City Hall appeal against Taman Tiara Titiwangsa court decision is ‘harassment’, says Save KL Coalition

Members of the ‘Selamatkan Kuala Lumpur’ Coalition seen at the press conference in Kuala Lumpur April 26, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Members of the ‘Selamatkan Kuala Lumpur’ Coalition seen at the press conference in Kuala Lumpur April 26, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 — The decision by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to challenge a court decision on Taman Tiara Titiwangsa has earned the ire of the Save Kuala Lumpur Coalition (SKL).

SKL vice-chairman Datuk M. Ali said DBKL’s move to file an application in the Federal Court recently to challenge the Court of Appeal decision that voided previous public hearings on Taman Tiara Titiwangsa’s development, was tantamount to “harassment”.

On March 13, the Court of Appeal decided that public hearings on the development were done improperly as local residents were unable to present their objections under Rule 5 of the Federal Territory Planning Act 1982, which is to allow public input in planning and development.

The ruling sets a precedent for development projects in Kuala Lumpur as it allows the public to be given a fair opportunity to object against development projects in their area as DBKL would have to provide such documents for any objection to being considered valid, something DBKL appears to be against.

“This audacious act by DBKL is simply an act of harassment against KL residents who are merely seeking recourse against a development that the residents had not asked for.

“The Court of Appeal ruling stated that DBKL had not done the public hearing properly because they had not furnished pertinent information for local residents to make an informed objection.

“The issue is that it seems DBKL is seeking to reverse this ruling,” said M. Ali.

Among the documents DBKL needed to provide for local residents to make an informed objection included the Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) reports among others.

In a joint press conference tonight, SKL and its members, consisting of some 30 local residents associations, had called out the Pakatan Harapan administration and the Federal Territories Ministry and its minister Khalid Samad for not holding up to the principle of freedom of information.

“They don’t need a court decision to do the correct thing or even practise good governance. The ruling was supposed to be a good thing and yet they had filed an appeal on it,” said M. Ali.

Resident Sylvester Navaratnam speaks during a press conference by the 'Selamatkan Kuala Lumpur' coalition in Kuala Lumpur April 26, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Resident Sylvester Navaratnam speaks during a press conference by the 'Selamatkan Kuala Lumpur' coalition in Kuala Lumpur April 26, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

Taman Tiara Titiwangsa spokesperson Sylvester Navaratnam also voiced concern over the “deafening silence” from all but one of the city’s 11 MPs on the ruling.

“They seemed to be quiet and not responsive to the ruling however prior to the election they pledged to support us in this endeavour,” he said.

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