A win for residents: Subang Ria park stays green

The Selangor state government today announced that it will remove clauses from the Subang Jaya Municipal Council’s (MPSJ) local plan that reserves 19 acres of Subang Ria Park for development.

The announcement by Selangor Chief Minister Khalid Ibrahim will prevent land owners Sime Darby Properties from going ahead with the development or seeking a high valuation of the land based on the development approval.

Speaking to residents this afternoon, Khalid said that the removal will be done using Section 16 of Town and Country Planning Act.

An approval letter issued by State Planning Committee, which grants Sime Darby an approval in principle to develop the 19 acres land, will also be withdrawn, as first reported by Komunitikini on Thursday.

Khalid said Sime Darby has been using both the approvals to appraise the park’s acquisition price at RM165 million, a figure far beyond his estimations.

The figure was mentioned by Sime Darby in its letter, replying to the state’s acquisition task force led by Subang Jaya assemblywoman, Hannah Yeoh.

Khalid said the state was considering Sime Darby’s plan to develop 19 acres of the park and surrender the remaining 53 acres to local council when it issued an approval letter in principle to Sime Darby in 2009

“But after understanding the residents’ demands, we decided to follow their wishes to the park intact and acquire the park,” he said.

Hence, the status of Subang Ria Park is expected to undergo a colour change in MPSJ’s local plan; from green (for recreational use) and blue (commercial use), to just green, once the amendment is done.

However, Khalid said the title of the park will remain as “Private Park” as the state respects Sime Darby as the rightful owner of the land.

Local resident, Eddy Ch’ng, cried foul that Sime Darby must have worked in cahoots with MPSJ to quote the RM165mil figure that matches MPSJ’s valuation report figure on the park.

“Sime Darby must be the one behind the scene of MPSJ’s valuation,” he claimed, referring to the valuation report that was published in January.

Commenting on the valuation, state assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh said that MPSJ’s valuation was largely based on assumption that the 19 acres would be converted to commercial land.

“MPSJ was assuming that Sime Darby’s application to develop the 19 acres of land would be approved. They were comparing the park, which holds a recreational title, with surrounding properties that hold commercial land titles.

“The park is also of 99 years leasehold title, not freehold as the report mentions,” she pointed out.

Yeoh said the task force will await Sime Darby’s response to the Local Plan amendment to decide the next move.