RECENTLY, while walking up Kiara Hill, I met a lady who, at first glance, appeared to be selling something.
When I got closer, with a piece of paper fluttering in one hand and the pen peeking out from the other, she was on a mission. She was collecting signatures for a petition to save the hill.
I asked her what prompted the need for such a petition and she said that construction activities were going on around and close to the hill, and she and a group of concerned nature lovers had decided that a mass action was perhaps required.
I have been a regular at the hill for three years now and of late, I do also see machinery and land clearing works going on in some parts of the hill. There is even a sign board that says fencing work is in progress.
The tracks in the jungle which is a famous haunt for mountain bikers as well as hashers, among others, have been tampered with. A wide access road has been created, presumably to bring in construction material for the fencing works, and what else we do not know.
A group of anxious people have started an online awareness campaign known as "Save Bukit Kiara" and, to date, they have collected more than 5,000 signatures.
The campaign site also mentions of a recent discussion the group had with the authorities, and they were given the assurance that there will be no private development at the hill and that the hill would be gazetted.
We see iron mesh piled up on at the sides at the hilltop, an indication that all may not be well. Among the lush greens, backhoes and tractors stand staring at us as if challenging their right to co-exist.
I am not surprised that the lady I met at the foothill and her group felt the need for their voice to be heard.
The aggressively-erected fence, aka The Great Wall of Kiara as given by the online campaigners, provides further room for speculation and rumours are rife that there will be a condominium built on the hill.
The best way to nip these unwanted and unwarranted subterfuges is to go open with the public. Have there been any public engagements to nullify the allegations and claims which might have been made by the ill-informed?
I can perhaps make a vague generalisation that Malaysians are quick to jump into any bandwagon that has the most number of passengers, irrespective of where the wagon is heading. Therefore, the onus lies with the authorities to keep telling the truth, loud and clear.
Gasing Hill has become another eyesore with barren earth replacing greeneries in parts of the hill. The anti-hill development enthusiasts lost their battle but there are no winners actually.
Mahatma Gandhi said it aptly: "Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed."