ACTIVISTS opposed to the development of Taman Rimba Kiara should meet the Federal Territories Ministry in person with their allegations, its under-fire minister, Khalid Samad, said today.
“Why don’t you come and see me instead of making statements in the media?” Khalid said at a press conference.
“I will show you all the documents. I don’t know how many times you’ve met the president (of the residents’ association), but you have not met me.
“Come and listen to my side of the story, too. You cannot expect the media to carry every word I say.”
Cynthia, executive director of anti-corruption watchdog C4, and Ambiga, the former president of the Malaysian Bar, yesterday took Khalid to task over his position as minister and chairman of Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan, which is a party to the redevelopment project.
There were also suggestions that Attorney-General Tommy Thomas look into the possibility of voiding the development project due to its potential “illegality”.
The “illegality” to which the activists referred was the awarding of the redevelopment contract under former minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, also the chairman of Yayasan WP when the project was awarded to developer Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd.
C4’s Cynthia also alleged that an associate of Tengku Adnan’s had stakes in Memang Perkasa through shareholding in other companies. THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT
‘If I can save baby, why kill baby?’ – Minister on Taman Rimba Kiara project
halid Samad has refused to commit infanticide with regard to the renegotiated Taman Rimba Kiara development project, which he described as a win-win situation.
Having inherited the issues surrounding this project, the federal territories minister likened it to a toddler.
“I have to handle this so-called unwanted baby.
“You ask me to kill, I say no, I can save the baby. Why do I need to kill the baby if we can bring some good? If I can save the baby, why kill the baby? he asked.
He was responding to criticism from Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh, former Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan and Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) executive director Cynthia Gabriel.
Speaking to reporters in Putrajaya today, Khalid pointed out that the developer would get their project, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) saves money, residents get four acres back and the development would not affect the park itself as it would only use the car park and longhouse site.
“So it is a win-win situation if we are willing to compromise. I am not hurting anybody. Even the park is not being affected,” he added.
The project, which involves the construction of luxury service apartments, as well as an apartment block to accommodate longhouse residents displaced by the development, was approved by the former government when Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor was federal territories minister.
Under the renegotiated deal, Khalid said developers would return half the land – about four acres – as well as halving the number of apartment blocks from eight to four.
According to him, the developers would also build houses for free as compensation for the 100 families displaced from the longhouse.
If the project is cancelled, the minister said the developer would have to be compensated since the development order has been issued.
Though he admitted that the actual cost of compensation would be decided by the courts, Khalid said it could reach a whopping RM150 million.
“I’m not trying to be an apologist for the developers. I’m trying to protect public funds because the money I’m trying to save is public funds.
“If I am an apologist, I would have defended the original development order. Why would I waste time and effort renegotiating with the developers?” he asked.
Khalid said the cabinet papers on this project is still being prepared but once it is presented to the cabinet, the ministry would abide by the decision.
“So actually the cabinet will decide between paying (the compensation) or proceeding (with the renegotiated project). Even if we were to proceed, it will be the scaled-down version,” he added.
He also asked Yeoh to pass her views to him so he can attach it to the cabinet papers before presenting it. – MKINI
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT / MKINI