Efforts are being made to save the Kinrara Oval.
A petition is out. Many are quick to blame the land owners for "killing cricket".
However, the announcement of the Kinrara Oval in Puchong has somewhat opened a can of worms.
More questions are now begging for answers.
1. Why hasn't the Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) paid the premium to the land owners?
2. The Oval used to be a public park (a green space) before the venue was built. Will Puchong folks get back their green space?
3. Why didn't MCA inform the Youth and Sports Ministry that it failed to pay the premium to the land owners?
4. Was wasn't this matter addressed when the stadium was built? Didn't anyone foresee such a thing could happen especially in Puchong where development has been overwhelming in recent years?
Here's a fun fact: The government spent money renovating the venue ahead of the 2017 SEA Games. And now the stadium will be closed. Sheer waste isn't it?
Let's simplify this episode: You rent a house for years without paying a single sen. You go ahead and make massive renovations. You even get your parents to chip in their hard earned money. The market value of the house goes up. The owner decides it is the right time to sell the house. He says 'please move out' and you refuse to do so - despite having not paid rent for years.
I've never been a fan of stadiums. Stadiums in Malaysia are just massive, expensive to build and maintain and usually becomes a white elephant. And before cricket fans start jumping, ask yourself what's the turnout during a cricket match at the Oval. And how has the Oval generated income to the sport?
The same money would be better spent maintaining fields nationwide that can double up as cricket grounds. Grounds, like Victoria Institution's field and the Royal Selangor Club, have hosted international meets in the past.
Apparently the National Sports Council is now being dragged to sort out this mess - as if the Council doesn't have enough problems to attend to. Word has it that certain quarters are hoping to reach out to PNB chairman Zeti Akhtar Aziz to help solve the issue.
Subang Jaya Municipal Council says the matter is out of their hands, as reported by FMT.
It's always easy to blame developers - greedy, unscrupulous developers who only think about ringgit and sen.
But here's the thing - land transactions can only happen if the local council allows it to happen. Weak governance has resulted in land grabs nationwide especially Kuala Lumpur. Thus we see fields and open spaces robbed in the name of development.
What Puchong folks really need - a green open space.
What Malaysian cricket really needs - well maintained grounds nationwide that are easily available and accessible.