The attorney-general will be invited to join future meetings on the Taman Rimba Kiara redevelopment fiasco after the disputing factions were unable to break the impasse.
This was decided on after a meeting today between the Federal Territories (FT) Minister Khalid Samad, lawyer cum activist Ambiga Sreenevasan and Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) executive director Cynthia Gabriel.
Ambiga and C4 have become increasingly involved in the campaign against the redevelopment of Taman Rimba Kiara along with Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh.
Yeoh had been on the forefront of the campaign along with the Save Taman Rimba Kiara group against the proposed redevelopment which could encroach a portion of the green lung.
Ambiga told The Malaysian Insight that no agreement was reached in the meeting that lasted for more than an hour today.
“We had a nearly one-and-a-half-hour session with the minister. We discussed many things, including the KL City plan. We have agreed to meet again, if possible, with the attorney-general.
“The next meeting, which will be with the joint committee, will be for us to present our respective views and to see if we can come to a resolution. No agreement yet,” she said.
The joint working committee comprises representatives from the TTDI Residents Association, Bukit Kiara Longhouse residents, as well as Yeoh, Kuala Lumpur City Hall, Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan and FT Ministry officials.
Meanwhile, Khalid told The Malaysian Insight that the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) will be invited for future engagements.
“The meeting (today) was very good. We agreed to set up a committee to further mediate the issue. We will invite the AGC to join,” he said.
In a townhall session held on Saturday, Ambiga and Yeoh concurred that Attorney-General Tommy Thomas should look into the contract of the developer.
Khalid and Yeoh had each come up with a proposal on how the project conceived under the previous administration should proceed.
A scaled-down version supported by Khalid will half the number of high-rise condominium blocks from eight to four, and from 50 storeys to 45.
The revised plan would also see the project taking up 3.2ha instead of the original 4.9ha, with less of Taman Rimba Kiara affected.
Yeoh and the Save Taman Rimba Kiara group, however, are against the revised scope entirely on grounds of elements of corruption and conflict of interest.
They want the condominium blocks scrapped and only the new affordable housing promised to former estate workers living in the Bukit Kiara longhouse to be built, within the longhouse footprint and without encroaching the park.
Yeoh and Taman Tun Dr Ismail residents also proposed that townhouses be built on the site instead of apartments.
The cabinet will decide on whether to choose either one of the proposals or to scrap the project altogether.
The project, which was said to have been awarded via direct tender, has courted controversy after it was revealed that it could have been marred with elements of corruption.
The Taman Rimba Kiara land belongs to the ministry’s Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan, which is a joint venture partner for the redevelopment with private company Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd.
Former FT minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, by virtue of his minister’s post, was the foundation’s chairman, as is Khalid now.
Recent research by C4 mapped out the links between the companies connected to the developer and Tengku Adnan and the alleged conflict of interest.
It found that Tengku Adnan had a business associate named Rosmanira Junoh, who was the link between the ex-minister and Memang Perkasa, which is their developer. Rosmanira was a director of the Memang Perkasa between 2014 and 2016.
According to the joint venture agreement in 2014, Memang Perkasa would bear development costs while the foundation would receive a fixed sum of RM160 million.
C4 also said Rosmanira had previously served as a director and shareholder of four other companies linked to Malton Bhd, which controls Memang Perkasa.
The anti-graft civil society group had submitted its findings to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). Several reports were also lodged with MACC since May 2017.
Yeoh had called out the anti-graft body for dragging its feet on the case despite the reports.
Ambiga had also called for a moratorium on the project pending the completion of MACC’s investigation.
However, MACC deputy commissioner (operations) Azam Baki told The Malaysian Insight on Saturday that the probe was never closed and the agency had not stopped its investigation.
“We had already completed the investigation earlier but had to reopen the case after the issue was raised again,” he said.