|Saturday, 27 October 2012 19:07|
MIC and Gerakan have been leading protests against the 29-storey condominium development that they say was approved by the current Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government, a stone’s throw from the limestone cave that houses the popular Sri Maha Mariamman Devasathanam Temple and the venue of Malaysia’s largest gathering to celebrate Thaipusam, a Hindu festival. KUALA LUMPUR: Selangor revealed today that the controversial Dolomite Park Avenue condominium project currently being built near Batu Caves, a gazetted heritage zone, was given planning approval in 2007 when the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition governed the country’s wealthiest state.
"The explanation by Kohilan saying the ‘Planning Approval’ is not approval to implement is utterly ridiculous," said Ronnie Liu, the state executive councillor (exco), referring to political foe, senator A. Kohilan’s remarks on the project yesterday.
Kohilan, at the time, was a councillor with the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS), which was in charge of development projects for the area.
"Where is there approval for implementation as said by Kohilan? The ‘Planning Approval’ is approval to the developer to build the project," said Liu, the chairman of the Local Government, Research and Development Committee.
He slammed Kohilan for feigning ignorance over the condominium project.
"How can he say he doesn’t know? How can he say the developer only will build shop lots there? Today, I have the construction plan that covers the shop lots and the condominium approved by MPS," Liu added, pointing out that the condominium building is clearly marked out in the plans.
The Dolomite project, by developer Dolomite Properties Sdn Bhd, is a sensitive issue as Batu Caves is the religious focal point of Hindu Indians, who form the majority of the 1.7 million Indians who are a key voting group in many urban seats in Selangor.
Kohilan had claimed yesterday that the current PR government, which gained control of Selangor after it defeated BN in the 2008 general elections, were behind the approval of Dolomite’s plans to develop the land.
Kohilan, who was also present at the “Save Batu Caves” rally, admitted he had been aware of the project since 2007 but denied that the former BN administration had given approval for the project.
"I knew of the project since 2007, but MPS had then only approved ‘Planning Approval’ for a commercial development proposal on Lot 622.