Chan Kok Leong | Mar 27, 08 6:04pm

 MBPJ Meet

Property developer Gasing Meridien Sdn Bhd found a bigger stumbling block against its ambition to build bungalows on Bukit Gasing today. While in the past, DAP’s Edward Lee Poh Lin (Bukit Gasing state assemblyperson) was merely an opposition squeak, today he has a more powerful voice backed up by his PKR colleagues. 

Together with Elizabeth Wong (Bukit Lanjan state assemblyperson), PKR’s S Sivarasa (Subang MP) and Hee Loy Sian (PJ Selatan MP), they made another plea to the developer to halt their work on Bukit Gasing. “Residents around the Bukit Gasing area have received letters from the developer Gasing Meridien saying that the project will proceed,” said Wong. 

“As of today, we noticed that trees have been cut in the Kuala Lumpur side of Bukit Gasing. Although, we don’t have legal jurisdiction, nonetheless, we are very concerned as the effects are on the residents of Selangor,” she said. 

“As state exco for environment, we are urging that Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) stop this work order until the legal matter is settled.” Wong, who was at the site today, expressed her surprise that trees were felled and work had resumed. 

Among the initiatives, they will undertake is to ask the Federal Territory MPs to raise the matter with DBKL to halt the work and to re-purchase the land from the developer before gazetting it as a green lung.

Bukit Gasing land clearing

“The question of the compensation will be done in detail but it should not be done at the profit of the developer,” said Lee.  

Prevent heavy vehicles 

Another idea raised was to prevent heavy vehicles from entering the work site from Selangor jurisdiction areas but the routes have not been identified as yet. 

It was reported on March 18 that the Kuala Lumpur High Court has set April 23 to hear an application for leave by the Joint Action Committee of Bukit Gasing (JACBG) and a group of residents for a judicial review against DBKL to compel them to have a public hearing on the development. 

The residents have also asked to see the technical reports and studies on the development. During a meeting with DBKL planning officials on Nov 14, their request for a public hearing was turned down. 

Gasing Meridien earmarked 15.4 ha for development on Bukit Gasing. Out of the 68 plots of bungalow land, 54 will be sold with the buildings erected while the remainder will be sold as land only. 

It is currently being marketed as Sanctuary Ridge and a check with them revealed that “almost half had already been taken up”. Work is expected to commence in August. 

In one of the reports on its website, general manager KC Tan said that hoarding of the perimeters will commence over the next several weeks. The hoarding is being erected pursuant to approvals dated Oct 2 and Nov 16, 2007 from DBKL.

Meeting with MBPJ

Meanwhile, a group of PKR, DAP and PAS state representatives and MPs met Petaling Jaya mayor Mohamad Roslan Sakiman and officials of MBPJ today. “We had very good discussions and were briefed on how the system works and brought up some of the issues pertaining to planning, maintenance and how complaints are addressed,” said Wong.“This is just a start and we are pleased that some of the complaints were already dealt with,” she added.Among the matters discussed were the need for greater transparency in MBPJ’s dealings with the public, zero tolerance for corruption and that local councilors will be appointed by April.

Meanwhile, Lee said the new local council is also expected to have a higher representation from professionals and members of civil society.

“In my opinion, a fair representation would be 30 percent from civil society, 30 percent professionals and 30 percent nominees from professionals within political parties,” said Lee.

“This is a fair spread and will give everyone a chance to be heard,” he added.

However, this formula is still preliminary and is subject to further discussion and approval by the state government, he pointed out.

Another important point though was that plans for elected local councilors are in the pipeline.

“It could be a year or as long as three years but we are definitely committed to bringing back local council elections. Full democratic local council elections,” said Wong.

Although nothing concrete was agreed on how greater transparency will be implemented, Wong said that everyone agreed that future MBPJ initiatives, tenders, applications for development land or development work will be conveyed to the public via the press.

On the issue of declaration of assets by councilors and the mayor, Wong said that it was not discussed.

“We were thinking in terms of tenders and contracts but that is something we will bear in mind in our future discussions,” she noted.