MALTON Bhd will kickstart a mixed development project at Taman Rimba Kiara in Kuala Lumpur next year, but the majority of the 10.24ha green lung will remain untouched.
The developer, through its subsidiary Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd and joint-venture partner Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP), will develop a 3.24ha site at the park.
The companies will build five residential blocks, with estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM1.8 billion.
According to Facebook postings, Memang Perkasa will build four blocks of serviced apartments with 1,082 units, and a 17-storey building featuring 204 units of affordable apartments.
Memang Perkasa had been planning the mixed development at Taman Rimba Kiara since 2017 and it was expected to feature mostly serviced apartments.
The process of land alienation for the project was carried out and approved in 2012. YWP and Memang Perkasa signed a joint-venture agreement for the project in 2014.
In 2017, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) approved and issued a Development Order and Building Plan to Memang Perkasa to develop the project on 4.86ha of the 10.24ha Taman Rimba Kiara.
Memang Perkasa had originally planned to build eight blocks of serviced apartments (of 44 to 51 levels) with a total of 2,277 units and a 29-storey building with 350 affordable apartment units. The estimated GDV then was RM3.2 billion.
However, Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TDDI) residents protested against the development as they feared that Taman Rimba Kiara — their “last green lung” in the area — would be jeopardised.
Following the concerns raised by various stakeholders, Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad proposed a revised scaled-down development as a win-win solution for all parties.
Malton says on its website that in the spirit of goodwill and give-and-take, YWP and Memang Perkasa have compromised and agreed to scale down the size of the project.
Under the scaled-down plan, not only the land size has been reduced by 33 per cent from 4.86ha to 3.24ha, the density of the serviced apartments has also been reduced significantly by 50 per cent — from eight blocks initially to four blocks (of 41-45 levels) with 1,082 units, in addition to the 17-storey affordable apartment blocl for TTDI longhouse settlers.
The developer will further contribute the carved-out 1.62ha of privately-owned land to the community, alongside the about 5.26ha untouched park, thus preserving a larger area and park totalling about 6.9ha for the benefit and harmony of the surrounding community.
The facilities in the park will also be upgraded for the benefit of park users and the community.
Memang Perkasa said the scaled-down development is not encroaching into the existing green park, with the current facilities like jogging track, pond, open field, gazebos and surau being left untouched.
Memang Perkasa also will continue to cross-subsidy the construction and land costs of the affordable apartment block, including that of the existing Sri Maha Mariaman temple.
The public will benefit from better upkeep and enhancement of Taman Rimba Kiara and continue to have access to the much-larger park with a forest reserve of 142ha Taman Persekutuan Bukit Kiara.
The company prioritises harmonious development in communities it operates in while enhancing their well-being via housing projects.
Landscape architects believe that Memang Perkasa may invest between RM2.5 million and RM3 million to enhance the park for the benefit of users and the surrounding community.
THE affordable apartment building planned within the mixed development project at Taman Rimba Kiara is for Bukit Kiara (TTDI) longhouse residents and will be built on part of the land owned by Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd.
However, questions remain on when the construction of the affordable housing will actually get to take off.
Since 2016, various attempts and legal objections have been raised by Taman Tun Dr Ismail’s (TDDI) Residents Association (RA) to stop the mixed development, in which the affordable apartment building will be located. The longhouse settlers have also been fighting and submitted a few memorandums to the Prime Minister’s Office to end their three-decade housing plights.
The affordable apartment units will have a built-up of 850 sq ft (with three bedrooms and two bathrooms) and come with complete community facilities, including a multi-storey car park with 226 parking spots for cars and motorcycles.
Bukit Kiara Public Housing RA chairman Sunderam Vadiveloo previously said the ongoing and persistent prejudicial objections raised by TTDI’s RA and management bodies had caused delay in the construction of the 17-storey affordable apartment block and directly affected the longhouse settlers.
He said the 98 families from the longhouses are the rightful owners to the project. They are mainly the first generation of the former Bukit Kiara rubber estate workers, who have been waiting for 37 years to move into their permanent homes.
In 1982, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) relocated the 98 families from the Bukit Kiara estate to the longhouses after the government acquired the rubber estate for urban housing. The settlers were told that the longhouses were temporary shelters and that they would be given proper and permanent homes.
Permanent houses should have been built in three years, but the families had been kept waiting although a Master Resettlement Agreement (MRA) was signed between Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) and the settlers in 2015.
Under the agreement, the settlers were offered permanent affordable housing on land next to the Sri Maha Mariamman temple, which is located next to the existing longhouses.
The temple, which sits on 0.12ha, will remain where it is, and Memang Perkasa has further bought additional 0.16ha for the temple, bringing the total temple land to 0.28ha. According to information on Malton Bhd’s website, the temple will be issued with a legal title so that its rights is protected.
Memang Perkasa and YWP will continue to bear the construction and land costs for both the affordable apartment and temple despite a significant cut in gross development value to RM1.8 billion from RM3.2 billion initially, following a 50 per cent scale-down in the mixed development project.
Under the MRA, YWP agreed to allocate two affordable apartment units for each family. The original settlers, namely the rightful owners, would get a free unit while a next of kin from their second generation, mainly to the person nominated by the first generation, would be entitled to buy a unit at half the price, which was around RM150,000.
All the 98 families agreed to the allocation of the free affordable apartment units and signed the agreement.
The apartment building is supposed to be completed this year, but the project has yet to take off because of the dispute between Memang Perkasa and TTDI residents.
The 98 settlers, with children and grandchildren estimated to be around 500 people, are still living in cramped and dilapidated house conditions. According to the longhouse settlers, some elderlies have passed on and did not have a chance to stay in proper homes since their relocation.
Under the MRA, the longhouse settlers requested not be moved or relocated to other location until the construction of their affordable apartment is fully completed. The longhouses were built 37 years ago and their conditions are dilapidating day by day while the permanent homes promised to the settlers have yet to start construction.
According to a longhouse settler, some repair works carried out in the past included those on water piping, sewerage blockage and septic tank. The latest work repair by YWP and Memang Perkasa is the replacement of leaking roofs for all the longhouses.
“While we appreciate the CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives and help from them, the repair work is just a short-term solution. We need a long-term solution to end our problems, which is to build our permanent housing swiftly as promised,” he said.
On Nov 28 2018, the High Court decided that DBKL’s planning permission and Development Order (DO) for the high-rise residential project in Taman Rimba Kiara was proper and valid, following all procedural compliance.
This means the original DO for the 4.86ha mixed development is still valid and the developer had the legal right to have started its construction last year.
But the legal tussle is still ongoing between TTDI’s RA and authorities following their appeal against the High Court’s decision that denied its application for a judicial review of the mixed development project last year.
The Court of Appeal’s hearing is set on Sept 10. Should it uphold the High Court’s decision, this would mean that the construction of the affordable apartment block could commence anytime without further delay.
The revised DO is expected to be issued in October after the court’s decision.
According to YWP, there will be a relocation exercise, whereby trees will not be disposed of but replanted in the park.
The completion period for the one-block affordable apartment and four-block serviced apartments is three and eight years, respectively.