Continue with the Public Park project known as Taman Tugu as a legacy for the Malaysian people

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Assistant National Director for Political Education for the DAP and Member of Parliament for P102 Bangi, on the 3rd of August, 2018

First of all, I would like to thank Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar for his 14+ years of service in Khazanah. Under his leadership and that of the senior management team, the asset base of the company grew healthily to what it stands today. During his tenure, the 10-year GLC transformation program resulted in the strengthening of the performance of many GLCs and the creation of a number of regional champions including Axiata and the CIMB Group.

Secondly, I would like to make the case for the continuation of the Public Park project known as Taman Tugu[1] which was initiated by Tan Sri Azman in 2016. While the overall cost of the project may be subject to review, the idea behind the park is an excellent one. For far too long, many green lungs in Kuala Lumpur have been sold to property developers, often in not fully transparent ways. The Taman Tugu project represents a reversal of this trend whereby a piece of land in the heart of Kuala Lumpur that could have potentially been sold off to the private sector is now in the process of being protected permanently as a public space.

The creation an equivalent of the United Kingdom’s National Trust[2] where public places in Malaysia can be parked under is an excellent initiative which should be continued. The public park currently known as Taman Tugu should be the first of many public spaces around Malaysia which can be gazetted to be under the protection of this Trust.

What many Malaysians are not aware of is that the area designated for the Taman Tugu project was previously inaccessible to and unused by the public. This project would significantly enhance the infrastructure of this area and more importantly, create a new public space that would be available for all Malaysians from all walks of life to enjoy.

I found, through the public consultations by Khazanah on the Taman Tugu project, Tan Sri Azman and his team to be very professional and responsive. He and his team not only invited the public to share their views but they also briefed the then opposition Members of Parliament, including Rafizi Ramli, Teresa Kok and myself, among many others, on the benefits of this project. Members of Tan Sri Azman’s team also made arrangements for dialogue sessions with the relevant stakeholders. As an example, I managed to arrange for a special dialogue session between race organizers and the team members of Taman Tugu. Many race organizers use the Padang Merbok carpark (which is located next to the Taman Tugu area) as the starting point for their races and I was glad that the Taman Tugu team from Khazanah was able to take their inputs into account. In fact, they even formed a team to participate in a running relay event so that they themselves could experience how the area of Taman Tugu was being used as a public space.

The team in Tan Sri Azman’s office which was overseeing this project answered many of the concerns which I expressed in 2016 with regards to this project.[3]

I strongly recommend for the continuation of the Taman Tugu project.

This will be a legacy that can be enjoyed by all Malaysians and can be symbolic of Malaysia Baru where the people’s benefits are prioritized over private gain.

[1] http://tamantuguproject.com.my/en/

[2] https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/

[3] https://ongkianming.com/2016/09/07/press-statement-five-recommendations-for-the-taman-tugu-project/