Luyang assemblyman: Kepayan project to continue despite objections

KOTA KINABALU, Jan 14 — The mixed development project near 88 Marketplace, Kepayan, which has been receiving strong objections from surrounding residents, is slated to continue.

Luyang assemblyman Datuk Phoong Jin Zhe said he was made to understand that the City Hall (DBKK) had already approved the project, and the developer will also proceed with the construction.

Nevertheless, he said some discretion is still being made so that the project will be a win-win situation for the residents.

Phoong said an issue that the residents had raised regarding the project is their claim that the area had been earmarked as a recreational and health activity area for their use.

He said a possible solution for the said problem is to build a hybrid-style public park inside the planned condominium.

“If you go to Singapore, they have private condominiums and apartments that are equipped with beautiful landscape and parks that are publicly accessible. Another example is Tokyo, Japan, which has 24-hour accessible public parks inside their shopping malls.

“If the residents want a park, we can build a very beautiful park or even a sky park that is 24-hour accessible to the public in the condominium. All modern cities such as in the United States have been doing this due to land scarcity.

“I am not saying that this has already been achieved, but I think there would be some room for continued discussions. Why not? It can be done,” he told reporters in a press conference at 88 Marketplace here today.

Phoong said another issue raised by the residents regarding the mixed development project is concerns that it would worsen traffic congestion in the 88 Marketplace area.

He said he had initially planned to use his assemblyman allocation to widen the roads but he was made to understand that DBKK had told the developer to expand them instead to ease the traffic congestion.

“The developer must widen the roads even though it is not under the scope of development. That is the condition set by DBKK as the project, and urbanisation in general, cannot be stopped.

“In politics and policies, it is not always just a yes or no. It is not a zero sum game. Sometimes we have to find not a middle ground but another way of moving forward.

“So this was what I was made to understand. Mayor Datuk Seri Dr Sabin Samitah should have more details on this,” he said.

It was recently reported that residents around Kepayan are strongly opposing the construction of a new mixed development housing project near 88 Marketplace.

The residents had argued that, among other reasons, that the area belongs to them as they were promised it would be developed as a sports and recreation reserve.

In another development, Phoong said water issues at Taman Golden Hill and Taman Waja here are expected to ease soon.

Following a report in a local daily regarding the residents’ grievances over their water supply in the neighbourhoods, Phoong said he visited the areas on Friday with a State Water Department (JANS) representative to listen to their plight.

He said the issue lies in the management of the water supply distribution, and the two neighbourhoods are supposed to have water but because of water pressure problems, the water had to be pushed to nearby hospitals and the city centre.

Phoong said therefore, the reservoir behind the Kopungit hills cannot manage the water pressure to push the supply to the two neighbourhoods.

“But I am quite happy to say that I have discussed this matter with the JANS representative and I have called the Kota Kinabalu district engineer as well, and they promised to manage (the water pressure) better so that more water can be pushed to the two neighbourhoods. So this situation can be improved,” he said.

It was recently reported that residents at Taman Golden Hill and Taman Waja had urged their elected Luyang and Kota Kinabalu representatives to help them in their water predicament.

The residents had said that they have been facing irregular and insufficient water supply since 2022, which has affected their daily lives and routines. — Borneo Post



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