Group against TTDI development questions rival over ‘missing’ RM700,000

BY YISWAREE PALANSAMY
Bukit Kiara Rumah Panjang Residents Association secretary M. Sivakumar speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur December 16, 2017. — Picture by Choo Choy May

PETALING JAYA, Dec 16 — One association representing longhouse residents opposed to a condominium project in Bukit Kiara is demanding for an older rival group to explain the outcome of an alleged RM700,000 payment from the developer.

The Bukit Kiara Rumah Panjang Residents Association asserted that developer Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd, on behalf of Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan, gave the sum for residents to repair and restore the longhouse.

Alleging that the funds promised to the rival Pertubuhan Penduduk Perumahan Awam Bukit Kiara were “missing,” they accused the former of failing to protect residents’ welfare and interests by not opposing the development.

“Where is it (the RM700,000)? There is a black-and-white document, showing that the chairman of the Pertubuhan Penduduk Perumahan Awam Bukit Kiara had signed it, acknowledging on behalf of the residents, that he has agreed to the sum payable, but when confronted, he denied any knowledge of it,” said M. Sivakumar, the secretary of the rival group.

Sivakumar said a resident also wrote to V. Sunderam, the chairman of the pro-development group, to seek clarification, but received no response.

He then questioned why his rival could not explain the agreement signed over a year ago.

“How could he (Sunderam) not have known when he’s signature is on the document? Does that mean he just signed it without reading the terms?” Sivakumar said.

Sivakumar also accused the rival group of preventing dissenters and youths from joining, claiming this was the impetus to the formation of his competing association.

He also alleged of scare tactics used to win residents over to supporting the condominium project, with claims that they would be left homeless unless they complied.

In a court document sighted by Malay Mail Thursday, Sunderam said the master resettlement agreements signed between his association and Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan meant that the longhouse settlers will get 100 units of affordable homes built on the project site for free, plus an additional 100 units offered at a preferential rate of RM175,000 each.

However, Sivakumar claimed today that no proper plans were shown to the residents, and most are still clueless about where they would be relocated.

The longhouse settlers ― 98 families who had worked on the Bukit Kiara rubber estate previously bought over by the federal government and were promised better homes ― are currently living on 4.4 acres of land, which are also part of the project site.

The contested site is earmarked for eight blocks of condominiums and ancillary facilities.

One group is supportive of the development while the other has banded with other Taman Tun Dr Ismail residents who filed for a judicial review of Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and its mayor’s approval for the project.

The effort encountered a major setback on Thursday when a High Court rejected their application for a stay order on construction work pending the outcome of the judicial review, and were ordered to pay RM40,000 to the respondents as costs.