FT Minister says still open for discussion with Taman Tiara residents over disputed project

Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad speaks after witnessing the signing of the memorandum of understanding between RightsLedger and Jom Channel at W Hotel April 30, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad speaks after witnessing the signing of the memorandum of understanding between RightsLedger and Jom Channel at W Hotel April 30, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 — Federal Territories MInister Khalid Samad today said there is still room for discussion with residents of Taman Tiara Titiwangsa although Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is challenging a court decision on a development project in their neighbourhood.

The minister told reporters he was willing to sit down with the residents but pointed out that the matter could have been brought to the Pakatan Harapan government before they decided to continue their legal action against DBKL.

“The issue was initiated prior to our (PH) administration but unfortunately when the administration change they just carried on. They should have taken the opportunity to discuss it with us but they decided to proceed with the case so we just let the court decide.

“They were the ones who brought the case to court first. So they lost first and they appeal, so now DBKL is appealing the decision because it is a dispute of procedures,” he said after witnessing the signing of the memorandum of understanding between digital rights management firm RightsLedger and news portal Jom Channel here today.

On March 13, the Court of Appeal decided that public hearings on the project 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.

However, DBKL has filed an appeal against the ruling with Khalid stating that the local authority is merely following legal procedures.

DBKL’s appeal has earned the ire of the concerned citizens and several Kuala Lumpur NGOs, namely the Save Kuala Lumpur Coalition as many opined that the action was tantamount of “harassment” and view it as an act of bad faith by DBKL against local residents of the city.

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