MPSJ washes hands off Subang Ria fiasco

Legal aspects were taken into consideration in amending the status of the Subang Ria ‘recreational park’ to that of a ‘private recreational park’ in the local draft plan.

Subang Jaya Municipal Council president Adnan Md Ikhsan told a press conference today that the decision was made to reserve 19 of the 72.6 acres for development, after the state planning committee (SPC) issued an approval letter last year.

The letter suggested that the state is agreeable in principle for Sime Darby Properties – the landowner – to develop 19 acres of the park, provided that it upgrades the remaining 53 acres and surrenders these to MPSJ.

“In response to that letter, we decided to add extra clauses to define the 19 acres in our local draft plan,” Adnan said, adding that the landowner has not proposed any development on the 19 acres so far.

Asked why the “extra clauses” were not shown in the first draft of the plan, he said many property-owners only complained after the plan was displayed to the public.

“They claimed a right to certain properties and we had to make some changes (to the plan which was gazetted at the end of last year),” he said.

Adnan also said the word ‘private’ had to be added to the local draft plan to avoid potential discrepancy.

“If we did not, it would automatically mean the park belongs to public, which could land us in trouble.”

He, however, said the council will not approve any development proposal that involves sub-division and change of land-use.

“The land-use of the park was declared to be only for recreation and recreation-related buildings when it was given to Sime Darby in 1987,” he noted.

Recreation-related buildings could include a clubhouse or theme park, but not property for sale or rental.

Explanation rejected

The Subang Jaya Residents Association, however, is not convinced by the explanation.

Its chairperson AS Gill rejected the idea to designate the area as a private park since “Subang folks have been entering the place free (of charge) for the past 20 years”.

“The previous MPSJ documents did not spell out (the claim that this is a private) park,” he said.

He stressed that the residents are ready to raise half of the RM3.6 million required, should the state government have to acquire the park. The sum is based on Sime Darby’s annual valuation report.

Subang Jaya residents have been fighting to keep the site as a recreational park, given that this was held out as a lure when property was advertised for sale in the massive housing estate.

The residents discovered on Nov 11 that the SPC had issued its letter and that the local plan had been gazetted, after their hopes had been raised in April by the state government that it would consider buying the site.

On Nov 19, Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim reassured them that the park will be kept intact until MPSJ completes its valuation report.