Templer Park not under threat, says Selangor Exco Wong

(The Star) – The Selangor government has denied reports that the Templer Park Forest Reserve is under threat due to the construction of an elevated highway and luxury bungalows.

State executive councillor Elizabeth Wong said the 800ha reserve had been untouched since 2008.

She said the 6.29ha site, as reported in The Star, as part of the forest reserve approved for the construction of luxury bungalows, is on private land at Taman Templer.

The Selangor tourism, consumer affairs and environment committee chairman explained that Taman Templer differed from the Templer Park Forest Reserve, adding that the state government, in 1987, had sold a portion of the forest land to a private company for the purpose of setting up a gold course.

“The proposed development of a 6.29ha site, by Shinning Crest Sdn Bhd, is located on private land next to the Taman Templer Villas development,” she said.

Wong said the reported 39.44ha taken from the Kancing Forest Reserve to construct an elevated highway was also inaccurate.

In 2005, the state government gave the approval for 30ha only but the current state government fought for the area, which would be used to construct the highway, to be reduced to 15ha.

“The photo is also not taken from the forest reserve. It is, in fact, a picture of a private land for agriculture activities,” Wong said of the photo which was used in The Star’s frontpage last Tuesday.

Except for a forest reserve in Sabak Bernam which was de-gazetted for housing development, Wong stressed that the state government had not de-gazetted any other forest reserves in Selangor for similar purpose since Pakatan Rakyat took office in 2008.

“The forest reserve (in Sabak Bernam) was de-gazetted in 2009 because settlers there had been living in the forest reserve since the colonial period,” she added.

The Star reported that over 39.44ha of the Kanching Forest Reserve was being cleared for a 60m-high elevated highway called the Rawang Bypass while 6.29ha of hillslopes at a private lot near Bukit Takun have been approved by the Selayang Municipal Council for the building of 60 luxury bungalows.

Nearby residents and environmental groups have since expressed concern over the matter, saying that they were told the project would involve clearing Class 3 and 4 hillslopes of 25 degrees and above 35 degrees respectively.