Trekkers showing their support for the cause.

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.

Selangor Times