To the 1,000 who walked to save Bukit Kiara
To the 1,000 who walked to save Bukit Kiara
Lim Chui Choo
11:05AM Sep 30, 2013
Was the smaller assembly of supporters of Save Bukit Kiara Walk III due to the scare tactics of the authorities weeks before the event? Banners of friends of Bukit Kiara were removed while a new banner was put up on fencing outside.
Haji Noh Hansen at 84 years old had prayed that God willing, he would be able to stand up to be counted for the Save Bukit Kiara Walk on Sept 28. His wish was granted when with his walking stick, he walked up alone before the commencement of the walk to Crossroads junction at Bukit Kiara where David Bao’s Tai Chi group was performing their graceful movements as a show of support to the cause.
At 8.30am, about 1,000 supporters in Save Bukit Kiara T-shirts walked up peacefully from the foothill waving a Malaysian flag with a Friends of Bukit Kiara banner held by trail runners Mai Chee and her husband.
Both, like many of the supporters present including Dr Raj and his friends have showed up to be counted in all three Save Bukit Kiara walks. The Save Bukit Kiara T-shirts including the limited edition Tees to commemorate Walk III, e-flyers and banners for the walk were all designed by a young creative team led by Gwen Hew of I Magazine as their voluntary contribution to the cause in 2012 and again in 2013.
New and younger supporters like Datin Rozaini, Sue Hong, Aliza Ahmad, Beh and her Bukit Kiara friends snapped up the limited edition T-shirts on the eve of the walk after finding out about it through the attractive e-flyer circulated on social media or by word of mouth. Other supporters like BL Tan, former chairperson of Bura (Bandar Utama Residents Association) worked tirelessly behind the scene to spread awareness of the cause and support it selflessly.
The assembly of supporters coming up from the foothill at 8.30am were undeterred by the closure of the boom-gates at the guard house on strict instructions from Jabatan Landscape Negara. With cheerful shouts of “ Save Bukit Kiara”, supporters walked up to Crossroads and gathered around a beaming Haji Noh for photo-shoots for posterity of this eventful morning.
Two lady horseback riders from Traks lent their support displaying their bond with the magnificent horses in skilfully handling them amongst the crowd at a discreet distance. Supporters then formed a circle with those at the front sitting down on the tarmac to watch a special solo tai chi fan performance by the famed David Bao, after which they peacefully dispersed going their own way.
Many of the supporters like Joo Lee and Raymond Lee had come as early as 6.45am and stayed on despite the delay in the commencement of the walk as scheduled to show their undying support for the cause.
Those who could not be present sent their mental and moral support from as far as Holland and Australia. From the faraway hills of a tranquil monastic sanctuary, metta was transmitted by the Sangha for spiritual support for a peaceful Walk III.
In the face of non-consultation with stakeholders and the flip-flop decision by the Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government Ministry to complete fencing works despite an assurance in July 2012 by the then-minister that all construction activities will cease, supporters have soldiered on, albeit peacefully, to say no to development on Bukit Kiara and to press for the preservation of the forest and to gazette 466.86 acres of Bukit Kiara as designated by the cabinet in 2007.
Will the pleas and cries of the aggrieved be heard at all by the authorities that trumpet itself as a 'Janji Ditepati' government which subscribes to “the concept of moderation based on values of justice, sense of fairness and choosing dialogue over confrontation and negotiations over conflict” preached recently by the prime minister in the international arena?
Will the government of the day and those who chose to remain silent or close their eyes to save Bukit Kiara heed the wise words of a great leader before Bukit Kiara, a national treasure, is lost forever?
"Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches and its romance” - Theodore Roosevelt