“Senator lantikan BN nih…Sendiri buat tak betul, mengata orang lain…,”kata rakyat celik pembohongan
It was the BN and not Pakatan Rakyat that approved the controversial condominium project near the Batu Caves temple, and this time the Selangor government has the documents to prove it.
During a visit to the site for the condominium’s construction, Selangor exco member for local government Ronnie Liu brought with him the building plans approved by the BN-era Selanyang Municipal Council (MPS) on Nov 29, 2007.
“It says very clearly that the development is a 29-storey service apartment, a 25-storey service apartment, and in front are shophouses that have already been built…
“Nobody, including the temple committee chairperson, should put the blame on Pakatan Rakyat because this was clearly done by the BN. It’s all there – chopped, signed, everything,” he said.
The plans included architectural drawings of the tower block that the nearby Sri Subramaniar Temple committee members yesterday complained would obstruct view of the iconic limestone hill where it is situated.
Yesterday former Selanyang Municipal councillor and present deputy foreign minister A Kohilan Pillay (right) blamed the Pakatan government for the project, claiming that what had been approved in 2007 was only a “planning permit” that did not specify the number of storeys.
“Nothing was done by the Pakatan Rakyat government to support the project,” said Liu.
Kohilan is ‘bullshitting’
As for Kohilan’s claim that only the planning permit was approved during his tenure and not the building permit, Liu dismissed it as nonsense.
“There is no such thing as ‘kelulusan pelaksanaan’ (execution permit). He is bullshitting, naive or acting stupid. The ‘kelulusan perancangan’ (planning permit) is an overall (permit) already,” he said.
When asked about the marketing permit mentioned by Kohilan to have been approved in July this year, Liu (right) said this falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government’s Housing Ministry.
He said the Pakatan-led government had also approved alterations to the surrounding roads and drainages, but this has no bearing on the controversial condominium itself.
Liu revealed that Pakatan leaders including DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang had met the temple committee and visited the condominium’s construction site on Monday.
Following this, the Selangor government had issued a stop-work order the following day and the MPS president has been told to refer the matter to the State Planning Committee (SPC) for review.
“Why? Because we are also interested in protecting our national heritage,” he said.
Liu also claimed that the temple committee chairperson R Nadarajah had promised to call off his protest at the time, but nevertheless went ahead with his plans yesterday.
He added that the review would take about a month.
When asked if it would meet Nadarajah’s one-month deadline before he takes legal action, Liu said he was not concerned with the ultimatum because the stop-work order is indefinite and will remain until the matter is resolved.
No EIA done
Liu declined to speculate on the sum needed to compensate the developer, Dolomite Industries Sdn Bhd, if the state government decides to scrap the project.
However, he said that the state would not have to pay if the project breached any building guidelines, including whether it is sufficiently far enough from the nearby limestone cliffs and overhang.
Liu confirmed the claim by Malaysian Nature Society that no environmental impact assessment was done for the project. He, however, said it was not compulsory for projects of this scale.
“If it is not of a certain size, it becomes discretionary. In this case, I think it is necessary, because it is so close to the limestone hills (above) and so close to a national heritage site,” he said.
According to Lim, the state government did not take action earlier because there had been no complaints over the tower block until recently.
Meanwhile, Kota Alam Shah assemblyperson M Manoharan (right) said Nadarajah should step down for being ignorant of the project although the condominium’s sales office is only a short distance down the road from the temple.
He also claimed that there is a Supreme Court order made in 1930 that the temple could not sue or be sued without the attorney-general’s consent, and he wants it abolished.
“It is high time for this order to be set aside,” he said, adding that the order is outdated.
This is what the regulations have to say:
“Kelulusan kebenaran merancang diperlukan bagi setiap pembangunan yang ingin dijalankan. Ianya berperanan bagi Pihak Berkuasa Tempatan untuk mengawal perancangan.
“Kelulusan Kebenaran Merancang akan membenarkan/membolehkan sesuatu aktiviti di atas tanah itu dapat dilakukan merangkumi kerja-kerja bangunan, kejuruteraan, perlombongan atau penukaran jenis kegunaan tanah atau bangunan atau pecah sempadan tanah dan penyatuan tanah.”
We doubt Senator A Kohilan Pillay understands what ‘kebenaran merancang’ means. We suggest that Mr Kohilan study the subject before giving a PC about the Batu Caves condominium controversy.
A kebenaran merancang (development order) gives full details of the project that is going to be implemented.
I am pretty sure he has the minutes of meetings that he had attended, where these matters had been tabled back in 2007.
The land was allowed to be converted to commercial use back a long time ago before even 2000, where Dolomite was operating a quarry. The whole layout plan for the site – the shops and the condominium – was planned back in 2005/06 approved during BN’s time.
The ‘kebenaran merancang’ (KM) was given during BN’s time in 2007. And to make matters worse Jabatan Alam Sekitar (Environment Department) outright rejected this project in 2007, stating the need setback and that the area is prone to landslides despite that the KM was issued.
What was Kohilan doing with the other three MIC councillors (back then), why didn’t they protest? Don’t blame the current councillors or the state government. The Pakatan councillors were appointed in July 2008, where as the pelan bangunan (building plan) was approved on May 26, 2008. This is the period the existing BN councillors were still running the show. Why were they in such a hurry to push through the project?
Kohilan saying that the KM was issued without stating the height of the building is an utter lie. The building plan is a mandatory requirement in order to secure the KM. Kohilan Pillay admitted that the planning permit was approved during his time, so why he is denying this fact now?
We will prove Kohilan Pillai is wrong; would he resign from his deputy ministership? It is not necessary for him to protect the Batu Caves temple chairperson, if he had notified the temple committee about the proposed building at the time, then say so to the public.
If the temple does not have anything to hide, then they should have written to the council. We are ever ready to help. Why must he bring politics and MIC leaders into the matter? Does the temple chairperson Nadarajah think MIC leaders or political means are a better way to solve the matter?
Without a doubt, the then councillors and the developer would expect that the new Pakatan state government would have rejected the project (if it was brought to their attention for approval); is this why they were in such a hurry to push through the project in March 2008?
Gunaraj G is Majlis Perbandaran Selayang councillor