After Taman Rimba Kiara residents’ court win, Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh vows to assist longhouse dwellers

Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh who was on the side of the residents in her constituency, lauded today’s decision at the Court of Appeal that ended a years-long legal challenge against the controversial development. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 — Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh has shifted her attention to the welfare of longhouse residents in Taman Rimba Kiara, after helping residents here successfully win an appellate court order quashing the development order of a disputed condominium project.

Yeoh, who was on the side of the residents in her constituency, lauded today’s decision at the Court of Appeal that ended a years-long legal challenge against the controversial development.

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“Today justice prevailed. When the local authority, FT (Federal Territories) Ministers (old and new) and MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) failed us, the Court of Appeal restored my faith.

“Now, I want to focus my energy on helping the longhouse residents with permanent housing at the site,” Yeoh said on her Facebook.

Recalling what had transpired in the last few years, Yeoh said it was a difficult journey and felt that the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration could have done better than just scaling down the development approved by Barisan Nasional (BN).

Yeoh’s role in the dispute had also put her in conflict with PH colleague Khalid Abdul Samad, who was the Federal Territories minister at the time.

Today, she said this led to some accusing her of being unreasonable in the matter.

“Some accused me of fighting for the rich at the expense of the poor. Some used the race card against me,” she said.

In April 2019, Khalid said he would submit to the Cabinet a 50 per cent reduction of the proposed Taman Rimba Kiara high-rise project, on the basis that cancelling it outright would hurt investor confidence.

In today’s decision, the Court of Appeal annulled the Development Order (DO) obtained in 2017 by the joint venture of Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan and developer Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd for the Taman Kiara project.

On November 28, Taman Tun Dr Ismail residents’ bid to overturn the conditional planning permission and development order by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) for the controversial high-rise residential project in Taman Rimba Kiara was denied by the High Court.

The judge had then ruled that DBKL’s decision to issue the DO was not tainted with illegality as to justify intervention by the court.

Today, Yeoh celebrated the team of lawyers behind the appeal: Christopher Leong, Aliff Benjamin Suhaimi, Abraham Au and Phoebe Loi led by Prof Gurdial S. Nijar.

“I want to congratulate the core team of TTDI residents who fought this in court with their resources and many hours of taking leave from work and their family time. Congratulations to Hafiz, Leon, Khairuddin, Sivakumar, Clinton and so many more.

“Fighting with your political opponent is difficult. Fighting with your own administration and colleague can be painful.

“But with every difficult step I had to take in the last few years (including the threat of being sued for RM10 million by landowner Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan) and each time I questioned if I had done the right thing, my residents and my voters were right there to cheer me on,” she said.

“To aspiring politicians out there, always listen to the voters who gave you the mandate to represent them. Honour your words even if they cost you,” she added.

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