The scaled-down Taman Rimba Kiara project is a “win-win solution” that allows longhouse residents to remain in the area and restores to Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents a portion of the land, said Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad.
In dismissing allegations of conflict of interest against him, Khalid said neither he nor the landowner, the Federal Territory Foundation (YWP), stands to gain from the revised project.
“We have achieved a ‘win-win’ situation for all residents of Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) by reducing the scale of development, and they should be thankful that the developer is returning most of the land to the housing estate (TTDI).
“Unfortunately, they (TTDI Residents’ Association) want all 25 acres, including the original site of the longhouse and temple. So, where are the longhouse residents going to stay? TTDI residents are enjoying development and staying in beautiful houses; what about the fate of the longhouse occupants?
“They have been living there for 38 years and should enjoy the same rights, by living in houses that are better than the existing ones,” he told reporters at the 50th-anniversary dinner of the Malaysian Book Publishers Association in Petaling Jaya last night.
Khalid clarified that his ex-officio position as YWP chairperson is as stipulated by the foundation’s constitution.
'No conflict of interest'
“YWP is a body that undertakes welfare work, and I do not have any share or personal interests in any money obtained by YWP. So, the issue of conflict of interest does not arise,” he added.
Yesterday, TTDI chairperson Abdul Hafiz Abu Bakar was reported as saying there was a conflict of interest on the part of Khalid as the minister and also YWP chairperson in settling the dispute over the Taman Rimba Kiara development.
The project sparked controversy in April 2017 when Kuala Lumpur City Hall issued an order for the development on a 4.9-hectare lot, out of 10.1ha of Taman Rimba Kiara. It was to entail the construction of a 350-unit block of affordable housing for the Bukit Kiara longhouse community and eight blocks of 50-storey luxury condominiums.
TTDI residents opposed the project, and Khalid on Monday announced that the developer of Taman Rimba Kiara has agreed to scale down the development, by reducing its density and size from 4.9ha to 3.2ha.
At the dinner, Khalid presented the Golden Membership of 50 years award to three publishing companies and award for membership of 25 years and above to 29 companies.