Mr chief secretary, my questions

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A large number of senior public servant join the Kelab Golf Perkhidmatan Awam (KGPA), which was originally called Kelab Rekreasi Perkhidmatan Awam or KRPA. Similar privileges were given to selected public servants (read: Gred Jusa and above) to join other private member clubs like the Royal Lake Club, Royal Selangor Golf Club (RSGC) and Kelab Golf Negara Subang (KGNS).

These club memberships were encouraged and modelled after similar private clubs of the British Commonwealth of nation-states. They, over time became elitist clubs, where major policies and public concerns were discussed and resolved by an ‘old boys club’ without going through the formal media or social media; as it is done today.

But, today, the government of our independent nation we call Malaysia, has actually gone even one step further. The federal government, with the involvement of senior public officials, have even developed such clubs to fully encourage such membership clubs. The KGPA is one such club.

It is my belief that KRPA was the original initiative. I am told, that the then-mayor of Kuala Lumpur City Hall moderated the issue with two former public officials of the Administrative and Diplomatic Service (PTD); both chief secretaries of the government, and then they made their argument to the then-prime minister; who finally agreed to it, when he was convinced of their arguments.

Consequently, the commissioner of Lands of the Federal Territory, or the director-general of Lands and Mines, allocated some of the government-acquired lands for public development, from private owners, towards the KRPA, while the Sime Darby Group developed their Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC) where international ladies golf tournaments are held today.

The Equestrian Club was also part and parcel of the same land acquired by the government and so are the lands surrounding Taman Tun Dr Ismail Park were also acquired. Today, the walkers and hikers of the TTDI Hill notice it’s being upgraded for public use but we also hear ‘rumours’ that there is a plan to convert the neighbourhood green lungs into housing development projects...

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