Malaysiakini Letter

Not speaking for the Bukit Kiara longhouse community

Bukit Kiara Longhouse Residents' Association
Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | We refer to the report in which Bukit Kiara Public Housing Residents' Association chairperson V Sunderam made wild accusations against TTDI residents and Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh on the Taman Rimba Kiara matter.

Sunderam does not speak for the entire longhouse community, and his association excludes many of us who are recognised residents of the Bukit Kiara longhouse.

For your information, there are two registered residents' associations within the Bukit Kiara longhouse. Our association, Bukit Kiara Longhouse Residents' Association, was registered under the Registrar of Societies in 2009.

Our association was also part of the joint working committee that was supposed to discuss a resolution to the Taman Rimba Kiara matter. We attended the joint working committee meeting on Dec 17, 2018, and voiced our objections to developer Malton's project.

We have lived next to Taman Rimba Kiara for decades. Many of us grew up playing in the park and our children still use the park today. We do not want it to be destroyed.

We are very unhappy with the way that Malton and Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan are treating our community. Under their proposal, they want to move us from the four-acre area that we are living in, to a small one-acre plot elsewhere in Taman Rimba Kiara.

They want three generations of our longhouse community to move into small units inside a 29-storey block of flats. It will change and affect our style of community living, which we have practised for decades. Our parents are estate workers who contributed a lot to the country's economic growth.

After waiting for 36 years, we were hoping that the joint working committee would seriously consider permanent housing options that can allow us to stay on the four acres of the current longhouse area, instead of just trying to 'rubber stamp' Malton and Yayasan WP's plans.

However there have been no further discussions after the first meeting in December 2018. Malton and Yayasan WP should stop using the longhouse as the excuse for their big project plans.

Taman Tun Dr Ismail residents and Yeoh have shown a lot of goodwill and friendship to the longhouse community. They have consistently supported permanent housing for us from the beginning.     

YB Hannah Yeoh has been very supportive of our community and she has engaged with us many times since she became Segambut MP, including visiting our temple during festivals.

She recognised that more voices from the longhouse community should be heard, which is why she added our association to the joint working committee.

When she was shown the bad condition of some longhouse units during Deepavali, she immediately arranged with TTDI residents for repairs to be done.

We ask that Sunderam stop trying to act as if he speaks for all the longhouse residents. He does not.

We also ask the media to please check with us, as one of the two longhouse resident associations, before agreeing to publish statements that supposedly represent the views of the entire longhouse community.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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