Sunday, October 23, 2016



Level Field  

AS the nation commemorated National Sports Day last Saturday, Ulu Klang Recreation Club (UKRC) were left rueing their fate: Their once lush green grounds was not theirs to use on the auspicious day.
UKRC’s woes are nothing new, their saga having bobbed like cork in a sea of litigation in recent years.
In fact, efforts to takeover the field in the name of property development had begun as far back as 2002 when plans were revealed to build a condominium on the land.
UKRC have been managing the field since 1958, with approval of the Selangor State government (given on July 12, 1958).
But on Oct 1, 2013, the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) took over the land at the behest of the Selangor State Government, then under the leadership of Tan Sri Abd Khalid Ibrahim.
UKRC applied to the High Court to repossess the field but the court ruled in favour of the council on March 3, 2014.
Luckily, UKRC still have their clubhouse, though they were served a seven-day notice dated March 4, 2014 by MPAJ to vacate it and remove all fixtures.
UKRC applied for a judicial review of the decision ordering them to vacate the clubhouse. Till now no date has been fixed for the matter.
UKRC also appealed the High Court decision on repossession of the field. But this was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on June 17, 2015.
UKRC, then, filed a leave application at the Federal Court to appeal the CoA decision. This too was dismissed by the apex court on Sept 27, 2016.
The club have not lost hope.
They filed on Sept 30 a civil suit at the Shah Alam High Court which bids to get the court to review the decision made by the Selangor State Government in October 2013 to takeover the field and club.
They have named the Selangor State Government, Registrar of Titles Selangor, Director of Land and Mines Selangor, Gombak Land Administrator and Khalid as respondents.
UKRC are seeking the following from 
the court:-
 That land approval granted to UKRC on July 12, 1958 by the Selangor State Government is valid;
 That UKRC have legitimate expectation to continue staying at their premises known as Lot 3026;
 That the defendants had acted in malfeasance of public office and had breached statutory duty to UKRC;
 Exemplary and aggravated damages; and
 General damages.
Numerous attempts by UKRC to meet Datuk Seri Azmin Ali who is the MP of Gombak and Menteri Besar of Selangor to seek his assistance to solve the matter have been futile.
But as UKRC continue their battle, their president Andrew Gopal was sad on Hari Sukan that there was no activity on what used to be their field.
“It is supposed to be a community field but on an auspicious day where sport is given prominence and the community encouraged to engage in sporting activities, nothing happened,” noted a 
dismayed Andrew.
“If we were still managing the field, we would have definitely had activities for the community, especially the children,” he moaned.
Andrew said although the field is managed by MPAJ now and they are supposed to cater for the local community, UKRC have been denied the opportunity to book the field.
“MPAJ only allow bookings to select groups but at other times the field is not used,” he claimed.
Andrew said MPAJ have not even returned their deposit of more than RM2,000 UKRC had paid to book the field for their weekend junior development programme in 2014.
“We were not given permission to use the field as they said it was closed for repairs. But they never repaired the field and we have till now not got our refund back,” 
said Andrew.
It happened again in August last year when UKRC booked the field for the 13th edition of their annual UKRC-Astro International Soccer 9’s tournament (put on hold for two years because of the saga).
They paid for the field (RM2,000) and were issued a receipt for its use for the two-day tournament (Sept 3-4).
Two days before the event, UKRC received a letter from MPAJ saying they cannot use the field as it was closed due to bad weather.
Luckily, UKRC had a standby venue where the tournament was held.
MPAJ have yet to refund UKRC the booking fee, said Andrew.
Unfazed, UKRC will be organising their 14th International Soccer 9’s this December and have again booked their “home” for the event.
MPAJ said they were unable to allow the booking because it was too early a reservation. UKRC were asked to come back in November.
“Everything points to us once again not getting the field,” said Andrew. “But we will return in November to try as we want the tournament at our home for the previous 
12 editions.”
It is indeed sad that when fields are vanishing in the city, another one is being denied full use.
As a result, a good youth development programme has been derailed while a community club’s activities have stalled.
In the name of sport, especially when it is being widely promoted as a nation-building process, the sooner the UKRC saga is resolved, the better things will be for community sport in the Ulu Klang.
Only time will tell of the real motives behind the UKRC field saga.

TONY is a sports
journalist close to
four decades of experience
and is passionate about
local sports.
He can be reached at

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