The Star Metro Saturday December 20, 2008


DISAPPOINTMENT, that pretty much sums up the feelings of members of the Coalition to Save Kuala Lumpur (CSKL) when they turned up at the public hearing on the draft Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 (DKLCP2020) at the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) yesterday.

The members were told they would not be able to object to the plan’s legal status.

Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman, who is the coalition chairman, said he was disappointed with the public opinion hearing committee (POHC), when they were told that the panel had not received any feedback with regards to the legal issues from the DBKL’s legal team. Hence the Coalition would not be able to object to that aspect of it.

“We have been disappointed for a very long time.

“How can we proceed with our objections without addressing the core issue, which is the legality of the plan itself? Obviously the panel does not have the authority to decide as they are only making recommendations.” Abdul Aziz said.

The coalition’s legal adviser, Derek Fernandez, said it would be impossible to argue planning and technical matters when the fundamental point of the plan – which is its legal status – is not addressed first.

“Because our ability to argue depends on which are the applicable laws that have been applied and the planning framework that is required.

“If they (POHC) don’t know this then they should not be having a hearing in the first place.”

Derek said the coalition had made it clear five months ago that there were fundamental flaws to the draft plan such as density and zoning.

“The draft plan is illegal and in violation of the National Physical Plan, Town and Country Planning Act (Amendment) Act 2001. The plan failed to comply with Section 12A of the act because no proper consultation was conducted with the public.

“We are disappointed that at this stage of the game, these basic contentions have not been resolved.

“We will have difficulty arguing many issues – we are hoping that they will make a favourable ruling as to the laws – because we are legally correct.

“Even after six months you still can’t determine these, then why bother having a hearing in the first place.

“If they concede that these issues are correct then they must redo everything, start with a fresh plan otherwise it is impossible to move on,” Derek said.

“The NPP is a cabinet directive and agreed by the Prime Minister. If they can’t follow the Prime Minister’s directive, do you think they are going to follow ours,” Aziz asked.

Pantai Panoramic Gasing Heights resident Dr Teo Keng Huat, who was present at the hearing, said he felt that he was taking a step back.

“How can they not know about the laws and regulations. I did not expect them to be so irresponsible – it’s like going back to square one,” Teo said.

Datuk Pang Leong Hoon from Bukit Damansara said: “We came here to solve the legal issues, only then we can move on to the objections proper. Otherwise there is no point in going on.”

POHC chairman Datin Paduka Dr Halimaton Saadiah Hashim said she had not received information on the legal aspects of the draft plan from the DBKL.

“If it is decided that the draft plan is null and void then we can touch on its legal status.

“If the plan is valid then the case must be considered differently – but we certainly cannot solve it today otherwise we will be stuck in a deadlock,” she said.

Halimaton urged residents to go ahead and put forward their objections as to planning matters of which the Coalition refused.

“We are hoping for a favourable ruling in respect to the laws otherwise we may have to take the matter up to the courts,” said Derek