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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.

 

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They also question City Hall’s lack of open discussion on development project

MONDAY, MARCH 05, 2012 – 14:37

KUALA LUMPUR: The Joint Action Committee (JAC) for Bukit Gasing wants Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to release the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report on the proposed development on the hill.

Yesterday, about 100 residents affected by the proposed development in Gasing Indah (on the Kuala Lumpur side) gathered to press their case, ahead of a Court of Appeal decision tomorrow.

The residents applied for a judicial review in the High Court in 2008 challenging City Hall’s approval of the development. However, they were denied the right to be heard and appealed against the decision in the Court of Appeal.

Spokesman for the joint committee Gary Yeoh, 57, said: “I am questioning why was there no public hearing by City Hall before approval.

“In November 2007, during a meeting with City Hall, they told us the land had been subdivided but no development will be granted to the developer.

“The following month, we received a letter from City Hall stating the development will continue without a public hearing.”

He said so far more than 108 petitions from residents from the surrounding communities were sent to the developer and City Hall since 2007.

“We are not against development but we want City Hall to provide us with the EIA report for safety and security reasons.

“If they continue with the project, it will adversely affect the ecology and environment of Bukit Gasing and our safety,” he said.

Also present were Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar and PJ South MP Hee Loy Sian.

JAC and other representatives of residents’ associations have opposed Meridian Sdn Bhd’s (GMSB) proposed development since early 2006, for fear of landslides and safety issues.

It is said that since 1993, there have been 14 major landslides, with press reports that indicated at least 68 fatalities apart from the millions of ringgit in loses.

JAC’s is helping to pay for legal costs by pooling resources from residents and through charity drives.

Tomorrow, the Court of Appeal gives its verdict on the appeal against the 15.52 ha hillside development project at the KL side.

Meanwhile, Nurul Izzah said she sent a letter to KL mayor (Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail) recently requesting the release of the EIA report.

“At least, with the EIA report, we were able to know the present condition of the area that is to developed — the residents want reassurance the surrounding areas are safe from danger,” she said.

She said she does not want a repeat of the hillside tragedy of Bukit Antarabangsa and Medan Damansara.

As for Hee, he said the matter was brought to the attention of Parliament and the Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Ministry.

“However Datuk Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin has yet to give his answer on the approval of this project.

Mages: Forest slowly losing beauty

R. MAGESWARA, 34, said the beauty of this forest was about to be stripped if development continued.

“Everyday I sit at my balcony watching workers level the hill slope.

Another resident Mohamed Kamar Mohamed (pic), 68 said he is not against development but residents have a right to express their opinion through public hearing.

Mohamed Kamar Mohamed

“From the public hearing, Kuala Lumpur City Hall will be able to get our opinion on the issue. We want City Hall to certify the project is safe and at the same time, preserve our forest.”

Mohamed who has been living at Fraser tower since the last eight years said a lot of changes (development) took place on Bukit Gasing.

Resident Dr A. Mallika, 58 and her daughter A. Gayathri, 27 said the development would also destroy wildlife in Bukit Gasing forest.

Gayathri said four years ago the scenery from her house balcony was beautiful.

“I used to see monkeys swinging from tree to tree,” she said, urging the project be scrapped.

http://www.mmail.com.my/story/hill-residents-want-report-made-public

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