Today (5th May 2008), the JACBG lawyers filed a 2nd Judicial Review to challenge the legality of the 3 approvals (i.e. Sub-division of Land, Hoarding Work and Earthworks approvals). The High Court hearing of 23rd and 25th of April had showned that DBKL and GMSB will persist in legal manoeuvers to prevent arguments that will show how they have been circumventing the regulations in the Federal Territories Planning Act (1982) as well as other laws to favour greedy developers and DBKL’s ongoing practice of non-transparency of approval processes.
 
To ensure that the Stay Order and Judicial Reviews of DBKL decisions can be heard and conducted more efficiently without DBKL/GMSB lawyers deploying delay tactics, JACBG lawyers had requested that a combined hearing of Stay Order and 2nd Judicial Review be held. Hence, today’s hearing was suspended and the High Court has fixed the date for such a hearing for Friday, 16th May 2008, beginning at 3pm.
 
GMSB has also began scare tactics by questioning JACBG’s lawyers’ wisdom in causing delays in hearing and threatening residents on potential damages from legal actions taken.  The facts are that DBKL had refused to provide any information of approvals requested by the residents after the 14th November 2007 meeting with DBKL Director of Planning (Tuan Haji Mahadi). On the contrary, despite assurances at that meeting, DBKL issued Hoarding Work approval on 16th November 2007, followed by earthworks approval on 31st December 2008. Details of approvals were first revealed by GMSB only 4 days before the 23rd April hearing. In defiance of High Court direction to provide information to the residents at least a month before 23rd April, DBKL only revealed issuance of approvals a day before that hearing.
 
DBKL and GMSB lawyers had also deliberately prevented the Stay Order (as as a consequence, the interim ex-parte Interim Stop Order) from proceeding speedily by a combination of late provision of affidavits and legal manoeuvers to stall JACBG lawyers’ arguments. GMSB quite conveniently failed to highlight that they have on a ‘goodwill’ basis stopped hoarding work nor the fact that earthworks have yet to begin.
 
GMSB proudly announced that they are part of the Santuary Gasing Group of companies. Their tactics now are reminisent of tactics used by Gasing Heights Sdn Bhd (also part of Sanctuary Gasing Group) in June 1991 legal action for damages against 7 residents that had filed for a Judicial Review against decision by MPPJ (as it were then). In August 1996, Judge Mahadev Shanker (one of the Judges in the Royal Commission for Lingam Tape episode), had ruled against Gasing Heights Sdn Bhd’s damages claim of RM34.8M against the residents.
 
It worth noting the words used by Judge Mahadev Shanker regarding a Sanctuary Gasing Group company in his judgement:
 
‘I struck this action out on the ground that the statement of claim did not disclose a reasonable cause of action and also on the ground that it was an abuse of the process of this Court.’
 
‘In the light of my other findings I do not think it is necessary for me to go into the developer’s motives for filing this action.’
 
‘Suffice to say in conclusion that I hope the award for costs against the developer in this case and a proper understanding of the law should persuade future litigants who wish to take up a plea of abuse of process that it would be in their best interests to avail themselves of the salutary provisions of O 18 r 19(1) of the Rules of High Court 1980.’
 
For those interested in learning more about tactics of GMSB, ala Sanctuary Gasing Group, do look at the following link:
http://hba.org.my/laws/CourtCases/1996/gasing_heights.htm
 
The 108 applicant for Judicial Review against DBKL and many more residents in the vicinity remain resolute in their pursuit of justice from the High Courts as DBKL will not act to protect their interests. They will not be intimidated by a greedy developer out to make money at the expense of their well being and wontan destruction of environment that should have been preserved for the benefit of the public in KL and PJ. 

Gary Yeoh
JAC for Bukit Gasing (JACBG)

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