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Participants in the ‘Senam Sihat’ programme, organised by City Hall, in Taman Lembah Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, recently.

KUALA LUMPUR: The 100 zumba participants in Taman Lembah Kiara are up in arms after City Hall put a stop to their weekend activity when it suspended their dance fitness class.

The programme “Senam Sihat” was organised by City Hall.

It is learnt that the operator’s contract, which was supposed to expire on July 31 but already extended, was suspended on Aug 21, while the authority deliberated on whether to continue financing the sessions.

Long-time participant Datuk Nuraina Samad said everyone was perplexed as to why the sessions had been axed.

I have no idea why it was suspended,” she said, referring to a letter that the New Straits Times sighted, stating that the decision on the operator’s fate would be in the hands of City Hall’s pihak atasan (top management).

In the three-paragraph letter dated Aug 22 from the Kelab Kecergasan Proaktif president, it was stated that the programme was halted while waiting for approval from the top management of City Hall.

“The authorities must be ignorant. The officers definitely know what’s going on because they approved before suspending it.

“We wonder if there is an ulterior motive.”

Nuraina said about 100 people attended the sessions held every Sunday.

Chong Yoke Mei, 54, said she did not understand what City Hall was trying to do.

“I have been attending the zumba clases under the same instructor for 14 years. It’s a great show of unity as we are from different races and backgrounds.

“About three months ago, we were told that the contract was due to expire and when it didn’t, we were made to understand that this was because no one was submitting applications for tenders to continue the sessions.

“So our operator had been given an extension of sorts, but now it has stopped.”

However, a senior officer in City Hall’s Sports, Arts, Culture and Tourism Department denied that there was an ulterior motive.

He said the operator had been notified that their contract would be suspended from July 31 and any additional classes taken on by them would have to be at their own expense until the authority’s top management revisited the financing of these activities.

“As far as I know, the operator’s contract was not renewed. They were informed by our officers that if they were to continue after their contract ended in July 31, they could, but they would be doing it at their own expense.

“So I don’t know how they have construed this.

“It was a cost-saving drive as we want the local community to carry out its own activities there instead of funding others to do it for them.

“Tai chi is conducted by residents and this does not involve any funding.”

He said the operator received RM20,000 to RM25,000 a month to conduct the weekly sessions within 10 parks in the city.

He said the department was open to discussions with residents about their grouses on the matter and make a representation to their bosses.

“However, these complaints must be made by the residents and not by the commercial operators.”

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