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By BAVANI M, theStar MetroCentral, Monday June 30, 2008
Abdul Aziz: ‘The DBKL is supposed to plan the city in stages.’
THE Coalition to Save Kuala Lumpur is calling on the government to review the laws governing the city of Kuala Lumpur.
Coalition chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman said the current laws applied by the Federal government and the Kuala Lumpur City Hall in planning KL were not only ridiculous but also insensitive to the ratepayers, who were the real stakeholders of the city.
Abdul Aziz said laws like the Federal Territory Act 1960 and the Federal Territory Planning Act 1982 were redundant if they were not complied with.
“The DBKL is supposed to plan the city in stages. You have the Draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020, which must be in line with the Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020 policies (KLSP2020) – yet Sec 22 of the Federal Territory Planning Act 1982 says irrespective of all these plans, the mayor can still make his own decisions. In other words he has absolute discretion,” Abdul Aziz said.
Abdul Aziz, who is also the Bukit Damansara Residents Association president, cited the Damansara 21 case as an example.
“You have Sec 23 of the Federal Territory Planning Act 1982, which encourages the public to object to development in their neighbourhood. So people come and object, yet projects are approved.
“And, even if the DBKL rejects the approval, the developers still have the right to appeal – isn’t this absurd? That’s why there is an urgent need to review these laws.”
The Coalition, comprising more than 26 residents associations and non-governmental organisations, is also objecting to the Draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 and the current planning practices of Kuala Lumpur.
Their main objections include the DBKL’s non-compliance with Sec 12A of the Town & Country Planning Act 1976, as they claimed there was no pre-consultation with the public before the draft city plan was formulated.
The violation of the policies of the National Physical Plan as well as omissions of critical components of the plan have resulted in frustration and anger among the city’s ratepayers.
The coalition is demanding that the DBKL and the Federal Territorries Ministry withdraw the draft local plan, freeze all develop-ment applications and investigate abuses in local planning and the violation of federal policies and Cabinet decisions.
“The DBKL must be sensitive to the people and address environmental, social and security issues through involvement of KL residents and stakeholders in the development plans,” said Aziz.
For more photos click on image:
|CSKL LakeClub Meeting|
DBKL to make ESCP compulsory. This was in the wake of the incident involving the controversial Damansara 21 development project in Medan Damansara. The developer concerned had failed to produce a detailed ESCP before starting work in 2007.
DBKL has all the experts unlike other local councils and so does not require DID’s expertise. However the DBKL experts who did the KL Structure Plan 2020, did not know about the irrelevance of DID’s experts, and therefore DBKL shall henceforth make the “Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (ESCP) a compulsory requirement in the development orders for future projects in the city.” But we still do not know if this means it will be reviewed by DID’s experts or DBKL’s experts, or if DBKL’s experts will pass it on to DID’s experts as the developer of Medan Damansara is proposing to do … trying times, as both the developer and DBKL have been caught with their pants down.
And about the 35 degree slopes, “the Mineral and Geosciences Department (JMG) had no objections” … but .. but d.. but … do we know if DBKL has the experts and therefore JMG’s experts may have thought, they like DIDs experts need not object …
Reminiscent of ” here we go round the mulberry bush… “
Ashok Menon JAC Bukit Gasing
DBKL sets new ruling
By JAYAGANDI JAYARAJ, theStar MetroCentral, Thursday June 26, 2008
THE Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is going to make the Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (ESCP) a compulsory requirement in the development orders for future projects in the city.
The decision was made following the controversial Damansara 21 development project in Medan Damansara where the developer failed to produce a detailed ESCP to the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) before starting work in December 2007.
Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ab Hakim Borhan said previously all earthwork approval did not require an approved ESCP from the DID under the DBKL system.
“However, the recommendations of the ESCP were included as a pre-requisite for the approval of earthworks for the Damansara 21 project,” said Hakim at the meet-the-press session yesterday.
Among the requirements were the need for silt management system and the management of all temporary gutters, silt traps, ‘wash trough’ and heavy-duty interlocking pavers.
Temporary silt traps should also be constructed stage by stage to prevent silt water from overflowing to the existing nearby lots and drains.
The developer is also required to cover all exposed slopes with grass to prevent land erosion.
“Currently the developer has submitted the ESCP report to the DBKL to be forwarded to the DID for approval,” said Hakim, adding that the DBKL’s organisational structure was different from other local authorities as all technical departments were equipped with experts in their related fields.
“At other local councils, the departments would need the DID’s assistance to obtain development approvals but not in the DBKL,” he explained.
In reply to media reports on development on slopes which are 35 degrees and above, the mayor said the Mineral and Geosciences Department (JMG) had no objections towards the Damansara 21 project.
Hakim added with proper earthwork done by the developer who has invested RM34mil on reinforcement works, the slope was stable and safe for housing.
“The slope is much safer now with the development than it was before because of good engineering works,” he said.
To monitor the works at the site, the DBKL has elected two independent consultants, Gue & Partners to check on the structural design and Asbi & Associates to monitor the project development and to send monthly reports to the DBKL especially on the geo-technical aspects.
Another decision made at the meeting was for residents associations to appoint a consultant to liaise with developers and the DBKL.
Nuradzimmah Daim, NST Streets, Wednesday, 25 June 2008
Datuk Seri Shukur Abdullah: Residents will file a civil suit if they do not receive a satisfactory response from the mayor.
KUALA LUMPUR: Residents of Medan Damansara are threatening to take City Hall to court if the controversial Damansara 21 project is not cancelled.
The residents’ association, through its chairman Datuk Seri Shukor Abdullah, described legal action as a last resort, but will file a civil suit if they do not receive a satisfactory response from Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ab Hakim Borhan.
“We are seeking an explanation from the mayor of the letter we obtained from the Drainage and Irrigation Department saying it has yet to endorse the Erosion Sediment and Control Plan handed in by developer SDB Damansara Sdn Bhd.
“We also found out from the Selangor Mineral and Geoscience Department that SDB had done clearance on the hill, which has a slope of more than 35 degrees,” he said.
“The idea is to stop the development altogether. We will also write a letter to the Prime Minister’s office about our predicament,” he said after a meeting with about 100 residents on Sunday.
Among those present were Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng and Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong. Environmental activist and lawyer Derek Fernandez from Bukit Gasing also lent his support.
He said the Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020 states in its environment section that City Hall shall not permit development on slopes exceeding the allowable level set by the federal government.
“A directive by the cabinet in 2002 stated there must not be any development on slopes of more than 35 degrees.
“For development on slopes of 25 to 35 degrees, the plan must include a risk erosion map, slope stabilisation measures and geotechnical report,” he said.
It was reported City Hall will give the green light for the project if the developer meets the conditions for rectification work set on April 21.
SDB was slapped with a stop-work order and fined RM100,000 for not putting up a perimeter drainage system, siltation traps and hoarding; and creating an access road on Jalan Kasah when the plan stated it should go through Jalan Beringin.
SDB had also not maintained the blue plastic covers for the slope.
Last week SDB Properties Sdn Bhd project development general manager Choy Wing Sung said the company has asked City Hall to lift the ban as rectification work had been done and requirements met.
For more photos click on image:
|Damansara 21 hillslope project:‘Are you listening, City Hall?’|
PEARL LEE, Malay Mail, Monday June 23, 2008
MEDAN Damansara residents believe they have gathered new evidence to prove that the Damansara 21 hillslope project should be scrapped.
When they met the Press yesterday, the Medan Damansara Residents’ Association disclosed new information, alleging that the project was illegal as it did not comply with requirements under the law.
Their immediate aim now is to give KL Mayor Ab Hakim Borhan a final chance to explain and decide.
Medan Damansara Residents’ Association president Datuk Seri Abdul Shukor Abdullah said that they would also be writing to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in his capacity as chairman of the National Physical Planning Council.
“We want to meet the mayor and also want to appeal to the prime minister to reconsider the earlier decision to approve the project.” “If we are still not happy with the outcome of the meeting with the mayor, we may consider taking legal action against the relevant parties if we receive the mandate of the residents here,” Shukor said.
Meanwhile, committee member Randhir Singh said they have not discounted the possibility of lodging a report with the Anti-Corruption Agency.
“We have all the documents to show that they (City Hall) should not have approved the project but instead they went on to grant approval. Surely City Hall isn’t blind,” he said.
The residents unanimously decided to support their RA’s next course of action – to meet the mayor – after being briefed on the latest information made available by two government agencies, the Federal Territory Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) and the Selangor and Federal Territory Mineral and Geoscience Department.
Lawyer Derek Fernandez said developer’s failure to submit the ESCP (soil erosion and risk assessment report) report to DID went against the guidelines set in the Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020.
“Only after the ESCP report has been submitted to the DID can City Hall issue the development order for the project. But this does not seem to be the case here and it is clear that City Hall had acted illegally.” Fernandez said that under Policy EN6 of the KL Structure Plan 2020, City Hall shall not permit development on hillslopes that exceed the allowable level, rules and regulation set by the Federal government.
“There shall be no development which exceeds 35 degrees and here, if we look at the slopes on the hill, clearly most of them exceed the level,” he added.
Meanwhile, Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng, who was also present, hoped that Deputy Federal Territory Minister Datuk M. Saravanan would help solve the problem.
“Please scrap the project entirely.
The minister should make the developer replant the trees they chopped.” The residents have been fighting for the project to be scrapped for the last six months. Among the incidents that have thus far occured in the course of the development include a family’s narrow escape when a tree fell on their home on June 21.
Work on the Damansara 21 project started in December last year. The 21 bungalows to be constructed are priced between RM10 million and RM15 million each.
This was a seminar that would have greatly benefitted the slumbering citizens of KL. It exposed the numerous occassions that DBKL (and the ex Selangor State government) had made concerned citizens and environmental groups run in circles, and from pillar to post when seeking help from the very authorities who should have been there to assist them and who instead, played a very elaborate game of deceit and concealment so that they could proceed with their agenda of defrauding the nation and its taxpayers through stealthy ‘development projects.’
Many of us heard for the first time of the ‘Bukit Sungei Puteh Forest Reserve’ (adjoing the Tmn Cupecs in Cheras and the State boundary), which is a 15 minute drive from KL and which of course no more – more than 1000 acres of a 100 million year old forest that the British gazetted in 1930, and which the Selangor State govt shamelessly de-gazetted for ‘development.’ For sure there were valliant attempts by a small group of activists, but the State and Federal machinery that had a strong hold on information dissemination through media, made sure that Malaysia citizens would remain blissfully ignorant of the massive destruction to heritage and environment.
Yes, long before Bukit Gasing became an issue, there were other rich pickings to plunder, and when all that was done with, the attention is now focussed on ‘mopping up’ operations … like Bukit Gasing, Federal Hill, Medan Damansara, Bangsar etc.
JAC Bukit Gasing
Monday June 16, 2008
YIP YOKE TENG
The Coalition to Save Kuala Lumpur may eventually challenge the legality of the draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 in court as more residents associations and NGOs are convinced that it is fundamentally flawed.
Objection against the draft plan 2020 grows more intense with more parties recognising that it has failed to conform to the policies of low density in the National Physical Plan, National Urbanisation Plan and Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020.
However, the coalition will seek intervention from the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and parliamentarians before heading to court.
Concerned ones: Panel of speakers at the KL Green Lung seminar organised by Malaysian Nature Society, (from left) Malaysian Nature Society executive director Dr Loh Chi Leong, Sri Bukit Persekutuan representative Charles Tan, Bukit Kiara representative Dr Pola Singh, MNS vice-president Datuk Dr Hashim Abdul Wahab, Bukit Sungai Puteh representative Dr Anne Munro-Kua and Bukit Gasing Joint Action Committee member Gary Yeoh.
The society, following the conclusion of the KL Green Lung seminar it organised on June 14 at Rimba Ilmu building in Universiti Malaya, is submitting a report to the Federal Territories Ministry and the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to show its stand.
The report would also point out the need to strengthen existing laws to prohibit the de-gazetting of forest reserves as past experiences showed that green lung encroachments started with the local authority doing that without public knowledge.
An e-forum would be formed to bring together people wanting to save green lungs and to save Kuala Lumpur from becoming an all-choked-up city, while expanding the network of the Coalition to Save Kuala Lumpur.
“The gazetted open spaces, recreational and sports facilities in KL in 2000 accounts for 6.52% of the total KL land use,” said the society’s vice-president, Datuk Dr Hashim Abdul Wahab, who is also the organising chairman.
“However, if we were to add in the unused green areas or ungazetted land, the figure would increase up to 36% – this will be most suitable towards reaching a world-class city status,” he added.
The seminar was attended by residents’ representatives and was received warmly.
It was learnt that the DBKL was invited to the seminar and had confirmed attendance but pulled out a day before.
Meanwhile, the coalition has prepared a letter to alert the Prime Minister and his Cabinet about the draft KL City Plan 2020’s violation of the policies in the three plans.
It was penned by the alliance’s head Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman and supported by all 22 organisations under the coalition.
“If necessary, the coalition, through the MPs, would seek to move a motion in parliament or to order a commission of inquiry into the planning of Kuala Lumpur to see if there was abuse of power,” said the coalition’s legal adviser Derek Fernandez.
The attendees opposed the draft plan’s intention to increase the city’s population by 600,000 in 12 years, calling that “a self-imposed criteria”, as it would only worsen the already serious problems of traffic, flooding, pollution and cost escalation.
They felt that the direction was fundamentally flawed as the National Physical Plan and National Urbanisation Plan had spelled out that developments should be spread across the identified conurbations, which should cover Seremban, Putrajaya and parts of Selangor in the case of the KL conurbation, to reach the ideal density of 25 people per hectare.
“Although the density in KL has exceeded that, we want the average density for the whole conurbation to be 25 people per hectare.
“KL is fully saturated, its density has to be reduced, it should not absorb the 600,000 people as the government’s intention is for them to be spread across the conurbation,” he said.
He added that the National Physical Planning Council had set a target of open space coverage of 2ha per 1,000 people for KL as compared with merely 0.36ha now.
The open space coverage per 1,000 people for major cities are London (4ha), Melbourne (2ha), New York (2ha) and Toronto (2ha).
Fernandez also emphasised that DBKL officials should not use “pre-approved development” to justify their leniency towards developers as Section 24 of the Federal Territory Planning Act 1982 clearly stated that all Development Orders expire in one year.
Attendees expressed their frustration resulting from DBKL’s manner in dealing with their objections towards hillside developments, citing “the push-around treatment, officials’ false statements, empty promises and utter arrogance”.
They reckoned that new paradigms should be adopted to deal with the authorities, hence the need to further inculcate awareness and encourage involvement through ICT, as well as to be green voters. It was also unanimously agreed that an elected local government would be the remedy for many of the problems.
In their effort to creatively conceal the fact that the KL Draft Plan 2020 grossly violates the ‘National Public Planning’ laws enacted in parliament on population density controls, DBKL has introduced its latest obfuscation called the “private open spaces’, which unfortunately must have been coined to fool idiots. Perhaps they have equally atrocious other tems up their sleeves like “really private public spaces” (this could be your living room) or “really, really private public spaces” (your bathrooms) etc.
This is the sad, sad state of affairs with DBKL.
JAC Bukit Gasing
Surprisingly, the part of Bukit Gasing earmarked for 68 bungalow lots has been named “Gasing Indah” in the draft plan, said Bukit Gasing Joint Action Committee member Gary Yeoh
TheStar MetroCentral, Monday June 16, 2008
The term “private open space” introduced in the draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 had experts, residents and environmentalists scratching their heads at the KL Green Lung seminar organised by the Malaysian Nature Society on Saturday at Rimba Ilmu, Universiti Malaya.
A table in the draft plan indicates that the city aspires to increase the ratio of public parks and open space to population (sq m per person) from the current 7 to 11, which is almost double.
The area required to achieve this target is 2,418ha but the total land allocated for public parks in 2020 is 1,882ha (at present 1,543ha).
So, where does the rest of the open space come from?
According to Malaysian Nature Society executive director Dr Loh Chi Leong, the answer he received from the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the draft plan’s consultants in a recent briefing was that the rest would be “private open space”.
“They said developers would in the future be required to set aside 30% of their development area as open space.
“However, we wonder how is that going to be implemented as these so-called private open space will be private areas, which are not obliged to be open to the public,” he said.
Moreover, the ratio of 11 was still far from the National Physical Plan’s target of 20, he added.
Dr Loh also pointed out that even though the draft plan had listed out the environmental protection zones, there were still more open space in the city, such as those in Hartamas and Damansara, that ought to be protected.
He added that despite the technical complexity of the draft plan, it did not show clearly how much of the remaining 36% open space and unused green areas in the city had been earmarked for development.
“Even though it does not show how much land will be touched eventually, encroachment into Bukit Gasing is already a clear sign to this,” he said.
Residents from affected areas were invited to share their experiences of seeing green lungs raped by unsustainable development.
Surprisingly, the part of Bukit Gasing earmarked for 68 bungalow lots has been named “Gasing Indah” in the draft plan, said Bukit Gasing Joint Action Committee member Gary Yeoh.
“On top of that, even though it is said clearly in the draft plan that areas above 100m of Bukit Gasing would be protected, the planned development will in fact cut through the hill’s peak at 135m,” he said.
More worryingly, the planned development is just next to a 23mil litre capacity reservoir that supplies water to Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam.
The hill’s soil combination of sandstone and shale has been confirmed by academicians as not fit for development and a landslide ocurred last year just at the doorsteps of the Sivan Temple, but all these have not stopped developers from eyeing its lucrative returns.
To the shock of residents, the stretch of Federal Hill earmarked for the much-opposed development has been changed from an institutional land to commercial.
The piece of “commercial land” will house a police station.
“It is the first time we are hearing of a commercial police station,” said Sri Bukit Persekutuan representative Charles Tan.
Despite having been gazetted as forest reserve, Bukit Kiara has not been spared from damage with some parties chopping down trees and clearing land to create a 25km-long horse trail, said speaker Dr Pola Singh.
Under maintained water points for horses are becoming mosquito-breeding grounds, not to mention a string of consequences of the horse trail such as soil erosion and muddy land surface.
Bukit Sungai Putih
The “death” of Bukit Sungai Putih in Cheras started with the local council secretly de-gazetting the forest reserve that was gazetted in the 1930s.
Speaker Dr Anne Munro-Kua said the residents found out about the “crime” the hard way when a jogger spotted land-clearing and was beaten up by the workers.
Strong protests over 12 years, including lodging complaints with the Anti-Corruption Agency, could not stop the local council from granting approvals to unscrupulous developers.
For more photos click on image:
|2008 06 14 MNS KL Green Lung Seminar|
By CHRISTINA LOW
THE stop-work order for the Damansara 21 development site will not be lifted until SDB Properties has completed remedial works in the area, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall announced yesterday.
“The developers have yet to complete turf works, the sediment basin and silt traps, which is why the stop-work order has to go on,” DBKL Public Works Department director Siti Saffur Mansor said at a meeting chaired by KL mayor Datuk Ab Hakim Borhan yesterday.
Getting the picture: Hakim speaking to DBKL officers after the meeting.
In April, SDB Properties was slapped with a RM100,000 compound as well as a stop-work order after failing to comply with safety standards.
The Damansara 21 project, which began in early December, comprises 21 bungalows costing between RM10mil and RM15mil each.
Siti Saffur said the earliest the stop-work order could be lifted would be in August as the developer needed time to complete the drainage system in the area.
She added that allegations by certain parties that DBKL officers hardly visited the site were also untrue.
“We have officers visiting the site daily and a meeting with the developers is held every Friday where they will update us on the situation,” Siti Saffur said.
During the meeting Hakim also denied claims made by residents that he had approved the development inaccurately.
“After listening to reports and professional advice from Government officials on the project, we felt that the project could be allowed to go on but certain rules had to be met.
“It is not easy for the DBKL to entertain requests made by residents to nullify the approvals because we found that the appropriate channels were followed,” Hakim said, adding that the developer had also not paid the compound.
When contacted, SDB Properties communication and corporate affairs manager Lina Othman said the company had paid the compound.
“We paid the compound in May and also wrote to DBKL to lift the stop-work order early this month,” she said.
However, she confirmed that work on the drainage system was still under way and the company did not know it had to be completed before City Hall lifted the order.
Hakim also said SDB Properties had agreed to mend the damaged roof of a bungalow after a June 11 incident when one of the trees at the site was uprooted and fell into a house, causing a branch to pierce through the roof and enter the master bedroom.
Email to Star’s Citizenblog….
Should the Mayor of DBKL Resign?
Further to your article “Stop-work order still in force” on Medan Damansara of Sat. 14th June, I am appalled at the blatant inability of the Mayor of DBKL to accept responsibility of the massive error in approving the development called Damansara 21.
Any Mayor who is not aware that the development will be on steep hill slopes have is not fit to be a Mayor of KL. If he did, he needs to explain how it had to be at the instigation of Medan Damansara RA before the issue of missing approvals from the Drainage Dept. and deficiencies in drainage system and slit traps for the development to be discovered. How can a Development Order (DO) have been issued without those conditions being clearly spelt out, approved and monitored by his officers? Was he too young when Highland Towers disaster occurred? If not, was he suffering from short term memory lapses when he approved the DO?
It must be a massive worry to all citizens of KL that their Mayor is oblivious of his duties to ensure approvals (assuming that he doesn’t have a clue about balancing the rights of affected residents) that development must conform to Federal regulations for safe development and such requirements must be stated in the DOs. For anyone leaving near hill slopes, they have to be even more worried that DBKL seem to involve the department for Sensitive Environment (JPPKSAS) sparingly. If it does, the JPPKSAS sleeps on the job and fails to invoke Federal Government rules and regulations such as the Garis Panduan Pembangunan Di Kawasan Tanah Tinggi (GPPDKTT- as amended in June 2002) that in Section 3.1.4 ,requires an EIA for the whole development if there are class 3 & 4 slopes (mixture of slopes ≥250 and ≥350 gradient). The JPPKSAS has famously claimed that no EIA is required for areas under 50 hectares even for steep hill slope development, oblivious that they are not applying federal rules and regulations.
Is this Mayor also ignorant of the Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020: i) EN 6 – CHKL shall not permit development on hillside with slope that exceeds the allowable level, rules and regulations set by the Federal Government; and ii) EN 7: CHKL shall ensure that geo-technical study is carried out for all hillside developments.? If he did, he needs to explain how his approval of Damansara 21 meets the “the ‘fit to terrain’ concept in layout design should be applied in all developments in hilly locations”
Damansara 21 had been approved on hill slopes greater than allowable slope gradient of 35o, which is supposed to have been prohibited. It is visible to all that the terrain of the hill has been changed drastically. If DBKL had applied the rules correctly, residents in Medan Damansara would have been saved from the anguish they now have to bear.
It is equally sad that the Deputy FT Minister should be rebutting Medan Damansara’s residents call for the Mayor to resign for failure to protect the safety of residents by the Mayor’s act of dereliction of duties.
Residents of KL, be aware the wolves in your mist. Sheep in wolves’ clothing is in the DKLCP.
JAC for Bukit Gasing.
The hearing scheduled to be heard at 10:30am this morning at the KL High Court showed not sign of commencing as the court was still in session at 11am, hearing the earlier morning’s cases. As the smaller team of supporters from each side stood outside the courtroom, suspicion that time to hear our case will run out if the current session doesn’t finish soon became stronger.
It was almost 11:20am before the court temporarily adjourned from the earlier hearings and we filed into the court. Lawyers from the preceding case were still deep in discussion. With the clock ticking, it became obvious that some alternative had to be found to deal with the lack of time to hear our case. Our legal counsel approached the JACBG team with a plan to seek agreement with the other parties’ lawyers for exchange of affidavits and that a new hearing date be scheduled. After some discussion between the lawyers, they were called into the Judge’s chambers. We sat bemused at the courtroom devoid of judge and the key lawyers for the case.
Eventually, the lawyers returned at almost 12:30pm. Agreement was reached that is was not possible to have a meaningful hearing today. Decision was made with the Judge that affidavits are to be exchanged between the parties over a 4 week period, with a new hearing date of 9th September at 2:30pm for verbal submissions by the lawyers. In the meantime, status quo is to hold.
The parties are now to keep to a schedule of submitting affidavits and affidavits in reply within a 4 week period and the court will then have time to digest and hear verbal presentations for 9th September 2008. Besides, the applicants for Judicial Review (including Stay Order on DOs being given), DBKL and Gasing Meridian Sdn Bhd (GMSB), the other party are the Attorney General’s office. However, the AG’s office may not become a party as the case develops.
Will this be the beginning of a period that justice can be heard? Will the other parties desist from further legal tactics to delay and cause further delays by obfuscation?
Whilst it has been frustrating to have yet another day where our legal system, creaking under a lack of judges, fails to hear our case, we are content that DBKL and GMSB have to hold to the “status quo”.
So, no cangkul allowed on Bukit Gasing!
The JACBG and many residents are committed to stop the rape of Bukit Gasing. We are resolute in our determination to challenge DBKL. Our cause is not against developers. We are against an opaque, arrogant and insensitive DBKL. DBKL’s stance on Bukit Gasing denies not only genuine fears for safety by residents, but also the destruction of already limited green and open space in Kuala Lumpur.
One need only look at the Draft Kuala Lumpur 2020 City Plan (DKLCP) for Bukit Gasing to see how callous of residents’ safety and preservation of limited open space (including green lung) DBKL is.
If you are concerned and would like to assist us in identifying objections to the DKLCP do contact Gary Yeoh (firstname.lastname@example.org).
JAC for Bukit Gasing/Chairman of Maxwell Towers Owners Association.
Today the mayor. ….Tomorrow the KL Draft Plan? The culture of non accountability can only change when the people stand up and demand change. No one in Medan Damansara talked about safety, only their green lung. And events turned out to show that hillslopes are fickle places to mess around with – one family came dangerously close to death.
The very thing that ‘JAC-Bukit Gasing’ has been shouting itself hoarse about.
Gasing folk, please step up to the occassion, and demand your rights.
Contribute to the fight. Contribute to the legal fund!
JAC Bukit Gasing
REENA RAJ and PEARL LEE, Malay Mail, Thursday June 12, 2008
KUALA Lumpur Mayor Datuk Ab Hakim Borhan is in trouble on two fronts – one for a past deed that continues to hurt residents of Medan Damansara, and the other for raising City Hall parking fees that hit a public already upset with last week’s fuel price hike.
In fact, Medan Damansara residents have demanded the immediate resignation of Ab Hakim and City Hall Urban Planning director Mahadi Che Ngah for their part in approving Damansara 21, a hillslope development that has brought much misery to the neighbourhood.
They also demanded that the project, for 21 bungalows worth RM10-15 million each, be scrapped.
The last straw for the residents came yesterday morning when a resident and her daughter narrowly escaped being injured, or even killed, when a tree on the site fell and wrecked their home (see story on Page 3).
Expressing anger that the safety of the residents had been compromised, Medan Damansara Residents’ Association (MDRA) committee member Randhir Singh said: “The root of the problem is City Hall. It approved the project despite knowing it would endanger the residents. As mayor and as urban planning director, they should take responsibility and quit! “I am shocked the mayor and the planning director have not even bothered to visit the site despite numerous complaints about the project, nor did they respond to our written complaints and protests.” Residents and MDRA officials are also furious with Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk M. Saravanan for his indifferent attitude.
He said on April 19 that he would “decide on the next course of action” after meeting the residents.
Until yesterday, he had yet to do so, although he had said it would be soon.
MDRA secretary Peter Raiappan is worried about landslips or even a landslide if the development is allowed to continue. All those involved with the project, including those who approved it, should be held responsible, he said.
Raiappan added that the residents had been assured there would be no danger from the project, but the tree that came crashing down on a house in Jalan Setiapuspa 2 at 2.45am yesterday proved otherwise.
“We don’t want any more assurances,” said Raiappan.
“The project should be called off and the hillside should be rehabilitated.
We demand that now.” Meanwhile, the 30sen parking fee hike announced yesterday and effective next Monday, though not life-threatening, raised the ire of city workers who had yet to recover from the government’s drastic cut in subsidy for fuel.
Motorists were equally angry with City Hall’s decision to extend and payment hours till 10pm on weekdays and to Saturdays and Sundays as well.
Calls to Ab Hakim and Mahadi yesterday went unanswered.