Stakeholders, calling draft KL Structure Plan 2040 ‘flawed’, want proper engagement with City Hall

Civil society movement group Selamatkan Kuala Lumpur hopes the government’s decision to postpone the gazettement of the Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2040 to allow further engagement with stakeholders, will not end up being an exercise in futility.

On April 8, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced a hold in the gazettement until May 31, to allow for further engagements by Kuala Lumpur City Hall.

This comes after stakeholders, including Selamatkan Kuala Lumpur, presented a memorandum on the matter to Anwar on April 3.

“We welcome the decision by the prime minister. But we also hope City Hall will provide concrete explanations on some of our previous objections and views regarding the draft structure plan, as they did not reveal much during our last briefing session on March 29,” said Selamatkan Kuala Lumpur chairman, Datuk M. Ali.

Ali said City Hall cannot expect stakeholders, including residents, to be content with the local authority merely stating that it had rejected their views.

“They must inform us and other stakeholders of the changes that have been made in the amended plan. We have presented our objections. It is only right for those who have raised their views, to be told why their views are not being considered,” he said.

Ali said any engagement by City Hall must be conducted thoroughly, unlike the one held by City Hall on March 29, which felt more like a “monologue”.

“An illegible PowerPoint slide was presented and the consultants just said, ‘These are the changes that we will be making’… and that was it,” said Ali.

“There was no explanation given, for example, on why institutional land had been designated as commercial land, nor was there an explanation on how the zoning of a golf course had remained a ‘private green space’, despite a hotel on its grounds,” he said.

Ali said Selamatkan Kuala Lumpur had participated in the public hearing of the plan in 2020, and had submitted 56 pages of recommendations and objections.

“There must be complete transparency and proper engagement, as we do not want a flawed structure plan to be gazetted,” added Ali.

Yesterday, City Hall’s Executive Director (Planning) Datuk Sulaiman Mohamed said the council will soon announce the dates for the engagement sessions, following the announcement by Anwar. Sulaiman added the public can get the final amended Draft Structure Plan 2040 from City Hall’s website (www.dbkl.gov.my), beginning tomorrow.

The draft Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2040 was launched in February 2020. The plan contains the vision, goals, and policies to drive the development of Kuala Lumpur for the next 20 years.