END OF THE ROAD FOR DESA WATER PARK: TODAY, ITS LAST DAY AFTER 16-YEARS OF OPS

TODAY is Desa Water Park’s final day. The family theme park in Taman Danau Desa, Jalan Kelang Lama in Kuala Lumpur, will close its doors after 16 years of entertaining more than four million visitors from all over the country.

The family-favourite Thunderbolt, one of Asia’s longest uphill water coaster, will come to a permanent halt after today.

The wave pool – a children’s delight – and the surf shack, a tropical-themed structure featuring multi-level platforms integrated with pipes, vales, pulleys, buckets and waterslides – will fall silent.

Land sold to highest bidder

Now the question is what will it be replaced with?

According to Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), who had owned the 16.99ha land that hosted the theme park and a restaurant, a mixed development consisting of high-end bungalows, multi-storey towers and condominiums as well Federal Territories Affordable Housing (Rumawip) scheme will be built on the land. The site is next to the Desa Lake.

“DBKL has sold it (the land) to the highest bidder,” said Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz.

Desa Water Park will close its doors after 16 years of receiving more than four million visitors.

While the mayor did not share any other details pertaining to the project, StarMetrolearnt that it was an outright sale and DBKL would not have any further ties to the land.

“It was sold on condition that the developer agreed to build affordable homes at the site,” said a DBKL source.

It is also learnt that Berjaya Corp, which operated the Desa Water Park and rented out one of the buildings to the management of the Dragon Hut Restaurant, were given notice to vacate the premises by Sept 30 by DBKL.

Dragon Hut restaurant popular with tourists and locals, have been operating for 16 years. The owner said she was shocked to receive notice to vacate the premises by Sept 30.

DBKL had leased the land to Berjaya Corp. When contacted, a staff from the Berjaya Corp corporate communication department said they were no longer associated with Desa Water Park and hence did not want to comment further.

London’s River Thames cruise?

StarMetro managed to contact the new owners of the land, Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd, who confirmed that they had recently acquired the land from DBKL.

The water park and its surrounding area that has been earmarked for the mixed development. — Photos: IZZRAFIQ ALI AS and SHAFWAN ZAIDON/The Star

“Yes, we acquired the land about two months ago. Our plans for the area is still at the design and planning stage,” said executive director Michael Chai.

“It is going to be a mixed development with a gross development value of RM6bil to RM7bil.

“We are certainly taking into account the need for affordable homes, as well as leveraging on the lake area,” he said.

“We appreciate the fact that Desa Water Park has been an iconic establishment in this area for many years.

“Which is why we are planning something to give back to the community,” he added.

When asked to elaborate on the plans, Chai said: “Well, we have been visiting London’s River Thames and we have something in mind along those lines.

The schoolchildren spending about four to five hours splashing about in the water park.

“All I can say for now is that it is going to be special for the community as a whole.”

Of late, DBKL has been selling off its prime land in the city.

A life guard at Desa Water park watches the kids splashing in the water.

Two years ago, DBKL sold a huge chunk of its land in Jalan Air Jerneh in Setapak, for a mixed development project.

In 2014, Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai highlighted that DBKL had been disposing prime plots through joint venture deals that were not benefiting city folk.

He said the deals were not made through open tender and there were existing facilities on the land.

School kids from Kelantan making a bee line to the park on Wednesday.

Tan cited the velodrome in Cheras, DBKL’s Health, Engineering and Mechanical departments in Jalan Cheras and another plot in Jalan Pinang as examples.

He said other plots of land had been sold recently in similar fashion.

– ANN

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