KUALA LUMPUR: Taman Rimba Kiara in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI), Kuala Lumpur has been renamed Taman Awam Bukit Kiara, a move that has drawn criticism from the public.
Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) in a statement said the change was made to avoid confusion over another park in TTDI with a similar name.
“Taman Awam Bukit Kiara is under DBKL’s management while Taman Persekutuan Bukit Kiara is wholly managed and maintained by the National Landscape Department (JLN), ” it said in a statement.
DBKL added that the park would operate as usual with maintenance work to be carried out periodically.
Taman Awam Bukit Kiara is located next to the Bukit Kiara longhouses, while Taman Persekutuan Bukit Kiara is located along Jalan Abang Haji Openg (opposite SK Taman Tun Dr Ismail 2).
The latter is also known as Bukit Kiara or TTDI Park.
Meanwhile, Taman Tun Dr Ismail Residents Association (TTDIRA) in a statement questioned the need to rename the park as it had been known as Taman Rimba Kiara for decades.
“Generations of families have used the park with no confusion over its identity or location.
“The reason it was called ‘rimba’ was because it was planted as an urban forest by Forest Research Institute Malaysia for public use as a recreational forest and camping area, ” the statement read.
TTDIRA said there were more than 1,800 mature trees and 214 tree species in the park.
Some of these trees are endangered forest tree species such as meranti rambai daun, balau singkawang air and meranti sarang punai.
There are more than 50 bird species including hornbills recorded as being sighted in the park area, as well as otters from the nearby Sungai Penchala.
TTDIRA wants the name “Taman Rimba Kiara” retained until the legal matter concerning the park is finalised.
“We call on DBKL and the Federal Territories Ministry to respect the ongoing court process, and ensure that the name Taman Rimba Kiara is retained until the court process is complete. Do not proceed with the name change, ” said TTDIRA.
Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh also demanded that DBKL reverse its decision on the park’s name.
“DBKL cannot do this now when the matter is still before the court.
“This decision has essentially removed ‘Taman Rimba Kiara’ while residents are still fighting to preserve it. Please reverse this decision, ” she said on her social media page.
The backlash comes as TTDIRA is contesting the legality of a development order issued by DBKL approving the development of a 3.24ha site in Taman Rimba Kiara for a high-rise project and is awaiting a decision by the Court of Appeal.
The disputed development project was first cast into the spotlight in April 2017 when DBKL issued a development order for a project on a 4.9ha plot within the 10.1ha Taman Rimba Kiara.
The project initially involved building 350 units of affordable housing for 100 longhouse residents in Bukit Kiara and eight blocks of luxury condominiums.
A proposed revised plan includes a 17-storey block with 204 units of affordable housing for the longhouse folk, and four blocks of 41 to 45-storey condominiums consisting of 1,082 units in total.