Bukit Kiara Sungai Track - Phil Bee’s Kuala Lumpur Mountain Biking - Part 5 (of 10)
While making this movie and writing the script with Pat, I asked him what his favourite trail is up in Bukit Kiara. Out of all the dozens of superb tracks, Sungai was his choice.
So this segment is dedicated purely to one of the toughest, yet most beautiful trails on the hill. Hand-built by Pat Brunsdon - again, the track utilises many natural features and blends in perfectly with it’s environment.
As most of you have been noticing, our trails are getting a little more challenging with each passing day. Simple climbs are becoming quite rutted, and one the easiest of all of our trails has now caused someone to have a lovely stack which resulted in a few broken bones.
The simple solution to preventing heavy erosion is by making sure there are water bars along the trail, At the top of each climb, similarly make sure that there is a channel to prevent water from gushing down the steeper sections. If you keep your eyes open, you’ll notice that there are actually such things on ALL of our trails, but these have become filled with sand, leaves and other debris which make them hard to see. Clearing them will be the primary purpose of this day.
We will meet at 4-Way at 8 am where you’ll receive instructions on what to do. We’re hoping that all of those who have adopted a trail under the “Kiara Adopt A Trail” effort will also show up and be the lead for their particular sections. If they aren’t available, then a nominee will be found to lead.
If you have your own cangkul, please bring one along. If you don’t know what one looks like, please see above!!! Mr. Cock is the most prevalent brand in Malaysia and can be bought for less than RM 30 at hardware stores. Ace Hardware may be a wee bit more. We will bring a stack of them, but no where near enough to tackle the number of people we hope will show up. Our trails need you.
Between now and 16 June, a few of us will start tackling the trails further afield from 4-Way. If you’re interested in helping out on any of the weekends between now and 16 June, post a message in reply to this thread and we’ll let you know when/ where.
We will also begin planning for some of the more serious work that is required. On our list is the repair of the bridge on Snakes & Ladders, the descent and climb on Cheeky Creek, the climb out of Wasteland towards Bar-a-kuda and more. Hopefully the rains will start abating to help us out!
KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — Incumbent Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar today challenged her political opponent Raja Datuk Nong Chik Zainal Abidin to explain what she alleged was the “shady” sale of public land slated to conclude after the general election.
She said that 12 acres of prime land in Bukit Kiara, of which Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is a beneficial owner, will be sold to a well-known property development company for the sum of about RM475 million.
“As the caretaker minister of Federal Territories and urban wellbeing, Datuk Raja Nong Chik must explain to the rakyat,” Nurul Izzah (picture) said at a news conference.
She pointed out that the DBKL land was transferred late last year to Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan, of which Raja Nong Chik is a chairman, and was then given to a private company, Kiaramas Sdn Bhd, before it was finally sold.
She questioned whether Raja Nong Chik had ordered the transfers of the land and if so, for what reasons.
She also questioned the identities of the beneficial owners of Kiaramas: “Specifically, is the minister, his relatives, friends or nominees involved?”
She demanded to know the profit earned through the sale, of which she alleged DBKL had been wrongfully deprived.
“Why did DBKL not use this land to benefit KL residents rather than developers?” she said.
“Transfers of cheap government land to private hands in order to make enormous profits have been a long-standing tradition of the Barisan Nasional government.”
Raja Nong Chik said the claim that DBKL has transferred its 12 acres of land to Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan does not arise at all (Photo by Hussein Shaharuddin/ The Mole)
KUALA LUMPUR: Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin denied the allegation made by Nurul Izzah Anwar on his involvement in the transfer of 12 acres of Bukit Kiara land.
In a joint statement with Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan, Raja Nong Chik said:
“There are two aspects relating to the 12-acre land in Bukit Kiara.”
“The first aspect involves an on-going discussion between Berjaya Corp & DBKL (Kuala Lumpur City Hall) for 12 acres of land to be retained as part of the greater green lung subject to the terms and conditions to be agreed upon between the two parties.
“Hence, the claim that DBKL has transferred 12 acres of land belonging to DBKL to Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan does not arise at all.”
It has been earlier reported that Nurul Izzah had claimed that the land which is one of the remaining green lungs in the city was transferred from DBKL to Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan chaired by Raja Nong Chik.
She also claimed that the land was given to a private company Kiaramas Sdn Bhd, which then again sold it to a well-known property development company for RM475 million.
Raja Nong Chik categorically denied the allegation as untrue and he further clarified that following the Cabinet approval in November last year, Wilayah Persekutuan Land Exco has approved a 12- acre land also in Bukit Kiara to Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan for two primary purposes.
“It is to provide housing to 100 families involved in the relocation exercise following the development of the Kiara Estate. These families were the estate workers in Kiara who have been staying in the long house for the last 30 years.”
“Another purpose is to have part of the land to be developed for affordable homes in accordance with the policy for the Ministry to develop 30,000 affordable homes in Federal Territories.”
Raja Nong Chik who is also Barisan Nasional’s candidate for Lembah Pantai clarified that the said land has not been transferred to Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan and it has not signed any agreement with any parties to develop said land.
“Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan is in the process of finalising the Request For Proposal (RFP), inviting competitive bids to develop the said land hence the issue of Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan giving the land to another company does not arise at all.”
Raja Nong Chik pointed out that Nurul Izzah, the incumbent Lembah Pantai MP, has mistaken two separate plots of land to be the same piece of land.
“The land has yet to be transferred to Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan and Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan has not signed any agreement with any company, so how can Kiara Mas sell off the piece of land?” he asked.
Nurul Izzah will be involved in a three-cornered fight to defend her seat against Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin and independent Rusli Baba in tomorrow’s polls.
In the 2008 general election Nurul Izzah won the seat defeating BN’s Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil with a majority of 2,895 votes.
Friends Of Bukit Kiara (FoBK), the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) and the Trail Association Of Kuala Lumpur And Selangor (TRAKS) holds a dialogue with the two GE13 candidates for the Segambut parliamentary seats, Lim Li Peng and Jayanthi Devi Balaguru, whereas they will pledge to gazette Bukit Kiara once elected.
The planned destruction of Bukit Kiara by JLN, DBKL and Berjaya
Candidate Lim Li Peng (Democratic Action Party) Makes Green Pledge To Save Bukit Kiara As Permanent Forest Reserve
Candidate Jayanthi Devi Balaguru (Barisan Nasional) Makes Also A Green Pledge To Save Bukit Kiara As Permanent Forest Reserve
Former French President Jacques Chirac, was quoted saying “A politician’spromises only bind those who believe them.” People of Segambut, it’s up to you to engage now and prove this is wrong.
“There is no greater calamity than to under-estimate the strength of your enemy. For to under-estimate the strength of your enemy is to lose your treasure. Therefore, when opposing troops meet in battle, victory belongs to the grieving side” - Lao Tze
In Defence Of A De-fence-less Bukit Kiara
It began in late 2011 with the erection of an unsightly metal fencing 3.6 meters high along the famed trails of the forest in Bukit Kiara. (coordinates 3°8′5″N 101°38′28″E). Dubbed The Great Wall “ by TRAKS (Trails Association of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor), the battle-cry was sounded when bulldozers moved into a tranquil, defence-less Bukit Kiara to clear swathes of forest to make needless temporary tracks and roads causing collateral damage to flora and fauna, soil erosion, pollution to pristine streams downhill and fragmentation of existing trails network.
These trails have been designed and painstakingly crafted by TRAKS volunteers for bikers, hashers, runners and hikers taking into account sustainable and minimum environmental impact on Bukit Kiara based on IMBA International Standards and Trail-Care concept. Famously touted as “the only such world-class green lung in the heart of the city” the 37 kilometer trails have show-cased Bukit Kiara and Malaysia on the international tourist map. Since 2007, Bukit Kiara had been designated with approval by Cabinet as “Taman Awam Berskala Besar i.e. TABB or Large Scale Public Park of 466.86 acres but its gazettement remains elusive till today.
In defence of a defenceless Bukit Kiara, TRAKS volunteers turned to film-making to record and disseminate virally the damage and “rape” of what is sacred ground to them and a refuge to thousands of park-users.
An activist, aided by TRAKS volunteers, ignited a petition campaign launched by Friends of Bukit Kiara (FoBK), an NGO formed in 2001 to protect and preserve Bukit Kiara. The Save Bukit Kiara campaign is aimed at urging the authorities to:
Gazette Bukit Kiara as a Permanent Forest Park
Halt all construction activities on Bukit Kiara immediately and
Say no to development in or around Bukit Kiara
Walking The Talk To Save Bukit Kiara
Malaysian Nature Society, a key ally in FoBK, fronted the Awareness Walk of 15 July 2012 as the campaign gained momentum with thousands of people rallying to save Bukit Kiara. The Awareness Walk was successful in raising awareness of the need to protect and preserve one of the last remaining green lungs in the city for sustainable development. The campaign was also instrumental in immediately halting construction activities on Bukit Kiara. Assurances were given by the Minister of Local Government and Housing that Bukit Kiara will be gazetted as a Public Park upon the resolution of the issue of leases of specified lots to two large corporations.
What seemed to be a “victory” for the aggrieved side was short-lived however. In October 2012, FoBK was informed by the Mayor of City Hall (Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur or DBKL) of Berjaya Corp’s development plans to build a commercial building, condos, a huge stadium, exhibition hall, hospital, etc. in the adjacent leased equestrian lots as well as a private access road to the Bukit Kiara trails!!!
An FoBK Coalition comprising of 44 Residents Associations (RAs) and 19 Environmental NGOs in the Klang Valley was quickly forged to counter the threat of commercial development and to press for the gazettement of Bukit Kiara as a Forest Park. A Save Bukit Kiara Walk took off on 17 March 2013 after FoBK’s appeal letter of 9 December 2012 to the PM, who passed the buck to the Mayor of DBKL, was met with indifference.
The second protest Walk reflected growing support for the Save Bukit Kiara cause as about 3,000 people showed up that Sunday morning. Supporters came all walks of life; concerned with questions of sustainable development, global warming, pollution, traffic congestion, possible increasing crime and even devaluation of property values in the surrounding areas that may accompany the proposed development. Children held posters of “save the forest and animals” while a banner cried out with “what about us?” to plead with the authorities and developers not to compromise the needs of future generations.
Will the protests of the grieving side in opposing the proposed development plans of Berjaya Corp be heard and halt development in and around Bukit Kiara? Will the primary objective of FoBK’s campaign to gazette Bukit Kiara as a Forest Park since Cabinet approval in 2007 be finally translated into reality in 2013 by the authorities?
The Ever- elusive Gazettement Of Bukit Kiara
According to the authorities, the gazettement of Bukit Kiara is held up because DBKL has not surrendered the leased equestrian Lot 52314 of 62.57 acres back to the Federal government due to a caveat placed on it in April 2008 by Berjaya Corp. (S- 21NCVC-52-2011, para 17).
Why did Berjaya place a caveat on Lot 52314 in 22 April 2008 after Cabinet had already on 27 June 2007 approved for the specific Lot to be part of Bukit Kiara in TABB outlined in the Kuala Lumpur Master Plan? Why was the registration of Berjaya Corp.’s caveat placed 15 years from entry in 1993, not rejected by the authorities then on justifiable grounds in the public’s interests? Why was the monthly rental of RM5,000 paid by Berjaya Corp. from 1993 till October 2000 for Lot 52314 of a good 62.57 acres further reduced to a mere RM2000 thereafter till 2010 ‘out of goodwill”? ( S-21NCVC -52-2011, para 38).
Approval for surrender of Lot 52314 back to the government had also been agreed by the Federal Territory Land Working Committee on 29 December 2009. The decision was conveyed to DBKL vide its letter dated 12 February 2010. Why did DBKL take more than a year to issue notice to Berjaya Corp. to surrender Lot 52314 only on 25 February 2011? ( S-21NCVC-52-2011, paras 35 & 41)
The High Court Ruling in the case of DBKL vs Bukit Kiara Resort Bhd( KBRB) of Berjaya Corp on Lot 52314 to remove Berjaya’s caveat ordered for a Lease Agreement to be executed between DBKL and Berjaya. The Court dismissed DBKL’s application for removal of Berjaya’s private caveat with costs on 21 September 2011 (S-21NCVC-10-2011, paras 72- 77). Why didn’t DBKL appeal against the High Court Ruling in the interest of an anxious public impatient with the elusive gazettement of Bukit Kiara?
Did DBKL follow the guidelines spelt out in the National Council for Local Government (NCLG) vide a Policy formulated on 9 August 1999 which states very clearly that “For open space that is not surrendered, action must be taken to ensure that it becomes government land and be subsequently reserved and gazetted”?
Lot 52314 comprised of 20 acres of open spaces ( Parcel D) and 43 acres of polo field and grandstand ( Parcel E) which will come within the ambit of the NCLG 1999 Policy on “open spaces”. According to former Town Councillor Mak Khuin Weng, - Our Right To Open Spaces - The Nut Graph, 15 November 2010 - the Policy cannot be ignored as the NCLG is defined under Article 95A of the Federal Constitution. Since Article 95A mandates that the policies of the NCLG be followed, the failure to implement the policy is tantamount to contempt of the Federal Constitution. Was the NCGL Policy adhered to by DBKL?
Why was compulsory acquisition of Lot 52314 of 62.57 acres also not considered by the government under the Land Acquisition Act 1960 in the interests of the public to enable the gazettement of Bukit Kiara, one of the last remaining green lungs in the city and a national treasure to the people?
Development In Bukit Kiara – For Profit?
According to The Star dated 4 December 2012 “City Hall told to separate Bukit Kiara land” the Mayor was quoted as saying “We have to follow the court order and nothing can be done now”. The report added that DBKL had “also proposed to the developer to include a hospital, community facilities and an international school in their project”.
Did the Court Ruling order DBKL to separate Kiara Land or to approve development on lot 52314? (S-21NCVC-10-2011 paras 72-77). On what authority did DBKL have to separate Kiara Land or approve any development on Bukit Kiara in conflict with what is expressed in the Title or upheld by the FT Ministry?
A Title search by FoBK on 18 March 2013 on Lot 50642 of 69.8 acres shows that the “land was to be used for equestrian and recreational purposes only…”. Similarly, a Title search on Lot 52314 also explicitly states “for equestrian, recreation and polo grounds only”.
Why then is any form of development even considered by DBKL since Section 108 of the National Land Code 1965 says a local authority cannot over-ride the ‘expressed conditions” stated in the Land Titles? Isn’t DBKL’s action seen to be in conflict with the directive of the Deputy Chief Secretary of the Ministry Of Federal territory and Urban Welfare who had said on 6 January 2010 in a meeting between DBKL and Berjaya Corp. that the government still upholds its decision NOT to allow any development in Lot 52314 and Lot 50642 based on the terrain and surroundings? (S-21NCC-52-2011, para 21)
A Fierce Green Fire
In the light of the questions revolving around the disputed Lot 52314 of 62.57 acres, a Title search was also conducted on 16 April 2013 on the leased Measat Lot 54268 of 100.154 acres in Bukit Kiara. This lot had been leased to Measat Digicast Sdn. Bhd in April 1998 for a term of 30 years. Why is there no pertinent information in the Title regarding category of land use, expressed conditions and whether it is a qualified or final title as it has been leased since 1998? Why was a caveat registered on the Lot in 29 April 2009 after Cabinet had already clearly designated it in June 2007 as an integral part of TABB in the KL Master Plan? Who had placed the caveat?
Will the questions raised regarding the leased lots 52314 and 54268 be addressed by the authorities to fulfill the government’s promises to place the interests of the public first to finally gazette Bukit Kiara?
Will Berjaya Corp. chose to leave a lasting legacy of a national treasure in its natural state as a ‘gift’ to the people and future generations to remember it by?
Will ‘victory” be rightfully accorded to the anxious public and the grieving side in its battle to commit the government of the day to finally gazette Bukit Kiara i. e. TABB of 466.86 acres as a “ Forest Public Park” as endorsed by Cabinet in June 2007?
Ultimately, “victory” in any battle can be achieved by only you, the people who can save Bukit Kiara, our national treasure from being developed for profit. A US documentary film entitled “A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet” poses this blazing question to all of us:“ If they can turn The Grand Canyon into a ‘cash register’, is any national park safe?”
The answer is up to you.
Bukit Kiara: Boner Is Now Goner (Part 2)
While everyone’s looking elsewhere - read GE13 - destruction is carried on between the ridge of Boner trail and the Penchala Link. More bungalows to come.
Bukit Kiara: Boner Is Now Goner (Part 1)
While everyone’s looking elsewhere - read GE13 - destruction is carried on between the ridge of Boner trail and the Penchala Link. More bungalows to come. Sad.
The Boner trail in Bukit Kiara is getting destroyed
The dreaded bulldozer has been into the area of Boner in Bukit Kiara.
Some fellow biker walked the track made by the bulldozer with his GPS and you can see on the Google Earth image where it has been, the current Bukit Kiara trails are shown in red, new bulldozed track in yellow, starts at A and ends at B - for now…
Damage shown in yellow
The Bukit Kiara trails network in red
Akthough the damage done to the existing trails is minor, for now at least, the worry is more about what this is all about and where it goes from there. Initially we thought that the bulldozer was following the perimeter of a plot of land - more fence? -, but then if you look at the Google Earth close-up image you can see that as the bulldozer was heading back down the hill in the direction of Kiaramas it took a sharp 180deg turn as if trying to reach a higher point on the hill.
Lots of trees have been felled in the area where the bulldozed track ends (B), not just on the track itself but also on either side near WPT B. So is it a perimeter track, an access road to a future Telecom mast, or something else, our guess is as good as yours…