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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.

save_bukit_gasing

bukitgasing1 bukitgasing2Save_Bukit_Gasing

This Signage was put up along Jalan 8/132, Gasing Indah on Sunday (4/9/2016)

You have less than 11 days to write in to DBKL.

Time to make known your objections to this project.

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….

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/we-have-a-right-to-claim-damages-developer-tells-bukit-gasing-residents

 

 

According to civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan, the developer’s claim will set a precedent that will make it onerous for private individuals who turn to the courts after exhausting other official avenues to challenge public decisions. ― File pic

According to civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan, the developer’s claim will set a precedent that will make it onerous for private individuals who turn to the courts after exhausting other official avenues to challenge public decisions. ― File pic

BY MAYURI MEI LINLIN

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — A developer is pursuing a group of Bukit Gasing residents over a judicial review they sought over its project, claiming damages in an extraordinary move observers fear will intimidate private citizens from objecting against government agencies.

Although Gasing Meridian Sdn Bhd is now free to conduct its development after defeating the judicial review filed against it and the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), it is adamant on claiming damages from the 103 residents who sought to block the hillside project in their neighbourhood here.

According to civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan, the developer’s claim will set a precedent that will make it onerous for private individuals who turn to the courts after exhausting other official avenues to challenge public decisions.

“I am personally very concerned if the developer is allowed to claim damages against the residents from the judicial review application.

“This is a matter within the realm of public interest and the fear is that if the developer succeeds in its application this would discourage concerned citizens from seeking redress with the courts in the future,” he told Malay Mail Online.

The Bukit Gasing residents’ challenge against the developer dates back to 2008, when the group filed for a judicial review to compel 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 a public hearing 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 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.

“Public hearing is an avenue for the public to actually have their concerns aired and for responses to be made to those concerns,” Bukit Gasing resident Ashok Menon told Malay Mail Online.

“By saying that you can end up having to pay damages for that, that’s like muscling up everyone. That’s what happens in a dictatorship,” Ashok said, adding that it was unclear why the developer was awarded damages.

Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran echoed both men’s concerns, adding that the dispute had been between the residents and DBKL, rather than business-related.

“I feel it’s not right. Just because a group of residents file a judicial review, a third party such as the developer should not be taking legal action to financially penalise the residents, who were bringing up a matter of public interest, and not commercial in nature.”

Not all are against the Federal Court’s decision to allow Gasing Meridian a claim to damages from the residents. Property lawyer Chris Tan explained that such a move would help to prevent the public from pursuing frivolous action against corporations.

He also disagreed that the particular case would set a precedent that would make it burdensome for private individuals with valid complaints to seek legal action against government entities.

“The precedent is not set to aim at the parties asking for public hearing for them to pay for damages, but to prevent the public from being against others without proper grounds, and facts of the case vary from each other,” he explained.

“Any successful party is entitled to damages… provided they can prove the same to the presiding judge. Therefore it is fair in that sense,” Tan said.

The Federal Court was initially scheduled to hear the residents’ appeal against the order for damages, but the case has since been postponed to June 29.

 

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/observers-fear-repression-if-bukit-gasing-folk-get-financial-penalty-for-wa

 

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

=================================================================

Please Sign this petition at : Change.org

 

 

2013-05-03 TheStar

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

Maxwell resident Victor Oorjitham,showing the picture of the 'landslide' are to Kenneth Tan

Maxwell resident Victor Oorjitham, showing the picture of the ‘landslide’ area to Kenneth Tan

By Stephanie Sta Maria

http://fz.com/content/developer-no-landslides-bukit-gasing-site

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.

Its managing director, Kenneth Tan, voiced his concern during a press conference today over the media’s apparent confusion as to the location of the landslides.

“I cannot speak for the other sites but there have been no landslides at Gasing Meridian,” he said. “I survey the area on a regular basis and let me officially say, there have been no landslides. Period.”
Gasing Meridian is the developer of the Sanctuary Ridge Kuala Lumpur project that will see 70 luxury bungalows being built in Bukit Gasing.
The developer recently won a five-year legal battle against Bukit Gasing residents who wanted the project stopped for fear of landslides and environmental damage.
Four landslides took place in Bukit Gasing over the past week. One occurred close to Maxwell Towers and news reports have linked it to Gasing Meridian’s development work.
Bukit Gasing Joint Action Committee member Gary Yeoh today showed the media what he said were photographs of the landslides including the one near Maxwell Towers.
After looking at the photos, however, Tan said that the area in question was not on Gasing Meridian’s site.
“We take our responsibility as a developer very seriously,” said Tan. “We’re developing the area step by step which is the right procedure.”
“When we expose the earth it looks like a landslide has occurred but it is actually man-made hill cutting.”
“We’ve also set up adequate buffer zones between our development site and residential areas including Gasing Indah and the Syabas pipeline and reservoir,” he added.
Tan said the Sanctuary Ridge project had undergone thorough investigations that spanned four years and subjected it to the scrutiny of 13 agencies, including the Department of Environment and the Department of Minerals and Geoscience.
A Maxwell Tower resident later took fz.com to his apartment on the 23rd floor, where we had a direct view of the alleged landslide area. The patch of exposed land was behind a green fence which Victor Oorjitham said was on Gasing Meridian’s development site.
Victor, 82, pointed out that the distance of the buffer zone between the green fence and Maxwell Tower’s wire fence was very narrow and that any further landslides would affect the apartment residents.
Yeoh meanwhile appealed to Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to relook at all hill slope developments and keep the Bukit Gasing residents informed on monitoring procedures and reports.
The alledge landslide just above the green fence which separates Gasing Meridian and Maxwell Towers.

The alleged landslide just above the green fence which separates Gasing Meridian and Maxwell Towers.

Posted on 29 January 2013 – 08:38pm
Last updated on 30 January 2013 – 12:31am

R. Nadeswaran

http://www.thesundaily.my/news/600982

Nades Amend laws with care

EVERY time it rains, colleagues in the office get phone calls from those staying around Bukit Gasing in Petaling Jaya. Most of us are familiar with the callers. It’s either erosion of parts of the hill or fear of landslides.

Speculation or otherwise, clearing hillslopes and building on them always invite public scrutiny and inevitably, bad news. Even the slightest trace of gravel on the road is enough to prompt calls but as a matter of fact, if you see bare slopes of the hill being washed down, what appears to be unfounded, becomes founded.

As this column is being written, there’s a visit to the area by the local MP and other party officials.

Despite sustained opposition from residents and environmentalists since 2005, the developer Gasing Meridian Sdn Bhd began earthworks on the Sanctuary Ridge Kuala Lumpur City project two years ago.

It had appointed consultant Ikram Engineering Services Sdn Bhd to monitor the construction of 69 bungalows on the 15ha land, which is supposed to put in place mitigation measures to ensure slope stability.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) admitted it could do nothing to stop the development in Bukit Gasing because doing so would require buying the land out of public funds.

Mayor Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib was quoted as saying that DBKL had initially opposed the project, but now has no choice but to abide by a court order.

“(The developer) Gasing Meridian Sdn Bhd has already won the court case, how can we stop it?” he asked.

“Now we have to let Gasing Meridian to execute the project but with precautions. If we try to stop them we have to issue a notice of purchase.

“Who is buying? The public.”

Ahmad Phesal is echoing his predecessor, Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail who said: “The land belongs to the developer and DBKL would have to spend RM135 million if it were to acquire the land to gazette as a green lung.”

He said DBKL had already applied to gazette the neighbouring 52.6ha public land as a green lung in December 2010.

Ahmad Phesal is right and wrong. He’s right in the sense that the developer won a court case. Wrong in the sense that he does not want to admit that DBKL has become its own victim after amending the planning laws to suit its needs and to silence residents who wanted to express their views on safety.

DBKL moved the goalposts or changed the law after the then Supreme Court ruled against it in 1992 in the case of Datin Azizah Abdul Ghani v Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur & Others over its refusal to not allow her to take part in the planning decision making process.

The rules had provided that upon receipt of any application for planning permission, DBKL should inform the registered proprietors of the land adjoining the land to which the application relates, to enable them to exercise their right to object to the granting of planning permission.

Azizah, as an adjoining neighbour applied for an order of certiorari to quash the decision of the mayor on the grounds that she was never given an opportunity to object, since she never received the DBKL notice calling for objections.

In 1994, DBKL changed the law and the right to a public hearing was narrowed down to two limbs – if there is a change in land use and if there is an increase in residential density.

This, in short, DBKL used its unfettered powers to amend the laws and now finds itself in this predicament. If those living in Gasing Hill had been allowed to present their case vis-à-vis safety, the mayor and his team would have had some cause not to issue the development order.

Today, the DBKL has discovered that its hands and feet have been bound; their mouths and ears have been stuffed; and they have no authority to listen to the people.

They have belatedly discovered that they had used a sledgehammer to swat a fly and in the process destroyed the basic principle of the right to be heard.

Will DBKL reinstate its laws which will be consistent with the Town and Country Planning Act which governs the rest of the country? Will it learn from its mistakes? How can it happen when there are 3,000 development projects under its jurisdiction and that’s plenty of money floating around?

R. Nadeswaran has nothing against developers or development which does not threaten the safety of those living in the neighbourhood. Comments: citizen-nades@thesundaily.com

DSC01416

Close-up:  a section of the slope has slipped due to erosion…..

DSC01417

Landslip at Maxwell Towers. Gasing Heights.    Photo Credit: GYeoh

For the last 3 days, we at Bukit Gasing area have had heavy downpours. Today, just after the afternoon’s downpour, a landslide occurred within meters from Maxwell Towers. There was also a landslide along Jalan 5/60 towards Fraser Towers. There have been numerous other landslides on Bukit Gasing recently that have been in the press. MBPJ had met with residents last year and we understand they are still investigating and determining the right course of action to protect lives and properties. With the landslides today, we are expecting urgent steps to be take to make the slopes safe on Bukit Gasing – PJ side.

DBKL has so far ignored evidence of landslides on Sanctuary Ridge development site. This blog had featured landslips on the steep slopes of earthworks done by the developer. Alas, we have seen little tangible evidence of DBKL being concerned at all these landslides.

The most recent disaster at Bukit Setiawangsa should have been a reminder to the Mayor of KL to be concerned about steep hill slope developments. Will DBKL wait for fatalities before they react to the many signs that development on steep hill slopes of Bukit Gasing is unsafe? Will the Mayor act to protect lives and properties or will he hide behind legalities?

JAC for Bukit Gasing.

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