As many would have read in the MSM, our Judicial Review to compel DBKL to allow us a public hearing and stop Gasing Meridian Sdn Bhd’s proposed development on Bukit Gasing has failed based on the ruling by Judge Aziah bte Ali. It would appear that the judge supports DBKL’s view that the Town & Country Planning (amendment) Act 2001 (that had provided the basis for the whole of peninsular Malaysia,  explicitly including the Federal Territories, to be governed by a common planning regulation) does not apply to KL. The Town & Country Planning Act would have required DBKL to grant us a public hearing.

We, residents affected by the proposed development were only seeking DBKL to allow a public hearing so as to understand how such a development on steep hill slopes (almost 50% of the hill is above 25 degrees gradient) can be safe and not be a “time bomb” for landslides and disasters.  Previous mayors that had understood the dangers presented by the development and would not to allow development on Bukit Gasing. Why did the Mayor of KL of 2007 (Datuk Ab Hakim Borhan) and the current Mayor (Dato’ Ahmad Fuad Ismail) felt that Gasing Meridian’s proposed development is safe in the light of Bukit Antarabangsa, Medan Damansara and the Amanah Raya disasters? Why avoid being transparent on their approval process and hide under legal arguments to avoid public scrutiny?

Judge Aziah bte Ali had delivered her judgement in her chambers and we were not privy to her reasons for supporting DBKL.  Will she publish and make available her full judgement in the next few days as reported by Malaysiakini? Should we give up?  I hope not.

Yes, the communities at Bukit Gasing had been dealt a blow.  However, I am reminded of retired Judge NH Chan’s many articles on flaws in court judgements and his challenges to the current Judiciary. The communities at Bukit Gasing and the general public have to face the question of whether we should demand and fight for deliver of justice in our Nation.

We cannot and should not remain silent. Instead, we must continue the fight to regain our rights to have safe and sustainable developments in our nation.  I hope you readers will help spread our disappointment and perhaps encourage and help us continue our fight.

Gary Yeoh – JAC for Bukit Gasing.