2020 was the year that kept the world figuratively and literally grounded. As movement was curtailed, it drew attention to public’s need for green spaces and the increasing urgency to protect them. Here is a recap of coverage of Bukit Kiara:
The Therapeutic Nature of Kiara Hill Walk
Benedict Lopez wrote a brief introduction to the beloved Kiara Hill Walk of Bukit Kiara in The Star, comparing it to a form of therapy where one can be in harmony with nature.
“Cool fresh air pervades the environment with the absence of vehicles emitting greenhouse gases and this pollution-free atmosphere is immediately felt as you commence the walk from the guardhouse.
How I wish many parts of Kuala Lumpur can be like Bukit Kiara –- in harmony with nature.”
Flip-Flop Decisions Over Bukit Kiara Opening
With the uncertainty of rules and SOPs surrounding the new normal, there was much discussion about the inconsistent standards of public park openings. Brain Martin in an op-ed in The Star, lamented how that had caused public confusion and frustration.
“Unlike every other park in Kuala Lumpur (there are 14), Bukit Kiara is managed by the National Landscape Department, so City Hall’s decision to open public parks does not apply here.
I find this confusing and perplexing. Either all parks are open or all parks should be shut. It does not make sense to have different rulings just because different government agencies manage the parks.”
The Complexities of Tree Planting in Bukit Kiara
Dr Pola Singh, previous President of FoBK, shared his views of the government’s ambitious 100 million tree-planting project in TwentyTwo13 in the context of Bukit Kiara’s previous experience with a similar project.
“In 2009, a similar project was launched in Bukit Kiara involving the planting of 100,000 saplings.
At RM60 per tree, individuals and the private sector (including government-linked companies) were invited to plant trees and donors’ names would be inscribed.
The response was overwhelming. VVIPs from the corporate sector gave their full support.
Even our then Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin and Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi were invited to plant a few trees.
More than 12 years have passed and I dare say that none of the 100,000 trees survived.”