PEARL LEE, Malay Mail, Friday July 4, 2008
http://www.mmail.com.my/Current_News/mm/Friday/Frontpage/20080704114909/Article/index_html

THE views of Kuala Lumpur residents are not important when structuring a strategy as important as the Draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020, Mayor Datuk Ab Hakim Borhan has ruled.

  

It does not matter, it seems, if the draft plan does not comply with Section 12A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 that requires consultation with the public when structuring such a plan.

Nor does it matter that the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 (Amendment 2001) was ignored – the plan was done according to the Federal Territory Planning Act 1982.

And finally, according to him, the strategic policy of the National Physical Plan and the National Urbanisation Policy does not apply to City Hall in the formulation of the draft plan.

This was the gist of a detailed explanation on the Draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 sent to the Coalition to Save Kuala Lumpur by Ab Hakim. Coalition chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman said yesterday he was not satisfied.

Aziz, who received the two-page letter and a 20-page annexure from the mayor yesterday afternoon, said the coalition and City Hall had differing views on matters which are legal in nature pertaining to the draft plan.

“There are fundamental differences in views from a legal aspect.” He said the mayor had stated in the letter that the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 (Amendment 2001) did not apply to City Hall in the preparation of the draft plan. Instead the planning was done according to the Federal Territory Planning Act 1982.

“We are saying that this is not right as both the 1976 and the amended Act must be complied with by City Hall in the creation of the draft plan.” The coalition had on June 20 written a letter to the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Federal Territories Ministry, the Housing and Local Government Ministry as well as City Hall, in which they raised nine main objections to the draft plan.

One was the nondisclosure by City Hall of Volume 3 of the draft plan.

Among the others: that the draft plan violates the National Physical Plan and National Urbanisation Policy; that it is inconsistent with the KL Structure Plan 2020; and that City Hall continues to accept and approve applications for development projects although the draft plan is pending.

Aziz said unlike the stand taken by City Hall, the coalition is of the view that the strategic policy of the National Physical Plan and the National Urbanisation Policy should apply to City Hall.

Aziz said certain issues that were raised by the coalition, such as the population density, which is stated in the National Physical Plan as 25 person per hectare, should apply in KL. But City Hall, he said, is not of the same view.

“They (City Hall) have increased the population density in Kuala Lumpur to 600,000 and they say this is based on the structure plan which was gazetted in 2004. This is in direct conflict with the National Physical Plan,” Aziz said.

Another matter which was raised by the coalition is the non-compliance with Section 12A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 that requires the public to be consulted before any plan is drafted.

“On this matter City Hall said that they do not need to comply with such a requirement, as stated in the letter,” Aziz said.

However, Aziz said he would like to thank the mayor for writing to the coalition and for also offering them the chance to submit their objections or recommendations directly to him.

“The mayor said he will also send our recommendations to the draft plan’s Public Opinion Hearing Committee and, that if the recommendations were feasible, they would be submitted to the Federal Territories Ministry,” Aziz said.

On Sunday, the coalition had said that if it did not hear from the parties they had written to earlier, they might consider organising a street protest.

The coalition had also said that if everything else fails, as a last option they would take the matter to court.

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