The High Court is set to deliver its judgement on the Judicial Review filed by 108 applicants representing communities in Gasing Condos (Fraser, Cameron and Maxwell), Gasing Indah (both KL and PJ sides) back in February 2008.

The Judicial Review was made initially to challenge DBKL’s decision to deny affected residents the right to a public hearing. In the course of the hearing, it became known that DBKL had approved development orders for Gasing Meridian Sdn Bhd (GMSB) to build some 68 multi-million ringgit bungalows on the steep hill slopes of Bukit Gasing under DBKL’s jurisdiction. This resulted in a change to the Judicial Review to include decision by DBKL to issue GMSB a development order.

This blog has written about the tactics of DBKL and the developer to derail residents’ right to a judicial review over the years. They had refused to accept the clearly written judgement of the then High Court Judge, Madam Lau Bee Lan in April 2009 and had appealed against her grant of leave for the Judicial Review. Their appeals to Court of Appeal and Federal Court failed. The Federal Court set an exemplary charge on DBKL and Gasing Meridian for legal costs of RM20K each of their failed Federal Court hearing.

Having failed in their arguments that the Judicial Review was filed “out of time” (using deception and by being “economical with the truth”) they had attempted to argue that the High Court had no locus standi to accept the Judicial Review.

One of the core arguments in the Judicial Review was that Town and Country Planning ( Amendment) Act 2001, passed by the Parliament that brings Federal Territories into uniformity with the rest of the country, should have been applied by DBKL with respect to its approval of GMSB proposed development on Bukit Gasing.  DBKL continues to argue they have the right to ignore wishes of our Parliament.

The Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail, had recently commented in The Star of how carefully DBKL considers steep hill slope developments. If that is so, how is it that lives were almost lost at Medan Damansara in August 2008? What about the failure of retaining walls at Amanah Raya on Jalan Semantan in December 2008? Will Bukit Gasing be another Damansara 21 in the making?

The Mayor of Kuala Lumpur talks about gazetting of Bukit Gasing as forest reserves and not allowing developments on Bukit Gasing, Yet, all the areas marked in the much challenged Draft KL City Plan seems on the way to being approved.  Is DBKL continuing the policy of being “economical with the truth” ?

Residents in Bukit Antarabangsa, Taman Melawati, Medan Damansara and many other areas on hill slopes live in fear. Yet, authorities continue to champion the land owners’ right to make profit at the expense of safety of people and sustainable development.

Residents under threat from GMSB proposed development and DBKL’s refusal to acknowledge genuine residents’ fears await the High Court to deliver a judgement that puts  planning authorities on notice to act transparently and in act in accordance with the law.

Will you come and stand with us to send a loud and clear message that we want authorities and developers to ensure safe and sustainable development? If you do, please come to the KL High Court Complex, Rayuan & Kuasa-Kuasa Khas (RKK 1 court room) level 3 on Monday, 6th September 2010 at 2:30pm

Gary Yeoh – JAC for Bukit Gasing.