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The usual intrepid group of supporters for Judicial Review against DBKL ignoring residents’ fears of “Highland Towers Disaster” at their doorsteps were at court again today. Hopes for progress were soon put to test. The lawyers for DBKL and the developer contended that the Judicial Review action was filed outside the time limit allowable, and for brevity and completely the writers take on proceedings, residents should wait for events like “Highland Towers” or Medan Damansara before there can be justifiable causes to take court action against the Mayor of KL.
According to the lawyers of DBKL and developer, residents should have recognized that “sub-division of land” approval was a Development Order (DO) and rush to court. Clearly, residents should not have believed DBKL director of planning’s explanation that it’s only an administrative approval and DBKL not providing copies of the approval, it’s “semuanya ok”. As for the subsequent approvals for hoarding and earthworks, they are but consequences of the original DO. Heads they win, tails we loose. It was also suggested that hoardings are not buildings, clearly not being part of foundation doesn’t constitute “building”. I think that might have been the gist of some recitals.
Somehow, despite KL being part of Malaysia, Town & Country Planning Act amendment of 2001 (Act A1129) seeking to harmonize planning regulations across Malaysia don’t apply to Federal Territories (i.e. KL). Residents of KL deserve to have less rights than residents of PJ and the rest of non-Federal Territory residents.
As arguments went into town planning law history, back to the 1930s and going forward, we passed 5:05pm. So, the hearing was adjourned and by grace of the Judge (Mdm Lau), continuation by lawyer for developer would be on this Friday (28th Nov) commencing 11am.
The waiting continues. Justice delayed but we hope it will not be for much longer.
JAC for Bukit Gasing.
Back in February this year, 108 residents in Gasing Condos and Gasing Indah, directly in line of danger from the proposed development, filed for a Judicial Review of DBKL’s decision not to grant a public hearing on the development at Bukit Gasing (KL side). Many of you would have known of Highland Towers disaster along with many other steep hill slope developments that had caused lives and destruction of properties. Recent reported cases of damage to homes (only be grace of God, not lives were lost) in Medan Damansara and the chaos caused to residents living near to steep hill slope developments in Penang and elsewhere are clear and justifiable testimony to the fears held by the applicants for the Judicial Review.
The coming hearing would be the 10th hearing. DBKL and the developer had withheld information, obfuscated and brought forward legal arguments that defy common sense in attempts to derail the Judicial Review hearing. Suffice to say that each time, the applicants’ legal team had countered with reasoned arguments.
The time is now near for the Judge (Mdm Lau) to make some ruling that will clear the path for the Judicial Review to proceed properly and stay order against DBKL allowing development to commence whilst the Judicial Review is underway. Please come to give support to the dedicated supporters of the Judicial Review that had been attending the hearing.
If you believe in change, now is the time to show your support. If you are not able to get time off, do consider asking your friends who are able to attend. A strong demonstration of public support will help communicate the farce surrounding steep hill slope development and send a strong signal to DBKL that the public do not believe that proper development controls are being practised by them.
Be at the KL High Court (Level 3, Court R1, Jalan Duta) on next Wednesday, 26th November 2008 for 3pm start of hearing.
If you can’t make it and wish to support our cause, please click “How you can help us..” at top of page.
Many thanks and regards
Gary Yeoh – JAC for Bukit Gasing.