Thursday, April 1, 2010

From Gill

Dear Friend of Subang Ria Park,

Pls think carefully, don't be deceived by the new govt. Open your eyes please

1) The name is Subang Ria Park......what is a Park (wikipedia definition)

A park is a protected area, in its natural or semi-natural state, or planted, and set aside for human recreation and enjoyment, or for the protection of wildlife or natural habitats. It may consist of rocks, soil, water, flora and fauna and grass areas.

2) It was already a park built by Sime-UEP in early 80's to help sell houses, land title was given much later.

3) Only the theme park had entrance fees, the rest was free for everybody.

4) At that time the requiremet was 5% open space(now it is 2 hectares per 1000 residents). and there was much open land before it was sold by greedy developers and tainted council officers, without any regard or respect for residents wishes by old govt, the new govt is now trying to do the same. Remember SS14 circle house land. SS15 field where they built the house. 5) Sime has already milked the park for their commercial purchases to sell properties in Subang Jaya and elsewhere, they should not return the PARK to the residents in good faith.

6) Sime is not going to waste another cent on this park without commerical gain, they deliberatley destroyed all facilities. Remember their first plan to convert to shopping.

7) Our former adun had the guts to stand up to the state exco and our current adun seems to be singing the state exco song of "we need development" ......but at what cost.

8) This type of rape of our environment can only happen if we as residents stay silent and let it happen. Look at the spin in the msg from our current adun where questions have not been answere yet.

1) Questions which beg answers from MPSJ and the New State Government ( the media is strongly encouraged to get answers to this questions from YDP, Mentri Besar, Unit Perancang, etc)

a. Since non recreational development was rejected by residents at a public hearing in 2007 why did MPSJ accept this revised non creational development submission in the first place? Has the new government no respect for the wishes of the rakyat.

b. Why is the local draft plan which clearly shows Subang Ria Park as a green lung not referred to for rejecting the submission at the start of the process.

c. Why are the requirements of the Town and Country planning act (2007) for 2 acres for every 1,000 residents not enforced or adhered to. There is so much development already approved around the park especially in SS16.

d. On what basis is Sime properties submitting proposals for the near annihilation of our only town park for Subang Jaya and USJ (taking 30 out of 42 acres). What happened to their CSR which was so widely publicised was it only a PR exercise at taxpayer’s expanse. The residents expect the Govt and the GLC’s to walk the talk.

e. The residents would also like SELCAT to look into this submission from all angles, ethical, social, fiduciary, environmental etc as to what went grossly wrong.

Warmest Regards

AS Gill
ADUN Hannah Yeoh's response
Sent: Thu, April 1, 2010 10:21:54 PM

Debunking the myths of Taman Subang Ria

This is my response to the former assemblyman’s article “It’s an urban park” published in The Star on 25 March 2010:

An urban park?

The former assemblyman continues to mislead the residents of Subang Jaya with the claim that the park was alienated as an “urban park”. Where did that term come from? The land title for the park which is currently held by Sime UEP Properties Bhd only states that the land is for recreational purpose [Tanah ini hendaklah digunakan semata-mata untuk taman rekreasi dan bangunan yang berkaitan dengannya]. According to Manual Garis Panduan Dan Piawaian Perancangan Negeri Selangor, recreational could mean a hall, food stalls, driving range, resort, water park and etc. That's the reason why Restaurant Crocodile Farm has been allowed to operate on the park all these years. It is not expressly stated anywhere on the title that it is an urban park unless the former assemblyman has access to other unknown documents which state otherwise.

Public hearings a waste of public funds?

The former assemblyman also claims that he has fervently rejected development on the park previously, up to four times. And then he surprisingly questions the need of an upcoming public hearing which MPSJ will be organizing.

A public hearing is a key element of Local Agenda 21, irrespective of history and personalities involved. Any proposed development must be subjected to a public hearing if there are objections raised by affected parties, and this is a principle of the new administration which I have strived to ensure that MPSJ upholds.

As to the upcoming public hearing on the proposal by Sime for subdivision and conversion of usage of the land, this proposal is different than the one that was presented in 2007. The public hearing in 2007 has only resulted in the developer withdrawing their application to develop the park. It did not resolve the issue at hand. As such, I find it completely hypocritical of the former assemblyman’s statement implying that it was perfectly alright for MPSJ to have conducted a public hearing in 2007 but not in 2010.

Why wasn’t the history revealed to the residents all these years?

The former assemblyman is very quick to dismiss responsibility of the previous administration over this long-standing quandary and one which the present administration has inherited.

The recent declassification by the current Menteri Besar disclosing details of the minutes of an EXCO meeting held in 1987 has exposed the dealings of the previous state government and the rationale employed then in alienating the park.

Taman Subang Ria existed prior to the alienation in 1987. I know this for a fact because I frequented the park as a young child in the early 80’s. Somehow in 1987, the then state government decided it wise to sell this park and at that point, Taman Subang Ria turned from a public park to a private park. Sime obtained a 99-year lease, and it will only expire in the year 2087.

Taman Subang Ria was part of the open space of the Subang Jaya township and corresponding municipality prior to 1987. Any calculation of available open space for Subang Jaya in 1987 would rightfully have included all available open space, and that includes Taman Subang Ria. The decision to alienate this public park to any developer at any point of time would be a most absurd decision, but sadly it has already taken place some 23 years ago.

“Over my dead body?”

The former assemblyman is somewhat fondly remembered for certain oft-quoted phrases, one of which takes the form of a public pledge that Taman Subang Ria can only be developed over his dead body. Some people may find the pledge heroic, maybe even self-sacrificial. I find it amusing.

Over the years, we have seen for ourselves how the condition of the park has deteriorated, even succumbing at one point to being a haunt for criminals. The lack of any decent upkeep and upgrade of facilities in the park over the years is very ironic in the context of the public pledge of the former assemblyman, almost validating the horrid statement that even if anything is to be done to better the park it can only happen over his dead body.

Such a public pledge has not helped the people one bit in the efforts to reclaim the park. In fact, the former assemblyman himself has confessed to having to reject development proposals four times in his more than a decade tenure as the assemblyman. I wonder why his public pledge did not manage to put a stop to further development proposals. Absolutely no progress was recorded in reclaiming the park for the people in his three-terms as an assemblyman. Not a single inch of land was gained; in fact more of the so-called “urban park” land was utilized during that time for the use of a car park by an adjacent private hospital.

State government should right the wrong?

And finally, the former assemblyman has proposed for Sime to surrender the land back to the state government without any indication of a viable mechanism and logical justification for land owner to commit to such an action. Why is this proposal only being floated now? Why wasn’t this pursued in his thirteen years as an assemblyman?

How to right 2 wrongs?

Let’s just wildly assume, hypothetically, that the current state government is to pursue the above course of action. In the recently declassified information, we have learned that Sime paid for the land in kind via an “exchange deal” or "timbal balik-kontra", providing the then state government with 10 units of houses situated in SS19, Subang Jaya. If Sime were to surrender the land today, the state government should fairly return the 10 units of houses back as well.

But guess what? Those very same 10 houses have in turn been used in another trade-off deal in May 2004, this time with another developer, Syarikat Gapurna Builders Sdn Bhd. This land-swap deal was revealed in the Selangor State Assembly last July 2009, and I duly published it on my blog immediately thereafter. This latest land-swap deal happened during the term of the former assemblyman. Knowing full well the importance of those 10 houses in SS19, having been traded off previously for Taman Subang Ria, how could this former assemblyman allow such a deal to take place yet again? How could he even contemplate repeating any of his public pledges today and issue public statements proclaiming his ‘undying’ passion for the park?

We need a new and fresh pragmatic approach

I am committed to ensure that current park users will be able to continue using the park for recreational purpose yet at the same time, finding a permanent solution for the land title to come back into the state government’s hand. I will host a public dialogue in the coming weeks to consult the residents on how this can be done amicably and practically. May this letter of mine serve to set the record straight and effectively re-align our efforts in reclaiming the park for the people.

Posted by Hannah Yeoh at 1:33 AM