(From left): Former Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan, Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh and Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism executive director Cynthia Gabriel at a press conference on the proposed development at Taman Rimba Kiara today. Photo by Kenny Yap
KUALA LUMPUR (May 15): Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh is questioning why the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is taking so long to take action on the complaints of graft involving the controversial Taman Rimba Kiara project, despite multiple reports having been lodged with the commission.
Her predecessor, Lim Lip Eng, as well as the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) have also separately lodged their reports with the MACC, Yeoh told a press conference today.
C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel, who was also at the press conference, claimed that the previous federal territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor had a conflict of interest in the project.
The project is a joint venture between Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan, which Tengku Adnan chaired, and the project's developer Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd, Gabriel said. According to her, an alleged business associate of Tengku Adnan's is also a shareholder or director in the companies that hold stakes in Memang Perkasa.
"I want to reiterate that these information have all been given by C4 to MACC. What is taking MACC so long when the background work has been done by C4? If this is not a clear conflict of interest, then I don't know what it is," Yeoh added as she demanded MACC to explain its inaction over the matter.
News portal The Malaysian Insight reported in February, citing sources, that the MACC had opened investigation papers on the project, and that all the parties involved would be called in to have their statements recorded. It is unclear if there have been further developments to the case after that.
Also present at today's event was former Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan, who suggested that the Attorney-General (AG) Tommy Thomas look into the possibility of voiding the development project due to its potential "illegality".
Yeoh said if the project is to be cancelled and government funds are to be used for compensation, then the AG should be consulted.
"(Federal Territories Minister) Khalid (Samad) had previously talked about compensation (from the government to private developer) if the development project is cancelled. Since it involves government funds, the AG should rightfully be consulted," she said.
Meanwhile, Yeoh said she will be holding a townhall on the project at the Taman Tun Community Center this Saturday to update the residents on the current status of the project and two proposals on the table — one of which is hers where the project can bypass the Taman Rimba Kiara park altogether — to resolve the issue.
The townhall will be open for everyone, and Yeoh, who is also the Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, added she has also notified her fellow federal territories lawmakers.
"This is really a battle that is beyond Taman Tun Dr Ismail — the call for good governance, saving green lungs and also providing housing for the longhouse residents," she added.