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Writer: Brenda Ch’ng
Published: Fri, 30 Mar 2012
PETALING JAYA: About 100 trekkers showed up at Hutan Pendidikan Bukit Gasing after receiving a virtual call on Facebook to save the hill from development last Saturday.
The walk, titled Gasing Hill Fun Walk, was organised by nearby residents and regular hikers who want the hill to be preserved as a green lung.
“We hope City Hall (DBKL) will hear our pleas and halt plans to build 69 bungalow units on the 15ha land along the hill slope,” said Joint Action Group for Bukit Gasing committee member Gary Yeoh.
The 57-year-old Bukit Gasing resident pointed out that deforestation and development might lead to landslides, endangering nearby residents.
Early this month, residents claimed that a landslip occurred on the hillside development after a downpour, but the claim was denied by the developer.
Residents say a similar incident occurred almost at the same spot shortly after Chinese New Year.
These incidents are also raising fears among residents living directly below the project site, which commenced work last August.
“If this keeps happening, we won’t have a green lung and a place to exercise any more,” said Yeoh.
He pointed out that the hill attracts more than 1,000 hikers every weekend, along with at least 50 new walkers everyday.
Joining him for the walk was another committee member Daniel Tang, who was glad that many showed up in support of the cause.
“It’s a good turnout, but more people should come out to show their support,” said the 50-year-old resident.
The committee, which has campaigned against the project since 2006, recently appealed to the Federal Court for a public hearing with DBKL.
However, the Court of Appeal ruled against the public hearing on March 6.
The public hearing was not required under the Federal Territory (Planning) Act 1982 as the project does not involve changes in land use.
“I hope Bukit Gasing will be protected as it is the only hill I can exercise in near my home,” said Subang resident Ivy Chong, 60, who made her first climb last Saturday and is looking forward to coming back every weekend.
“There are no hills or forests near my home in Subang. The nearest place to exercise is Bukit Gasing,” she said.
Joining her was Shirley Tan, who also came all the way from USJ2 to show her support.
“This is my fourth time here and I really hope this green area will be protected and preserved for the public,” said 55-year-old Tan.
Both Chong and Tan came together with family and friends to spend an hour climbing Bukit Gasing.
Petaling Jaya City Councillor (MBPJ) Derek Fernandez also joined the residents for the climb.
On Tues 27th March 2012, DBKL held a seminar in Institut Latihan DBKL to present changes to the Draft KL City Plan. Presentations were made on DBKL plans for providing recreation parks, “Blue Corridor”, “River of Life” and cycle ways plus much more in present a caring City Hall for improving our lot.
As they spoke, on the north side of Pantai Dalam and just beside the Community Centre down from Pantai Hill Park Phase 5, massive earthworks have began. There have been protests by the people in Pantai Hill Park and Pantai Panaroma against development on the site over the last year or so. They have been blighted by the massive traffic congestions and have voiced their concern on the many developments eating away into Bukit Gasing/Gasing Ridge. See the DBKL approved destruction of Bukit Gasing.
Click on photo montage to see photo gallery of development near Pantai Hill Park Phase 5….
Do you notice how close the development is to Angkasa Apartments in Kampong Kerinchi? What of their safety? Those who hike through Bukit Gasing will find that their hiking pathways will shrink over time unless the public can unite to turn the tide to restrain DBKL in reducing Bukit Gasing as now set in their revised Draft KL City Plan.
Again, one mighit recall Datuk Raja Rong Cik’s boast about Taman Bukit Kerinchi and his desire to change KL Bukit Gasing to Bukit Kerinchi. Well, I challenge you all to find the park that was published with pictures in “RM20mil park in Taman Bukit Kerinchi“. Do note that it’s supposed to be a “big” 34.6ha [sic]. What happened to the 52ha mentioned in The Sun report? Whilst at the Community Centre, I was informed by the locals there that Bukit Kerinchi is essential the hill the centre sits on and the rest was for them Bukit Gasing, a series of hills to their south and along PJ Bukit Gasing.
It is amazing how DBKL would rather create “recreation parks” then preserve and conserve forests that would provide a green belt that both PJ and KL residents can enjoy. Isn’t conserving and preserving as much of Bukit Gasing/Gasing Ridge as we have now more effective and sustainable?
Can we afford to remain silent? What will our children be left with in the future?
A court decision over the protracted legal tussle involving the former trustees of the Bukit Gasing Sivan temple is to be known in May.
Sat. 24th March 2012 at Hutan Pendidikan Bukit Gasing (PJ Bukit Gasing): It was good to see more than 50 people that came to the gathering point for the walk. There were many more that were regulars that came and went ahead of the crowd, eager to enjoy the fresh air and nature that PJ Bukit Gasing provided. A number of us from Save Bukit Gasing team joined the Fun Walk. There were quite a number that came to see Bukit Gasing for the first time.
Many that came for the walk had commented on the number of developments that kept creeping up onto Bukit Gasing. All without fail were appalled when we explained that DBKL had almost 2/3rd of what Bukit Gasing originally was, but now only they talked about gazetting about 1/3rd of Bukit Gasing they were responsible for. More importantly, most were disgusted at the failure to protect KL Bukit Gasing by DBKL. All voiced concern at the rampant development in KL side of Bukit Gasing over recent years. In particular, they were shocked at the approval by DBKL for Gasing Meridian to develop multimillionaire bungalows on KL Bukit Gasing. They all shared with our safety concerns.
There was laughter when we mentioned FT Minister’s recent boast at the creation of Taman Bukit Kerinchi (consisting of only 34.6ha). It is evident that whilst Selangor State/MBPJ had quickly moved to gazette all of PJ Bukit Gasing (38ha), DBKL has permitted development on almost 2/3 of Bukit Gasing in their jurisdiction. Further laughter occurred when we mentioned Datuk Raja Nong Cik’s proposal to rename Bukit Gasing to Bukit Kerinchi. Such was the “Fun” in the Fun Walk Day. They changed history, why not geography [sic].
Anyhow, many took the opportunity to have pictures taken with the “Save Bukit Gasing – Save Lives” banner. Thank you all that came to show your love for Bukit Gasing. Thank you also for giving us the support to spread the word about DBKL’s and FT Ministry’s relentless attempt to remove Bukit Gasing from KL Map. With more public support, we can bring DBKL and FT Ministry to their senses. We cannot and should not allow them to strangle PJ Bukit Gasing by over development. The sustainability of PJ Bukit Gasing will be threatened by their irresponsible actions in promoting developer rights over that of right of us all to a healthy living environment in KL and PJ.
On top of all this and probably on the same day, there were at least 5 landslides along Jalan Robson (road next to Jalan Syed Putra) and Persiaran Endah (road leading to Thean Hou Temple and Robson Heights Condo). Until probably sometime yesterday, Jalan Robson was partially block because of the massive landslide. It’s only by God’s grace that there were no fatalities when these landslides occur.
FT Minister and Mayor of KL must recognize that steep hill slopes needs attention. For them to allow development development on steep hill slopes of Bukit Gasing is to set a time bomb for residents of Bukit Gasing. As landslips on current earthworks have shown, the removal of trees and vegetation exposes the hill to potential landslides.
Can we trust FT Ministry and Mayor of KL to care for our safety? Do share this with your friends.. let people know what the MSM have little interest to highlight to the public.
Click on photo montage for more photos…
SHAH ALAM: The Selangor state assembly observed a minute of silence yesterday in memory of deceased assemblyman Edward Lee (DAP-Bukit Gasing).
Speaker Datuk Teng Chang Kim, who called on the assemblymen to commemorate Lee, offered his condolences to Lee’s family.
Several assemblymen also offered kind words in his memory.
Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim (PKR-Ijok) gave a short speech about Lee’s achievements and insurmountable dedication to his duties as a people’s representative.
“Even though he was stricken with cancer, he carried out his duties till the end,” he said.
“He was a champion of human rights issues, especially environmental matters.”
Abdul Khalid said Lee was instrumental in gazetting Bukit Gasing as a green lung to be preserved for future generations. He ended his speech with a short poem, in recognition of Lee’s services.
Datuk Mohd Shamsudin Lias (BN-Sungai Burong), on behalf of the opposition assemblymen, also expressed condolences to Lee’s family.
“We appreciate all his efforts towards representing the people,” he said.
“We hope his wife remains strong in view of their loss of a people’s representative and beloved husband.”
Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (PKR-Seri Setia) said Lee had always defended good policies in the state.
“He emphasised the importance of sustainable development and even proposed a moratorium on high rise development until adequate infrastructure was provided,” he said.
“He also set up the All Petaling Jaya, Selangor Residents’ Association Coalition and greatly contributed to the Selangor State Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) as a member.
“We have lost a fatherly figure and a comrade.”
Lee succumbed to cancer on Dec 20. He was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2009 but had remained active in championing local issues. He was 61.
He is survived by wife Christine Lee and three sons.
Lets join hands and effort to show support and Save Bukit Gasing, one of the rare green left in this concrete city.
an effort by Raymond Ng – Gasing Hill Fun Walk / Run.
Date : Saturday, 24 March 2012
Time : 5pm – 7pm
Put on something to depict the nature or print a bib that read SAVE BUKIT GASING. be creative and let us show the authority that it is just not right to take away this little green hub away in the name of development & profiteering.
For more info on this event, Facebook Link
SEE U THERE !
At yesterday’s meeting of applicants to Judicial Review on DBKL’s denial of a public hearing to Bukit Gasing residents, a unanimous decision was reach to proceed with an appeal to the Federal Court.
Our lawyers, Sivarasa Rasiah and Balbir Singh were on hand to help explain the complexity of our legal processes. Many were puzzled by the many hearings over the last 4 years of Judicial Review. Frustrations were voiced by many at how their very justifiable fears for safety did not result in achieving a public hearing or reasonable response from DBKL. Recent earthworks’ landslips in the Gasing Meridian site brought afresh the dangers the development will bring to the community. Concerns were raised about the impact of development so close to the 23 million liter reservoir sited in between Siva Temple and the development (Sanctuary Ridge) by Gasing Meridian.
By the unanimous decision of the meeting to appeal for justice to the highest court of our country, we can now move on united and ready to argue our case.
We urge all our friends to support our cause. Somehow, we need to raise public awareness of how approvals on steep hill slopes in an area prone to landslides could be given without a public hearing. We also need to highlight to the public how KL residents do not have the same rights as the rest of Peninsular Malaysia when it comes to the right to object to development at their door steps.
Please support us in anyway you can. Do come back to visit this site for updates on our fight for justice and view the various posting of our fight over the years.
JAC for Bukit Gasing.
Despite attempts by DBKL to ignore and deny the dangers of development on the steep hill slopes of Bukit Gasing, we have more landslips to share.
Updated photos on Gasing Meridian earthworks landslips
Meanwhile at foot of hill below Siva Temple near to Fraser Towers….
Residents of Fraser Towers have already lodged a complaint with the Engineering Department of MBPJ of the landslip
As PJ residents are persona non grata to DBKL, perhaps if you all share these photos widely, it might be picked up by DBKL. After all, a “Focus” page on The Star (Sunday, 11 March 2012) identified landslips as signs of landslide to come and should be reported to DBKL. The page is supported by JKR and division of JKR responsible for slope monitoring. It reported 16 fatalities each in Hulu Langat and Sungai Ruil in 2011 and destruction of 14 homes in the Bukit Antarabangsa 2008 landslide.
PS: According to the article, you can only call 999 if there is a landslide. Otherwise, you need to call the engineering department of your local authority (sic).
The FT Minister, Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin, nonchalantly stated over the weekend that Bukit Gasing in Lembah Pantai will be changed to Bukit Kerinchi.
See report from The Star report on Sunday 11th March 2012
Without consultation with the public, the Federal Government is going to wipe out Bukit Gasing from Kuala Lumpur. Is this an attempt to deceive Malaysians? Consider the following:
Bukit Gasing KL-side is understood to cover 115 hectares and before the drawing of Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur boundary, was enjoyed and remembered by many as Bukit Gasing forests. In fact, Bukit Gasing is a stretch of hills in Petaling Jaya into KL and the proposed Sanctuary Ridge is on Bukit Gasing (KL-side).
Is this a precursor to making people forget about promises to gazetted Bukit Gasing forests under jurisdiction of mayor of Kuala Lumpur? For at least 10 years, mayors of Kuala Lumpur have been promising to make parts of Bukit Gasing a forest reserve. Somehow it’s still to become fact. On top of this, only about 45% of Bukit Gasing under DBKL jurisdiction is being proposed for gazetting.
Some cynics (like me) would wonder if the nonchalant, Datuk Raja Nong Chik’s name change proposal is to boost the attractiveness of approved developments in Bukit Gasing area so as to disassociate current concerns about the lack of urgency by Federal Territory Ministry and DBKL interest in preserving the last potential green lung for Kuala Lumpur. There may be environmentally conscious investors that could be put off?
Perhaps it’s also about dissociating Bukit Gasing from the efforts of Save Bukit Gasing to highlight the fear of residents for their safety because of developments at Bukit Gasing. Is it also about our highlighting recent problems with earthworks at Bukit Gasing? See recent posts.
Does anyone remember Kampong Kerinchi? If you click the link, it’s now referred to as Bangsar South. Until 2005, some 60 acres of the land was Kampong Kerinchi. So, where is Kampong Kerinchi to DBKL?
Just click the Google Map for Bukit Kerinchi, you will have to zoom in and ensure the marked balloons stay centre of page. What do you see? A gradual disappearance of Bukit Kerinchi, encroached by more and more developments? Well, perhaps it’s a warning that a name change could spell the demise of Bukit Gasing if Federal Territory Ministry and DBKL were to be given a free hand.
We have not been given a public hearing by DBKL to understand why development on the steep hill slopes of Bukit Gasing (soon to be called Bukit Kerinchi?) is safe. We, mere mortals, are apparently overly distrusting of the diligence of DBKL’s approval process. Maybe we need to accept that Medan Damansara landslide was just an unfortunate incidence outside the norm of DBKL diligence.
However, I hope many of you will be upset at the latest proposition by Datuk Raja Nong Chik. If you are, please raise your concerns to your elected representative and petition DBKL against the move. You can also help by sending this link to your friends.
Gary Yeoh – JAC for Bukit Gasing.