of Plaza Rakyat may be opened for new bids
Star Story by LIM CHIA YING
THE Economic Planning Unit (EPU) is set to call for a last meeting with
the current developer of Plaza Rakyat to iron out details.
This, according to Federal Territories Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja
Zainal Abidin, has been agreed upon by Minister in the Prime Minister’s
Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, who is in charge of the EPU.
“Plaza Rakyat, being a privatisation project, is now in the hands of the
EPU and the developer.
“However, we note that the negotiation is taking too long, having dragged
on to October when the deadline was supposed to be August,” said Nong Chik
after handing house keys and aid to fire victim Mohd Wazir Mohd Badri
whose flat unit in PPR Kerinchi was destroyed on Monday morning.
“Even Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has said the project
should be expedited and he has suggested opening up the project to new
developers to bid,” he said.
In July, Nong Chik was reported as saying that Plaza Rakyat will be
revived, and that the EPU was then finalising the new terms and conditions
with the developer who has been given a grace period to decide whether
they want to take up the offer.
He added that the project had to go on or else it would be a waste.
“If the current contract is to be terminated, it would require EPU’s
approval. For now, a final meeting will be called and this should
hopefully be resolved by November,” said Nong Chik.
The Plaza Rakyat project in Kuala Lumpur was launched at about the same
time that the Suria KLCC was being built in the mid-90s.
However, while the iconic twin towers stand majestically tall today, the
Plaza Rakyat project has been left uncompleted and stands like a sore
thumb at the busy Pudu area.
Earlier, Nong Chik presented RM1,000 donated by the Yayasan Wilayah
Persekutuan as well as food and electrical items worth another RM1,000
from the Lembah Pantai Umno division to Mohd Wazir.
Mohd Wazir and his family had moved into their 12th floor flat unit in
Block E in February before it was razed in Monday fire.
They are now being given keys to a new unit on same block.
“I also wish to thank the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) for their quick
response in providing a new unit in less than 24 hours,” said Nong Chik.
Asked about allegations by firemen on low water pressure during the
incident as reported in some newspapers, Nong Chik said he would ask the
DBKL to increase the pressure and that the firemen still managed to
contain the fire to just one unit.
Mohd Wazir said he did not manage to salvage any documents and belongings
but was thankful that neighbours had been kind enough to contribute some
things for his family’s needs.
A team from the DBKL housing department who was inspecting Mohd Wazir’s
burnt unit refuted claims that the water pressure was low.
An official said the water pressure was in fact fine and that all the
facilities were in order.
“There are two types of water systems here — one being the hose reel which
is to put out small fires.
“The second one is the down commer, which is for use of firemen.
“The firemen had used a hydrant while some tenants had used the hose reel.
But when the fire was this big, the down commer should have been used.
“It is being provided for and the DBKL had also ensured extra accessories
for all the blocks here not too long ago,” said the official.
On the remaining number of squatters in Lembah Pantai that have yet to
relocate, Nong Chik said most had relocated except for a few groups.
“On Oct 10, the Prime Minister will be visiting the area to launch the
sales of flats for the whole of Kuala Lumpur.
“I wish to advise those who have refused to move out they may be left out
once all units are taken up,” he said.
“Priority (to own these units) is given to squatters and areas which are
being earmarked for development. But if these groups still refuse to move,
then we may have to sell it to other people out there,” he said adding
that the entire completion of the sales process may take about two years,”