Whose oversight and negligence was it when a separate title was issued to a developer for the 32 hectare park and lake popularly known as Subang Ria Park in Selangor? How many titles for other open spaces such as lakes and parks are still in the hands of developers and yet to be surrendered to the government?
The tragedy of Subang Jaya is that more than thirty years ago, hundreds of pensioners and others invested in an unknown housing scheme after being given the representation that they also would become co-owners of the 32ha land which has a lake, park and recreational area.
So they invested in this scheme even though there were more established ones in other areas. Today, more than 30 years later, thanks to bureaucratic incompetence, foolishness and apathy of the highest order, the title for the 32ha park still lies in the developer's hands.
Now the only green lung in the mammoth concrete jungle called Subang Jaya is about to be exposed to further unhindered construction and perhaps, in future, to massive floods.
The wrangle for control over the park had been going on long enough between the developer, the municipal council, the state government, NGO's like the Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam, Selangor (Cassa) and residents groups who want the title to be returned to the local council for the area to be gazetted asa park.
From time to time, when public outcry becomes politically unbearable. Those in the seats of power would assure that no development would be approved for the park. But when the heat is of, again we hear of development plans and schemes for the area.
This is a pity because if political leaders whom we respect and repeatedly return to power cannot keep their promises and uphold the right of the individual and the community, why should that community continue to blindly vote them in?
The Subang Ria Park tragedy and similar ones throughout the country over show us today quite clearly that we should not put our trust in those who make many countless representations in many versions, ultimately betraying us voters.
The pertinent question in Subang Jaya is when will such betrayal come to a halt and will those behind it made to account for wronging the community who have since time immemorial repeatedly voted in Barisan Nasional?
I sincerely appeal to our beloved Sultan of Selangor and Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to please right a wrong and instruct that the 32ha of land called the Subang Ria Park be gazetted soonest as park and recreational area for all.
*The writer is Cassa president.