April 9, Subang Jaya: It is time to gazette Subang Ria Park as a green lung.
This is Subang Jaya resident and activist Lau Bing' s plea to the Federal and State Governments.
Lau, who has collected more than 2,500 signatures from visitors to the park beside the Holiday Villa Hotel over the last month, is keeping his fingers crossed.
He hopes the need to gazette all green lungs would be raised in Parliament soon.
Lau said that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had urged State governments to gazette open spaces as early as August 2003.
Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting made a similar call on April 6 for all local councils to comply with a Government order in 2003 to gazette all green lungs and turn open spaces into green lungs.
Lau said: "The 30ha park is in a sorry state. It has a go-kart centre, a futsal centre, a paintball centre, a private fishing pond and the Crocodile Farm Restaurant.
"All these have taken away half of the land and the public has to pay to enter these centres. By right, a public park must not impose any fees on its users." He added that the park's facilities had deteriorated.
"The exercise stations are worn out, the gazebos have been demolished, there is no lighting, toilets, stand pipes or children's facilities," he said.
"The amphitheatre is in a sorry state and has become a mosquito-breeding ground. The jogging track has also deteriorated. The benches are broken, and there is soil erosion in the car park." Lau said that he had written to Abdullah, Ong, Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo and the Subang Jaya Municipal Council last month.
"Their intervention will save the park, which benefits not only residents of Subang Jaya but the whole of Klang Valley." Lau said the park played a key role in enticing him to move into the township when it first began in the 1980s.
"Hundreds of others who moved in back then, had the park in mind." Lau also called on The Malay Mail to run a campaign to save the park along the lines of the campaign to save the Ulu Klang Recreational Park in 2003.
"If the park cannot be handled with care by the private developer which owns it, we residents strongly urge the park to be managed as a green lung by the State Government." The park belongs to developer Sime UEP.
KUALA LUMPUR: Local authorities which defy orders to protect green lungs and open spaces meant for recreation will be made known to the public – that’s the order from the Government.
The directive issued by the Cabinet at its meeting in Putrajaya yesterday is meant to make the local authorities accountable.
Follow-up action will be taken against these authorities if there is no improvement in their performance.
Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said there had been cases where land gazetted for parks and recreational facilities were degazetted for development projects.
He said his ministry would submit to the Cabinet a progress report on all local authorities’ compliance with an order from the National Council for Local Government issued in August 2003 to:
GAZETTE all green lungs, parks and open space, which have yet to be gazetted.
PLACE all those which were already gazetted under their respective state secretary for supervision to prevent any quarters from degazetting the land for developmental purposes.
UNDERTAKE early action to turn the gazetted open space into parks, gardens and playgrounds.
Ong said compliance with guidelines on green lungs and open space for parks and recreational facilities in the past had been found to be “not good enough.”
Certain quarters would apply to develop such land for purposes other than what they were meant for, and there were local authorities which relaxed the guidelines for them, he said.
He said land matters may be under the state governments' jurisdiction but orders from the national council, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and represented by all mentris besar, chief ministers and key ministries, were also binding.