Sunday, February 11, 2024

A massive new eyesore just next to Rimba Kiara

TTDI, 11/Feb: I turned into a dragon yesterday, the first day of the new lunar year, as we walked up towards the Kiara hill, once my favourite grounds for walking, trekking and bicycling. I was breathing fire, I was fuming, not due to the exertion of the hike (I hadn’t been hiking for months) but at seeing this monstrosity that greeted us as we walked towards the guardhouse that marks the entrance of this (so-called) private road leading to KLGCC, a golf club for the richer than rich.

Where there used to be just blue skies, 
there is now … this!

Called Jendela (which means window in Malay), this monstrosity is a gigantic condominium project proudly brought to us by Sime Darby Properties. I’m not sure how many blocks of condo there are but they are located on the fringes of KLGCC, which is part of KL’s last major green lung. Construction had started sometime during the pandemic, I believe. I remember the guards politely turning the poor, unsuspecting cyclists away from the so-called private road (which had for years provided the cyclists safe access to Bukit Damansara and beyond). We were told that it was unsafe for us to use the so-called private road because of some kind of construction or other.

This was around the same time residents of TTDI were waging a bitter battle against the (previous) government over a most greedy and unlawful plan to build multiple condo complexes in Rimba Kiara, part of that green lung area. 

The TTDI residents would eventually win the battle to save Rimba Kiara. 

If they had known about the plans for Jendela, I’m sure the residents and their MP Hannah Yeoh would have considered including Sime Darby’s condos in their battle against the City Hall, the developers and the then Federal Territoties Ministry who had no qualms about robbing ordinary citizens of their precious green lung for profits.

There is no stopping Sime Darby now but as Jendela nears completion, the residents of TTDI will have to prepare for a new mission impossible - how to ensure there would be no traffic bottlenecks in the area once their new neighbours move into their new condos. I reckon each unit would have 2-3 vehicles, at least. Where are they going to park their Bentleys and Mercs?

To be continued …

Thursday, February 01, 2024

Billionaires, billionaire politicians and now billionaire kings!

The Curve, 1/feb: Did you know how many zeros there are in a billion? Of course, you didn’t. I doubt if those billionaires knew, either, which is probably why they generally fail to declare their wealth to the taxman. And for a resource-rich nation that should have done much better economically, Malaysia does seem to have more than its fair share of billionaires. Several are right now being investigated and interrogated by the anti-graft authorities. There are politicians among them and there are several more on the ringside shaking in their boots, waiting for their turn to be called in by the MACC.

And now, thanks to the influential wire agencies, we have a billionaire King!

1,000,000,000: Nine zeroes in a billion

 Just read some of the headlines on the coronation of Sultan Ibrahim’s as the 17th Agong of Malaysia:

1. Billionaire Sultan takes Malaysia crown as royals gain influence - The Edge 

2. Billionaire Sultan Ibrahim sworn is (sic) the new king of Malaysia - AP

3. Malaysia swears in motorbike-riding billionaire as new king under rotating monarchy system - Daily Mail

4. “… half-British billionaire ..” - Straits Times 


5. “Malaysia’s new king is a Billionaire with a collection of 300 luxury cars, his own private army and family ties to Hitler” - Business Insider

Note that none of our own newspapers, online or otherwise, tv & radio, news portals or prominent social media platforms use “billionaire” to define Tuanku Ibrahim’s, the 17th YDPA. I don’t know why but perhaps the Malaysian editors think it is impolite to do so, even though the Palace has not protested the wire reports that estimate His Majesty’s wealth to be around USD5.7 billion. 

That kind of wealth places our billionaire Agong well within the top 10 richest persons in Malaysia. In comparison, though, the Sultan of Brunei’s car collection alone is  said to be worth USD5 billion! 

Anyway, Selamat Hari Wilayah Persekutuan! Happy Federal Territories Day.