57-year-old gardening enthusiast has been left in the lurch after being vilified by neighbours for growing vegetables at a playground in Taman Bukit Permai, Kajang, Selangor.
Retiree Mohd Firdaus Ahmad, who spoke to Actionline yesterday, said he was unsure whether his gardening was against the law.
“I’m not doing much at home and I thought I could keep myself busy by doing gardening,” he said.
Firdaus said his neighbours were livid, despite his vegetable patch taking up only a small space at the edge of the playground.
“One neighbour says I am not allowed to plant anything at the playground because it’s a public recreational area.
“He says doing so is an offence under the Kajang Municipal Council’s (MPKj) by-laws,” Firdaus added.
However, he said, his attempts to contact MPKj for clarification were futile.
He said he did not want to have a run-in with the authorities, and that he was trying to put the unused part of the playground to good use.
An MPKj officer told Actionline that people were prohibited from using public spaces for their benefit, be it farming or construction.
“Although his farm takes up only a small space, it is still an offence under the council’s by-laws.
“MPKj has the right to clear the garden if residents bring this matter to our attention.”
He urged Firdaus to clear his garden, and to submit an official letter to MPKj requesting permission to grow vegetables at the playground.
“It will be up to the council to approve or reject his request, after taking into account the benefits and drawbacks of the request.”