Taman Midah residents cry foul over proposed development project

By Jonathan Edward
Scenic Rawang-Serendah bypass opens today

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — Some 30 residents of Taman Midah gathered yesterday to draw attention to a proposed high density development in their area that is expected to worsen traffic congestion.

They told reporters at the proposed site, next to the Taman Midah Tesco Extra building, the construction would “ruin” their neighbourhood.

The residents said existing road works already created a bottleneck in the area and the additional project would further tax their transport infrastructure.

The proposal will see two 50-storey blocks being built on a 1ha area with 1,319 office units and an eight-storey car park on land marked as an open field according to the Draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020.

It will also absorb a connecting road which skirts the border of the Tesco building and a City Hall Department of Civil Engineering and Urban Transport management office.

The residents said approval would also see the use of land being converted from public use to commercial with the plot ratio going from zero to eight people per acre.

Solomon Wong, 62, said the notice at the construction site was put up two days ago, much to his surprise.

“This is a narrow strip of land right next to a major road which is having construction work being done,” he said.

“If this project is approved, it will add to the number of vehicles passing through the area, not to mention the number of people coming to do business.” 

Jason Thiruchelvam, 56, said City Hall should have seen the “obvious” problem of congestion.

“This is a major road and intersection. We have been told there will only be one road leading in and out of the complex when completed,” he said.

“Traffic is going to be backed up for kilometres as people turn off the main road and head for the office buildings.” 

Chew Mee Waing, 42, said she feared their neighbourhood would turn into a massive carpark, with visitors parking along their inner roads.

“Over 1,000 office units and only eight stories of car parks ... this will mean people will park along our roads, in front of our houses,” she said.

“It is going to make life difficult for us when we have to move our cars or to get around the neighbourhood.” 

Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai said he would launch a petition campaign to rally the neighbourhood and mobilise the residents.

“We have an estimated 10,000 residents. I expect a good turnout as the approval of this project will severely impact the people,” he said.

The petition signing would be open from 9am to noon on Saturday.

“The city is already lacking in green lungs and open spaces and they (City Hall) seem to keep approving projects in the most unsuitable places,” he said.

Tan said there should be more transparency with how City Hall sold and repurposed government land as the current processes seemed questionable at best.

“The draft plan must be gazetted to stop developers from running wild and overdeveloping the city. This is an issue that must be addressed for the coming elections,” he said.

The project is among several being approved by City Hall which residents in other parts of the city claim are contrary to the draft plan.

Other disputed projects include high density projects with high plot rations being considered in Taman Tiara Titiwangsa, Taman Desa and Taman Tun Dr Ismail.