Tuesday, June 05, 2012

A Gruesome Find In Bukit Kiara

I brought about 10 people into the trail last Saturday, mostly first timer in Kiara wondering what was the hype about my previous entry here. It was a good 7.3km run going into Overtime, Magic Carpet, part of 2K, Twin Peak, Dirty Deeds, Lookout Point and back via reverse Lungbuster/Coronary.
Along the way, I found an envelope with documents inside, which perhaps, was meant/left behind for someone like me to find/collect. I took it, put into my Nathan hydration pack and never bothered about it until i reached home...
I don't usually pick up anything...but i felt this was left there...for me.
My jaw fell when i saw what was inside. It was a letter from FoBK or Friends of Bukit Kiara to the Jabatan Lanskap Negara that reports to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government ! The content of the letter was heartbreaking to say the least. It listed down all the things that has been happening to Kiara as I am writing and you reading this. Many joggers or recreational walkers only walked on the paved part of the Hill otherwise known as Bukit Kiara. They, however, do not have a single clue of what is happening, or going to happen to Kiara. Suffice to say, the power-to-be has felt the heat of the "movement" to save Bukit Kiara and has even got the paper to say this.
Oh really?
More "recreation friendly"? How is Kiara, in it's existing state, not friendly? Fencing to keep the people safe? From what? Tigers? Barricaded entrance at five locations? Most only know of ONE entrance. Now, they claimed that the Government knows of NGOs and People Movement trying to preserves the hill, so they took steps to "Gazette the hills". Really?
Here is the letter from FoBK. Noting what has been done and damaged for the past few months.
The letter seems to be missing one more page with sign off - but this is the best i could do since this document was left there for me to take. Let me point out a few items in the letter.
1. Roads - There is a big mismatch between what JLN has and what Trail Association of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor (TRAKS) understood from a meeting on May 8, 2012. There is already 21km worth of road (wow! Enough to do a Half Marathon in Kiara!!!) and three more are being planned that will clear the whole route between the cross junction and the peak of Twin Peak (2km worth of trails). Is JLN planning to build a DISNEYLAND?
Can you imagine this SINGLETRACK becoming a paved road large enough for a car to even make a 3-point turn? This is how the top of Twin Peak looked like on May 2, 2012. How long will this last?
2. Trails - The past two decades has seen the members of TRAKS volunteers crafted and maintained the tracks based on IMBA International Standards to build Sustainable Trails - two decades (20 years for some of you numerically challenged) of work even when the word GREEN and SUSTAINABLE was not used together in one phrase. There are currently 37km worth of trails in Bukit Kiara making it known internationally! I know of some tourist that come here, specifically asking the mountain bikers and hikers "Where is Bukit Kiara?"!!!
The Modified Magic Carpet, or what is left of it. Clearing is being done everyday. This place used to be dense.
3. Car Park - a proposed 200 car park lot is being planned right beside Bangunan Sit Hasmah at the bottom of Kiara Hill. Look, Malaysians WILL drive all the way UP to the entrance (about 150m away) so that they do not need to WALK so far to exercise. So, building a 200 car park lots 150m away, will not help. It just give an excuse to cut and clear the existing Office Trail and Overtime Trail. In fact, there is a park connector trail, 100m that link both Bukit Kiara and the Taman Tasik Lembah Kiara! I for one, try to park as far as possible so i could clock mileage - after all, i am there to exercise!
Destruction such as these made water ponding and erosion happens. Then, all these desiltation will happen, washing down soil onto the bottom of the hill, and whatever paved road they want to build here, will be swept away. SUSTAINABLE Tracks? Hardly! Photo take May 2, 2012.
Same spot - Feb 2012.
4. Destruction of existing trails - most trails in Bukit Kiara has already been destroyed. The map below, which was the original Masterplan, shows just how much damages has been done. The PINK highlighted trails has already been destroyed by bulldozers. Next will be the Orange highlighted trails, which  is the existing park connector, lungbuster aka coronary bypass trail, Rock Garden, Carnival, Flintstones, Pure Quill, Downhill will be destroyed in the name of a "new jogging track (premix). Like seriously?? We trail lovers run trails because it is NOT premix. If we want premix, we run on the road. Not in the jungle. The Orange highlight with GREEN lines is the existing Twin Peak trails, that will lead to Kampung Trail (which already has been destroyed, on the Mont Kiara side). What is disturbing is that they will build a ROUNDABOUT at the top of Kiara or Pt. 264(meters above sea level). Premix all the way! Have the planner even take a walk up Twin Peak to appreciate the beauty? I guess not as they are more comfy in their air conditioned office than in nature!
So you see, what you read in the paper is not what it always seems. On one hand, those that are not updated with the happening will think "OK, so the fight to save Kiara is successful". Truth is, it only has just begun. By the way, there is also a "plan to build a OLD Golfer's Clubhouse at Overtime, amongst the 200 car park lots. Go Figure.
Evidence of burnt/poison trees at Lookout Point. JLN claimed to plant 14,000 trees, why destroy existing Flora? WHY?
Please share this far and wide. Do not let them hoodwink you thinking everything is ok! You WILL lose Kiara is you let your guard down. Developers around Bukit Kiara already demarcating the lands to build Bungalow and Super-Bungalows costing millions of Ringgit. Soon there will be nothing left, but a paved road that these authority will tell you  "It is a park, go use it".
Imagine premix road up Twin Peak!!! This is a double trail that are very much loved by Mountain Bikers, Hikers, Hashers and Trailrunners! Why need to create a premix road wide enough for car? Is this "clear" enough?
Click on the bottom comment column with Twitter, Facebook, Google+ to share this in your social media network. Raise the awareness of what is happening. Do not let Kiara become the next Gasing or Melawati!
Save Kiara before it is too late!

Update : due to the sensitivities of the few things i posted up and to respect the wish for some to remain anonymous, i have removed some items in this posting. 


  1. "The letter seems to be missing one more page with sign off - but this is the best i could do since this document was left there for me to take." [sic].

    Frankly speaking, the letter wasn't meant to be LEFT there for you take and certainly wasn't the owner's purpose for anyone to pick up/collect either else he/she would have been distributing flyers.

    Good intention and great efforts of yours in raising BK's issue set aside, but I do not think publish FoBK's displaced official letter which you accidentally picked up during a run is the right thing to do regardless the content is confidential/personal or not.

    Nothing personal and certainly no offense here. Just a matter of perspective.


  2. Anon - i agree. Perhaps putting it up is a bad choice. Again, it is also a matter of perspective.

    Any suggestion for improvement?

  3. Many thanks Stupe, and good call not to post that letter, at least not unless FoBK says its ok, because it originates from them.

    I have seen the letter via the FoBK discussion group, and hopefully with the weight of some prominent people (from both TTDI-RA and FoBK) behind it, it will carry loads more weight. Suffice to say that FoBK and TTDI-RA who are spearheading this initiative have done a great job so far, so everyone, please do support them and sign up for the petition whenever you see them at Bukit Kiara!! Thanks!!

  4. SN - yeap. Removed. The letter put a lot a lot a lot of weight on the fight more so when it is made public, which was my initial decision to post it.

    Else, ppl will just say i blow hot air.

  5. Those of us who know you well, know that you will not put up malicious posts without rhyme nor reason. You have no need to prove anything to anyone at all, bro, we know you for who you are.

    At this point, i think it may be good to let the letter go directly to the intended party only, else if its posted in public they may feel cornered and react aggressively. At least at this point in time they are still willing to include us in some of their discussions, so lets try not to overdo it lest they shut us out completely. Fingers crossed the letter gets some reaction from the right people.

    Many thanks for your support and also for the support of your followers too!! :)

  6. Good Luck to you guys and KLanders in fighting against the money eyes people who wants to destroy nature for their own greeds.

  7. habis la trail kesayanganku whyyyy???!!!
    kiara should be left as it is closest to as natural as it can get.