Sunday, December 21, 2014

Demolishing “100 Quarters” is demolishing part of KL’s history



Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 20th December, 2014.

Demolishing “100 Quarters” is demolishing part of KL’s history 

“100 Quarters”, one of the most well known icon sites in little India is in the process of demolishment due to DBKL’s failure to protect part of city’s history.

Built in 1915, the “100 Quarters”  comprise three rows of houses along Jalan Chan Ah Tong, Lorong Chan Ah Tong and Jalan Rozario  and were mainly occupied by those working in the then Malayan Railways. 

The development plan  to make way for three residential towers to be developed by Malaysia Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB), which is partly-owned by Malaysia's largest pension fund, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF - See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/heritage-body-slams-kl-city-hall-over-failure-to-see-historical-value-of-br#sthash.lLpnVF7R.dpuf

“100 Quarters” and the adjoining open space land are all registered in the name of Pengarah Tanah dan Galian Putrajaya. Apparently this land is under the title no. HS (D) 119632 PT 29. The open field adjoining this 100 quarters has been gazetted by the Selangor Government on 9th April 1970 under gazette no WKNS 212/9.4.1970

From records uncovered by NGOs and private persons,  it has come to our knowledge that MRCB has been given the 100 quarters area ( apparently in a commercial exchange of lands) together with the open field.

The lands are located in the most prestigious part of Kuala Lumpur. The open space is the only green area in this locality. They are the icons of the little India area and a great attraction to tourism. This nature’s beauty must be preserved for humanity.

The relevant authorities who gave away these lands must explain why MRCB was bequeathed these parcels of land. The public expects full disclosure namely:
1)    was the giving away of the lands done at arm’s length dealings?
2)    What price the land were sold/ exchanged?
3)    Was appropriate market value used to transact these lands?
4)    The open space being a gazette area, why no degazetting was done to date?
5)    Why the failure of the DBKL to consult with the adjoining land owners and stake holders as this is contrary to Local Agenda 21(basically means Malaysia being a signatory of this Agenda must have open discussion, consultation and agreement with the public before a decision to carry out any development).
 
While visiting the Vivekananda area on 5th of November 2014, the Minister of Culture and Tourism Datuk Nazri Aziz openly said that the adjoining quarters and the open space must be preserved. All present at the site were overwhelmed with Nazri’s bold announcement. We know MRCB is well connected to the powers to be and all the more reason for Nazri to prevail on them.

MRCB must consider its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and give effect to the local stake holders’ interest.

I urge the proposed redevelopment of these areas to a concreted jungle to be halted immediately by the relevant authorities



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