Hello hello! Yeah I know it’s been awhile and I thank everyone of you who has been encouraging me to start writing/blogging again – the procrastinator knows no urgency, and that procrastinator is me. Lucky for me, my brain seems to be wired to write whenever something really moves me, and lemme tell ya : I’m all shook.
Last Sunday, as we drove back from Ali Maju (mee Maggi goreng ayam tak nak sayur tak nak pedas tambah telur mata goyang should be a Michelin starred dish by now), I saw a signboard that gleamed white in the sunlight. It was a notice by DBKL informing us of our new neighbor : a 46 storey condo on less than 2 acres of land (sekangkang kera weyyyyy), right next to my condo. My Maggi goreng almost came back out thru my nose when I read the signboard . It was posted up on 15th August and it only gives residents until 28thAugust to send protest letters to DBKL to, what else lah, protest the development. 2 weeks is deemed a reasonable time period according to DBKL for residents to get their act together and sign protest forms.
I immediately knew that I had to do something. I got the fire under my butt lah. First step would be engaging our constituency’s Member of Parliament (MP). So I did. Wah, so big meh your cable? Lol.
No lah. I sent an SOS via a DM on Instagram to the Setiawangsa MP, YB Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad. I underlined the urgency of the matter (I noticed the signboard on the 19th so time was not on our side). I did not know what to expect, what with it being a Sunday and me a complete stranger to the MP, but I hoped for the best.
To my surprise and relief, he replied to me a few hours later, on the very same day. After a flurry of messages via Whatssap, he agreed to come by to the proposed development site to see for himself why we are protesting against the development. And he agreed to come the very next day.
During the site visit, he listened to our reasons for protesting, namely :
- the increase in population density in an already highly populated area. My rough calculations based on the number of units of the proposed condo is that population density will rise by 25%
- number of extra vehicles using the same road could rise up to 6000 vehicles
- the negative environmental impact as the site is currently a green site
- the congestion it could cause at the LRT station. As it is, commuters at the Sri Rampai LRT station can hardly get into the train during peak hours because the trains are already full with people boarding from Gombak & Wangsa Maju stations. Just ask people taking the train further down the line at Jelatek & Keramat stations – they sometimes have to wait for 3-4 trains to pass by before managing to get into the train due to overcapacity
Click here to view a drone video shoot of the area of the proposed development. Drone footage courtesy of Scene Sky Pictures Sdn Bhd.
After inspecting the site and listening to residents, some of which have lived in the area for more than 10 years, he agreed that a protest letter should be sent to DBKL. Not only that, he arranged for the committee members of the condo’s residents’ association to meet with a renowned town & country planning lawyer, Mr Derek Fernandez, who is also a local government expert. The meeting with Mr Fernandez was set up for Thursday, seeing that Wednesday was a public holiday.
Which brings us to my next upcoming post (nanti eh I write it, now lapar lah) – a post full of revelations. Well revelations for me, anyways. My husband wasn’t surprised at the blatant corruption stories that was shared by Mr Fernandez during his more than 20 years of fighting for the democratization of city councils as well as encouraging public participation in town & urban planning.
“You’ve lived in a beautiful bubble for a long time, sayang. And it’s not your fault.”
Someone once told me that my biggest weakness is that I think everyone thinks the way I do, that if I think something has a hint of dishonesty in it, I’ll walk away and so will others. That if I won’t do something because it’s wrong, someone else won’t do it too. That someone is right, it’s an unfortunate weakness of mine. And that’s why I get bamboozled plenty of times. Lol.
But, that doesn’t mean this old cat can’t learn new tricks. Life itself is a long educational journey.
And so, I’ve dipped my toe in the river and now I’m actually swimming in it. I am prepared to fight the good fight. Will be blogging about this journey and will leave you for now with this fun fact.
Hanya penduduk yang tinggal tidak lebih daripada 20 meter daripada sempadan tanah cadangan pembinaan boleh menghantar surat bantahan kepada pihak DBKL.
What a joke. Except that it’s not. It’s the law. Lol.