KL residents rally for draft plan gazette

By Jonathan Edward and Anith Adilah

KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — Undeterred by news that the Draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 will be scrapped, residents and groups in the city are urging the authorities to gazette the plan.

The groups are mobilising stakeholders across the city through a petition to urge City Hall and the Federal Territories Ministry to gazette the plan.

This follows a dialogue session titled “Kuala Lumpur — A World-Class Mess” with several KL parliamentarians at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on Friday.

Among those present were Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar and Batu MP Tian Chua who urged the people to stand in solidarity on the issue.

They also demanded a commitment by City Hall and the ministry for a time frame to gazette the draft plan.

Bukit Bandaraya Residents Association (RA) president Datuk Mumtaz Ali said the move will be a great way to revive the Coalition to Save Kuala Lumpur (CSKL). 

“RAs and non-governmental organisations need to get together in the same way we did in 2008 when the draft plan was introduced. We are currently working out how best to go about it,” he said. 

“In the meantime, this signature campaign will allow us to network with like-minded people and organisations and give us a platform to mobilise the public at large.”

Mumtaz, who was heavily involved in the 2008 campaign, said this should be an all-out effort to finally realise the gazetting of the plan.

“This is a busy year, potentially an election year and there may be changes with City Hall. We cannot be starting all over again or accept that this issue is held back,” he said.

“We need to resolve it once and for all, enough of excuses and delays. The plan must be gazetted and adhered to if the promises about KL being sustainable and green are to be realised.”

CSKL, comprising 35 RAs, was formed to give residents a platform to raise objections about the initial draft plan. Among its demands were the decentralising of the population in KL to ease congestion and to maintain existing plot ratio.

Taman Tiara Titiwangsa RA committee member Sylvester Navaratnam urged Klites to come together on the matter. 

“There should be no excuses. Sooner or later everyone is going to be affected by ad hoc development. We need to act fast and decisively and utilise all available resources to this end,” he said. 

“People need to drop the idea that this is someone else’s problem. Anyone who thinks that way is weakening the overall effort and undermining their own future.”  

Bangsar Baru RA president Datuk George Joseph said the plan needed to be gazetted without delay and the MPs needed to be fully committed.

“We are glad that they (MPs) are showing interest but this should have been the case since the start in 2008. 

“I do not want this to be seen as a political issue as it affects those on either side... let us gazette the plan and do what benefits the people, that is what we want and need from our MPs,” he said, adding he would soon chair a committee meeting on the issue.

George urged the MPs to support the issue in Parliament and elsewhere.

“We will stand with them (MPs) but they must show us their commitment and not confine their efforts to parliament sessions and election campaigns.” 

Setapak Jaya RA president Ho Sai Kai said the initiative was a good one but more publicity was needed.

“This is a way to make sure the people, as the majority stakeholders of KL, have their say,” he said. 

“We will certainly get these forms and encourage our residents to sign them whether as individuals or as organisations but we need more information on where to get the forms and other information.” 

Local government and planning law expert Derek Fernandez explained to stakeholders the implications of continuing with ad hoc development (see accompanying story).

On Feb 27, Malay Mail quoted Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku  Mansor as saying he would “never” approve the draft plan.

On March 15, KL mayor Datuk Seri Mohd Amin Noordin Abdul Aziz said it would “not make sense” to gazette the plan three years from 2020, and an alternative plan was being worked on instead.