PTMN objects to Merdeka Park project

KUALA LUMPUR (July 1, 2013): The Pertahankan Taman Merdeka Negara (PTMN) movement has expressed objection to Kuala Lumpur City Council (DBKL) over the conversion of land for development of a major project in Merdeka Park, consisting of a 118-storey office tower, 2 blocks of 40-storey service apartments, one block of a 40-storey hotel with 7 storeys of commercial spaces and 5 levels of basement car parks.

PTMN, which consists of 30 non-governmental organisations, objected to the proposed reclassification of the site from "open space and institution" to "commercial" as it will affect heritage and history.

"Apart from the 'erosion' of heritage and history of Malaysia, it will also affect the surrounding area, consisting of schools, places of worship and people lives," said PTMN chairman Ishak Surin after he met with DBKL chief director Datuk Salleh Yusup at Menara DBKL today.

Three associations – Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Wei Ting Keong Kuan Yin Temple and Chan She Shu Yuen KL and Selangor Association submitted letters of objection to DBKL.

In the letters submitted by the temple, it is stated that the temple, chinese hall and Chen She are all hundred year-old historical and cultural monuments and landmarks in Kuala Lumpur.

The temple stated that the change of land use and the layout will compromise access to the historic temple as currently, worshippers who drive to the temple use the Stadium Merdeka car park as the main access.

They also said that there are many empty offices and vacant business spaces in other high-rise buildings in Kuala Lumpur. "The people of Kuala Lumpur are right to be concerned about this project turning into another 'white elephant', stated the letter.

Any owners of land adjoining the proposed development land and owners of land located within a distance of 200m can submit objections.

MP Bukit Bintang Fong Kui Lun said traffic around the area will increase and asked DBKL not to approve the (project), while Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai said everybody has the right to object to the project.