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.