Residents of Bukit Jelutong oppose redevelopment of golf course

06 Oct 2023 03:24pm
BJRA expressing their opposition to the residential development plan for Bukit Jelutong golf course in front of the state govt office today.
BJRA expressing their opposition to the residential development plan for Bukit Jelutong golf course in front of the state govt office today.

SHAH ALAM - The Bukit Jelutong Residents Association (BJRA) has gathered over 2,000 written petitions to oppose the destruction of the only green land in the area, which is currently known as Bukit Jelutong Golf Course.

The residents claimed that the development project does not align with the developer's claims of sustainability.

Its president Zien Hisham said the residents of Bukit Jelutong, U8 Shah Alam, were shocked by the presentation made by the Bukit Jelutong developer, Sime Darby Property Berhad, during a town hall on Sept 30.

He said the developer had expressed intentions to transform the Bukit Jelutong golf course land into residential properties.

“This announcement has raised significant concerns among the residents of Bukit Jelutong for several reasons, including that it is the only green area here now.

“The land, although privately owned by the developer, has provided recreational space, preserved natural surroundings, and served as a focal point for the development of Bukit Jelutong,” he said here at the press conference in front of the state government office today.

Besides, the developer's move to change the land's designated use to the local authority, Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam (MBSA), was also uncalled for.

“This process was initiated without meaningful consultation and was carried out during the pandemic period when the world and the country were grappling with the challenges of Covid-19.

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“Many individuals faced hardships, income loss, and various economic and social issues during this time," he added.

Commenting further, he also said this development lacks public input as MBSA proceeded with this process without adequately informing or involving the Bukit Jelutong residents.

“This lack of transparency led to the re-zoning of the land for residential purposes without the knowledge or consent of the local community,” he said.

Besides, he also added the conversion of this land into residential use due to the pressing issues it raises with traffic congestion, as the influx of residents from new housing developments would exacerbate traffic congestion in and around Bukit Jelutong, turning the area into a thoroughfare for external vehicles.

“It may also cause flood risks as the area surrounding the golf course serves as a vital water absorption zone, particularly crucial in times of sudden climate changes and unexpected weather patterns.

“Converting it into residential space could heighten the risk of flooding,” he said.

Moreover, he said there would also be an ecological impact as the flora and fauna on this land have contributed to the mental well-being of our residents, aligning with the developer's original intent.

“Destroying this natural habitat contradicts the developer's proclaimed commitment to sustainability and endangers the contracts made between residents and the developer in the past.

“It also results in a loss of green space because if the golf course is destroyed for residential purposes, Bukit Jelutong would lose one of its last remaining green spaces,” he added.

He said BJRA was also worried that other developers may use similar methods as a phased development strategy to reap unsustainable profits, disregarding the government's stipulated conditions and altering the original planning intentions approved by local authorities.

“We will continue to oppose this development until the golf course is safeguarded according to its designated land use.

“This proposed development would introduce a host of problems to the residents of Bukit Jelutong, and the actions of the developer do not align with the principles of a socially responsible and environmentally conscious company,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bidai residence chairman Dr Rodzina Hayati Tajul Arifin, who had also gathered here at BJRA, criticised Sime Darby for not observing the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while taking away the only green land they have.

“Sime Darby has publicly announced that they observe the UN's SDG, but it doesn't show now with the development of the golf course.

“We would fight until the end until land was left for people,” she added.

Besides, the former president Datin Sivamani Rasiah, who was also present, said BJRA does not know of any of this conversion.

“All of us were not aware of this development, as it was done during the pandemic. There was also no notice given to us,” she said.