact that the development order has been issued, money has been spent, and we seemingly, very happily (are) cancelling all contracts.

“And at the same time, I’ve got to take into consideration the residents who want the park to be maintained.

“So what we have proposed is a scaled-down version, wherein four acres from the 12 acres that were alienated to YWP will be returned to the park free of charge. So in the end, there will be 17 acres of park area left for the residents of TTDI,” he said.

Before posting the video clip yesterday, Khalid had previously said he would leave the decision on the development project to the Cabinet.