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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.
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
FIFTY plots of vacant bungalow land in Bukit Gasing will be seized under the National Land Code 1965 (NLC 1965) and gazetted as a forest reserve following multiple landslips.
Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), following expert advice from geotechnical, civil and structural consultants, will prepare a detailed report on the vacant land that has been classified as Class 4, (slopes with a 25 and 35 degree gradient) and a possible hazard, built or left idle.
Mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad said the council would propose to the Selangor Economic Action Council that the vacant plots with steep slopes be acquired under the NLC to address safety concerns due to extreme soil erosion.
“MBPJ will inform owners that their plots will be seized due to public interest. Since it has been classified as Class 4, the land cannot be occupied and no development will be allowed.
“The NLC has provisions allowing the state government to seize neglected land,” said Alinah.
The NLC, together with the Land Acquisition Act (LAA) 1960, empower the respective state governments to acquire private landed properties without having to get consent or agreement from its owners.
This is stated in Section 3 of the LAA 1960.
The move by MBPJ is a blow to market speculators and landowners who had hoped land value would increase manifold due to shortage of land in Petaling Jaya.
In April 2008, the Selangor government banned new developments involving Class 3 and Class 4.
Alinah said the landslips had occurred at 20 different sites near Bukit Gasing and said this could be due to development works in Bukit Gasing as well as downpours that triggered the landslips.
“MBPJ is left with not much option but to take drastic action. Based on the soil erosion, the plots affected are off Jalan 5/60, Jalan 5/64 and Jalan 5/66,” said Alinah.
She added that the council had engaged soil experts to ascertain erosion-prone areas which are dangerous.
“We have informed the residents of Fraser Towers not to park their cars at the foot of the slopes. Recently, a boulder rolled down and hit a parked car while in another incident, mud and vegetation rolled down the slope and hit a car being driven along Jalan 5/60.
“Inspection by geotechnical engineers, who can recognise impending slope failure, is being carried out. As an immediate short-term measure, a gabion wall is being built. This is a better option than nail piling.
“Contractors have also started to prune some of the trees on the slope, remove mud that was washed down close to the pavement as well as widen the drain along Jalan 5/60 from a V-shape to a U-shape,” she said.
Alinah added that the landslip close to Fraser Towers was due to a defective scupper drain that runs along the Sivan Temple located on the hill.
She said water in the drain backflowed and as such flooded the slope, causing it to be water logged.
“Our contractors are repairing the drain and consultants have suggested that the slopes be re-profiled to create a gentler gradient.
“However, this can only be done once the slope stabilises on its own, with no soil movement,” she said.
Alinah said development in and around Bukit Gasing or above SMK Taman Petaling would not be allowed.
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.
Representatives of Fraser Towers, Cameron Towers, Maxwell Towers, Gasing Indah, Petaling Gardens and Section 5 PJ got together to put forward a petition for endorsement by GE13 candidates for Bukit Gasing state and Petaling Jaya Selatan parlimentary seats.
Bukit Gasing candidates endorsing petition:
Mr Mak Khuin Weng (Ind)
Mr Simon Lee (Ind)
Mr. Rajiv Riskyakaran (DAP) see rajiv4malaysia.com for more of his thoughts
Petaling Jaya Selatan candidates endorsing petition:
Mr. Hee Loy Sian (PKR)
Mr. Sheah Kok Fah (BN-MCA)
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
By EDWARD R. HENRY
Monday February 25, 2013
PETALING Jaya City Council (MBPJ) has obtained a magistrate court order to demolish Sivan Temple in Bukit Gasing after a council report recommended it to be torn down as it posed an imminent danger to people’s lives and properties in the surrounding area.
Petaling Jaya mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad said the temple building was in danger of collapsing as further rains could weaken the soil strength.
A slope failure could trigger a major landslide that would see earth coming down on Jalan 5/60, close to Fraser Towers apartments.
“Landslides had occurred of late. Now, Sivan Temple is in imminent danger of collapse.
“MBPJ has to take immediate steps to eliminate the danger,” she said.
The mayor stressed that the court order was requested “in the best interests of the people, to protect the lives of devotees, people living at Fraser Towers and the students of SMK Taman Petaling that is located below the apartments.
“The council’s legal department has served the court order to the chairman of the interim temple committee, T. Maharathan, and solicitors of Datin Seri Indrani Samy Vellu.
“Both parties have been informed about the demolition exercise.
“We respect the religious sensitivity and have given full responsibility to the temple committee to handle the demolition exercise.
“But before it is done, MBPJ’s Buildings Department must be briefed on the methods of demolition to ensure no untoward incidents,” she said.
She added that the seriousness of the Sivan Temple issue was brought up at the Selangor Economic Action Council and at the state exco meeting on Feb 13.
The MBPJ engineering department had taken into account Maharathan’s proposal to demolish the temple based on safety concerns and had agreed to it.
Alinah said the council would assist and was willing to offer advice if required.
“We assure the committee and devotees that the land on Bukit Gasing remains for the Hindu temple.
“For the new temple, building plans must be submitted and our officers will facilitate the process,” she said.
On Feb 1, StarMetro highlighted that the concrete roof of the Sivan Temple had tilted and more cracks were visible.
Sculptures of huge deities, a cow and the ornate tower on the roof of the two-level building had tilted and Maharathan had said he was worried the temple would collapse in view of the rainy spell.
After several landslips along Jalan 5/60, Alinah visited the area early this month and instituted immediate measures such as earthworks to strengthen the slopes in two areas where tarpaulin sheets were used to cover the bare terrain.
U-shaped box drains had also been constructed, costing about RM1mil.
Alinah said the council’s engineering department had suggested nail soiling as a long-term measure, along with building a network of slope drains that would cost MBPJ RM3.2mil.
02 February 2013
By SHEILA SRI PRIYA | email@example.com
DANGER: The council’s failure to monitor the area affected by the Bukit Gasing landslides is worrying
PETALING JAYA: RESIDENTS fear the lackadaisical attitude of the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) towards the protection of the hill slope of Bukit Gasing may invite catastrophe.
The concern was conveyed by councillor Derek Fernandez during the council’s full board meeting on Thursday.
He said the council failed to play its role to ensure the hill slopes affected by the landslide on Jan 25 were well monitored, especially after the incident.
Fernandez said the area affected by the landslide, which is on private land, may still pose a danger to neighbouring areas if it’s not attended to.
“There were uprooted trees, and drains clogged with mud from the soil erosion.
“Tarpaulin sheets were also not placed on all areas of the affected site.
“Excuses about the slow tender process, and other reasons for not monitoring the situation are unacceptable.
“Disaster will strike when we least expect it. We are lucky to have been given warnings,” he said, adding that interim preventive measures, well supervised by those with the expertise, must be taken soon.
Fernandez also urged for more consideration for neighbouring residents such as those living at Fraser Tower.
He added that the landowners must be held responsible for the failure to safeguard their areas.
An earlier report by the Minerals and Geoscience Department Malaysia revealed that Bukit Gasing has the “Kenny Hills formation”.
This means the hill consists of rock and not reclaimed soil.
The findings were highlighted at the full board meeting.
Mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad said recently she would make a site visit soon.
“All respective department heads must go to the site and see what needs to be done.
“If funds are lacking, inform me and the problem will be addressed,” she said.
A Streets visit after the full board meeting saw workers clearing the site.
Story and photos by EDWARD R. HENRY
Serious matter: Tengku Nazaruddin and Sharifah Nur Armina discussing landslip matters with Alinah in Jalan 5/60.
IMMEDIATE corrective measures have been ordered to curb the movement of mud and uprooted trees on the slope of Bukit Gasing along Jalan 5/60 leading to Fraser Towers, where six landslips have been noted.
Yesterday, at 8.25am, Petaling Jaya mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad paid a surprise visit to the area and was taken aback on seeing the extent of the mudflow at various locations from the top of the hill to Jalan 5/60.
“It is bad. The mudflow from the top of the hill looks like it has increased. Roots of mature trees are exposed and some have fallen onto other trees.
“It is a progressive slipping of the earth and it will continue with the evening rains. Appropriate short-term measures have been activated and long-term remedial measures must be taken to counter this grave problem,” she said.
Alinah had made a visit on Jan 9 and said that based on her observations from the first visit, the situation had worsened.
On an urgent note, she called the Selangor government to obtain special approval to engage contractors to remove the mud and fallen trees and to prune trees that are in danger of falling.
She said a geo-membrane would be used to cover the exposed slope as it would offer an effective, impervious barrier to water and run-off.
Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) complaints department director Tengku Nazaruddin Tengku Zainuddin, engineering department deputy director Abdul Shukor Mohamed Noor, private secretary Sharifah Nur Armina and junior officers from the council’s landscape department were also present during the visit.
On seeing the small crowd of MBPJ officers, Fraser Towers joint management body chairman Mohamed Kamar came forward to discuss the worrying situation with Alinah.
Alinah told the officers and residents that the landslip in Bukit Gasing area had been classified as a “priority matter”.
She made a quick decision to get the contractors to start work immediately and warned them not to dump the mud on the other side of the slope leading to SM Taman Petaling, as had happened last Sunday.
“Quick decisions must be made in matters of such a nature. We cannot allow it to endanger lives and property.
“We have Fraser Towers here, and below that, SM Taman Petaling and residential properties.
“I made the decision as landscape department director Zuraidah Sainan is not here,” said Alinah.
Alinah told StarMetro that she would meet with Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib to discuss development projects on Bukit Gasing’s Kuala Lumpur border, which are believed to have caused the soil movement.
“We must see what can be done to minimise the impact on our side of Bukit Gasing and to avert more landslips in the future,” she said.
Mohamed said he and the residents were glad to see Alinah providing immediate solutions to address the landslip.
“We want the council to maintain the hill.
“Our residents want the council to institute effective preventive measures and MBPJ must install equipment to monitor the movement of soil.
“In addition, no development must be allowed on the slope as it will be a recipe for disaster,” he said.