KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 6 — The High Court here today dismissed a Taman Desa resident’s bid to suspend construction works for a new condominium project and also ordered the resident to pay costs of RM10,000, the Protect Taman Desa coalition said today.
According to Protect Taman Desa media coordinator M. Gunasekar, Taman Desa resident Gurit Kaur Sohan Singh had filed last December 14 a stay application together with a certificate of urgency, after the property developer proceeded with construction work despite pending lawsuits against the project.
Besides refusing to temporarily freeze works at the project site, High Court judge Datuk Kamaludin Md Said today awarded RM5,000 costs each to the Kuala Lumpur mayor and the project developer, Gunasekar told Malay Mail.
Gurit, who lives in the Tiara Faber condominium located next to the project site, had last August 30 filed the lawsuit to challenge the Kuala Lumpur mayor’s decision to issue a development order for The Address.
Gurit had claimed that the mayor’s decision was irrational and unreasonable, was not in accordance with the law and amounted to procedural impropriety. The Kuala Lumpur High Court had last September 25 granted Gurit leave for judicial review, while the developer was also allowed to be an intervener or to be a party to the lawsuit.
When commenting on the High Court’s decision to dismiss the stay application, Gunasekar said Taman Desa residents were “very disappointed” as a construction crane at the project site had on January 23 collapsed and fallen partially over into Tiara Faber’s compound and damaged a structure there.
“The crane collapse was a nightmare-come-true incident, which is feared by the residents living in the surroundings,” he said in a statement today, highlighting that the project involved three towers of over 30 floors being built on a narrow strip of land surrounded by low-rise condominiums of maximum 13 storeys and three schools.
“It appears that authorities place economic returns over the safety and well-being of the people. This is a very sad day for humanity especially so when Kuala Lumpur is the venue for the 9th World Urban Forum,” he added.
The crane had crashed onto the staircase structure leading to the adjacent Tiara Faber’s basement car park, metres away from the condominium’s Block C residences. It was removed on January 27 and the incident was investigated by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH).
KY Khong, who is also a Tiara Faber resident and a spokesman for the Taman Desa residents opposing the project, said the crane accident was proof that there is “insufficient set-back for such project within a mature residential area”.
“Will it take an incident involving injuries and loss of life for the authorities to realise that such development projects are unsustainable?” he asked in Protect Taman Desa’s statement today.
In a separate lawsuit filed last March 13 by 11 Taman Desa residents — including Khong — living in the three neighbouring condominiums directly affected by The Address project, they had filed last August 22 a stay application to seek the courts’ freezing of works on the project site.
Their stay application was initially due to be heard today before the same judge, Kamaludin.
The 11 residents informed the judge this morning before the court proceedings that they were withdrawing their stay application, Gunasekar confirmed.
These residents — who had last April 18 already obtained leave for judicial review — will however continue with their lawsuit, Gunasekar confirmed.
The High Court has now fixed February 26 for case management for both cases over The Address condominium project, Gunasekar said. The hearing dates for the judicial review for both cases have yet to be fixed.