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A small group of TGI’s KL Residents & Maxwell Tower met up today & decision made to PROTEST on DBKL’s new proposal to increase the density of the “now” proposed 149 units villa hill-slope development fr 9 to 19 people per acre:
-safety of the hill-slope (landslides occurances)
– higher density (higher volume of traffic) on all roads leading to & from the development area.
NOTE: All or Any residents staying 200M from the development HAS THE RIGHT to protest. Its just a protest & would not have any judicial relevance in order for DBKL to call for a Public Hearing to address the matter accordingly!
We do need residents’ signatures (in numbers) & I do trust ALL residents will protest together.
BY MAYURI MEI LIN
PETALING JAYA, March 15 — A Bukit Gasing property developer insists that it is entirely within their rights to claim damages from a group of residents who sought a judicial review over a residential development.
Gasing Meridian Sdn Bhd (GMSB) said that it was the judiciary’s decision to award them damages and that as respondents in the lawsuit, they were merely following the letter of the law.
“The courts found that we were entitled to damages. The judicial system is in place for order and justice. It is for the residents to take this matter before the court if they claim that the courts’ decision serves otherwise,” GMSB marketing director Leo Tan told Malay Mail Online in an interview earlier this month.
“Our representative stood up in court, in open court, and said, ‘We reserve the right to damages.’ And they didn’t object to that. So okay, if you don’t object, then we proceed along those lines,” he said, referring to the 103 Bukit Gasing residents who initiated the lawsuit.
Residents in the area have condemned the decision to award the developer damages, saying that this will stifle their freedom of speech and discourage others from having their opinions heard through public forums.
Civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan and Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran echoed the same sentiment that the residents should not be financially penalised.
The Bukit Gasing residents’ challenge against the developer dates back to 2008, when the group filed for a judicial review to compel the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to hold a public hearing over its decision to grant a development order to Gasing Meridian for a hillside project in 2007.
They claimed DBKL did not provide adequate notice of the development or hold the required public hearings before it granted the order.
The application was rejected by the High Court and was appealed all the way to the Federal Court in 2013, where it was also ultimately dismissed.
The apex court added a twist to the case when the judges deemed it fit to award RM10,000 in costs to both DBKL and Gasing Meridian as well as undetermined damages to the latter, which it sent back for the High Court to decide.
Following another round of appeals against the order for damages, the matter is now back before the Federal Court once more.
Tan said he was unsure about the amount GMSB will claim from the group of residents as that was a decision for the judges.
“I don’t know, it’s for the courts to decide. We have submitted figures to do with our costs, various other items,” he said.
Tan also defended GSMB’s joining the case as a second respondent citing their right to defend themselves, as they were commercially invested in the case.
“What I understand of the case is when the residents took up the case against DBKL, they asked DBKL to stop proceedings on only one project – our project.
“So essentially, it’s almost akin to having an injunction on us as an individual entity. So we had to intervene. As our legal advisor said, ‘It’s about you and if you don’t intervene then you lose all right to say anything,’” Tan said.
GMSB is the developer behind Sanctuary Ridge, a property development in Bukit Gasing with 70 luxury bungalow lots for sale with prices starting in the millions….
Please be informed that the scheduled leave hearing for our appeal to Federal Court on the matter of High Court award of damages assessment has been cancelled.
Federal Court is in the process of re-scheduling the hearing.
In 2008, 103 residents within Bukit Gasing area, in the interest of several thousand residents living in the proximity of Bukit Gasing (KL side), commenced a Judicial Review on the DBKL Mayor’s refusal to grant concerned residents a public hearing on the development of 68 luxury homes on Bukit Gasing- KL side. Gasing Meridian Sdn Bhd applied to join the case as a 2nd Respondent.
The primary reason for the filing of Judicial Review was the fear for loss of lives and damage to properties. The proposed development on Bukit Gasing (KL side) had several steep gradients and the composition of the soil is sand and shale. In the circumstances, the residents feared that the development if allowed, would cause landslides and end in a tragedy similar to the Highland Towers tragedy (1993). There have also been several other tragic landslides at developments on steep gradients resulting in the loss of lives and destruction of property. Bukit Antarabangsa (December 2008), Orphanage at Hulu Langat (May 2011), Bukit Setiawangsa (December 2012), Dang Wangi LRT (May 2013) and Cameron Highlands (November 2014) are just some tragic recent examples.
The Bukit Gasing case was filed in February 2008 and on 6th September 2010, the High Court, Kuala Lumpur gave judgement against our request for a public hearing and thus in favour of the developer permitting development on Bukit Gasing. This decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court. The High Court in May 2013 also allowed the Developer the right to file assessment for damages against the 103 residents. This decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeal. The case is now in the Federal Court, where a “Leave Application “is pending for the case to be heard by the Federal Court
The allowing of damages to be assessed against applicants in a Public Interest Judicial Review case, is unprecedented in Malaysia. It is even more questionable as the award is to Gasing Meridian that had joined the case as a 2nd Respondent. In fact in August 1996, a Judicial Review case was brought by an associated company of Gasing Meridian in their development in Bukit Gasing (Petaling Jaya side) for damages, was thrown out by the High Court, Shah Alam, Selangor.
The allowing of assessment of damages, in the present case, has severe consequences. It will prevent any citizen or civil society from filing a Public Interest case, for fear of having to pay damages if they should lose their case. This is of particular significance where Local Councils and developers throughout Malaysia are concerned. No one will dare to bring a Public Interest case against them. It is a denial of every Malaysian’s fundamental right to seek judicial review on actions by authorities that impact their fundamental rights.
Citizens have a fundamental right to seek a Public Interest Judicial Review at the Courts on actions taken by authorities that are questionable. Such a re-course must be maintained without the threat of damages that will significantly intrude on the rights of any citizen or body of citizens.
We seek your support to counter this threat to fundamental rights of all Malaysians. As a first step, you can support by signing the Petition.
On behalf of residents and supporters of the Judicial Review Case against DBKL’s refusal to grant a public hearing on development on steep hill slopes in Bukit Gasing
Residents and supporters of Save Bukit Gasing will be praying that Justice will prevail tomorrow at the Court of Appeal.
The High Court granted the developer the right for assessment of damages against applicants to Judicial Review in May 2013. The applicants are appealing against this High Court decision. The Court of Appeal decision tomorrow will have significant implications to the general public.
Judicial Review is the means for the public seeking review of our authorities actions. If other parties of Judicial Review case can then seek damages, it could severely affect the public’s ability to seek Justice.
We hope that the Court of Appeal will take into consideration a previous attempt to sue for damages after Judicial Review relating to development at Bukit Gasing back in the 90s. Click to read the judgement. Then pray with the residents.
Those of you that wish to support this hearing should be at the Court of Appeal in Palace of Justice, Presint 3, Putrajaya for about 9:30am. Check for Ramachandran Appalanaidu & 107 yang lain Vs DBKL/Gasing Meridian (R1-25-38-2008). Click “Here” for location of Palace of Justice at Putrajaya.
RESIDENTS in Cameron Towers, Bukit Gasing are living in fear of more landslips in the area in view of the rainy season.
The landslip that occurred on May 3 had shocked the residents, with subsequent landslips along Jalan 5/60 and Jalan 5/64 last week, adding to their fear.
Mary Lim, a housewife, said every time it rained, she kept a lookout on the hill, which is opposite her condominium.
“The hill is also very close to our swimming pool. What if there is a landslide when there are people using the pool?” asked the distraught resident.
Cameron Towers Joint Management Body treasurer Jim Khong expressed concern over the recent landslips in Bukit Gasing.
“We fear that if a landslide occurs on Bukit Gasing, it will affect residents in the area as there is a water reservoir on top of the hill,” he said.
Khong said the residents want the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to work together as the hill is situated on the border of Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur.
The building manager, Lee Lai, said they had written to MBPJ after the landslips and that an officer from the council’s infrastructure and engineering department had visited the site.
“He took photos of the landslip and said they would discuss the situation,” Lee said, adding that residents wanted immediate action to be taken to resolve the problem.
Bukit Gasing – 3, May 2013
The KL High Court’s decision on 2nd May 2013 to allow the developer, Gasing Meridian Sdn Bhd, to seek damages from the petitioners of Bukit Gasing residents is a very sad day for concerned citizens of this country. The residents sought a judicial review for the Mayor of DBKL to grant us a public hearing to alleviate our fears for the lives and safety of the residents in the surrounding area. For the residents efforts, the developer is asking for damages, which in the residents’ view, are unfair and unjustified as this is a public interest case.. The residents have no choice but to appeal the court’s decision.
In this age where citizens have to be concerned about the environment and the consequence of development, as a fundamental right to live in an environment which does not endanger their right to a home or worried of losing their right to a home, this decision, in a sense is, a denial of their fundamental right. Hereafter, it will deprive concerned citizens from seeking remedy in the Courts of Justice and give the developers special rights. This is against the constitution because there is no equality of rights between developers and citizens. The role of the legal system is of great public concern. The public needs to know: today is our homes, tomorrow it will be theirs.
The coming Election is of utmost importance to protect our homes and the right to live in a safe environment. We need to change the laws, and only a Government concerned for the people can.
Joint Action Committee for Bukit Gasing
Towards end of January this year, residents next to the Gasing Meridian Sdn Bhd development on steep hill slopes were very concerned as a landslide next to Maxwell Towers was detected. Supported by YB Nurul Izzah (Lembah Pantai), Adun Hannah Yeoh (represent Bukit Gasing) and Kasthuri Patto a press conference was called on 29th January 2013 near to the entrance of the development site.
Despite photos showing the location of the landslides (as can be seen on this blog), the developer categorically denied there were any landslides. As to be expected, DBKL and the Minister for Federal Territory and Well Being were not interested in our concerns.
Last Thursday and Friday (25th and 26th April) there was again heavy rain and winds. This resulted in a further landslide and a mud flow washed into a house next to Maxwell Towers entrance.
As you can see from above, the escalation of development on the steep hill slopes has resulted in a second landslide and causing slit to be washed down onto the roads below. The landslide that was denied by the developer is now covered with plastic sheets.
MBPJ is beginning to take serious interest in the recent landslides on PJ Bukit Gasing. Will DBKL and Raja Nong Cik really walk the talk of “Rakyat Didahulukan”?
Election is coming. It’s time we act wisely and elect those that really care about our safety and implement environmentally sustainable developments.
JAC for Bukit Gasing.
By Stephanie Sta Maria
KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 29): Property developer Gasing Meridian has shot down news reports that have linked its development work to recent landslides in Bukit Gasing.