KUALA LUMPUR (May 16): In response to the Taman Rimba Kiara (TRK) land dispute, Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) CEO Zaizalnizam Zainun firmly said that the organisation will not consider Segambut lawmaker Hannah Yeoh’s proposal to limit the construction within the longhouse footprint.
Zaizalnizam said at a media conference at YWP’s project site near TRK today that per Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad’s proposal to scale the project down by half is “the best” option.
He emphasised that the “scaled down” project will not encroach the public park and trees will be relocated instead of being cut down.
The revised plans will comprise around 200 units in a 17-storey affordable block for the longhouse residences, sitting on a 1.4 acres of land. Another four blocks of serviced apartments will also be built on a six-acre land, housing more than 1,000 units.
The original project entailed eight blocks of high-end serviced apartments housing more than 2,000 units.
Zaizalnizam also told reporters that YWP will surrender four acres of land back to the government, retaining only eight acres. Besides this, the project will also be cut down by half, from a gross development value (GDV) of RM3 billion to RM1.5 billion.
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He pointed out that the project has already incurred a cost of RM155 million, including land price, premium and initial planning and compliance costs.
Presenting a layout plan for the proposed construction, Zaizalnizam revealed that two blocks of serviced apartments and the affordable housing will be built under the first phase, with an estimated construction period of three years. The land where the longhouse is situated will be developed under the second phase upon the completion of the first phase, thus ruling out the need to relocate the longhouse residents during the construction period.
“If we are to build the housings within the longhouse footprint, then where are they going to stay during the construction period?”
With the affordable housing expected to be completed before the second phase commences, he reiterated that the plan is to relieve the longhouse residents from having to relocate to make way for the project. “No transition house will be needed for the long house residents,” he said.
He also added that car parks and roads will be built on the four acres to be surrendered back to the government for the convenience of the residents and park visitors.
The project has yet to obtain a development order (DO) and is “still pending approval of the cabinet, but we have already submitted the plan to relevant authorities”, said Zaizalnizam.
The 100 long house households will have the affordable homes for free, while the second generation of the long house residents will have the right to purchase the homes at RM150,000, which is a 50% discount to the original price.
Meanwhile, Bukit Kiara Public Housing Residents’ Organisation chairman Sunderam Vadiveloo, who is also present at the media conference, said that the long house residents have waited for 39 years for the permanent housing, and it is “sad” to see some “third party” trying to stop the project.